The airport's main takeoff runway, known as runway 1-5, was in the dark.
"The runway lights basically burned out last night and we've been trying to fix them all day long, and they have not been repaired yet," said Victor Gill with Bob Hope Airport. "It's a very complex repair."
The airport did not shutdown. The decision to take off on a runway without lights was left up to individual airlines. Early in the evening a couple of Southwest planes took off, but within hours, the airline canceled all 13 flights of its remaining flights along with 10 scheduled arrivals.
Jet Blue passengers booked on a canceled flight to New York were told they would be bused to another airport.
Travelers weren't happy about the inconvenience but they understood the safety concerns.
"I'd rather be safe than get on that plane," said Tom Benson of Santa Clarita.
As of Thursday night, airport officials could not estimate when repairs would be completed.