The City of Pittsburgh has 35,000 overhead streetlights that will be converted to LED, which will provide long-term savings and reduce energy usage and light pollution.
More Information on the LED Streetlight Upgrade
The City of Pittsburgh is seeking proposals to convert its existing inventory of 35,000 overhead streetlights to LED, which will provide long-term savings, and reduce energy usage and light pollution. The project does not include the conversion of decorative or pedestrian-scale lighting.
The Office of Management and Budget has released a Request for Proposals from interested vendors to convert the streetlights over a three-year period starting in 2022. It is available on the City’s online contracting website Beacon.
The project will result in the conversion of the City’s existing 35,000 high pressure sodium (HPS) cobra head streetlights to LED. The City recognizes that advances in lighting, communication, sensor, and other technologies have created fiscally prudent opportunities for local governments to improve public services, reduce long-term utility obligations, reduce energy consumption while advancing equity and sustainability goals through street lighting modernization projects. Respondents may elect to submit multiple options for innovative financing or phasing that would allow the City to leverage these opportunities.
Overhead "cobrahead" style lights will be replaced with LED in the current project, but not other, more decorative styles of lights
The LED Streetlight Conversion Project is intended to improve the quality and reliability of Pittsburgh's outdoor lighting and thereby enhance quality of life for Pittsburgh’s residents and visitors. The project intends to achieve the following objectives:
- Reducing energy use and annual cost of streetlights
- Takes an approach to phasing that advances equity
- Increasing public awareness of investment and cost-savings realized through the project
- Delivers a turnkey, quality system to the City that can be sustained in a state of good repair
- Follows Dark Sky lighting principles to decrease energy usage, reduce light pollution and glare that can be distracting and unsightly, and improve public health and environmental outcomes.
Pittsburgh streetlights consume 25 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually, more than half of all the electricity used for City operations. By switching to LEDs, the energy needed for streetlights will be reduced by up to 70%, saving the City more than $1 million per year in utility costs.
Streetlights provide much needed illumination to our streets and sidewalks, but they can also send light in the wrong direction. Light pollution, caused when light shines up into the sky instead of down toward the ground, has many effects, from reducing our ability to see stars at night to negatively impacting wildlife and human health. Pittsburgh's LED streetlight upgrade will address these issues by ensuring that all new streetlights adhere to "dark sky" best practices, including lower color temperature (warmer, yellower light, instead of brighter, bluer light) and shielding to prevent lights from shining into the sky. For more information about darky sky principles and light pollution, see:
On May 17th, 2021 the City released a request for proposals (RFP) seeking qualified contractors to carry out the conversion of the City's streetlights to LED. Bidders are asked to prepare responses that cover four main tasks, outlined below. The City will evaluate responses and expects to award a contract by fall 2021. Construction is planned to begin in early 2022 and be completed by end of year 2024.
Task 1 : Existing Conditions Survey
- Using data inventory provide by the city , the contractor is expected to expand and collect new information as-needed to the extent required to develop a conversion and maintenance plan.
Task 2: Conversion Plan
The Contractor shall develop a conversion plan to convert HPS to LED within a three-year installation. The approach to phasing shall take into account:
- Addressing critical maintenance issues;
- Advancing equity objectives; •Energy-saving capture;
- Limit disturbance to the public;
- Recommendations for future value-added options (e.g. adaptive controls and network streetlight management) which can be phased in after initial LED conversion
Task 3: LED Conversion
- Delivery of a fully functional, turnkey system.
- Luminaires Tech Specs – outlined in RFP
- For each luminaire proposed, include a spec sheet, description, manufacturer or contractor warranty, and pricing submittal.
- Targeted Infrastructure Repairs
- Contractor shall be responsible for all pole replacement, wiring, cleaning, and other repairs as needed to complete the LED conversion.
Task 4: Reporting
- Document work and progress on performance metrics
- Process of City acceptance of newly installed lights
- Warranty and Maintenance Plan – proposed by contractor
Task 5: New Lights
The City has studied the distribution of streetlights in Pittsburgh neighborhoods and estimates that between 3,000 and 15,000 new LED lights are necessary to achieve an average distribution of lights throughout the city. The Contractor will provide pricing for the installation and wiring of up to 15,000 new LED luminaires in these neighborhoods.