Cities across the nation are quickly coming to embrace the benefits of LED traffic signs. While adoption was slow at first, it has been growing as increasing numbers of cities have discovered their benefits. If you're involved in civic planning or highway development in your city, LED traffic signs may be the solution to many of your problems.
This report, prepared by the city of Little Rock, Arkansas, lays out the results of a pilot program the city conducted in 2003. Among their findings:
- LED traffic signs eliminate most of the possibility of catastrophic failure because they continue to be readable even if several individual lighting elements fail.
- LED signs can use up to 93% less power than conventional bulbs.
- Because of their low power consumption, they can be run off of battery backups in the case of power failure, increasing their reliability.
- Ultimately, the report concluded that their reliability, long life, and low power consumption made them ultimately more cost-effective than traditional lighting, despite the higher initial cost.
This program was limited to traffic lights, but many other cities have attempted more ambitious programs to great success. Waynesboro City in Virginia found that LED traffic signs were easier for drivers to see and read, allowing them to focus more of their attention on traffic and pedestrians. They also pointed to the ability of LED signs to be more easily seen at night, reducing confusion in low lighting.
LED traffic signs are also extremely multi-purpose. On the highway, they can:
- Contain graphics of the familiar MUTCD roadway signs, but with far better visibility.
- Warn drivers of hazardous conditions, accidents, or detours ahead.
- Provide drivers with time estimates for travel between important points.
- Announce upcoming work zones while giving drivers plenty of time to react and decelerate, protecting construction workers.
Further, with an all-weather case design, these signs can operate for years in any weather condition, with a lifespan up to ten year or more. They can be updated remotely, by computer, removing a need to send workers to adjust the sign itself.
In short, while some cities might initially balk at the slightly higher up-front cost, LED traffic signs more than pay for themselves in the long run. With lower energy consumption, better visibility, a longer lifespan, and huge versatility, they have served cities across the nation and will continue to do so for years.
For more information about LED traffic signs, its benefits, and ITS, contact Adaptive Displays.