City begins dark sky lighting retrofits on US 50 corridor

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. —The city of South Lake Tahoe has begun phase one of converting pedestrian lights along the U.S. Highway 50 corridor to dark sky compliant light fixtures.

The city owns, operates, and maintains approximately 700 pedestrian light fixtures and approximately 200 metal halide pedestrian light fixtures along roadways, walkways, parks, and trail networks. In almost all cases, the existing LED fixtures are rated at 4,000k color temperature.

Spectral distribution is described as correlated color temperature and is measured in degrees Kelvin (K). The lower the CCT, the longer the wavelengths; the “warmer” the light, the less bluish (or intensely white) it appears. Dark sky lighting is typically in the range of 2,500k to 3,000k color temperature. 

At the April 5, 2022, City Council meeting, council awarded a contract to Advanced Lighting Services of Dublin to retrofit 214 pedestrian light fixtures along the US 50 corridor between Trout Creek and Ski Run Blvd (phase one). One hundred twenty-six existing lights are metal halide and will be converted to LED for energy savings. All lights within this project scope will be dark sky compliant at 2,200 kelvin temperature.

Originally scheduled to begin in late fall 2022, the project was put on hold due to early snow fall. The contractor began the project this week and expects to be completed in four to six weeks.

The city will discuss funding phase 2 of the dark sky lighting retrofits during the upcoming Capital Improvement Program budget discussions. Phase 2 will include additional areas of the US 50 Corridor. 

If you have questions regarding the Dark Sky Lighting Project, please contact Jim Marino, Capital and Facilities Program Manager, at

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