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LED TRAFFIC SIGNALS The City of Spokane Valley is working to replace many of its incandescent traffic signal bulbs with LED lamps that are brighter, last longer and save energy. Benefits associated with using LEDs in traffic signals versus incandescent bulbs are as follows: 1. Saves energy. An LED lamp uses less energy than an incandescent bulb which in turn saves money. Converting from incandescent bulbs to LED lamps can lower energy use anywhere from 20 to 60% depending on the intersection. 2. Longer life. LED lamps last longer than incandescent bulbs. The average life span of an LED lamp is approximately ten years versus the life of an incandescent bulb which is approximately one year. Because the LED lamps are replaced less frequently, maintenance and replacement costs are significantly reduced. 3. Brighter light. LED lamps are much brighter than the incandescent bulbs. The LED traffic signals are bright and clear in various conditions including through the glare of the sun, which provides a safer trip for drivers. Spokane County replaced many of the red incandescent traffic signal bulbs prior to city incorporation. In an effort to continue the program, the City of Spokane Valley began converting the green and remaining red bulbs in October of 2007. Since then, 49 of our 85 intersections have been retrofitted with LEDs and the City plans to retrofit additional intersections in 2009. Previously, the City spent approximately $71 per intersection every month on energy. After the conversion to LEDs, the city spends an average of $43 per month on energy. That’s an average energy savings of 40%. Additionally, companies such as Avista Utilities and Vera Water and Power offer substantial rebates for replacing incandescent traffic signal bulbs with LEDs. In 2007 alone, the City of Spokane Valley received $10,890 in rebates, which lowered initial equipment costs by 33%. For 2008, the City expects to receive an added $12,500 in rebates. With an initial cost of approximately $50 per lamp after the rebate, City engineers believe that the lamps will pay for themselves in a few years.
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