La Jolla Shores group aims to light up the neighborhood with new lantern choices

The La Jolla Shores Association has chosen to go with a simplified version of a General Electric street lantern.
The La Jolla Shores Association has chosen to go with a simplified version of a General Electric lantern for new streetlights, with the finial, crown and ribs removed.
(Screenshot by Elisabeth Frausto)

The board opts for a simplified version of a GE lantern for 37 new streetlights after its original choices didn’t conform to a San Diego ‘dark sky’ policy.


The La Jolla Shores Association unanimously approved a new set of options for new streetlights in the community during its third review of choices.

Board member Rick Kent presented updated alternatives at the group’s June 14 meeting.

In September, the city of San Diego asked the Shores Association to select design features of new streetlights to be installed in the area.

The 37 streetlights will be part of the Block 1J Phase 1 undergrounding project, which currently is placing utility lines underground from La Jolla Shores Drive west to the ocean and from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography south to Avenida de la Playa.

In May, city officials provided updates and asked for further input, saying the lanterns the board preferred can’t be used because of the discovery that the September choices don’t conform to a 2010 city resolution that lights must be “dark-sky compliant.” That measure prohibits light from projecting above 90 degrees from the horizon.

However, the Shores group called the choices presented last month — lanterns made by General Electric and Spring City — out of character for the neighborhood.

The GE lantern is used along portions of La Jolla Boulevard and Prospect Street; the Spring City lantern is in use throughout Ocean Beach.

Kent said he spent weeks calling streetlight vendors and working with city engineers to determine new options that would comply with city policies while being aesthetically pleasing to LJSA members.

“The problem is that this is a relatively new standard,” according to Kent, who said manufacturers are not yet catering to the small number of communities that have adopted dark-sky rules.

“There are a limited number of products available,” Kent said. He said the GE lanterns in The Village are “ornate” and “don’t really match with our vibe [in The Shores]. … We’re more beachy.”

The La Jolla Shores Association meets June 14 online.
(Screenshot by Elisabeth Frausto)

A positive aspect of the GE lantern is that it can be modified to be simpler, Kent said.

The lantern’s dark color also could be changed, Kent said. The color gray is available in either metallic or flat; Kent suggested metallic because it “has better durability in the sun.”

The poles still would be pre-stressed concrete, 9½ feet tall and gray. The poles also would have anti-graffiti coating, which initially makes them look darker but eventually fades in the sun, he said.

LJSA originally chose a frosted globe. The GE product does not come with a frosted globe, but Kent said the light source itself can be frosted “to soften shadows and make light less harsh.”

Kent motioned to select the GE lantern with:

• The finial, crown and ribs removed and placed on a simple pod
• A clear, acrylic globe with frosted light housing
• Gray metallic powder color
• A concrete pole with anti-graffiti coating

LJSA’s choices will be forwarded to the city for final approval. The streetlights are expected to be installed next spring. ◆