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Design Brief


The City of Los Angeles is inviting students to submit designs for a unique LA streetlight pole. There is no entry fee for students. The winners of the design contest will be presented Inspirational Awards and $500 cash as the prize. The design will be used to inspire the final LA pole design. 


Student Competition

The Student Competition will be open to high school students (including Middle School Students) in schools located within the City of Los Angeles, its departments, boards, commissions, successors, and assigns. The school must be listed as an eligible school that has registered with the LA Light the Way program.  


School Competition Jury, in alphabetical order:

Jessica Caloza, Public Works Commissioner 

Nia Smith, Mayor's Youth Sustainability Council 

Megan Hackney, Assistant Director, Bureau of Street Lighting

Christos Chrysiliou, Los Angeles Unified School District


Selection criteria:

  • 35% Originality and strength of the proposal’s design vision

  • 35% Creativity and feasibility of the proposal’s strategy 

  • 30% Visual coherence of the proposal


Program Description

The program for the BSL Student Design Competition includes one basic streetlight model. The competition may include a new fixture/luminaire design as an option. The City’s basic streetlight currently is a tapered round galvanized steel pole that have a four foot arm with a standard street light fixture at the end that provides for the illumination of the roadway. There is no base or other decoration element of this pole. This basic system has been in place since the 1950 with few iterations that includes fluted poles.  


The City would like students to design a new standard streetlight that will be unique for the City of LA and meet the following guidelines.  


  • The pole must have a height of 30’ to 32’.

  • The pole must have an arm that reaches out 4’ from the pole. 

  • Streetlights are typically placed with the centerline 2’ behind curbface.  

  •  A base for the pole is strongly recommended. 

  • Placement for a cultural placard at 5’ to 6’ up on the pole.  This placard will have an LA poem inscribed on it.  

  • The competitor must designate the material used for the streetlight (preferably a recyclable, sustainable material that reduces environmental impact and mitigates operations and maintenance issues such as copper wire theft and rust).  

  • The competitor must designate at least one color for the streetlight.  The competitor may include up to three colors.  


Required elements:

  • Streetlight - The streetlight will be considered the main element of the design.  There are certain criteria the streetlight design must meet.  

  • Basic Elements - These elements include the streetlight, luminaire, and cultural plaque, LED Strip, LA logo or other marker to signify this is an LA pole. 

  • Luminaire/Fixture - The design may include a new fixture design or you can use the fixture to the right.

  • Pedestrian Fixtures - Pedestrian fixtures are mounted on roadway streetlights oriented over the sidewalk area to illuminate the pedestrian pathway.  The design submittals shall include a rendering with a pedestrian fixture attached. 

  • Cultural Plaque - For lack of a technical term, a "plaque" to carry text -- poetry, references to community and architectural history of particular communities, etc or some other means of conveying text, with a particular emphasis on legibility for pedestrians.  The poetry selections for the new pole will be completed by the City’s Poet Laureate in the Spring 2020. This piece should be at a normal height level for reading.  

    • LED strip

    • Recommended 3-foot strip with LED lights. (Length). 

    • The proposal should recommend the appropriate height from the ground.  

    • Colors can change for context of event and emergencies

  • Shade Sail - Streetlight pole design with a “Shade Sail” or other shade element, including hardware to affix that element to the pole


Applicants Registration

Registration is not necessary but please visit our website at and sign up for announcements so you don’t miss any events or changes to the program or follow us @LAlight.   



All student submittals should be sent to the following address:


Bureau of Street Lighting

LA Lightpole Student Design Competition

1149 S. Broadway, Ste 200

Los Angeles, CA 90015

Or emailed to



JUNE 15*, 2020 at 4:00 PM




The submittals should be on an 11” X 17” sheet of paper with your name and email address  on the back of the paper and a front sheet that is 8 1/2”X11”.  Your submittal can use any type of drawing method or electronic drawing method.  



Student category:  A total of no more than five student entries will be chosen to receive Inspirational Awards, which will include a cash prize of $500 each. The award amounts will be sent to the school who will distribute the cash award to the student.  The announcement for the award is estimated to be mid February. The winners will be notified through email and invited to the Board of Public Works for their award and prize. If the winner cannot attend the prize and award will be sent through the school.       

*Updated May 22, 2020

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