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    Frankfort Eyes Installing LED Traffic Lights

    By KIM DUNNE

    FRANKFORT - The village of Frankfort is looking into replacing its traffic and street lights with light emitting diodes, also known as LED lights.

    LED lights are tiny, purely electronic lights that are energy efficient and last much longer then normal incandescent halogen bulbs, which are currently used.

    Many cities in the United States are in the process of replacing current street lights with LED lights for three reasons:

  • LED lights are brighter. The LED lights fill the entire light and have equal brightness across the entire surface, making them brighter overall.
  • LED bulbs last for years, while halogen bulbs last for months. Replacing bulbs costs money for the trucks and people who do the work, and it also ties up traffic. Increasing the replacement interval can save a city money.
  • LED bulbs save a lot of energy.
  • Incandescent halogen bulbs can be rated at between 50 and 150 watts. Assume that a traffic light uses 100-watt bulbs. The light is on for 24 hours a day, so it uses 2.4 kilowatt-hours per day. If power costs are 8 cents per kilowatt-hour it means that one traffic signal costs about 20 cents a day to operate, or about $73 per year. Sometimes there are as many as eight signals per intersection, so that's almost $600 per year in power per intersection.

    LED lights are estimated to consume 15 or 20 watts instead of that 100, so the power consumption drops by around five or six percent.

    Department of Public Works Supervisor for the village of Frankfort Ron Vivacqua says the village could cut its electric payments by a significant amount if it switches to LED lights.

    He adds that the village has been in talks with a company who is going to come back and do a presentation and demonstration for the village on how LED lights work and the savings they could have.

    '(The company) has said they will work with us to possibly get a grant for the complete project,' Vivacqua said.

    The grant could be available under the “Green” initiative, which is an environmental term that has been popping up lately and means saving energy or cutting energy costs.


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