Public Works and Environmental Services

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our office is open 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday

TTY 711

12000 Government Center Parkway
Suite 463, Fairfax, Va 22035

Martin Ortiz-Gonzalez,
Streetlight Staff Engineer

Dim Bulb Program

Funds are available for upgrading existing streetlights.

This program provides for the upgrading of existing streetlights that do not meet current lighting standards. It is possible that some streetlights that have been in service for an extended period of time are not performing in accordance to present day street lighting standards. To remedy this situation, Fairfax County provides a mechanism through a citizen petition process for the upgrading of deficient streetlights.


  • Enhances Crime Deterrence
  • Enhances Vehicular and Pedestrian Traffic Safety

Brief Summary

Requests to upgrade existing streetlights will be implemented, contingent upon the availability of funds. The requests will be processed in sequential order based on the date that a valid petition was received by the county. When program funds have been depleted, the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES) will stop accepting new upgrade petitions until additional funds are appropriated. Streetlights to be upgraded shall be governed by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors' contractual terms and conditions with the utility company and the Virginia Department of Transportation permit requirements.

Eligibility Requirements

Requests to upgrade existing streetlights will be limited to:

  • Replacing Mercury Vapor fixture to High Pressure Sodium
  • Sizing new lamps as to meet current illumination standards
  • Existing poles will not be relocated nor new poles will be set
  • Upgrading fixtures that do not meet lighting standards


A petition form signed by the simple majority of residents whose property fronts the road where the streetlights are being upgraded must be submitted to the county. There will be no direct cost to the residents for the upgrade of existing streetlights except as provided in Implementation Provisions (paragraph below). Fairfax County will continue to pay the utility company for the operation and maintenance of the upgraded streetlights.

Some Exclusions and Limitations

Streetlights will not be upgraded along roadways where active land development projects are required to perform that work as a condition of plan approval specified in the Public Facilities Manual. Requests to upgrade existing streetlights within the boundaries of a defined subdivision shall be limited to a total cost to the county of $2,000 per year. Requests to upgrade existing streetlights outside the boundaries of defined residential subdivisions shall be limited to a reasonable grouping of lights where the total cost to the county does not exceed $2,000.

Streetlights Implementation

The new HPS streetlights will be sized as to meet adopted roadway lighting standards. The conversion of existing MV streetlights to HPS may result in the mixing of two different light source colors in a given area. In order to meet lighting standards, additional streetlights may be installed on existing poles within the area requested for upgrade. These additional installations will be subject to the availability of county funds. If no county funds are available at the time, the community will have the option to provide the necessary money to install the additional lights or place the request on hold until new funds are appropriated.

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