LED lights coming soon to a Maryland street near you

WASHINGTON — You probably don’t think too much about them as you drive past everyday but Montgomery and Prince George’s County pay millions in electric bills each year for traffic lights. However, state transportation officials are working to save more money by lowering the electric bill.

Since 2006 Maryland’s State Highway Administration started replacing old incandescent bulbs in traffic signals with Light-Emitting Diode (LED) lamps at 3,000 locations and the project is 93 percent complete, according to SHA’s Charlie Gischlar.

We recently, within the last couple of months, finished Prince George’s County. (In) Montgomery County, we are 80 percent complete. And we expect to be completed by October or November of this year,” Gischlar says.

Maryland 355 from the Beltway to the District line will be getting LED lights as part of a massive reconstruction project due to begin on Monday, Aug. 26.

SHA estimates the move could save hundreds of millions of dollars across Maryland and 43 million kilowatt hours by 2015, which equates to enough energy to power approximately 4,500 Maryland homes for an entire year.

In addition to energy savings and reduced maintenance of the signal systems, LED traffic signals are brighter than incandescent bulbs. Brighter signals help draw driver attention to the signal during the day and improve traffic signal visibility at greater distances during nighttime travel.

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