There is no doubt that LED has come up as a great improvement over the existing incandescent lamps. They prove to be a much better option when it comes to energy efficiency, long life and performance. They promise to be a great replacement for the current traffic warning signals using incandescent lamps of halogen lamps. However, it is important to consider the limitation of LED in the snowy environment before implementing them in traffic signals. There are already a few incidents already suspected where the drivers could not see the traffic lights as they got covered with snow and eventually crashed into the tree or other objects. Thus, it becomes extremely important to find out the solution to this problem before installing them in cities where snow storms are common.
In the case of snow, the biggest advantage of a LED traffic signal light becomes the most serious disadvantage indirectly. Incandescent lamps utilize about 20% of the energy in producing visible light while the remaining is dissipated in the form of heat. When the traffic signals get covered with snow, it is this extra heat that helps in melting the snow and letting the drivers have a clear view of the warning displays. In case of LED traffic warning light, more than 95% of the input electrical energy is utilized in producing the visible light and thus the production of heat is almost negligible. Considering the fact that LED lights require lesser energy, the comparative heat production becomes even lesser.
In case of traditional incandescent lamp traffic warning signals, there was never a scenario where the traffic control department would need to send a team to clear off the snow that covered the traffic warning signals. However, it has indeed appeared as a problem with the use of LED in at least a few parts of the world.
Manufacturing companies that produce LED for traffic signals are working on the solutions to the problems. Some companies have come up with heated light covers over the light lights that can melt the snow covering the traffic warning sign. The problem with this solution is that it will easily take away the main advantage of energy efficiency from the implementation of LED in traffic warning lights. Thus, there will be no point in replacing incandescent lamps with the LED lights. There is a need to find better solutions that can be practically implemented without needing a lot of investment.