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Downtown traffic signals converted to LEDs

The intersection of M-24 and Burdick St. is now regulated by longer-lasting, more energy efficient LED lights. Take that Thomas Edison! Photo by C.J. Carnacchio. (click for larger version)
July 14, 2010 - Oxford Village's intersection of M-24 and Burdick St. received a technological upgrade last week courtesy of the Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC).

Workers and their trusty orange bucket trucks were out converting the intersection's traffic signals from traditional incandescent bulbs to more efficient light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

"It's part of our standard, on-going signal update process,' said RCOC Spokesman Craig Bryson. "For about 10 years now, we've been going around and gradually replacing all of our traffic signal bulbs with LED bulbs."

The benefits of LED lighting are quite illuminating.

"They last a whole lot longer than traditional bulbs," Bryon said. "Historically, we would go out and replace all of the traditional incandescent bulbs in our signals every one-to-two years. With these, we're on about a seven-to-10-year replacement cycle."

Not only does this save money, it also helps protect motorists and pedestrians.

"From a safety point of view, they're much less likely to go out for a longer (period of) time, so there's less likelihood of having a burned-out traffic signal," Bryson said.

Another benefit, according to Bryson, is the fact that while traditional bulbs use about 135 watts each, LEDs utilize anywhere from 11-22 watts per bulb.

"They significantly cut down on our electricity bills because they use a whole lot less electricity," he said.

Because M-24 is a state trunkline, the Michigan Department of Transportation pays for the LED conversion, according to Bryson.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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