Street Light Program
The Transportation and Public Works Department is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the City of Santa Rosa's street lighting system. The City has approximately 15,500 street lights consisting of various designs and lamp types.
Street lighting is provided to illuminate roadways and sidewalks for motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Although street lights do at times illuminate private property, this is not their primary intent.
Street Lights are Being Turned Back On
Between 2009 and 2013, the City of Santa Rosa turned off approximately 3,400 street lights as a temporary cost saving measure during a period of fiscal crisis. In February 2015, the City Council approved a program to turn all street lights back on by July 2016.
The street lights that were turned off or equipped with photocell timers, will be turned on and most will be fitted with high efficiency light emitting diode (LED) lamps. Eventually all of the City's street lights will be equipped with LED lamps. LED street lights utilize 40% less energy than the high pressure sodium lights they are replacing and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Identifying a Street Light by its Pole Number
Each street light is identified by a specific pole number that can be seen from the side facing the roadway. Some street lights have a yellow decal which identifies them as being turned off or a blue decal which indicates the light is equipped with a photocell timer (which turns the light off between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 5:30 AM). By July 2016, these decals will be removed, as all street lights are being turned back on and the photocell timers removed.
NOTE: if a street light does not have a yellow or blue decal and it is not operating, please report the malfunctioning light at 707-543-4305.
Converting Street Lights to LED
Lighting industry technology advancements and reductions in the cost of LED fixtures make retrofitting the City’s street lights with LEDs an affordable investment. The Citywide retrofit will result in substantial energy cost savings and greater reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, the long life span of LED fixtures will yield reduced maintenance and repair costs. LED street lights can last for decades before needing replacement. By 2020, all of the City's street lights will be equipped with LED lamps.
Copper Wire Theft
Street lights nationwide are being vandalized by copper wire theft. In Santa Rosa, areas affected by copper wire theft include Fountaingrove Parkway, Thomas Lake Harris Drive and Occidental Road. The City has a capital improvement project in place to design a more theft-resistant street lighting system, replace the stolen copper wire, and retrofit the street lights in these areas with LED street lights. Learn more.
How You Can Help - If you see any suspicious activity near street lights or City facilities, please call 911 to report the activity. City of Santa Rosa crews and contractors’ trucks and equipment are clearly identifiable with logos. Our City crews wear reflective clothing and hard hats and seldom work at night. Construction work zones should be clearly signed.
LED Light Spectrum
The light generated by LED fixtures looks different from the amber light produced by the high pressure sodium bulbs that are currently most common throughout the City. LED lights produce a whiter light that renders a color spectrum similar to moonlight (see the light intensity scale shown below). The new LED street lights emit light with a color temperature of 4000 Kelvin, which is the standard used by cities nationwide. The color temperature of LEDs can cause some people to perceive the light as being brighter, but in actuality, these LED lights are generating fewer Lumens and operating on a lower wattage.