General Guidance

These free online resources help municipalities and plan a street lighting retrofit.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Municipal Solid-State Street Lighting Consortium (MSSLC) is dedicated to helping cities and organizations conduct retrofits of LED street and area lighting products. Visit their online resources to learn more about the organization, become a member, or receive their newsletter: The Light Post.

U.S. DOE Better Buildings Outdoor Lighting Accelerator (OLA) is a challenge program providing municipalities with resources and case studies of peer cities that are also upgrading their streetlights. The program provides networking events and recognition to those municipalities who have developed a roadmap to replace their street lighting. Visit their website to join the OLA and be a part of the President’s goal to install 1.5 million LED street lights throughout the United States.

Street Lighting Retrofit Plans Library:

A range of public entities, utility organizations, and manufacturers have published retrofit planning documents to aid other jurisdictions.

Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities’ LED Street Lighting, A Handbook for Small Communities is written for smaller communities considering LED streetlight retrofits. The report discusses LED lighting characteristics, addresses frequent questions, offers design considerations, offers a costs and benefit analysis, explains the procurement process and offers a variety of case studies from Iowa.

A Municipal Guide for Converting to LED Street Lighting is a step-by-step guide intended to assist planners without formal lighting training as they oversee a street lighting retrofit project. Within it are sections dedicated to: defining the project scope, determining a funding source, completing a financial analysis, narrowing fixture selections, interacting with manufacturers, performing a pilot, leading a procurement process, implementation and determining a long-term maintenance plan.

The Boston Metropolitan Area Planning Council produced the Retrofit Streetlights with LEDs guide that outlines the planning process for an exterior LED lighting systems upgrade, describes options for implementing projects, and provides a glossary of lighting terms and fixture types.

The City of San Jose published a guide that encompasses three resources: the Public Streetlight Replacement Guide, Installation Guide and Adaptive Street Lighting Design Guide. While these were published for San Jose’s use, they are available online and can assist municipalities looking for more technical design considerations, particularly related to adaptive lighting controls.

In an effort to assist municipalities launching street lighting retrofits, Efficiency Vermont developed the step-by-step guide Improving Efficiency in Municipal Street and Public Space Lighting. Although specific to Vermont’s needs, it provides useful guidance on the following topics: LED street lighting basics, street lighting needs analysis and design considerations and street light fixture ownership issues (e.g., utility vs. municipality).

The City of Los Angeles’ street light retrofit video provides a clear overview of some of the key considerations a city may face when embarking on a retrofit, such as changing costs, public safety concerns, strategies to track performance and billing and the value of the MSSLC.