Using LED bulbs instead of incandescent bulbs in traffic lights saves the state a lot of money. They consume less electricity, and last longer, meaning that someone won’t have to replace them as frequently. Green technology — what’s not to love?
But unfortunately, since LEDs don’t emit as much heat, it allows snow and ice to accumulate on traffic lights. Now, there’s debate over the safety of LED bulbs. If snow can get packed and reduce visibility of the lights in harsh winter conditions, is the environmentalism worth the trade off for safety? From the Times:
For most states, the benefits of LEDs are greater than the downside, officials said. LEDs contain no toxic elements and can last so long — for years — that disposal is not much of an issue.
Their tendency to collect snow “isn’t enough to convince us to move over from LEDs,” said Ms. Bush, the Wisconsin official. “When you look at all the things we deal with during a snow event — stop signs and other signs get covered — that hasn’t stopped us from using them.”
More at the New York Times.
Photo by Carlo Nicora.