Friday, January 15, 2010

LED Traffic Signals – A Double Edged Sword

An unforeseen side effect of using high efficiency LED lights in traffic signals became apparent as winter storms swept across the country. Normally the heat generated by the incandescent bulbs used in the traffic signals is enough to melt snow. Since LED lighted signals consume 30% less energy, far less heat is generated. Therefore, the snow is not melting and the traffic signals became obstructed, leading to accidents.

Manufacturers are experimenting with alternative sloping lens and shields making it harder for snow to stick.

As electronics and their power supplies dissipate less power, it will be interesting to see if there will be other outdoor applications affected.

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TDK Corporation - Americas | Press Release