Why doesn't my street have streetlights?
Until the mid-1950's, the City did not require developers of housing,
commercial and industrial property to install street lighting. So in the
older areas of the City, most streets did not have streetlights, unless
the developer voluntarily installed them, or a neighborhood group or their
Council Office started a project to install them at the property owners'
Only those who have street lighting pay for it. Through the purchase
of a property which has street lighting, or through an assessment for a
street lighting project, property owners pay for installation of street
lighting in Los Angeles. Maintenance costs are assessed annually. This
is not paid for from the basic property taxes or other taxes. New assessments
require a vote of the property owners in compliance with Proposition 218,
now part of the California Constitution.
What kinds of streetlights are there?
In Los Angeles, there are lights on wooden power poles (Utilitarian
Lights), and lights on steel or concrete poles (Electrolier Streetlights).
The following are descriptions of each.
UTILITARIAN LIGHTS (ON WOODEN POWER POLES)
Upon request by nearby residents or businesses, the City may install
one light on an existing power pole at an intersection, or on a street
or in an alley no closer than every 300 feet, at no cost for installation
or maintenance. This lighting is only for minimal traffic safety.
The DWP does the physical installation. Contact the DWP at 1-800-dial-dwp
ELECTROLIER STREETLIGHTS (ON STEEL OR CONCRETE POLES)
This type of installation is for complete, uniform lighting on
streets. Property owners are responsible for their share of the costs of
1) installation and 2) annual maintenance. City policy is to install electroliers
with underground wiring, that meets our standards for lighting level and
What type of lighting fixtures is being used, and how does it compare to older types?
High pressure sodium (HPS) lighting is being used in most of
the City. It is five times as efficient as incandescent lighting,
and twice as efficient as mercury vapor lighting. HPS lights have
orange-pink lamp color, and allow you to see all colors of objects. They
do not attract flying insects the way other lamps do. HPS lighting is installed
to replace incandescent and mercury vapor lighting to save energy and reduce
operating cost. Replacement HPS lights are designed to provide more illumination
than the previous lights, and use a "cutoff" fixture that is flat on the
bottom, to minimize source glare and avoid most light into windows and
the sky. For questions about lighting modernization or replacement, call
Who is responsible for the installation of streetlights?
The Bureau of Street Lighting (Department of Public Works) has overall
responsibility for design, construction and operation of street lighting
in Los Angeles. Most electrolier streetlights are installed by private
contractors under contract with the Department of Public Works, or under
permits related to private developments. The Bureau of Street Lighting
also provides petitions and information for electrolier lighting projects.
See the particular telephone numbers for the service wanted below.
Who pays for the installation, maintenance and operation of streetlights?
In general, property owners that will benefit from electrolier streetlights
pay the installation cost for new streetlighting. Benefitting property
owners are also responsible for paying for the maintenance and electrical
energy costs required to operate streetlights on an annual basis.
What are street lighting maintenance assessments?
In Los Angeles the property owners are responsible for the full cost
of maintenance of their streetlights. The maintenance cost is billed to
property owners as an assessment on their County tax bill. A typical, annual
street lighting maintenance assessment for a residential street is approximately
$70 for each single family residential property on a lot of .2 acres or less. The City provides electricity, relamping
and cleaning, all needed repairs, information, and eventual modernization
and replacement of the streetlights from this assessment.
Better lighting is needed on my street. How can I get more lights or upgraded lights?
INSTALLATION OF ELECTROLIER STREETLIGHTS (ON STEEL OR CONCRETE
If there are only utilitarian lights (on wooden power poles) at each
intersection, for instance, and you want complete lighting, an electrolier
street lighting system can be designed and installed if first requested
by a majority of the property owners on the street. A petition from
the Bureau of Street Lighting is needed. (Call (213) 847-1432.) This will
give the costs, description of lighting and other information. Current cost for a modern lighting system on most residential
streets is about $3,400. Annual maintenance assessments are about $70 for
a single family residential property on a lot of .2 acres or less.
UPGRADING EXISTING ELECTROLIER STREETLIGHTS
The Bureau of Street Lighting will investigate the existing streetlighting
system to determine what work is needed to upgrade the lighting, upon written
request. Property owners are responsible for the cost of upgrading existing
streetlights, and there would be some increase in the annual maintenance
assessment due to the increased electrical energy required.
How do I get more information on street lighting or make a request?
For utilitarian lighting, call the DWP at 1-800-dial-dwp, (800) 342-5397.
For lighting modernization or replacement call (213) 847-1432.
For new electrolier lighting and questions about assessments, call (213)
For tree trimming needed for street lighting, call (800) 996-2489.
For lights out or in need of other repairs, call 311 or (866) 452-2489.
For questions about street lighting maintenance assessments, call (213)
For general questions regarding street lighting call (213) 847-1432.
For street lighting repairs call (3-1-1).
Requests for services may be sent to: email@example.com
Bureau of Street Lighting Website: bsl.lacity.org
1149 S. Broadway, Ste. 200
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Bureau of Street Lighting information brochure: