LED Frequently Asked Questions

LED streetlight installations are underway, having started in the Garden Road area on Thursday, Feb. 20. Check out the interactive live-update map link on the City’s website to see where installations are being completed. The gray icons show where installation is complete. Below is more information about what the project is, why the City is converting to LED light and what to do if you have questions about the streetlights in your area. 

What kind of streetlights does Poway currently use?

The majority of streetlights currently used in Poway are Low Pressure Sodium (LPS) lights. LPS streetlights are not energy efficient and produce orange, low quality light under which it is difficult to see color. Recently, many cities are transitioning to newer, more effective LED lights, due to the lack of availability of LPS lights.

What are LED streetlights?

Light Emitting Diodes (LED) are a technology that have been used in small electronic devices such as calculators and digital clocks for decades. More recently, LED technology has advanced to streetlight applications. LED streetlights are extremely energy efficient, have long life spans, and produce better quality light than LPS streetlights.

What color of light do LED streetlight fixtures produce?

In contrast to the orange light that LPS fixtures emit, LED streetlight fixtures produce a cooler, more neutral-colored light under which it is easier to see true colors.

Why do the new LED fixtures appear to be brighter?

LPS fixtures tend to produce a bright spot directly underneath the fixture while LED streetlights are designed to evenly distribute light. This dispersion of light improves visibility by decreasing sudden contrast between light and dark areas. An in-depth design process has insured that adequate lighting is provided by each fixture. The LED fixtures also have a different hue of color which may appear brighter than what you are used to seeing. Each week a City staff member will be inspecting the new installations at night using a light meter to ensure that each light has the designed fixture installed. Any lights that were incorrectly installed will be replaced.

Why is Poway doing an LED streetlight conversion project?

The goal of the city-wide conversion project is to reduce energy consumption and costs associated with streetlighting. In addition, the converted lights will require less maintenance and improve visibility and safety.

How many streetlights is Poway replacing with the LED streetlight conversion project?

This project will replace approximately 3,000 streetlights throughout Poway, all of which are standard streetlights called box lights. The City will be converting decorative streetlights to LED at a later date.

How much will Poway likely save when it upgrades to LED streetlight fixtures?

The project is expected to save Poway over 1,160,000 kilowatt hours and approximately $120,000 in energy costs in the first year after the project is implemented.

How long will the project last?

The project began with a city-wide audit that provided precise locations and characteristics of all existing streetlights. The audit is being followed by installation of the new, energy efficient

LED box light streetlight fixtures, which began in February 2020 and is projected to be completed no later than early July 2020.

What are the benefits of the LED streetlight fixture project?

The benefits of this project include:

  • Reduced energy consumption resulting in energy savings and reduced Greenhouse Gas emissions
  • Lower maintenance costs
  • Improved visible light for residents

What is Poway doing with all of the streetlights it is removing?

The existing LPS streetlights will be recycled in accordance with all federal and state environmental guidelines.

Can the lighting levels be adjusted?

The new light fixtures do have a field adjustment module and the ability to add shielding. In order to allow for residents to become accustomed to the new lights, staff requests that you allow for a two-week transitional period before requesting adjustments to the lighting levels. In any location where a shield was previously installed, a shield will be reinstalled on the new light fixture. New shields will be added on a case by case basis, after the initial two-week transitional period.

Who is the contact for additional questions about the streetlight conversion project?

For more information about the LED Streetlight Conversion project, please contact Melody Rocco, PE, City Engineer for the City of Poway, at 858-668-4653 or mrocco@poway.org.