Cheaper but Brighter
by: Pat Hernandez, October 21, 2009 9:10:21 pm
LED technology is increasingly being used in traffic and signal lights, and since Houston is being touted as a green city, the changeover from incandescent lights was a no brainer. Mayor Bill White says the energy savings were almost immediate.
"It turns out that there's been a 74-percent decrease in the amount of electricity that's used at the intersections. We sampled 127 of the intersections, a 74-percent decrease. That means that for every four kilowatts they used to use, now they use a kilowatt, in the amount of electricity that's used at the intersections."
Each light emitting diode — or LED — is about the size of a pencil eraser. Even if you put hundreds of them together, the LEDs are brighter, longer lasting, and Mayor White calls the energy savings huge.
"We found that there's about a 48-thousand dollar savings per intersection, so on an annualized basis, the savings from the reduced electricity bills alone — it's almost 1.7-million. So, for this reason public works in total, estimates that there's about a 2.7-million annual savings."
Mayor White says the investment made will be paid back to taxpayers in 5-years. White adds that's money that can be spent on other things.
PH, KUHF-Houston Public Radio News.