STREET lights in Appledore and Westward Ho! would need £2,000 of reinforcement work done on each light for them to carry the weight of a string of lights.
Northam Town Council want to spend some of their Town and Parish Fund on putting up Christmas lights along The Quay in Appledore and in Golf Links Road in Westward Ho!
But when the town council looked at what needed to be done before the lights could be put up Devon County Council, which owns most of the lights, told the town council they would need to contribute to the £2,000 cost of reinforcing them.
Northam town councillor Barry Mason said: "It is absolutely ridiculous, we were led to believe they were unstable. Surely if they can't take a string of lights then the lampposts can't be that stable.
"Children could climb up the lampposts and they could easily fall down.
"If the county council has kept them maintained then I don't think we should have to pay.
"We are working hard to improve the area, but it is seeming harder than we thought."
Some of the lights are owned by Torridge District Council but the town council has not been told by the council any work will need to be done to put up Christmas Lights on their street lights.
In Appledore Torridge owns 17 lampposts and in Westward Ho! it owns 34 lampposts.
In 2011 Torridge replaced the lantern lights of 14 lampposts in the central car park in Westward Ho! at a cost of £10,800.
In 2012, as part of the Westward Ho! Green Enhancement, three lampposts were removed and two were installed on the promenade at a cost of £5,700. One light in Appledore was repaired in 2012.
But Devon County Council has said the streetlights it owns are stable and any work needing to be done is procedure when a string of lights are attached to them due to the weight.
Adrian Lane, a county council spokesman said: "The streetlight columns in Golf Links Road, Westward Ho! and Appledore Quay are inspected on a regular basis, as with all streetlights across the county, and they are structurally sound.
"However, they are only designed to carry the weight of the street light and not the additional wind-loading exerted by a string of lights, for which specifically designed columns would be needed."