Caltrans Approved LED Luminaries and Street Lighting

Decorative LED Lighting Poles in California and Nevada

LED street lighting in California and Nevada is gaining momentum, and we here at Great Basin Lighting are thrilled. We’ve long touted the extra efficiency, low cost, and easy maintenance of LEDs versus incandescent technology.

LED Street LightingNewly approved Caltrans lighting poles are “geared towards improving the overall efficiency of the traffic signal and lighting systems designed and constructed by Caltrans.”

This official California program is singing the praises of the LED lighting paradigm, calling it “safe, energy efficient, [and] low maintenance.”

Why is Caltrans racing to replace incandescents with LEDs?

Here are a few reasons:

  • Incandescent filaments age and fail over time; whereas LEDs have no filaments;
  • Incandescent filaments cool down slowly, and fast on and offs can damage or destroy the filaments; LEDs are capable of fast on and offs;
  • Incandescents consume a lot of energy — not a good thing, given our perennial statewide and national energy crises — whereas LEDs are high efficiency;
  • Incandescents just cost more over the long term. Even though they are cheaper to install, they burn out faster. When you measure the lifetime value, LEDs yield an easy cost advantage;
  • Incandescents have higher maintenance costs, whereas LEDs have lower maintenance;
  • Caltrans’s budget is already stretched, so the movement to an LED paradigm probably couldn’t come soon enough;
  • When an incandescent bulb loses its filament, the signal is no longer invisible; whereas, when an LED goes out, the signal is still visible.

Caltrans approved lighting poles are going up all over the state. For instance:

  • All red colored traffic signals are being retrofitted with red LED modules.
  • Caltrans is also developing solar-powered LEDs, solar-powered highway lighting systems, LED extinguishable message signs and LightPipe Lighting Systems.
  • Per Caltrans: “dramatic advances in technology for LED luminaries broaden the applicability of this type of illumination, creating exciting new options for roadway lighting.”

LEDs do not leach mercury, lead or other dangerous byproducts, and they boost better night visibility, due to the fact that the illumination is more uniform and the colors are better rendered.

These subtle LED outdoor lighting advantages can have “trickle down” effects as well. More visible signage might lead to less confusion on the roadways, which in turn could lead to fewer accidents and injuries, which in turn could reduce burden on the healthcare system.

For help exploring your business’ or municipality’s potential for an LED solution, get in touch with the Great Basin Lighting team today.