Solar traffic lights are fast developing into a worldwide phenomenon, proving themselves to be economical, dependable and completely environmentally positive. With authorities and businesses both under constant pressure to both reduce costs and make decisions with the environment being taken into consideration, it is no surprise that more and more of them are turning to solar technology as a major aspect of their traffic management solutions.
With an efficient system of solar traffic lights in operation, you can be sure of reduced electricity costs and a warmer reception from the environmental lobby. After all, a conventional, old-fashioned set of eight traffic lights has been shown to eat up as much electricity as a typical three-bedroom family home.
One of the associated advantages of installing solar powered traffic lights is that this work can be carried out without the need to dig trenches across road junctions, causing delays in the traffic you are looking to assist. Similarly, little wiring or electrical work needs to be done on site, again minimizing any possible disruption.
Solar traffic lights are useful for short-term traffic problems, such as road works or traffic accidents
Because there is no on-site work to be carried out, the lights can be easily supported on a post, or a trailer – usually by a single person, if necessary- and be operational within minutes of arriving at the scene. Compare this exercise with the logistical nightmares that can occur with traditional temporary traffic lights.
Additionally, traditional traffic lights, being dependent on a supply of electricity, can be rendered useless in a power outage. Solar powered traffic lights, which generate their own electricity, will keep the traffic moving during outages. This also reveals why they are so useful in areas where the mains electricity is not widespread – as they do not depend on it at all.
A further bonus is that it is feasible to convert any traditional, conventional traffic lights that you might have into solar powered units.
Solar traffic lights benefit from the most modern advancements in electronic technology. Like on solar street lamps, the systems are based on photovoltaic (PV), in which a solar panel, situated at the top of the lighting pole, attracts the sunlight and turns it into electrical energy. The voltage coming from the panel is regulated by a solar charger, which then charges a battery. The lighting itself is produced by extra bright Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). In addition to being significantly brighter than conventional bulbs, these LEDs are far longer lasting and extremely energy efficient. The advances in LED technology are among the main reasons for the current rapid development in solar lighting. Solar traffic signs as well are designed with LEDs.
Single, stand-alone solar traffic lights – such as those at temporary road works – will generally employ a timer which regulates the sequence of lights at predetermined intervals. Even these lights can be fitted with radar sensors, however, which can themselves activate the lights. When there are sets of traffic lights, it is customary to link them by radio, thus establishing communication between the different lights. There will be a ‘master’ traffic light which regulates the remainder of the units, being itself connected to a computerized sequencer.
Solar lights represent the future of traffic management systems and are sure to become even more commonplace during the next few years representing, as they do, economic and environmental progress. You could say that, by installing energy efficient solar traffic lights, you are making sure that your traffic lights are always green! More details