LED Traffic Lights Don't Melt Snow, Cause Danger

LED lights are an excellent lighting solution due to their longevity and power efficiency, but they may not be the best choice in all conditions.

Being from Canada, driving in the snow is just a fact of life. You have to adjust your driving habits accordingly to suit the road conditions. But one hazard the winter snow brings that city planners may not have foreseen is the build up of snow on traffic lights.

Normally, the excess heat generated by incandescent bulbs is enough to melt the snow off lights so that they remain visible even in freezing conditions. Traffic lights that employ LED lighting, while far more power efficient and reliable than older ones, aren't able to melt the snow that accumulates.

Snow blocking traffic signals is a significant problem as it has already led to dozens of accidents and at least one fatality.

Other than switching back to the old incandescent lighting, other proposed solutions include built-in heaters, weather shields, and a water repellent coating. Read more from the AP.

It seems that a method for traffic signalling as old as stop lights still have room for technological innovation. Just yesterday we brought you news of a designer who has fashioned a progress bar for stop lights, which tells drivers how much longer before the light turns.

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Marcus Yam is a technology evangelist for Intel Corporation, the latest in a long line of tech-focused roles spanning a more than 20-year career in the industry. As Executive Editor, News on Tom's Guide and Tom's Hardware, Marcus was responsible for shaping the sites' news output, and he also spent a period as Editor of Outdoors & Sports at Digital Trends.