The replacement of incandescent lamps with LED (light emitting diode) lights in traffic signals in the UK could reduce the demand for electricity by up to 70%. Additionally, the move could also offer substantial savings to highway authorities through less frequent replacement of lamps and, consequently, staff maintenance time.
The UK has an estimated 420,000 traffic and pedestrian signal heads, installed and managed by individual highway authorities. Each head contains two, three, or four 50W lamps, although for the majority of the time only one of these is lit up. These traffic signals currently use an estimated 101.7m kWh of electricity per year and cause the release of nearly 14,000 tonnes of carbon (around 50,000 tonnes of CO2). The number of traffic signals in the country continues to grow at around 3% a year – Transport for London estimated an increase of 17.5% inthe capital alone between 2000 and 2005.