Energy-saving LED traffic lights come to UK

A UK electronic lighting specialist will install its first energy-saving LED traffic lights in London next week after receiving clearance to operate in the domestic market.

LED lights use about 10 per cent of the power of conventional traffic signals. They also last for up to 10 years, according to Cambridge-based Roxboro, which has already installed a million LED signals in the US.

This reduces the servicing costs and disruption to traffic flow caused when an old-style bulb fails.

The signals, developed by Dialight (Roxboro’s US subsidiary), use indium-based LED technology and a patented lens system which the company claims doubles the efficiency of the light emitter.

The lights also have the advantage of being able to withstand higher levels of heat and vibration than conventional lighting systems.

The use of the system for traffic signals developed out of earlier applications providing lighting displays on industrial products.

Harry Tee, Roxboro’s chief executive, said demand for LED lighting systems across the Atlantic was fuelled by heightened awareness of the need to save power following the energy shortages that crippled areas of California in 2000.

‘The momentum in the US started to ramp up very rapidly, and we believe the same will happen in Europe, which is several years behind,’ said Tee.

Roxboro claimed importing its US traffic signals technology will boost the roll-out of LED-based systems in the UK. The domestic market has so far been limited mainly to Birmingham-based Traffic Signals UK.

The company will enter the UK and European markets via its acquisition of Garufo, a German LED specialist that has already secured government approval to operate here.

As well as upgrading thousands of traffic signals Roxboro plans a range of further applications, including airport runways, warning beacons on tall buildings and high-visibility signage.

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