Modernization of traffic signals: LED shines

Published 12:30 pm Friday, May 26, 2023

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The City of Elizabethton’s GIS and Engineering Department has diligently been working on the department’s effort to enhance transportation infrastructure through the modernization of traffic signals.
Since 2008, the City of Elizabethton has been working to modernize traffic signals throughout the city. The city has applied for federal and state funded grants along with other locally sourced funding to update traffic signal systems as technological improvements become available.
As part of these improvements, traffic signal heads and pedestrian displays are being upgraded to Light Emitting Diode (LED) lamps.   Between 2008 and 2023, approximately 800 incandescent lamps have been upgraded with LED technology.  The switch to LED has been made possible due to major advances in availability and affordability within the last couple of decades.
Conversion from incandescent to LED has several advantages.  LED lamps require a fraction of the maintenance when compared to incandescent lamps.
A typical LED lamp lasts up to 10 years compared to 1 year for an incandescent bulb. With increased longevity,  maintenance can be reduced as well as replacement cycles, leading to cost savings and minimizing disruptions caused by signal failures.
This simple upgrade drastically cuts on maintenance costs, frees up manpower and bucket trucks and avoids the headache of maintenance-related lane closures.
The modernization of city traffic signals comes with a substantial upfront cost; however, this cost is realized within one year by reduced maintenance costs alone.

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