Put this one in the “didn’t see that coming” bin. Virtually everywhere you drive these days chances are you will see one or more LED traffic lights at important intersections. They’re the ones that look like a pattern of bright dots.
Cities around the country have installed these new traffic lights for several very good reasons. They are very energy-efficient using about 90% less energy than their incandescent counterparts and, more importantly, they last tens of thousands of hours, thus saving municipalities a bundle in maintenance costs.
Wisconsin, for example, which has put LED traffic lights at hundreds of intersections, saves about $750,000 per year in energy costs. LEDs installed seven years ago are still burning, while most incandescent bulbs have to be replaced every 12 to 18 months.