Cheaper but Brighter

No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you. More than half of Houston's signaled traffic intersections have been retrofitted with LED lights. Mayor Bill White says the changeover is already paying off in significant savings for the city. Pat Hernandez has the story.

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.

Bio photo of Pat Hernandez

Pat Hernandez

Reporter

Pat Hernandez is a general assignments reporter who joined the KUHF news staff in February of 2008...