Maybe LED Traffics Lights Weren't a Good Idea After All

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LucianaLucy

ummm why don't they just leave the Green bulb as incandescent? The power savings would still be 66%, and the Green light is on the bottom of traffic lights: the warm bulb would melt at least the green light snow, and possible warm up the housing enough to keep somewhat clear the others...

And, visibility of one out of three instructions ain't bad.

 

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Canowyrms

Heating elements? Weather Shields? Water repelling coatings? All costs money in the end, and would most likely end up being cheaper to switch back to the old bulbs. Weather shields? What happens when they get covered in snow? Derp. Water repelling coatings? Double derp, snow is FROZEN water, not a CLEAR liquid that we can already see through.

 

Whoever thought this through was not thinking very hard at all.

 

PS: My condolences to Lisa and her family.

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snapple00

Ugh. Damn women drivers.

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Caboose

 wow... Talk about an ass...

 

-= I don't want to be dead, I want to be alive! Or... a cowboy! =-

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snapple00

EEEk!

Sorry. I just now read the end of the article! You are right.

My bad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :(

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Caboose

 Besides, Lisa who made a legal left turn was not at fault. The person who decided to run through an intersection without knowhing if it was safe to do so (both from a personal safety and a legal standpoint) is at fault. Male or female. Old guy or young. New driver or experienced. It doesn't matter. Not all women drivers are bad, and not all male drivers are good.

 

-= I don't want to be dead, I want to be alive! Or... a cowboy! =-

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snapple00

I said I'm sorry!!!

I saw an article about driving, I made a quick stupid comment. 

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Tommytooker

This is another example of narrow-minded people rushing to save the whales/polar-bears/earth/ozone/owls... pick one. That's a character flaw that I do not have any sympathy or patience for so get ready for my soapbox. Here's a tip for all you "public officials", "put the publics safety first and THINK it through. Now at least one person is dead, how many more are injured because somebody thought that they would feel better about themselves because they were saving energy. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for LED lights, in fact lets light up the whole world with LEDs. But will you people making these decisions think about the consequences and not how your decision will make you feel better about yourself or how you will look green in the eyes of a fanatic.

It's amazing that nobody anticipated the outcome of using low-heat bulbs outdoors in the winter time. And I'm sure there's a simple solution that will still maintain a high level of energy savings. There, that's it, I'm finished, that wasn't too bad was it?

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schneider1492

i mostly agree with you but i think it was more to save taxpayer money than do make some unnamed official feal beter about themselves. as a consequence millions will probably be spent now replacing traffic lights with ones that have a thermostat and heat element.

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Trooper_One

I don't know about you guys in the states, but here in Canada (and generally, I would imagine), is that if the light is a flashing yellow or if the lights don't work, it's equal to a 4-way stop and proceed with caution.

 The driver says the lights didn't work but that's no excuse for wanton carelessness, driving without due diligence, and negligence causing death.

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To0nces

If you're driving along and not paying close attention, you might not even notice there are lights at that intersection since there wouldn't be red, yellow, or green visible. Also, night time would make this even worse.

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BaggerX

This is what I was thinking.  Depending on the conditions at the time, I might not even realize there was a stoplight there, or even an intersection.  Of course if conditions were that bad, I think I'd be driving pretty slow too.

I'm thinking that adding heating elements may impact the energy savings, but then they'd probably only need to be turned on a few times a year, so maybe it is still a good deal, aside from the cost of installing the elements.

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schneider1492

Come on, people in general are stupid. They have to put a label on a blow-dryer that says do not us in shower!

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nekollx

or giant black and white signs for "do not BLOCK interection" with BLOCK in big bold letters...that are still ignored...

------------------------------
Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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arosadler

You funny Canadians and your "common sense" approach to life. This is America. We have to be told in no uncertain terms what to do or we can't figure it out. Our coffee must be labeled HOT or we burn ourselves. Wanton carelessness is just a good excuse for a lawsuit. It's better than hitting the lotto.

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Jono

Couldn't they just lace the glass with defrosting wires like we would see on the back window of a car?? I mean 90% is a lot of energy to be saving so I wouldn't abandon LEDs altogether. Just have the defrosters either sense stormy weather and turn on or turn them on during winter months and off for the summer. Shouldn't be all that difficult.

 Say its too expensive to put wires in... and just wastes as much energy as traditional bulbs; I am sure placing a hood over the light and having concave glass extend from the light would resolve the problem. One thing to note that I've seen on lights with weather borders around the lights is that they go completely around the light... In the case of snow it could pile up on the inside of the cover. The cover needs to only shield the top portion of the entire light and the sides. The glass that covers the LEDs should have a slight, unexaggerated concave shaped outwards so it lets snow naturally fall away from the surface, if any manages to get past the weather covers, which would happen with the introduction of any wind. 

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Tekzel

Uh, you sure you don't mean convex?

But yea, I am sure they can find a good way to solve the problem without reverting to wasteful incandescent bulbs.

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Caboose

 Ya, because conCAVE... it's like, a cave. And conVEX, it's like a.... Vex.... </Bill Nye The Science Guy>

 

-= I don't want to be dead, I want to be alive! Or... a cowboy! =-

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NeauxFear

Y'all don't have guards over the lights, or are they just not effective against snow?  Because I know here in Louisiana we have guards over each light, but it's mainly to block out the sun.  Being as we get snow about 2 or 3 times a decade, I really don't know how well they would work.

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schneider1492

We use a tube shaped gard in northern California and southern Oregon, i see that the tube might fill with snow if it was windy. Maybe half tube gards would be more suitable.

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Fireman2118

How about just putting the old bulbs back in?

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nsk chaos

the only thing that might work is probably adding some heating elements...but that might be costly....but we still wont know if it will work or not or in the long will the investment pay off?

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squarebab

But only because they have to replace the existing lights with ones that have heating elements.  Thermostatically controlled elements on glass have been around for ages, and the morons who designed, purchased, and approved those lights for use up north should all be FIRED!

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nsvander

I find it funny that this is just now being seen as a problem, I dont know about other states, but in Southen Cali. they have been using LED traffic lights for what seems a better part of 4 or 5 years.  They are just now realizing that they don't get hot and melt snow?  I have to agree with the rest though, blame the drivers for not paying attention to lights.  Cannot see what color it is, come to stop and look before you go!!!

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nekollx

 Depends on where in Socal you live...we do have ski resorts....

------------------------------
Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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winmaster

You get what? Maybe 2 inches a year. Cone to Wisconsin. The LED lights are completely covered, you can't see them at all.

 

Personally, they should just go back to the old lights. The extra energy they used was being thrown off as heat-heat that we needed. 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

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talz13

I live in northeast ohio, and we've had LED traffic lights for years.  Never had a problem with them.  And yes, we do get snow here.

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Jono

I dunno.. can you ski on 2inches a year??

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nekollx

 next time look before you leap

http://www.google.com/search?q=snow+rates+in+california&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

------------------------------
Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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DogPatch1149

With all that money saved by using less power and not having to change the lights as often, they can spend it on adding heaters, shields, coatings, or some other solution to keep them from getting covered.

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kw13tl33tg33k

the problem is not the lights. its the drivers

I stay in cleveland and it doesnt matter if its snowing or not if those power lights are broken rather LED or traditional buffoons here treat them as "No Light" meaning they jus done stop...as an ex 911 dispatcher we took hundreds of calls like this. Of course the law is when the light has malfunctioned please treat as a 4 wa stop...but that Never Happens.

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Scootiep

Gotta agree with you, it seems like most people are too stupid to actually learn traffic laws these days. Yes if the lights are becomming covered with snow/ice it's a problem that needs to be solved. But this didn't cause the accidents, the morons behind the wheels did.

To start press any key...ohh, where's the "Any" key. - Homer Simpson

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nekollx

 the stories i could tell abour morons her in socal....

------------------------------
Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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Jono

please stop calling it socal.. you embarass me

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nekollx

 SoCal

Sothern

Californa

it is the offical acronym

------------------------------
Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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rockntrumpet

Allow me to impart some of my Northern book learning.  CalifornIa (it has an 'I').  SoUthern (it has a 'U'). OfficIal (it has an 'I').  Next time try learning how to spell from somewhere other than Anime subtitles.  That is all.

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BaggerX

It's a widely used and understood abbreviation.  What's the problem?  I've never lived there, but I know what it means.  If it's not official, it might as well be.

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mikeart03a

I don't know what the issue is here... Why are you arguing over a little abbreviation? I'm a Canuck and even I knew what SoCal meant... 

- mike_art03a
Owner, Network Admin
Michael Artelle Online Solutions
http://www.michaelartelleonline.com
michael.paiement@sympatico.ca

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Keith E. Whisman

socal, isnt that some sort of a weight loss energy drink

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Edwincnelson

What all these stories have failed account for is how many people die in accidents because the lights have burned out. LED lights work for as long as 10 years. Incandescent bulbs only last one year. I think you may find that LEDs are actually saving hundreds of lives by working without maintenance for so long. 

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Tommytooker

Using your logic, the more accurate comparison would be how often do incandescent traffic lights burn out during snow storms.

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r7mr7m

If only they would install higher quality LED lights. It might not be a safety issue yet but in L.A. and Ventura counties (CA), LED stoplights are all over the place. One problem is that a surprising majority of them have at least a quarter of their LEDs burned out. It's too bad that they can't get these LEDs to last a month, let alone 10 years.

 

Also, most intersections here have multiple sets of lights for each direction.  Redundancy. If the power fails they have the battery backup to start the red flashes and when that fails, the cops setup the sandwich board stop signs in the intersection or direct traffic themselves.

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COMMANDER_COOK

The LEDs aren't burning out. It's water leaking into the housing which corrodes the terminals.

A temp controlled heater would be easy to install in those things.

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r7mr7m

I would agree with you if it actually rained more than once or twice a year in L.A.

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schneider1492

A small inferred bulb at the center would only use about 50w, should be able to melt the snow, and can be controlled by a thermal sensor.

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BaggerX

inferred = infrared?  Or am I missing something?

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Budman_NC

What idiot goes through a traffic light not knowing what color its indicating?? Those in the wrong should have to retake their drivers liscence test. People should drive as if their life (and other's) depends on it because it does! I almost lost my life 4 years ago because of this kind of (non) thinking. Sorry, but if you've ever had a 3500 pound SUV shoved up your butt due to someone's carelessness, you kind of get "testy" over this kind of thing.

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LatiosXT

I think it states in the driving manual in California that if lights are disabled (by power outtage), you are to treat them like stop signs. I would think if you couldn't really see a traffic light, you'd treat it like a stop sign.

 Oh well. What can you do?

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HeartBurnKid

Because of the way wind can affect snow, it's entirely possible for the light in 1 direction to be blocked, but in another to not be.  So you can have somebody treating the light as a 4-way stop sign, while somebody else coming from the other direction has a green light clear as day.  BLAM.

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r7mr7m

I understand your point here but the person treating it as a stop sign should not assume that the person seeing the green is going to stop, especially in a situation where there is an issue of inclement weather.

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