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Are LED Traffic Lights Safe in Winter?

LED traffic signals are great alternative to traditional incandescent signals.

Energy Saving

use 80 to 90 percent less energy
and
last 5 to 10 times longer

Maintenance Cost
Saving

increased replacement interval
due to
extended lifetime

Enhanced Safety

brighter
and
unlikely to fail all at once

However, LED traffic signals cannot melt snow!

One of the great advantages of LED traffic signals is that they do not waste energy by producing heat. The surface temperature of LED traffic signals only mark between 10 to 20 °C (50 to 68 °F), while incandescent lamps hover near 45 °C (113 °F).

This advantage, however, acted adversely in some snowy scenarios as the LED traffic signals were unable to melt away accumulated snow.

led traffic signals
  • Regular LED traffic signals covered with snow
  • T-Bone Crash at Site of Snow-Covered Traffic Signal

Call for New Technology

The Unexpected, Potentially Deadly Winter Problem of LED Signal

Snow-covered traffic signals pose great safety threat to motorist and pedestrian. They cannot navigate safely when LED traffic lights are obscured by snow. Numerous accidents have been reported in North America.

Most cities resolved to manually clean off the snow, posing safety hazards to work crews as well. Also, snow removal job requires additional cost. → Labor intensive, time consuming and waste of budget.

Numerous attempts have been made worldwide to solve the shortcoming of LED traffic lights.
They include changing the shapes of the lenses, attaching additional covers, and applying special surface coatings. But none of them has provided definitive solution so far.

Driver blames snow clogged LED traffic light for crash in Cleveland

LED Traffic Lights Getting Bogged Down By Snow

Winter Hazard :
Snow-Covered Traffic Lights

Full article

LED Signals Seen as
Potential Hazard

Full article

LED traffic lights trouble in winter
because they don't melt snow

Full article

Snowy traffic light
blamed for three-way crash
involving school bus

Full article

Energy-saving traffic lights
blamed in crashes

Full article

Energy-efficient Traffic Lights
Can't Melt Snow

Full article

Stoplights' Unusual, Potentially
Deadly Winter Problem

Full article

Where's the solution
for LED traffic signals
that can't melt snow

Full article

Cold light: New LED lights
don't melt snow, so city
crews out clearing traffic signals

Full article

Traffic lights covered?
Storm shows LEDs can't melt
snow, ice covering them

Full article

MeltSmartTM, the Solution

Key Features of the MeltSmartTM

Smart Sensors

  • Multiple photoelectric and thermal sensors are embedded in the module.
  • With minimal electricity (0.1W), the sensors detect the snow attached to the surface of the lenses and automatically set the heating element in motion.
  • Then, by constantly analyzing the condition of the surroundings, the sensors control the power of the heating element (20W ~ 60W) so that only needed amount of power is used to melt the snow. → high energy efficiency maintained
  • To avoid any false operation, CdS (Cadmium Sulfide) sensor is installed to adjust the sensitivity of sensors during day/night.

Patented Heating Element

  • Nichrome heating wire is securely embedded in the polycarbonate lenses of the lamps.
  • Receiving the signals from the smart sensors, the heating element increases and adjusts the surface temperature of the lenses until the snow completely melts away.
  • With patented technology, the heating element does not cause any deformation or discoloration of the lens and guarantees the same level of brightness over the time.

Smart Sensors and Heating Element
embedded in MeltSmartTM

MeltSmartTM in Action
seen through thermal camera

How MeltSmartTM Works

Smart and Automatic Snow Removal

All Weather Performance of MeltSmartTM LED Signals

Left two: MeltSmartTM LED signals
Right two: regular LED signals

Left: MeltSmartTM LED signal
Right: regular LED signal

regular LED signalsvsMeltSmartTM LED signals

MeltSmartTM, the Smart Choice

Proven Technology Ready to Apply

  • ITE, CSA and UL Approved
  • Compatible with existing traffic signals and controllers → Retrofit possible
  • Extensive field experience
    - Actual installations in live intersections of more than 2000 sets
    - No deficiencies, errors or issues reported over 7+ years

Effective and Safe Solution

  • Due to strong and immediate melting power, MeltSmartTM is clearly visible all the time. (comparison with regular signals →)
  • With patented temperature control feature, deformation or discoloration of lens is prevented.
  • MeltSmartTM contributes to avoid traffic accidents and possible loss of life.
Efficient and Cost Saving
  • Smart, Error-proof configuration → With the dual action of photo and thermal sensors, the MeltSmartTM works only when it is needed. This guarantees economic usage of electricity.
  • By avoiding possible traffic disturbance and accidents caused by invisible traffic signals in the snow, huge cost is saved.
  • With MeltSmartTM LED traffic signals, there is less need to send out crews for emergency snow removal which contributes to potential liability savings. Also, this allows maintenance staff to focus on other projects and lowers the cost to state and local government.
MeltSmartTM Traffic Signals showing strong melting power in heavy snow.

Specifications

The World First Proven Snow-Melting LED Traffic Signals
with Outstanding Performance and Reliability

Operating Specifications

Mechanical Outlines
Dimensions in inches [mm]