Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs have become increasingly popular in homes and businesses over the past few years to help owners lower their utility costs. Now, municipalities across the nation are looking into using LED lights to illuminate roadways.
These kinds of bulbs produce purer light than traditional incandescents, and also have a longer lifespan, roughly 23 years, than even compact fluorescent lighting (CFL bulbs). Employing LED lights to illuminate roadways can lessen a cities burden on the power grid while also lowering the need for frequent maintenance.
In Minnesota, the state transit department incorporated advanced energy efficient technologies into the construction of a new bridge following the original structures collapse in August of 2011. The redesign of the I-35 bridge not only included a bevy of top-of-the-line structural features, but also was among the first new roadways in the country to use all LED lights.
In Nova Scotia, Canada, the entire province has committed to converting all of its street lights to LEDs, making it the first jurisdiction in North America to mandate the use of energy efficient lighting on all roadways. Officials in the province estimate that all roadways will be illuminated using LEDs by 2023.
Similar initiatives have been floated throughout the U.S., and incremental LED conversions have taken place in cities like Boston, Seattle and Pittsburgh. In Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, town officials have spoken with numerous local and national media outlets about their intention to pursue a complete switch to LED technology as soon as funding can be raised.