Shedding Light on Street Lights
Street lights are more complicated than you might expect. How you get one installed and who pays for it depends on where it is and why it's being installed. Here, in brief, are some details.
Ideally residents would like like to see all of the major County roads in urban areas well-lit at night. But since many roads were built years ago when there was less traffic and the county was a suburb, there still are many miles of roadway without illumination. New street lights are installed on major roads when:
- The road is reconstructed as part of a Capital Improvement Program project
- An adjacent land parcel is developed, and the developer is required to provide illumination
- Lighting is identified as a solution to a demonstrated safety risk
Developers usually install street lights on neighborhood streets when new subdivisions are built. Today nearly all new neighborhoods include street lights, but in years past many did not.
Neighborhood street lights are paid for by property owners as a separate Hillsborough County Consolidated Street Lighting Special Purpose District assessment on their property tax bill or as a fee within their Homeowner's Association assessment.
TECO operates and maintains more than 242,000 street lights for private and public customers. Of these lights, approximately 33,000 lights are within the County's nearly 800 street lighting districts.
The amount each property pays depends on the number of poles and lights installed, the style of equipment selected, and the number of properties included in the service area. Property owners in neighborhoods without street lights do not pay the assessment.
Lights are installed and maintained by TECO. If a street light needs repair, report it to TECO at (813) 223-0800 or submit an online service request.
Adding new street lights to existing neighborhoods is possible but requires agreement from the property owners who will be paying for them. Thinking about requesting street lights in your neighborhood? Contact the street lighting experts at (813) 635-5400 for some free advice.