How Many Watts Does a Street Light Use?

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A high-pressure sodium street light can draw up to 1000 watts, and an incandescent light used in the 1900s needed 320 watts. Some LED street lights require only 73 watts and, according to the U. S. Department of Energy, produce a higher quality of light.

Fluorescent bulbs were used in street lights from the 1950s to the 1970s, but because of their low reliability and size, they gave way to high-pressure sodium lights rated at 250 watts. A metal halide street light draws 400 watts and gives true, white light. Mercury vapor lights also appeared in the 1950s, with 100-watt bulbs used in street lights, but were banned in 2008.