Kentucky Transportation Cabinet completes LED Signal Upgrades Throughout the Commonwealth
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has successfully completed the LED signal upgrades throughout the Commonwealth. These upgrades will generate projected savings of more than $3.2 million a year to the taxpayers of Kentucky and a dramatic decrease the amount of electricity consumed by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
“This is one of many projects in the Transportation Cabinet’s efforts to become more efficient and cost effective,” acting Transportation Secretary Bill Nighbert said. “Kentucky joins Delaware as the only states to use LED modules in all their traffic signals, school flashers and flashing beacons.”
To reduce operational cost and improve efficiency and safety for motorists and employees, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) partnered with the Finance and Administration Cabinet’s Division of Contracting and Engineering to secure an Energy Savings Performance Contract to retrofit every traffic signal, flashing beacon and school flasher on state-maintained routes with GELcore* Light Emitting Diode (LED) modules. The contract allowed KYTC to make upgrades with no capital expenditures by financing the funds necessary to complete this project. Payback for the financed funds will be made within the first four years from the energy cost savings
The older, incandescent traffic signal bulbs burned 168 watts of energy per bulb each time they were illuminated. In comparison, the new LED modules burn between 6 and 20 watts of energy per module. LED modules will reduce yearly energy consumption at signalized intersections by 80 to 90 percent compared to the current standard traffic signal bulb, resulting in a savings of about $1.7 million per year. Energy use statewide will drop approximately 30,000,000 kilowatt hours every year – enough energy to power approximately 3,000 Kentucky homes. The reduction in energy use is the equivalent of planting 9,280 trees every year or removing more than 4,000 cars from the road every year.
In addition to the energy used by the old traffic lights, the average life of the old incandescent bulbs was only between 10 and 11 months. The LED’s life expectancy is 8 to 10 years, which will result in a savings of more than $1.5 million per year in salaries and equipment needed to replace the burned-out bulbs. This will generate additional savings as crews spend their time taking a more proactive approach to preventative maintenance.
With the installation of LED modules, motorists will benefit from improved traffic flow resulting from reduced lane closures caused by KYTC personnel and maintenance contractors changing burned-out bulbs. This will also improve safety and working conditions for KYTC personnel and maintenance contractors. In addition, the increased visibility of the LED modules will allow motorist to better recognize the traffic signal at greater distances and in adverse weather conditions.