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Red Light, Green Light, LED Light? Maryland Installing Efficient Lamps At Traffic Signals

The Maryland State Highway Administration said bulb replacement is 93 percent complete and should be finished by winter.

(FILE | Patch) Traffic lights will be brighter and more efficient in Maryland.
(FILE | Patch) Traffic lights will be brighter and more efficient in Maryland.
By Sean Welsh

HD quality isn't just for your big screen TV anymore. Now, it's available at your nearby stop light.

Maryland, as part of the EmPOWER Maryland Initiative, has converted more than 93 percent of the state's 3,000 traffic signal lights to more efficient bulbs. The installation of light-emitting diode (LED) lamps will save up to 43 million kilowatt hours by 2015, according to a State Highway Administration news release.That savings equates to the energy required to power 4,500 Maryland residences in a given year, according to the news release. 

“SHA is capitalizing on more efficient technologies that emphasize our commitment to the environment and greener highways,” SHA Administrator Melinda B. Peters said in a statement. “LED technology provides brighter, more visible traffic signals, which improves safety for the millions of people who travel in Maryland every day.”

Bulb conversion began in 2006 as a measure to improve energy costs and visibility, SHA officials said. The signals also require less maintenance than incandescent bulbs, the release said.

According to SHA officials, technicians have reported a 68 percent decrease in bulb burn-out related calls.

LED bulbs are used in new construction, and retrofitting began on the Eastern Shore and in Western Maryland, and is now taking place in Central Maryland and around suburban Washington, DC, the release said.

SHA officials said they anticipate all signals will be converted to LED bulbs by winter.

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