Can You Get Street Lights Moved? (How to Do This Legally)

Can You Get Street Lights Moved

Street lights are a valuable asset to any residential area, but they can also be quite annoying when their artificial light glares directly into your window. So how can you prevent this irritation? Can you get street lights moved? 

You can get a street light moved if you have the appropriate permission from the relative authorities. This could be your local municipality or any other property management organization that owns the street light.

It might take some time, but moving that annoying street light is possible. This article will look at the process you would need to follow and the appropriate action. The most important factor would be a sufficient cause to move the light.

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Here’s a Quick Pro Tip!

The endeavor of moving a streetlamp is a long and often costly process, so you might need to look at other solutions for more immediate relief. Luckily we have compiled all your alternative options to block the light glare of a street light.

Here are our favorite products from Amazon to block the light of a street light.

1. Blackout curtains– Ideal for opening and closing per your convenience while also looking elegant.

2. Blackout blinds – A more modern-looking solution that also blocks out all the outside light.

3. Shutters – Can be fastened to the exterior of your window, opening and closing outward.

Moving Street Lights

Street lights are designed for the public interest, so if you have a problem with a specific light, you can request that it be moved. This section will focus on the process of moving a street light.

Can I Get a Lamp Post Moved?

You can move a lamp post with the city council’s approval. You would need a sufficient reason for the move, and you would most likely need to fund the move out of your own pocket.

Safety concerns are one of the most popular reasons to have a lamp post moved. The light emitting from a lamp post can make the sidewalk directly underneath safer to walk across at night.

Can I Remove a Street Light From My Property?

You can remove a streetlight from your property by working through all the proper channels. You cannot decide to move the post yourself without permission, as you would probably face severe penalties.

The first step is to determine who the streetlight belongs to, the city or another company.

You would need to contact the relevant owner, usually the city, and enquire about the steps that you need to follow to have the street light moved from your property.

Do You Need an Electrician to Move a Light Post?

Depending on what the owner of the light post indicates, you might need an electrician, or you might not. In most cases, though, the city would require you to hire a licensed electrician to oversee the relocation of a light post.

The city, or the owner of the post, would be able to cut the electric supply running to the post.

An electrician would be responsible for checking the wiring of the post and ensuring everything is up to standard at the new location. 

How Do You Get a Street Light Moved?

The first step to get a street light moved is to call the local city office and determine who the owner is. Then you can contact the owner and determine the process of getting the street light relocated.

You would need a sufficient cause to move the light, and you will most probably need to pay for the move out of pocket.

The whole process could run a bill of up to $10,000, so be prepared to invest in this project.

Moving Responsibilities

So after looking at how you can move a street light, let’s focus on who can actually move it. You should not simply try to move it by yourself in the middle of the night.

After all, there are certain organizations that are responsible for public street lights.

Who Is Responsible for Moving Street Lights?

The owner of the streetlight is responsible for moving it. Many organizations could own a streetlight, including the city municipality, HOA, or any property management organization.

If you want to move a street light for any personal reason, you would need to get it approved and planned by the proper owner of the light.

This process is not fast or cheap, so it is always best to look at alternative solutions to your problem.

You might also enjoy our post on Who Pays For Neighborhood Street Lights

Who Is Responsible for Replacing Burnt-Out Street Light Bulbs?

The repair and maintenance of streetlights are the responsibility of the owners. Since the local municipality owns most of the streetlights in a given area, it would be best to report a broken streetlight to them.

If you are part of a Home Owners’ Association, you should report malfunctioning streetlights to them. They will probably send an electrician to determine the damage and arrange to replace the streetlight or fix it.

How Complicated Is It to Move a Street Light Pole?

Moving a street pole can be complicated, especially in residential areas. Since there is not one organization that owns all the streetlights in the US, you would need to determine the owner of the streetlight first.

The company would most likely require quite a lot of paperwork stating the reason for the possible move. In some cases, you will also be responsible for hiring the appropriate labor (electrician or utility worker).

How to Get a Street Light Moved?

To get a streetlight moved, you should first contact the owner of the streetlight. They will be able to inform you whether the light can be moved and what the appropriate process would be to move the light.

After the initial planning, the company might hire contractors, or you would need to hire them out of your pocket. These would be licensed electricians or utility workers who can move the light.

The actual move would take little time, but the process beforehand could be lengthy.

Overnight Lights

For the most part, streetlights only come on at night to conserve electricity and prolong the light bulb’s life. However, a light that is on the whole night could also cause some issues. Let’s dive into these issues.

How Do Street Lights Turn On Automatically at Night?

All the street lights in a district or a street are usually controlled by one master switch. This switch is not flipped manually every night but by a time-controlled switch, which is set to turn the lights on at a specific time every night.

No universal street light system exists, so the exact system might differ per state or district. Some streetlights also work with a light sensor. When it gets too dark out, the light automatically switches on. 

How Do You Block Out a Street Light?

One of the best ways to block out unwanted light from a street light is to install blackout curtains in front of your window. These curtains are designed to block any unwanted light from entering your room.

Other than installing blackout curtains or blinds, you could complain to your local municipality. Light nuisance is a legal issue, and you could technically take the owner of the streetlight to court for nuisance.

Do Street Lights Cause Light Pollution?

Streetlights can definitely cause or increase light pollution, which disrupts the observation of stars and other planets. Street lights also often cause light trespassing or nuisance.

Light trespassing/nuisance is when a streetlight or neighbor’s flood light shines directly into your house. This can irritate you and even make sleeping more difficult if the light shines into your bedroom.

You can take the light owner to court to add a shield to the light and reduce the light nuisance. 

Can You Complain About Bright Street Lights?

You can complain about bright street lights to your Home Owner’s Association or to the local municipality. If you file a reasonable complaint and explain your irritation, the organization will most likely accommodate your complaint.

Courts recognize light pollution or light nuisance within the US, and you would be able to take the owner of the street light to court if they do not adhere to your complaints.

However, this would be an extremely long and costly battle, so it’s always best to reach an agreement without a legal battle.

Are Street Lights a Legal Requirement?

The laws differ per state, but in most cases, the city council has the right to install and maintain street lighting along all the streets within a city for the public interest or convenience.

California has the Street Lighting Act Of 99, Chapter 2, Section 18030, which gives the city council the right to maintain the street light system and order electricity or gas to furnish the street lighting system.

You might also enjoy our post on Whether A Utility Pole Can Be Moved

Costs to Move a street light

Now let’s have a look at the costs of moving or replacing a street light. The amounts discussed in this section are only estimates since various factors within your county would determine the exact amount.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Lamp Post?

On average, you can expect to pay $3000 to replace a lamp post. The exact figure might differ slightly depending on your county. An electrician must be hired to relay the electric current to the lamp post.

If you’ve damaged a public lamp post, it would undoubtedly be your financial responsibility to replace it.

The company that owns the lamp post would hire the appropriate labor and simply send you an invoice to cover the replacement costs.

How Much Does It Cost to Have a Street Light Moved?

Moving a street light could cost you anything from $3000 to $10,000. However, the cost is only one of the factors to consider since you would first need to get permission from the city council to move a street light.

The city council or the organization that owns the street light will design a relocation plan which includes all the expected costs of moving a lamppost.

They would then present the estimated costs to you to reach an agreement.

If you want to have the lamppost moved due to light nuisance or trespassing, you would most likely not be expected to cover the relocation costs.

If you feel that the city should cover the costs, you can consequently seek the advice of a lawyer.

How Much Does It Cost to Have a Street Light Removed?

You can expect to pay about $1000 to have a street light removed from your street. You would need to have a good reason and evidence to support the extraction of the street light.

An electrician would be needed to ensure that the main electric line is not damaged when the street light is removed. However, you can’t simply hire an electrician to remove a public light.

You would need the municipality’s permission.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace the Bulb of a Street Light?

It depends on the type of bulb that the street light uses. A 100W LED bulb would probably cost around $30 to replace, not including the labor. An electrician would probably charge $50 per hour, bringing the total to less than $100 to replace a street light bulb.

That being said, not all street lights use LED bulbs, and some have a light sensor connected, making replacing the bulb more complicated and thus more expensive.

These street lights can run up to $5000 to replace the bulb.

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Related Questions

How Do I Report a Street Light Out in My Area?

You can report any light outages to your local Home Owners Association, and they will take the necessary steps to have the street light repaired. You can contact the county municipality if you are not part of an HOA.

Some states have private companies that own and maintain public street lights. You can contact the company to inquire whether the malfunctioning light is theirs.

In most cases, the light will be repaired within a few days.

Do Street Lights Reduce Crime?

Street lights are known to reduce crime rates since the light increases the chances that an offender will be seen. This also deters the offenders from committing a crime in the first place.

The department of justice states that improved street lighting is an effective means of preventing crime. This is true in residential areas and commercial areas.

So next time you see a street light, imagine the crimes that it prevents.

Do Street Lights Confuse Birds?

Birds naturally start to wake up and chirp at dawn. However, in urban areas, ‘dawn’ can be unrecognizable to a bird. The glare of a streetlight could be enough to trigger their natural instincts and cause them to wake up extremely early.

This artificial dawn disrupts their sleep cycle and could cause extreme exhaustion as the birds do not get enough sleep. Exhaustion could make them more vulnerable to the threats of everyday urban life.

Final Thoughts

You can move a street light if you work through all the proper channels and get the appropriate permission. If you try to move the street light illegally, you would face serious penalties.

You can also consider alternative solutions to your street light problem.

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