Invisible LED Traffic Lights Causing Problems in the Snow
LED lighting is more compact, use less energy, and produce less waste heat than traditional incandescent lighting. That’s all good stuff right? I mean, obviously LEDs should become the standard choice for lighting. This was the idea behind LED powered traffic lights gradually being implemented throughout the country. They provide great visibility and are an arguably “green” option. Unfortunately, one of their strengths seems to have become a weakness in some cases.
In cold weather, the LEDs fail to melt frost or snow that may collect on the lenses. This has already been known to cause some accidents in LED equipped intersections. I can understand how this could cause confusion to drivers, yet I would hesitate to blame the lights completely. I don’t know about you, but when I’m about to drive through an intersection with unlit traffic signals, I’m going to think seriously about stopping and looking both ways first.
A better solution would be to use lasers. The use of laser equipped traffic signals introduces two key benefits. First of all, a laser will easily burn through any snow, ice, frost, insects, bird’s nests, etc. that may develop on the lens. Secondly, if the signal detects a vehicle approaching too quickly, it will slice that car up into harmless little pieces before it even gets to the intersection… PEW PEW!