How Much Do Street Light Poles Cost?

3rd Jul 2021

How Much Do Street Light Poles Cost?

Street lights perform an important function in any community. They make the road safer and increase visibility for drivers and pedestrians. Street lights are also an important factor in deterring crime and making citizens more comfortable. A lot of people don't think about the cost of a street light pole because they're something that is usually taken care of by the town, city, or county.

That's not always the case, though. In some areas, the local electric company owns and maintains street lights and bills the city. And there are cases where private citizens pay for street lights if none is provided by their local town and they request them for an area. Citizens can invest in an outside lighting fixture for their own yard, but they may want the street light installed if it's an alleyway or street area that's too dark near their property.

When you're researching street light costs for a town or community, there are various factors to consider. Where the light will be placed and the area it needs to illuminate can impact the cost and type of lighting chosen.

Of course, you'll be working with professional estimates before launching any project to give you an exact figure. For the scope of this post, we'd like to lay out some of the variables you should be aware of in order to start your research or for reference for your next major project.

How much do street light poles cost?

The average street light pole cost ranges from $2,000 to $3,000, but that does not include installation. The installation cost depends on the city, but the average is somewhere around $1,000. There are variables to these costs, but the cost of a street light pole is going to be far more expensive than consumer light poles because they are more intricate to install and quite a bit larger.

The location of the street pole is also a factor. A city street light pole cost is going to be less than installation in hard-to-reach areas or certain architecture, such as highways or bridges. Because there are so many factors involved in the cost of a single light pole, it can be difficult for towns and cities to estimate costs when there's a large area to be addressed.

How much are street light poles and what are the factors?

There are several factors that go into the cost of a street light pole. But the installation costs are not the only factor involved. Cities need to weigh the maintenance costs for the type of lighting they choose.

For instance, the difference between LED and incandescent light is fairly large. LED costs an average of $ .005 per day, where the incandescent averages $ .03. That seems small, but when you multiply it by every street light in a city over an entire month, it's a large difference.

While the city does need to weigh the cost in their budget, they also need to consider the purpose of the lighting and which types of lighting will work best for their use. Street lights serve several purposes, including safety for drivers and pedestrians and as a crime deterrent.

There are four main factors that go into the cost of a street light pole:

  • Materials: The cost of the actual light pole and all parts are included in the materials. But you also need to factor in the equipment and tools necessary to install the light pole. This is often what raises the cost of installation for contractors, because they need to use expensive lifts and other equipment.
  • Labor: Labor is an expensive part of the process and projects often require several experienced tradespeople.
  • Energy Consumption: The cost of running the street lights will be a factor for most cities and this is why they are weighing the different types of energy so carefully.
  • Maintenance: Maintenance includes fixing any issues with a street light caused by wear, time, or a possible accident. It also includes everyday maintenance, such as replacing bulbs (infrequent, depending on the type), cleaning, and checking wiring, etc.

Who is responsible for street lights?

Every city is a little different. In some areas, the City Department of Transportation is in charge of the street lights. In other areas, it might be the city, the county, or a homeowner's association. The city, town, or county might own the street lights and pay for repair and maintenance. But there may be entities, like the fire department or Department of Transportation that take an active role in the maintenance and they would be who you would call if a street light stopped working.

Who pays for street lights?

You might be surprised at who pays for the street lights because they can vary. In some areas, the city or county pays for the lights. But there are areas that don't have street lights and if a citizen requests lights, that homeowner would need to pay the lighting bill.

In other instances, the electric company in the area may own and maintain some of the street lights and charge the city for use and maintenance.

Who pays to replace a street light? That can vary, as well. Often, the town or city is responsible for the cost of replacing street lights but they might bill a driver, for instance, if the original street light was damaged in an accident causing it to need to be replaced.

How much does it cost to install a street light?

Typically, a street light might cost between $2,000 and $3,000 dollars. The installation fee for a street light can cost $1,000, depending on the area. But the costs can vary a great deal. The lighting system and power type chosen will impact the installation cost, as well as the cost to maintain those street lights.

For instance, LED street lights will have a different cost to install than incandescent lights and there is a fairly significant difference in how much power they use monthly. When weighing the purchasing decision, you want to consider the installation cost as well as the cost over the life of the light pole. Energy efficiency will be a consideration in your lighting system, as will the cost of replacement, man-hours, and the way that the light pole functions.

Different areas and landscapes are a consideration, as well. Some types of lighting will work better in certain areas.

How much does a street light cost on a highway or a bridge?

Most estimates indicate that it can cost as much as 20% more to install light poles on a highway or bridge. This is due to the issues with replacing them. Often these locations can be difficult to maneuver physically and require shutting streets and detouring traffic.

If a street light pole costs $4,000 in total, you can expect the same light on a highway or bridge to run $4,800.

What is the typical distance between street light poles?

It might surprise you that there is a standard distance between light poles. It's surprising because many areas don't use a standard. There are recommendations based on the best lighting options.

The best distance is 29 meters. This is an exact measurement devised based on the height of the light pole and the area it will illuminate. Spacing it exactly makes the lighting more even on the street. The measurement is calculated as 2 to 3 times the height of the light pole, usually using 2.5 times as the marker.

In most places, the spacing between lights is not exact. You might find some light poles spaced at 29 meters while others are 50 meters in distance. The spacing will also often depend on the street architecture. If there are no homes or businesses, there may be limited reasons to light the area.

Are you researching the street light pole cost for your next project?

If you're researching the cost of street light poles to make decisions about the best options for your city or county, contact today. Our experienced staff can offer custom pricing for any project requiring street light poles and offer an excellent resource on the different types of lighting available for your needs.

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