Next Generation Streetlighting Guide Released


The Next Generation Streetlight Guide is a collaborative project of the Bay Area Climate Collaborative (BACC), the California Lighting Technology Center, Energy Solutions, and the financial planners PFM. An excerpt from the Guide’s Introduction is below. To review the Streetlight Guide in full, click here.


Street lighting is an essential feature of modern streets and roadways, providing illumination to ensure walkway and roadway safety. The US Department of Energy estimates that there are 52.6 million roadway fixtures installed in the United States, including 26.5 million streetlights and 26.1 million highway fixtures. These lights consume significant amounts of energy, accounting for nearly ten percent of all lighting electricity consumption nationwidea. Street lighting technology is evolving rapidly with the development of solid-state lighting (SSL), including light-emitting diode (LED) technology. A massive global market conversion to more advanced street lighting is already underway and is expected to accelerate over the next several years. LED streetlights combine enormous savings potential (perhaps over several terawatt-hours annually) with superior lighting performance relative to incumbent technologies.

Major cities in California, such as Los Angeles and San Jose, have already begun to convert their existing streetlight inventories to next-generation LED fixtures. Many more cities and counties have completed pilotscale evaluation projects to help plan larger-scale LED streetlight retrofits and installations. Existing deployments of LED streetlights are demonstrating significant economic and community benefits from upgrading. Furthermore, utilities such as Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) are actively promoting the implementation of advanced streetlights by offering various incentive programs including rebates, turnkey replacement services, and technology-specific tariffs.

The Bay Area has an estimated 700,000+ mostly low-efficiency streetlights. Through a survey of Bay Area agencies, the Bay Area Climate Collaborative has identified over 240,000 city-owned fixtures ripe for conversion in the 67 participating agencies (out of 109). Upgrading these streetlights to LEDs would yield annual energy savings of 60 million kilowatt-hours (kWh), enough to power 10,000 single-family California homes. With substantial incentives available, low cost of financing and attractive payback times, the opportunity for local governments to benefit from upgrades now is significant.

This guide was created to further support local governments as part of the Next Generation Streetlight Initiative, which is aimed at providing leading-edge education, resources and support to accelerate streetlight upgrades. This guide is meant to serve as a reference tool for Bay Area government leaders by providing foundational guidance and considerations for the successful implementation of LED streetlight upgrades. The target audience for this guide includes all local leaders and staff who play a role in upgrading and maintaining streetlights including public works directors, engineers, lighting specialists, city managers, county administrators, and other agency leaders and staff.

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