While most people think of LED lighting in residential terms, there are a ton of other applications for this type of lighting. In particular, LED light systems are perfectly suited for outdoor locations due to their inherent characteristics. Indeed, they make an ideal replacement for freeway and highway lighting all over the nation. Here’s why.
Light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, are fast becoming one of the top choices for lighting everywhere. Constructed of environmentally friendly materials, they boast a ton of benefits for users, especially outdoors:
- They’re durable. Rain, wind, hail, and extreme temperatures won’t harm these lights.
- They’re changeable. Depending on the specific light chosen, you could be able to change the color, temperature, and brightness of the LED.
- They’re safe. They don’t contain any harmful toxins like mercury, which can be found in fluorescent lighting.
- They’re efficient. LED lights experience an efficiency of around 80% so they last longer than other bulbs while giving off a better-quality light.
Benefits of LEDs for Freeways and Highways
Maintaining freeways, highways, and other large roads is a complicated process with a lot of different factors. Fortunately, with the new developments in LED technology, the switch can happen quickly and smoothly and will offer several benefits to drivers, city managers, and transportation professionals. Here are just a few of the advantages that will undoubtedly crop up after implementing LED lights on the road.
- A reduction in city costs. Because LED lights are so incredibly energy efficient, they also have a positive impact on a city’s energy bills when used to illuminate roadways. Good LEDs can reduce energy usage by around fifty percent. Furthermore, due to their long-lasting and durable capabilities, maintenance and replacement costs will also be reduced, helping the city save money immediately. And finally, because LED lights are more able to react with automation, timing, and programming, less human labor will be needed, further lowering costs for the taxpayer.
- A better experience for drivers, pedestrians, and residents. Driving at night can be tricky in the best of circumstances. With the dark of night, lights can often be blindingly bright and glaring or simply not quite bright enough to do much. LED lights can be controlled and customized to suit the nature of the neighborhood via color or light temperature, increasing the area’s aesthetics. On roads near residential areas, the lights can be dimmed to lower light intrusion on homes. Pedestrians, likewise, will benefit from the presence of LED lights on freeways and major roads since they offer gentle illumination that will keep them well visible to drivers.
- Improve the city’s “green” factor. Nowadays, there is a much bigger focus on sustainability and environmental friendliness, also known as going “green.” Switching freeway and highway lights over to LED lighting systems is a surefire way to increase a city’s sustainability in several ways. LEDs as a whole have reduced CO2 emissions, which helps keep the air we breathe clean. And because the lights last such a long time, there will be fewer that end up in the landfill compared to incandescent bulbs that last around 35 times shorter than LEDs. An unexpected benefit, too, is the use of distinctive “light recipes” that are suitable for keeping local wildlife, like deer and bats, safe as they approach roadways.
The Best Types of LED for Freeways and Highways
There are three main types of LED lights that are being used for freeway and highway lighting. Selecting the best option will depend on the specific local needs and preferences.
- Standard LED lights. These are the most common type that is being integrated into street lighting. The savings on energy and maintenance costs are massive, which is part of the draw. However, with this type, the light emitted is usually a blue or white-blue color. Aside from occasionally being a bit bright, the bluish tint of the lights can have some negative side effects on local wildlife and humans as well. However, the lowered costs and long durability of around 5-6 years is a big draw.
- Phosphor-Converted Amber LED lights. PCA LEDs, as they are called, are still a relatively new option for LED lights. Having only been on the industrial market for a couple of years, they are still a tad expensive when compared to the standard option. However, they use even less energy and even have color options.
Narrow-Band Amber LED lights. Even newer than the PCA versions, NBA LED streetlights are just on the scene as an option for freeway lighting. This type of light uses an amber color instead of a bright white. The warm golden shade is much more appropriate for many highways that are in areas surrounded by nature and wildlife since they won’t disrupt these animals at all. Because they are so new, though, they are still quite expensive.