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Street & Outdoor Lighting: General Guidance

Street & Outdoor Lighting Resources > General Guidance

These basic, free online resources help municipalities and utilities to begin planning a street lighting retrofit.

The U.S. 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 who are also upgrading their streetlights to LEDs. The program provides networking events and recognition to those municipalities who have developed a roadmap to replace their street lighting with LEDs and have completed their project. Visit their website to join the OLA today and be a part of the President's goal to install 1.5 million LED street lights on poles throughout the United States by May 2016.

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 and technical background, helps analyze the costs and benefits of an LED streetlight retrofit, explains the procurement process and product specifications, and then offers a variety of case studies from Iowa communities.
A Municipal Guide for Converting to LED Street Lighting is a user-friendly, 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 and completing a financial analysis, narrowing fixture selection specifications, interacting with manufacturers, performing a pilot, leading a procurement process, implementation, and determining a long-term maintenance plan.
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.
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 launch street lighting retrofits, Efficiency Vermont developed this step-by-step guide: Improving Efficiency in Municipal Street and Public Space Lighting. Although specific to Vermont's needs, it provides useful guidance around 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, the value of the MSSLC, and more.