How Much Does It Cost To Install A Street Light?

- Jul 18, 2018-

How Much Does It Cost To Install A Street Light?

Changing to LED street lights doesn’t cost so much. It takes around 5–10 minutes to change the lamp (so depends on hourly rate of 2 men) + lamp itself which has many parameters which affect the price but still it would be around 300–900$ maximum for regular LED luminaires up to ~150W. And I am talking about good quality lamps from China.

If you make these lights ‘smart’ (with remote wireless luminaire controller, segment controller and light control software) then you might add additional ~80–100$ to each lamp. Again - that’s the price for good quality gear. Example would be Citintelly. Everything above might be overkill in 70% of cases. Installing a streetlight typically costs between $6,500 - $10,000.


The cost of any LED lighting system has the following components and considerations:

1)    Material cost of bulb, poles and electrical wires and labor cost of installing the light – the cost of installing one street light pole is generally around $4000. It depends on the height of the pole, the rated power and efficiency of the light, type of foundation needed and length of wiring from the nearest source of electricity. When the nearest source of electricity is too far away as in rural communities it may be wise to install solar powered street lights instead of laying down miles of wire to energize the light. However, solar power solutions are considerably more expensive than a grid lit street light.

2)    Cost of energy consumed by the bulb – Our 100W Retrofit Kit for  LED Street lights consumes 100 watts and produces 15,550 lumens of high quality light. By comparison the 209,000 street lights of Los Angeles use 197,000,000 kWh of electricity every year at the rate of 250 watts per hour. Cost savings in electricity costs by adapting the LED alternative is what is propelling Los Angeles and many other cities towards LED lighting systems.

Added to this is the fact that Low Pressure Sodium (LPS) lights that produce the most light per watt have a Color Rendering Index (CRI) of ‘zero’. For good visibility they need to be combined with incandescent bulbs. The 5% efficiency rating of incandescent bulbs pulls down the efficiency of LPS lights as well. LPS lights are thus not suited for general purpose street lighting. Slightly better than that are High Pressure Sodium Bulbs, but those lights are typically 2700K and have a CRI between 20-40. Their light quality is terrible, and they must produce a lot of lumens to make up for the poor quality of light. Metal Halide, a brighter white light, tends to be a higher quality light source, with some bulbs approaching the CRI of LED, however, the majority of those bulbs are around 60 CRI. LED CRI typically starts at or above 70 on the scale of 0 to 100.

The function of providing security is compromised with lights with low CRI. Police forces dislike low CRI lights because they make it impossible to tell colors apart. Yellow is the only color that is reflected. If an object does not reflect yellow light it appears black. Disruptions in the road are also difficult to visualize because the road and the dents all appear yellow! Poor contrast and color rendering necessitate that more powerful lights are needed to achieve the objectives of street lighting. Powerful lights in turn lead to glare which again compromises the ability of the human eye to see objects clearly. Indeed in areas where security is important mercury and metal halide lamps are preferred despite their inefficiencies and are rapidly being replaced by LED lights that cost a fraction to operate and maintain.

A comparison of good CRI lights shows that lights offered by MyLEDLightingGuide outperform the others by a wide margin on all parameters, thus making any street light cost more plausible to put forward for more consideration to make the switch to a LED street lighting system.

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