Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Time to Change an Led Light? S&T Researchers Design System to Tell

In many of the nation’s traffic lights, light-emitting diodes or LEDs with their brighter light and longer life have replaced standard bulbs.

But knowing when to replace the signal heads has remained a guessing game, says Dr. Suzanna Long, assistant professor of engineering management and systems engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology. That’s because LED traffic lights don’t burn out – they just lose brightness over time.

So Long and other researchers at Missouri S&T, in partnership with the Missouri Department of Transportation, have developed an instrument to measure LED intensity. The laser-guided device allows measurements to be taken from the roadside at night, instead of requiring technicians to physically check traffic lights by using a bucket truck.

Long’s team created the measurement tool while working to provide MoDOT with a data-driven replacement schedule for LEDs, which have been widely adopted for use in sustainable traffic signal management.

“The majority of agencies replace LED signals on a spot basis when they receive a complaint,” she says. “The maintenance costs associated with sending a crew out to replace a single LED are very high. Our methodology provides a more cost-effective mechanism for determining replacement and allows agencies to meet goals of being good stewards of public money.”

Long says in addition to addressing individual complaints about brightness, transportation officials have used a generic replacement schedule based on the manufacturers’ warranties, usually six years. But since life expectancy of LEDs varies by intersection and the basic science of LED components, that’s not the most cost-effective schedule.

Results of this study, named one of the 2012 “Sweet 16” High Value Research Projects by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, appears in the Engineering Management Journal’s special issue on transportation management this month.

The team plans to extend the previous data and collect data from the same LED traffic indicators in the coming years to improve the reliability and accuracy of their results. Working with Long on the project at Missouri S&T are Dr. Mariesa Crow, the Fred W. Finley Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering; Dr. Abhijit Gosavi and Dr. Ruwen Qin, assistant professors engineering management and systems engineering; and Dr. C.H. Wu, professor of electrical and computer engineering.

Contact: Missouri S&T Public Relations, 573-341-4328,

Mindy Limback | Newswise Science News
Further information:

More articles from Transportation and Logistics:

nachricht Bremen University students reach the final at robotics competition with parcel delivery robot
19.10.2016 | BIBA - Bremer Institut für Produktion und Logistik

nachricht Discovering electric mobility in a playful way
18.08.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

All articles from Transportation and Logistics >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

Fluorescent holography: Upending the world of biological imaging

25.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Etching Microstructures with Lasers

25.10.2016 | Process Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>