What’s going on? CPAU is now in the process of installing LED streetlights throughout Palo Alto. No neighborhood was “singled out” to get the new streetlights, but rather installation is being completed in stages. It will take several years before we can get streetlights replaced in all neighborhoods. (Click here for a project map.)
Note: LED streetlights are only being installed where previously there were "cobra-head" style lightposts. The old-style "Washington" and "tear drop" streetlight posts are not being replaced.
Did the City ever ask the public if they wanted LED streetlights? Yes, we sure did! Originally, a pilot program was run where LED streetlights were installed in various areas around town and the public was invited to comment on them. (The notice of this pilot and the opportunity for public comment was issued through several articles in the local media, the city website, the Utilities bill messages and on signs posted in the areas where the pilot streetlights were installed). The feedback from the public who responded was generally positive, and, so, with the aid of a federal grant under the stimulus program, the first phase involved installing LED streetlights along Alma and the El Camino Real. The next phase was to start installing the lights in neighborhoods around town.
What are the benefits of LED streetlights?
40% lower electric use than less efficient older high-pressure sodium [HPS] lamps.
Saves ratepayer dollars
Is better for the environment
30% lower maintenance costs because LED lights don’t need to be replaced as often.
Bright direct light increases visibility and discourages illicit activity.
What can be done for people who find the LED streetlights too bright? Most people are very happy with the better illumination of these new streetlights. However, if a person has checked with neighbors on the block and there is agreement that the light level is a problem, send an email to Utilities Engineering at LEDStreetlights@cityofpaloalto.org providing name, location and contact info.
People will be placed on a waiting list of locations we will evaluate to determine which options available make the most sense in each case. Responding to customer needs is a high priority, but residents should understand that depending on the volume of requests, we may not be able to get out to evaluate their area for several weeks.