LED Streetlight Retrofit Project

In 2017, the Town of Corte Madera joined other jurisdictions in Marin County in switching to 100% renewable energy via Marin Clean Energy’s (MCE) Deep Green program. Retrofitting existing streetlight fixtures with LED lights uses less natural resources and helps offset the cost of the effective rate increase by switching to Deep Green. Similar projects in neighboring jurisdictions have resulted in up to a 40% reduction in municipal streetlight energy use upon project completion. By converting streetlights to LED, the Town will reduce its energy consumption and costs while improving existing light intensity levels as well as reducing frequency of light replacement.

Based on input from the community, Town Council, prior Public Works staff, and the Marin Public Facilities Energy Management Team; this item was included in the 2-year Capital Improvement Plan in June 2019 and subsequently brought to Town Council as an agenda item in Summer of 2019. Some of the early criticisms of LED bulbs were that they were too bright white and were disruptive to sleep. However, standard LED color temperature has evolved to become more closely resembling the warm yellow hue of traditional High Pressure Sodium (HPS) bulbs, see in-depth discussion on color temperature, Image 1. Through many installations nationwide, communities have become fond and comfortable with these installations and embrace the environmental and cost savings benefits that accompany these projects.

In 2017, LED retrofits were installed along Paradise Drive between Harbor Drive and Seawolf Passage as part of a pilot project so the community and Town staff could witness the appearance and performance of streetlights that are illuminated by LED as opposed to High Pressure Sodium bulbs. Additionally, in 2019 two LED retrofits were installed near the intersection of Willow Avenue and Tamalpais Drive as a nearby example of LED retrofits (see Image 2 for location).

To access the FAQ page related to this project, please click here

Next Steps: The contractor (Tanko Streetlighting) conducted a field audit of all existing street lights in Town to determine the most appropriate design for retrofit lights. 

Status: Complete

Project Type(s): Capital Improvement Project

Construction Schedule: The Audit and Design phases have started. Construction began in January 2022 and has been completed. To access the live installation tracker and monitor the LED conversion process, visit here

For more information, contact RJ Suokko rsuokko@tcmmail.org for follow-up questions.

Color Temperature

LED Retrofits