There is fascinating insight from a City in Chicago that switched to LED lighting for traffic lights this year. LED no doubt will save money in the long run with energy consumption but the idea may come with unexpected consequences during the winter months.
LED does not emit much heat compared to traditional lights. The lack of heat from the LED street lights have caused severe safety issues and overtime costs for Chicago. While the City will save money on electricity, the lights will build up with snow and block the signal from being seen. Street signs also have started building up with snow as the heat would transfer to the signs through convention and keep them clear.
Chicago has reported that they have to send crews to every traffic light any time it snows to clean the snow off. Sometimes multiple times a day. The LED conversions have delayed projects, increased expenditures, created safety and made the City rethink the decision to switch to LED for traffic lights.
Chicago is not the only place that has reported this issue. With the City of Barberton looking at ways to say money and talking about LED, Is it worth it to switch to LED in street lights? Does it make sense given the problems other Northwest parts of the US are experiencing?