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Janesville looks into potential LED light problems

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Steve Benton
December 17, 2009
— The city of Janesville is studying problems that may develop with LED traffic lights under specific winter conditions.

The problem of snow or ice build-up on the lights has been reported in areas of the upper midwest during snow storms. Janesville facilities manager, Dave Lou, says LED lights are low wattage and give off very little heat, while the old style incandescent lights are 160 watts and burn very hot. A positive side affect of the old "hot" lights is the ability to melt snow and ice from the traffic lights.


Lou says there have only been a few instances of this phenomena reported in Janesville last winter and so far this year. In each case, a police officer either brushed the snow off the light or called the department of public works to do it.


Lou says energy savings the first year of the project to switch out some of the old lights with LED lights (2002-2003) amounted to about $43,000. That figure includes energy and maintenance costs. He says he'll keep track of any problems with the lights this winter and make appropriate recommendations, if adjustments in maintenance are needed.



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