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CNY Bright Lights is an initiative of the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board (CNY RPDB) created to provide free assistance to municipalities in converting streetlights to light emitting diode (LED) technology.  Through this initiative, the CNY RPDB will provide technical assistance to municipalities in Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, and Oswego Counties in working with utility companies to purchase lighting assets to convert to LED and/or to convert utility-owned lighting assets to LED.  The CNY RPDB will also help municipalities identify and apply for funding for LED streetlight conversion projects.

So far, more than 80 municipalities in CNY have reached out to the CNY RPDB for assistance with LED streetlight conversion through the CNY Bright Lights initiative. Municipalities in CNY that are considering or have already converted to LED streetlights are explained in the map below.

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Crews converting streetlights to LED in the Village of Minoa

CNY communities with LED streetlight analyses complete,

conversions in process, and conversions complete

*Note: Municipalities with an asterisk (*) indicate municipalities where at least 50% of their decorative streetlights have also been converted to LED in addition to at least 50% of cobra head streetlights. Utilities began offering decorative LEDs through their program at the end of 2020. 

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Corner of Auburn and Fulton St., Village of Hannibal

before (left) and after (right) LED streetlight conversion

W Manlius St., Village of East Syracuse

before (left) and after (right) LED streetlight conversion

Did you know?

If a municipality owns their streetlights, they may convert to LED at any time. However, streetlights are usually owned by the utility, making the process more complicated for a municipality interested in LED streetlights. There are two options a municipality can pursue if their streetlights are utility-owned: the Municipal Purchase option or the Utility Ownership option, explained below and in detail in the Options for Conversion handout.

Converting to LED streetlights is also one of the high-impact action items of the Clean Energy Communities program. Follow link for more information.

Municipal Purchase Option

The municipality may choose to purchase their streetlights from the utility and then convert to LED. Municipalities will be provided with a purchase price quote and explanation of costs from the utility. The municipality then has 180 days to decide if they wish to proceed with the purchase. Once the purchase is final, municipalities will be able to convert to LED by contracting out the work or performing the work themselves. They will then be responsible for maintenance of their streetlights through either a municipal staff person(s) or by contracting out for the maintenance. This option will be more expensive but has the potential to save more over the lifetime of the LED streetlights than the utility ownership option. This option is available to all streetlight types and allows municipalities to pursue smart control options if desired.

If you are a municipal official that is interested in the Municipal Purchase option, you may wish to begin the process of requesting a streetlight purchase price, since the process of requesting the price, signing purchase and operating agreements, and submitting to the Public Service Commission for approval can be a lengthy process. Please contact Amanda Mazzoni at for a template letter to request a streetlight purchase price from your utility.

The CNY RPDB also has a template RFP available upon request for municipalities interested in working with a contractor for a turnkey solution for the municipal purchase option. Please contact Amanda Mazzoni at for the template RFP.

Utility Ownership Option

The utility retains ownership of streetlights and converts to LEDs. The municipality is responsible for paying for the remaining book value of lights being replaced, a figure that can be requested from the utility, but the utility will pay for and perform the work of converting to LEDs. This option will be less expensive but restricts municipalities to the LED wattage and color options offered by the utility. This option does not currently offer smart control opportunities. This option is available to all streetlight types in National Grid, NYSEG, and RG&E utility territories.

If you are a municipal official in CNY that would like the CNY RPDB to provide a free cost benefit analysis for this option in your municipality, please contact Amanda Mazzoni at

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Crews converting streetlights to LED in the Town of Camillus

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Why LED?

LED streetlights use 45-70% less energy and last longer than traditional streetlights. Converting to LED streetlights will reduce both operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions for municipalities. LEDs produce a whiter, brighter light that provides enhanced visibility and safety. Light produced by LEDs is also directional, which means light pollution and wasted light energy will be reduced.

For more information, interested municipal leaders should contact Amanda Mazzoni at (315) 422-8276 x1215 or

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