• Email
  • Print

Street Light Out

Street Light Out

IMPORTANT: Street light outages

Status Update (9-28-2020)

The City would like to update you on the recent street light outages in the Porter, Southgate, Highland, Knepp, Richman, and Hill neighborhood.  As mentioned in previous updates, SCE is responsible for the transformer that supplies power to the streetlight system, and the City is responsible for everything after the transformer – wiring, poles, and streetlights. The high voltage series streetlight system is antiquated and manufacturers have provided notice that the transformers will not be available in the near future.

Previous light outages in late May were caused by a manufacturing defect on the transformer.  Subsequently, SCE tested a new Regulated Output (RO) transformer without defect and installed/energized it on June 25, 2020.  

However, on August 7, SCE informed the City that the system was displaying some irregularities that may impact reliability of the Richman & Knepp RO transformer.  To avoid a catastrophic failure of the transformer unit again, the City temporarily turned off the circuit on August 7, 2020 while an investigation into the issue was completed.

After discussions with SCE, the City’s Public Works technicians replaced bulbs, ballasts, and starters that are more compatible with the new transformer (and recommended by SCE) on 95 different locations in the affected area and then reenergized the series streetlights on September 3, 2020.   We believe this action resulted in a distinct drop off in the pulsating activity and mitigated the pulsating light issue.  SCE Fullerton Service Center team also reviewed the City’s maintenance records and confirmed that there were no changes to affect the transformer loading. 

As of today, the streetlights are working properly.  However, please know that both SCE and the City will be continuously working together to monitor and check the system over the next 1-2 months.  

We apologize for any inconvenience this outage had caused you and deeply appreciate your patience and cooperation during this time.  As explained before, the City currently has no funds available for actual system replacement, but is working diligently to identify a long-term solution.  As a note, the City recently authorized and hired an external consultant to provide replacement options and cost estimates and hopes to receive a report soon.  

 Should you have any questions, please contact Public Works Maintenance Services at 714-738-6897 or email maintenance@cityoffullerton.com (Please leave your email address with us so that we can continue keeping you updated on the progress).  Thank you. 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Report Street Light Out

Public Works' Building & Facilities Division is responsible for repairing street lights on public streets. If you notice a street light on a public street has burned out or is malfunctioning, you can report it online or call Public Works at (714) 738-6897.

Fullerton is divided into four street lighting districts, one for each day of the week, Monday through Thursday. We do our best to repair most street lights according to the weekly schedule, but sometimes repairs may take longer. There are more than 6,000 City-owned streetlights in the City, and only two electricians are available for repair work, so repairs can occasionally take longer than anticipated,

Some reasons repairs may be delayed


Many of the City’s street lights are decades old and parts are no longer readily available or manufactured. We may need to order a special repair part, which can take two or more weeks.

Electrical power for street lights is provided by Southern California Edison. If the problem is with the power system, repairs depend on Edison’s repair crew availability.

The Edison-owned power transformers for some of the older lighting systems are no longer manufactured. If Edison can’t repair the transformer, it has to order one to be specially rebuilt and installed. Rebuilding an outdated transformer can take two to three months. The City has been working with Edison to have at least one or two transformers in stock for immediate installation, but availability can’t be guaranteed.

Regardless of the time it takes to repair a street light, we do our best to keep our customers updated on repair status. If you have placed a repair request and the street light has not been repaired within 10 working days, please feel free to call Public Works at (714) 738-6897 to get an update on your request’s status.

Streetlights on Private Streets and Edison-owned Streetlights


If you live in a homeowner’s association (HOA) area, the street lights are probably maintained by Edison. Also, streetlights mounted on power poles are usually owned and maintained by Edison as well. You can call Southern California Edison (1-800-611-1911) or your Homeowner's Association for repairs.