Why LED Traffic Signs Are Spreading Across America

LED traffic signs are among the most brilliant inventions to gain widespread adoption on roads and highways in the past few decades. Not only do LED lights shine much brighter than traditional traffic lights, they last longer and use less energy. A major reason local governments have embraced LEDs has been cost savings over time.

Making Economic Sense

It's common for cities and towns to have tight budgets for traffic control equipment, although there's no getting away from federal regulations. That's why LED technology has gained favor in many major cities across America and around the world for traffic lights. While traditional incandescent bulbs may last 1,000 hours and halogen bulbs last twice as long, LEDs have an average lifespan of 80,000 to 100,000 hours.

That means these modern lights can be installed without replacing for perhaps years. They also do not require much maintenance, leading to further savings. Installing LEDs can lead to overall 75 percent or more savings, making them much more attractive to local governments than traditional alternatives. Not only do LEDs consume less energy, they are able to operate on lower voltage.

The trend toward major cities adopting LEDs this century has been unstoppable. Phoenix, for example, announced in December 2010 plans to convert its entire traffic signal system to LED lamps within the next year. With over 850 intersections and over 100,000 incandescent lights to replace, it was quite an ambitious project. The plan was to save $600,000 per year. Although the project took several years of testing, culminating in 2020, estimates for energy cost savings rose to $3.5 million per year.

Toward a Brighter Future

A leading pioneer in traffic control systems using LEDs is TraffiCalm, which manufactures a wide range of modern systems with flashing lights. Adding flashing or blinking patterns to LEDs can be easily programmed using the firm's user-friendly controls. Placing several small lights on the outer edge of signs adds an attention-getting effect that alerts drivers.

TraffiCalm has shown that using multiple types of LED traffic signs creates greater cost efficiency and safer neighborhoods. Some of the useful options include Driver Feedback displays that monitor driving speed, curve warning systems with Sequential Chevrons and 'wrong way' signs surrounded by small LEDs.

The Push 2 Cross system includes flashing lights to make drivers aware of pedestrians at crosswalks. The company also makes special signs devoted to residential, HOA and school zone solutions. Other devices that can easily integrate with this MUTCD compliant technology include doppler radar, a proprietary Wi-Fi system and HD resolution IP cameras.

Safer Conditions

Another undeniable advantage to LED traffic signs is that they are safer than traditional solutions in a couple of ways. LEDs do not harm the environment the way older systems like halogen lights do. Furthermore, these newer lights produce zero UV emissions. Additionally, they shine so bright they light up areas at night, creating safer conditions. Due to this brightness, the lights are more visible from a distance.


More and more cities are shifting to LED traffic signs for multiple reasons, such as cost savings, energy efficiency, brightness, durability, eco-friendly qualities and enhanced safety. Contact Zumar at our Arizona, California or Washington location to learn more about LED traffic signs.