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City of Los Angeles Lighting History

First installed in the early 1900’s, the City-operated street lighting system reflects various communities and L.A.’s history through the Depression, the 1932 Olympic Games, and the age of craftsmanship that built streetlights throughout the 40’s. As the age of manufacturing took over, Los Angeles witnessed the disappearance of its historical streetlights replaced by the standard pole. The typical streetlight system transformed into galvanized steel round or fluted poles. The light source overtime has also evolved: from gas, incandescent, metal halide to high-pressure sodium and today’s LEDs. The Bureau is diligent in preserving its historical streetlights.Yet as the role of streetlights step into the future, it is time to provide a design that represents this transition into the age of the so-called Smart City.

History of the Bureau of Street Lighting

The Bureau of Street Lighting is one of five Bureaus in the Department of Public Works. The Bureau of Street Lighting oversees design, construction, operation, maintenance and repair of the street lighting system within the City of Los Angeles. There are currently more than 210,000 lights in the City consisting of more than 400 designs.

Streetlights provide illumination for City roadways and sidewalk areas. The Bureau maintains certain standards to ensure that the City receives lighting that meets national illumination standards for drivers and pedestrians, does not emit light pollution and produces little glare.

Bureau of Street Lighting Timeline
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