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Project Procedures and Lighting Calculation Criteria

Street Light Design Project Procedures City Spirit Street Light
The Department of Public Works (DPW) Bureau of Street Use and Mapping (DPW-BSM) is responsible for issuing permits for street improvements that impact the public right-of-way such as street lighting, et al. Street lighting projects in the City of San Francisco can be established by either the SFPUC; other City agencies, such as the DPW, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority (SFMTA), or San Francisco Redevelopment Agency; or by developers. The approval procedure varies depending upon who is sponsoring the project.

Street Light Plan Approval Procedures
Street lighting projects in the City of San Francisco can be established by a City agency or a developer. For all new public street lighting, the developer, contractor, or lead consultant on the project is required to submit project plans and specifications. These plans are typically routed to the SFPUC for review by either DPW or Department of Building Inspection (DBI) when a project sponsor applies for a construction permit. Plans that are submitted without all of the required submittal documents will not be reviewed, and shall be returned to the project sponsor. The project electrical plans and specifications for street light selection, light spacing, light placement, illumination levels, light uniformity, electrical details, and lighting details are all reviewed by SFPUC electrical engineers. 

Street Light Plan Approval Procedure for Private Developers:

Step 1. Developer meets with Planning Department to discuss a project. 

Step 2. Planning Department provides the developer the SFPUC’spre-approved street light options before the developer submits Conceptual Streetscape Plan to the Planning Department.

Step 3. Planning Department reviews Conceptual Streetscape Plan and makes recommendations for required streetscape elements at a conceptual level. In so doing, Planning Department will consult with other relevant agencies.

Step 4. Planning Commission approves Conceptual Streetscape Plan.

Step 5. DBI routes 60% or Preliminary Street Improvement Plans to DPW-BSM who forwards the plans to the SFPUC Power Enterprise.

Step 6. SFPUC advises whether or not additional street lights are necessary in the project area to meet IESNA RP-8-00 street lighting guidelines.

Step 7. Developer resubmits 90% or Final Street Improvement Plans which are routed to SFPUC.

Step 8. Assuming that all necessary corrections are illustrated in the 90% plans, SFPUC approves street light plans.

Step 9. After all agencies approve the improvement plans, DBI issues a building permit. If there are significant street improvements, DPW-BSM issues a separate street improvement permit, but their review scope does not include street lighting.


Street Light Plan Approval Procedure for City Agencies:

Step 1. SFPUC provides DPW engineers, landscape architects, and project managers with a link to this website when Notice of Intent is filed.

Step 2. DPW consults with the SFPUC regarding street light fixture selection, and SFPUC makes recommendations.

Step 3. Assuming that a fixture from the street light catalogue is proposed, DPW submits 60% improvement plans to SFPUC.

i. SFPUC reviews plans and provides comments to DPW within (10) business days.

Step 4. DPW resubmits 90% plans with corrections to SFPUC.

Step 5. Assuming that all necessary corrections are illustrated in the 90% plans, SFPUC approves street light plans within ten business days.


Lighting Design Submittal Requirements
The SFPUC requires submittals for review of street lighting projects. If the project specifies a street light fixture from the catalogue, then the following submittals are necessary.

60% streetscape plan submittal requirements:

  • Full set of construction documents that show lighting layout with dimensioned fixture locations and proposed PG&E service connection locations
  • Detailed manufacturer cut sheets
  • An indexed light fixture schedule
  • Supporting light level calculations

90% streetscape plan submittal requirements:

• All of the 60% submittal documents with changes made in response to SFPUC 60% comments noted on the drawings.

Street Lighting Design Criteria
Street light illumination levels and uniformity ratios are to meet the recommendations in the most current version of the IESNA RP-8-00. The IESNA RP-8-00 recommendations are lighting industry standards that have been established as guidelines for San Francisco street lighting in the Better Streets Plan (BSP). As noted in the BSP, pedestrian light levels recommended in IESNA RP-8-00 for sidewalks, shared public ways, etc., should be considered for areas of high pedestrian volume or special design treatment. The vertical light levels required in IESNA RP-8-00 should be calculated as average levels, not absolute minimums.

Lighting Calculation Requirements 

• Be produced via a recognized lighting industry standard computerized program that generates point-by-point calculation results.
• Show calculation results point-by-point grid values overlaid graphically on a to-scale lighting layout plan with clearly identified fixture types.
• Include a calculation results summary.
• Be calculated in the IESNA recommended calculation method outlined in the most current RP-8-00 standards at the time of the project permitting request.
• Include an indexed list of the light fixture electronic photometric files used in the calculations. The photometry in the files must be generated from an independent testing laboratory and formatted according to IESNA standards. The photometry must include, as addenda, each light fixture IESNA BUG Rating and corresponding Luminaire Classification Systems graph.
• Include an indexed list of the fixture type distributions, wattages and accessories that impact light output (such as house side shields).
• Include an indexed list of the light fixture heights used in the calculation.
• Include the light loss factor used for each fixture type.

Light loss factors (LLF)

When performing photometric calculations, following light loss factors (LLF) shall be used:

• LED: 0.85 LLD x 0.88 LDD = 0.75 Total LLF
• Cosmopolis Metal Halide: 0.90 LLD x 0.88 LDD = 0.79 Total LLF
• High Pressure Sodium: 0.86 LLD x 0.88 LDD = 0.76 Total LLF

Photometric Performance

In accordance with the BSP, the light fixtures for San Francisco streets have photometric distributions that concentrate most of the light downward. The fixtures generally have a Semi-Cutoff light distribution or better, which means no more than a 5% concentration of light output above the horizontal plane.

Last updated: 7/13/2016 10:16:40 AM