Street Lighting Outages and Adjustments

Street lights within Durham are owned, operated, and maintained by Duke Energy Company, Wake Electric, or Piedmont Electric Membership Corporation.

More information on the City's Street Light Program


All of Durham's streetlights are in the process of being replaced with more energy-efficient LED bulbs. The change-out process began in June 2019 and should be complete by the end of this year. As of October 28, 2020, over 20,000 HPS lights out of 21,017 in the city (95%) have been converted to LED.

More information on the project is available in the press release from the beginning of this project.

See presentation to City Council at the November 5, 2020 Work Session

If you'd like to report a street light that may be too bright, or needs additional screening you can do so in one of the following ways:

  • Email the administrators of the Street Light Program, Terry Thompson or Denise Warren
  • Call or submit online through Durham One Call, who will forward your request to us
  • Call our Department, 919-560-4366, and press 1 when prompted for "Street Lighting"

Please give us your contact info (name, phone number, and/or email) and the location of the light to address so we can properly document the report and investigate.

Some FAQs on the Installations

Question: Are the lights being installed of the "color" (wavelength) to mitigate negative effects of increased "blue light" exposure on wildlife and humans?


Answer: The Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) of North America, the recognized technical and educational authority on illumination, has offered to partner with the American Medical Association (AMA) around further research on LEDs and potential health effects, however research to date has not produced any scientific conclusions on negative health effects from “blue light”. Duke Energy will continue to follow any research conducted by IES and other industry organizations as it becomes available.


Duke Energy along with other utilities adopted the 4,000 Kelvin color as the industry standard for LED streetlights – which is similar to moonlight – and widely accepted nationwide to safely illuminate streets, roadways, etc. The company also provides other LEDs options for customers wanting alternatives.


Question: Was the light wavelength discussed as part of the project? Will the new LED lights be an appropriate wavelength light emission to mitigate impact?


Answer: Yes, it was considered and the city of Durham decided to use 4,000 Kelvin fixtures, which is the industry standard and widely accepted nationwide.


Question: Will the streetlight fixture do a better job of directing the light downward, rather than outward and upward?


Answer: All standard LED fixtures have a zero up-light distribution and is focused more downward than the existing streetlights. The LED wattage varies by light location, depending on the specifications of the original light. We will install 50 watt, 70 watt,150 watt, and 220-watt fixtures.


Street Light Outages

Duke Energy

To report street light outages in Duke Energy Company’s area:

  • Phone - call 1 800-777-9898 and follow the prompts to "outdoor lighting." Make the report for street lights, not security lights.
  • Online - Submit an online outage report

Additionally, if you see any street lights that have changed from white to purple, please report to Duke Energy for repair. Once reported, the defective lights are typically repaired within a few days. Please report lights using the online street light repair tool or by calling our customer service center (information is above).

We are asking the public to help Duke Energy identify purple lights so that they can replace them more quickly.  If you see a light that is purple or not performing properly, please report it using Duke Energy’s online streetlight repair tool or by calling 24 Hour Customer Service: 1-800-777-9898

Report a Light Repair via our Website: 

Click and drag the ‘light’ icon to the location on property if light is not already indicated.

Wake Electric

To report outages in Wake Electric's Area:

  • Phone - Call either 919-863-6499 or 800-743-3155 and follow the prompts to "Outdoor Lighting". Make the report for street lights, not security lights.
  • Online - Submit an online outage report

Piedmont Electric Membership Corporation

To report outages in Piedmont Electric Membership Corporation's Area: