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Posted: 12/17/2009 10:39:19 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/17/2009 10:40:38 AM EDT by rdove]
LED traffic lights don't melt snow, do cause accidents
By Vladislav Savov  posted Dec 17th 2009 9:16AM

A number of cold weather American states are reporting their dismay at finding out that LED traffic lights are so energy efficient that they do not produce enough excess heat to dissipate any snow that covers them. It turns out, perhaps in an homage to bad engineering everywhere, that the inefficiency of incandescent light bulbs was previously relied upon to keep traffic signals unimpeded. The new LEDs do not achieve the same effect, which has resulted in a few accidents and even a death being blamed on obstructed traffic lights. Feel free to apply palm to face now. It's not all gloomy, though, as the majority of people are said to treat a dysfunctional traffic light as a stop sign (how clever of them), and a tech fix is being worked on as we speak.




http://www.engadget.com/2009/12/17/led-traffic-lights-dont-melt-snow-do-cause-accidents/

Good thing we are doing all this green shit
Link Posted: 12/17/2009 10:44:12 AM EDT
I don't know why , but that's just so funny

Link Posted: 12/17/2009 10:44:14 AM EDT
Sad and funny at the same time.

Link Posted: 12/17/2009 10:46:48 AM EDT
LOL
Link Posted: 12/17/2009 10:47:13 AM EDT
LEDs are still better than the old bulbs.
Link Posted: 12/17/2009 10:47:17 AM EDT
Too bad that folks are getting hurt over this.



But I just loooove to see unintended consequences in action.






Link Posted: 12/17/2009 10:48:38 AM EDT
Originally Posted By rdove:
LED traffic lights don't melt snow, do cause accidents
By Vladislav Savov  posted Dec 17th 2009 9:16AM

A number of cold weather American states are reporting their dismay at finding out that LED traffic lights are so energy efficient that they do not produce enough excess heat to dissipate any snow that covers them. It turns out, perhaps in an homage to bad engineering everywhere, that the inefficiency of incandescent light bulbs was previously relied upon to keep traffic signals unimpeded. The new LEDs do not achieve the same effect, which has resulted in a few accidents and even a death being blamed on obstructed traffic lights. Feel free to apply palm to face now. It's not all gloomy, though, as the majority of people are said to treat a dysfunctional traffic light as a stop sign (how clever of them), and a tech fix is being worked on as we speak.


http://www.blogcdn.com/www.engadget.com/media/2009/12/17dec9iuobsegf43.jpg

http://www.engadget.com/2009/12/17/led-traffic-lights-dont-melt-snow-do-cause-accidents/

Good thing we are doing all this green shit


Link Posted: 12/17/2009 10:49:10 AM EDT
That has to be some pretty wicked storm to stick snow to a light, under a shroud.  Note that it's also covered the sign.

Not very worried about this one.
Link Posted: 12/17/2009 10:49:23 AM EDT
Haha, that's some pretty ironic stuff right there.


I don't get how this causes accidents or deaths though.  I'm pretty sure those are still caused by stupid people who don't know how to react to a non-functioning light.

During the big power outtage a few years back, our lights downtown were out and people were blowing right through blind intersections like it was an expressway.  Stupid people breed too often.
Link Posted: 12/17/2009 10:49:32 AM EDT
I have heard this about led headlights, they can not develop them because of ice build up.
Link Posted: 12/17/2009 10:50:37 AM EDT
I'm going to laugh when the whatever they use to melt the snow ends up being more expensive AND uses twice the amount of energy.
Link Posted: 12/17/2009 10:52:06 AM EDT



Originally Posted By ceverett:


That has to be some pretty wicked storm to stick snow to a light, under a shroud.  Note that it's also covered the sign.



Not very worried about this one.


Wind coming through an intersection lined with buildings taller than the traffic lights would do interesting things to the snow, even if it isn't snowing at the time.

 
Link Posted: 12/17/2009 10:54:23 AM EDT
Maybe people shouldn't be out driving if the weather is that bad?
Link Posted: 12/17/2009 10:55:02 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/17/2009 10:55:18 AM EDT by Daytona955i]





Originally Posted By max229:



Maybe people shouldn't be out driving if the weather is that bad?



The world doesn't stop for snow.


 



At least not in the Northeast.
Link Posted: 12/17/2009 10:55:09 AM EDT
Originally Posted By woodsie:
Haha, that's some pretty ironic stuff right there.


I don't get how this causes accidents or deaths though.  I'm pretty sure those are still caused by stupid people who don't know how to react to a non-functioning light.

During the big power outtage a few years back, our lights downtown were out and people were blowing right through blind intersections like it was an expressway.  Stupid people breed too often.


Bingo.  It blows my mind that people see an out signal and just plow on ahead at full speed.
Link Posted: 12/17/2009 10:59:07 AM EDT
I'm not convinced that LED traffic lights are a bargain even in places that never get snow.





I've seen way too many of them with sections of LEDs that are not working.  So they get changed out for a PARTIAL

faillure, as DOT regs require the lights to be fully functional or replaced.  



I've been inside some of those LED panels.  They're a foot in diameter and usually very well sealed and not

repairable other than at the factory they were made at,  as they would have to be correctly resealed after repair.





And, those assemblies can cost upwards of a thousand dollars each.  Don't think they're low cost!



They're also sensitive to power surges.



The light bulb in a traffic light is a low cost long life high reliability bulb that typically lasts for years of on time.





I really don't see the economical advantage in going to a very expensive LED panel instead of using a much cheaper

incandescent lamp.
CJ
Link Posted: 12/17/2009 11:02:06 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ttushooter:
Originally Posted By woodsie:
Haha, that's some pretty ironic stuff right there.


I don't get how this causes accidents or deaths though.  I'm pretty sure those are still caused by stupid people who don't know how to react to a non-functioning light.

During the big power outtage a few years back, our lights downtown were out and people were blowing right through blind intersections like it was an expressway.  Stupid people breed too often.


Bingo.  It blows my mind that people see an out signal and just plow on ahead at full speed.


"But it wasn't red for me!"
Link Posted: 12/17/2009 11:04:54 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ttushooter:
Originally Posted By woodsie:
Haha, that's some pretty ironic stuff right there.


I don't get how this causes accidents or deaths though.  I'm pretty sure those are still caused by stupid people who don't know how to react to a non-functioning light.

During the big power outtage a few years back, our lights downtown were out and people were blowing right through blind intersections like it was an expressway.  Stupid people breed too often.


Bingo.  It blows my mind that people see an out signal and just plow on ahead at full speed.


Same thoughts here....its dumb people, not malfunctioning lights that is the problem here.  Idiots just need to blame it on something and tis easier to blame the lights than the people.  

Lights don't get butt hurt and sue
Link Posted: 12/17/2009 11:05:14 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/17/2009 11:05:54 AM EDT by ceverett]
Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
I'm not convinced that LED traffic lights are a bargain even in places that never get snow.


I've seen way too many of them with sections of LEDs that are not working.  So they get changed out for a PARTIAL
faillure, as DOT regs require the lights to be fully functional or replaced.  

I've been inside some of those LED panels.  They're a foot in diameter and usually very well sealed and not
repairable other than at the factory they were made at,  as they would have to be correctly resealed after repair.


And, those assemblies can cost upwards of a thousand dollars each.  Don't think they're low cost!

They're also sensitive to power surges.

The light bulb in a traffic light is a low cost long life high reliability bulb that typically lasts for years of on time.


I really don't see the economical advantage in going to a very expensive LED panel instead of using a much cheaper
incandescent lamp.



CJ


Labor costs of replacing burned out signals is really expensive...  The economic case is pretty easy to make.

That being said, a lot of cities got gypped on 1st gen LED fixtures that did not have proper heat dispersion or driver circuitry.  People who were just sticking a bunch of 5mm LED's on a panel.  The new stuff is vastly improved, same as LED flashlights,etc.
Link Posted: 12/17/2009 11:06:58 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ttushooter:
Originally Posted By woodsie:
Haha, that's some pretty ironic stuff right there.


I don't get how this causes accidents or deaths though.  I'm pretty sure those are still caused by stupid people who don't know how to react to a non-functioning light.

During the big power outtage a few years back, our lights downtown were out and people were blowing right through blind intersections like it was an expressway.  Stupid people breed too often.


Bingo.  It blows my mind that people see an out signal and just plow on ahead at full speed.


But they have somewhere to be, don'tchaknow.  



Last night I got a good one.

Two traffic lights separated by about twenty yards.  Essentially a 6-way intersection, the main road has two lights.  The first light goes green first but the second signal stays red so that opposing traffic can make a protected left turn.  I am in the second car back.

When the first light turns green, the car in front of me moves up to the next light (which is red).  As there is only space for one car at this light, I would be blocking the intersection were I to pull up immediately behind him.  So I move up to cover the sensor on the first light and remain there.

Guy behind me absolutely loses it.  Rolls down window, screaming, honking, waving at me to go, making obscene gestures, the whole thing.  We're talking full-blown temper tantrum here.

He throws his car in reverse, slams it forward, screeches around me all in a huff (through the oncoming lane, of course)...  and stops in the middle of the intersection behind the first car.  Then he got to stew there for a full ten seconds while he waited for the second light to change.

But he got in front of me, so that put him ten feet closer to where he needed to go.   You stay classy, chief.
Link Posted: 12/17/2009 11:08:20 AM EDT



Originally Posted By Daytona955i:


Originally Posted By max229:

Maybe people shouldn't be out driving if the weather is that bad?
The world doesn't stop for snow.



At least not in the Northeast.


I always stay inside until it stops.



I'm from Florida though.



 
Link Posted: 12/17/2009 11:11:13 AM EDT
Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
I'm not convinced that LED traffic lights are a bargain even in places that never get snow.


I've seen way too many of them with sections of LEDs that are not working.  So they get changed out for a PARTIAL
faillure, as DOT regs require the lights to be fully functional or replaced.  

I've been inside some of those LED panels.  They're a foot in diameter and usually very well sealed and not
repairable other than at the factory they were made at,  as they would have to be correctly resealed after repair.


And, those assemblies can cost upwards of a thousand dollars each.  Don't think they're low cost!

They're also sensitive to power surges.

The light bulb in a traffic light is a low cost long life high reliability bulb that typically lasts for years of on time.


I really don't see the economical advantage in going to a very expensive LED panel instead of using a much cheaper
incandescent lamp.



CJ


Just feel good/greenie shit and mandates I would suppose. They shuffle the cost from power consumption to initial buy-in and maintenance. SAme shit, different way of doing it.
Link Posted: 12/17/2009 11:11:36 AM EDT
I hate, fucking HATE the LED green lights.  They are WAY the fuck too bright for night time driving, and make it so I (and I presume other drivers) have a hard time seeing past the intersection.  For all I know, there could be a pack of lost Grandmothers trying to get across to the gas station or whatever, and I'd just plow right through them because the fucking green light washed out anything behind it.  Bright red lights?  Fine.  Bright green?  No need, and they make for potentially hazardous driving.
Link Posted: 12/17/2009 11:29:13 AM EDT
Originally Posted By max229:
Maybe people shouldn't be out driving if the weather is that bad?


Yeah, we'll just stay home until April.


The problem is that the snow and ice remain on the light after the weather improves, continues to build up with every little flurry until the light is blocked.

The only way to clear them is for a highway dept guy to go up and do it by hand after every storm, this gets old in a hurry.

Link Posted: 12/17/2009 11:33:26 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/17/2009 11:33:41 AM EDT by DriftPunch]
Arfcom: Now against LED lights...
Link Posted: 12/17/2009 12:00:24 PM EDT



Originally Posted By NH_AR_Shooter:



Originally Posted By max229:

Maybe people shouldn't be out driving if the weather is that bad?
Yeah, we'll just stay home until April.




The problem is that the snow and ice remain on the light after the weather improves, continues to build up with every little flurry until the light is blocked.



The only way to clear them is for a highway dept guy to go up and do it by hand after every storm, this gets old in a hurry.



If I were up in NH, I'd probably want to stay in a bit later than the beginning of April! It get's darn cold up there!




 
Link Posted: 12/17/2009 12:01:14 PM EDT
Heat trace the lights with steam!
Link Posted: 12/17/2009 12:02:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/17/2009 12:03:11 PM EDT by BangStick1]





Originally Posted By Spade:



LEDs are still better than the old bulbs.



Just not for this application
What amazes me is all the idiots that don't have the sense to stop.





 
Link Posted: 12/17/2009 12:03:23 PM EDT



Originally Posted By DriftPunch:


Arfcom: Now against LED lights...


...except in flashlights, where they're required.  



 
Link Posted: 12/17/2009 12:03:26 PM EDT
Whad'ya bet they start requiring heating elements to be retrofitted that will cost 3 times as much as using regular bulbs.
Link Posted: 12/17/2009 12:26:56 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/17/2009 12:27:26 PM EDT by fiver]





Originally Posted By Guess:



Whad'ya bet they start requiring heating elements to be retrofitted that will cost 3 times as much as using regular bulbs.



Well, if they put in heating elements that only activated when the ambient air temperature was 32F or less, on average they could probably still save a significant amount of energy.  Unless you are in Siberia or something.
 
Link Posted: 12/17/2009 12:32:57 PM EDT



Originally Posted By max229:


Maybe people shouldn't be out driving if the weather is that bad?


I'm sure the folks in Buffalo will get right on that.  




 
Link Posted: 12/17/2009 12:35:56 PM EDT
I have never seen snow on a stoplight or road sign like in that picture. (Except on low road-side signs that get blasted by snowplow wake.)
Link Posted: 12/17/2009 12:38:05 PM EDT
Originally Posted By TrojanMan:

But he got in front of me, so that put him ten feet closer to where he needed to go.   You stay classy, chief.


It's NASCAR don't you know....... you get more points (and more $$$$) for getting ahead. Even if it's only 0.01 seconds.....



Link Posted: 12/17/2009 12:41:50 PM EDT



Originally Posted By BangStick1:





Originally Posted By Spade:

LEDs are still better than the old bulbs.


Just not for this application
What amazes me is all the idiots that don't have the sense to stop.

 




all they have to do is make a clear covering for the front.





 
Link Posted: 12/17/2009 12:42:01 PM EDT



Originally Posted By DriftPunch:


Arfcom: Now against LED lights...


Apparently LED lights is some form of communist plot to take over the country from within.  

 
Link Posted: 12/17/2009 1:05:48 PM EDT



Originally Posted By TheNamelessOne:





Originally Posted By BangStick1:




Originally Posted By Spade:

LEDs are still better than the old bulbs.


Just not for this application
What amazes me is all the idiots that don't have the sense to stop.

 




all they have to do is make a clear covering for the front.



 


That sticky blowing snow would have coated any kind of cover they put on it.  During the wrong lighting conditions the glare from the cover would make the light ineffective anyway.  



 
Link Posted: 12/17/2009 1:10:42 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Spade:
LEDs are still better than the old bulbs.


This.  Add heaters for when it's really cold.  cheap piezoelectric heaters would do the trick.  LEDS are more reliable and cheaper over their life.

The knee-jerk anti-green reactions are
Link Posted: 12/17/2009 1:16:39 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Strongbow:
Originally Posted By Spade:
LEDs are still better than the old bulbs.


This.  Add heaters for when it's really cold.  cheap piezoelectric heaters would do the trick.  LEDS are more reliable and cheaper over their life.

The knee-jerk anti-green reactions are


Yes, it's not the power consumption that's the issue. It's the cost of paying a city worker to go up in a cherry picker and replace the incandescent light bulbs in the traffic signals. (And like most city DPW's... the other three guys to stand around and watch him work.)

A quality LED signal lamp should last many many years.

It's more of a labor/maintenance cost savings thing (that libertarians/conservatives should like) and not a "green" power-saving thing. (that libtards should like...)
Link Posted: 12/17/2009 1:18:13 PM EDT
The light shines through the snow, seen it in Colorado in the winter, snow all over.  

If the green is too bright, your windshield is too dirty on the inside, clean it.
Link Posted: 12/17/2009 1:20:07 PM EDT
Originally Posted By max229:
Maybe people shouldn't be out driving if the weather is that bad?


Maybe the problem is that the snow stays on the lights AFTER the storm is over.....


Just saying.
Link Posted: 12/17/2009 1:21:50 PM EDT



Originally Posted By DScottHewitt:



Originally Posted By max229:

Maybe people shouldn't be out driving if the weather is that bad?
Maybe the problem is that the snow stays on the lights AFTER the storm is over.....



Just saying.


But if it's still on the light the roads are probably still slippery. Not a good idea to be going out in that IMO.



 
Link Posted: 12/17/2009 3:12:34 PM EDT
Hahaha... unintended consequences.


Don't get me wrong, I'm all for improved efficiency when it comes to power usage... so I like LEDs... but this is an example of not foreseeing a possible negative effect.  They should be reengineered with heaters.
Link Posted: 12/17/2009 3:18:51 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ttushooter:
Originally Posted By woodsie:
Haha, that's some pretty ironic stuff right there.


I don't get how this causes accidents or deaths though.  I'm pretty sure those are still caused by stupid people who don't know how to react to a non-functioning light.

During the big power outtage a few years back, our lights downtown were out and people were blowing right through blind intersections like it was an expressway.  Stupid people breed too often.


Bingo.  It blows my mind that people see an out signal and just plow on ahead at full speed.


There could definitely be issues with this one. All of the lights aren't necessarily "impaired". One or more sets of lights could be perfectly clear while the others are covered (e.g., those facing direct sunlight might be clear, or only the set facing into the wind might be snow-covered).
Link Posted: 12/17/2009 3:48:42 PM EDT
I can't get over the snarky tone the writer of that article has. I hate journalists that write in that mealymouthed jackass tone that would get them punched in the mouth if they were in person.
Link Posted: 12/17/2009 3:52:23 PM EDT
If maintenance costs are the issue,  then LED modules that fail and have to be replaced MORE often than incandescent lamp modules don't see to be much of a win, do they?
Those LED modules are expensive.  They can cost over 1000 bucks each.  They're susceptible to power surges and spikes and they're not repairable.





I think they're not yet a mature product and not yet as cost-effective as the manufacturers would like you to believe.





But cities love to buy them at their high prices.   But then again,  when are governments anything but willing to spend all of your tax dollars that they can get their paws on?





CJ


Link Posted: 12/17/2009 6:16:53 PM EDT
Originally Posted By M4-Stag:
The light shines through the snow, seen it in Colorado in the winter, snow all over.  
If the green is too bright, your windshield is too dirty on the inside, clean it.


The brightness has zero to do with the windshield's cleanliness.  It's exactly like trying to see the person who's aiming a flashlight directly at you; the brightness of the light makes it impossible for your eyes to perceive anything in the dim background of that light.
Link Posted: 12/18/2009 5:35:50 AM EDT
Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
If maintenance costs are the issue,  then LED modules that fail and have to be replaced MORE often than incandescent lamp modules don't see to be much of a win, do they?


I agree.  I'd be curious to find if someone has started/completed a study on this yet.  I'll have to poke around and see what I find.
Link Posted: 12/18/2009 5:48:48 AM EDT
Not an issue in the south lol.
Link Posted: 12/18/2009 6:02:51 AM EDT
Welcome to 5 years ago, nothing new. This is why European cars have
fans to direct heat towards the lenses on LED headlights, heated wiper
fluid/washer nozzles for the lenses, etc...
Link Posted: 12/18/2009 7:08:29 AM EDT
Originally Posted By metroplex:
Welcome to 5 years ago, nothing new. This is why European cars havefans to direct heat towards the lenses on LED headlights, heated wiperfluid/washer nozzles for the lenses, etc...
Euro safety standards require high intensity vehicle lights have a cleaning method so that dirt does not deflect the light into oncoming drivers' eyes.  Too bad America will never adopt that requirement, or the drag-race stoplight (yellow illuminates for one second when it is about to change from red to green).

Kharn
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