Taiwan Switching to LED Traffic Lights
We talked about a possible energy-saving light bulb under development a couple of weeks ago. Of course, there are already highly efficient alternatives to standard light bulbs, depending on the use case. Compact fluorescents, for example, are a good way to cut costs on exterior illumination, or lighting areas such as garages, workshops, unfinished basements...some people are even swapping them out in their living rooms and bedrooms.
Another good alternative is the LED. And it looks like the folks in Taiwan have found a good use case for it:
Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) has budgeted NT$229 million (US$7.0 million) for the next three years starting in 2008 to change the traffic lights in all counties and cities in Taiwan to LED-based ones, according to the Chinese-language Central News Agency (CNA).
Taiwan's Bureau of Energy, under the MOEA, said Taiwan now has 350,000 traffic lights using LEDs as a lighting source, with the remaining 420,000 traffic lights to also use LED lighting in the next three years for a total savings in power consumption estimated to be 85%, CNA said.
After switching traffic signals to LEDs, MOEA will launch a NT$130 million plan to change street lamps at specific roads or areas to LED-based ones, CNA indicated.
I've been wondering when we would hear more about expanded uses for LEDs. They must be good for something besides panels on electronics devices and Christmas ornaments. Traffic lights may be a good start.