Brazilian traffic lights turn green
April 1, 2008 Many of us are being encouraged to make the switch from power-hungry incandescent lights to more eco-friendly illumination technologies like LEDs. In proof that this simple process yields big results, a Brazilian project which saw all of the incandescent-based traffic lights in a Sao Paolo suburb replaced with LUXEON LED-based lamps has delivered estimated energy savings of USD$240,000 and reduced municipal energy consumption by 1340 megawatt hours per year.
Power distributor Bandeirante Energia S.A has been recognized for its efforts by the Brazilian government, receiving a Rational Use and Energy Conservation National Award - an annual award that recognizes initiatives to reduce the use of electric energy and/or oil or natural gas derivatives in favor of renewable sources.
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The new traffic lights in Guarulhos, which has a population of nearly 1.3 million, are saving the equivalent amount of power it would take to supply 558 average Brazilian households. The project saw more than 5,000 conventional bulbs in 2,059 vehicular and pedestrian traffic lights replaced with 10W LUXEON-LEDs which utilize one-sixth the energy, last up to 10 times longer therefore and require less maintenance.
Manufactured by Meng Engenharia Ltda, a Brazilian company specializing in signaling projects, the lamp was designed to replicate the basic shape and radiation pattern of a traditional traffic head, using seven LUXEON I LEDs and a built-in power supply per bulb as well as a standard screw-in bulb base.
The project cost approximately USD$750,000 and paid for itself in 12 months through a combination of energy savings and maintenance reductions made possible by long LED life.