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July 01, 2020

​To report a street light outage, text or email Streetlights@LPandL.com or call 311.

LP&L’s Streetlights Team manages more than 16,000 streetlights across Lubbock.

Though the job requires 24/7 monitoring, a typical day for the seven-person team begins at 6 a.m., when LP&L Streetlight Foreman and Senior Powerline Foreman Gary Ware assigns repair jobs to crew members. From there, he monitors their progress and makes sure everything gets done in a timely and safe manner.

“On average, we get around 10-12 medium to large repair orders every day, 2-3 installation jobs per month and perform quarterly maintenance on all of the lights along Loop 289, Interstate 27, Spur 327 and Marsha Sharp Freeway,” said Ware. “Some jobs take longer than others. For instance, when we perform maintenance on the major roadway lights, that process usually takes about 2 1/2 months.”

Additionally, the Streetlights Team sees around 30-40 residential light work orders per day, mainly due to the age of the bulbs. The team has already begun converting bulbs to LEDs, which last longer and are more durable than the regular high pressure sodium bulbs.

“Some common causes we see for broken lights are lightning strikes, vehicle pole accidents, old age and high winds,” continued Ware. “With the switch to LEDs, they’ll last a good 20 years or more versus the original 5-10 years for the high-pressure sodium bulbs. The LEDs will also withstand the high winds we frequently see in Lubbock much better.”

Handling the sheer volume of incoming requests with only seven people requires prioritization and training so they can be as efficient as possible. Crews must attend a special pole-setting school and learn how to troubleshoot issues like electrical shorts and cuts.

“Every person naturally wants their light to be the first one on our list,” said Ware. “As a small group, we do our best to address every request as soon as we can. However, we do have to prioritize ones that have a larger impact, such as the lights on major roadways.”

“In our role, we’re always trying to balance getting our work done as safely and efficiently as possible while keeping our customers happy,” he said.

When Gary is not busy lighting up Lubbock’s streets, he’s chasing his five grandchildren and building cars and engines.

To report a street light outage, text or email Streetlights@LPandL.com or call 311.