LED Traffic Lights Too Cool to Melt Snow

As more cities try to save energy and reduce carbon footprint with LED traffic lights, those located in colder climate might need to consider installing additional heating devices to avoid car accidents during heavy snow.

Cleveland city in Ohio, which is located in northeastern U.S. is close to the Canadian border, has reported heavy snow storms have taken a toll on the new LED traffic lights, according to a report by local media newsnet5. The city has been affected by snow storms since early February 2014 and will be seeing more snow storms coming its way throughout March.

Cleveland's snow clogged  LED traffic lights are becoming a traffic hazard. (Photo Courtesy of newsnet5)

Drivers have not been able to navigate safely through the winter city streets because LED traffic lights have been completely obscured by snow. LED’s zero heat emission feature has backfired in snowy scenarios as the lights are unable to melt away accumulated snow. This was never an issue with conventional incandescent traffic lights,  which were able to melt away snow with its natural heat emission of 32 degrees Celsius (90 degrees Farenheit).

As Cleveland motorists dangerously guess their way through road junctions, some parts of the city have resolved to manually clear away the snow, others added heating devices, or additional covers to protect the traffic lights. Perhaps LED manufacturers should also take special care in designing climate specific LED streetlights to prevent their snow clogged products from becoming road safety hazards.

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