LED stoplight hazard

Green Lights

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Replace the incandescent light bulbs in traffic lights with more energy-efficient LEDs? For green-minded city councils and transportation agencies around the country, it sounded like a great idea. After all, traditional bulbs use almost twice as much energy.

Yet all that excess energy comes in handy during the winter, since the heat melts snow and ice that accumulates around the lights. In December the Associated Press reported that snow-blocked lights have caused dozens of accidents across the country, and an obscured light has been blamed for at least one death in Illinois.

City and state transportation officials told the A.P. that there's no easy fix. Minneapolis sends crews out with snow blowers to clear the lights. Other cities wipe the lights clean by hand. Some states are considering technical solutions such as installing weather shields, adding additional heating sources to the lights, or coating the lights with water repellent. It remains to be seen how many of these responses will actually consume less energy than was saved by installing the new bulbs.

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  1. I wouldn’t say this is a problem with LED technology, its the governments fault for buying LEDs that aren’t designed properly for their climate. in places that don’t get snow, those lights are fine. in places that do get snow you need to use LEDs that are designed differently. my area gets lots of snow but our LED traffic lights were fine. LEDs do save money in electricity and maintenance, so that is good for the taxpayer. don’t blame the technology, blame the people who bought stuff that isn’t designed to work in the type of winter climates these places were.

    1. type of winter climates these places were have.

      and by design, I mean the outer casing, not the LED itself.

  2. So, where they don’t work in winter, would it be less costly to use the old type bulb rather than spend a fortune to figure out how to attain the same result?

    ….she said, dripping sarcasm……
    ….knowing how government works…..

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  4. he heat melts snow and ice that accumulates around the lights. In December the Associ

  5. winter, since the heat melts snow and ice that accumulates around the lights. In December the Associated Press reported that snow-blocked lights have caused dozens of accid

  6. mber the Associated Press reported that snow-blocked lights have caused dozens of acci

  7. ecember the Associated Press reported that snow-blocked lights have caused dozens of

  8. ecember the Associated Press reported that snow-blocked lights have caused dozens of a

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