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Summary and Conclusions

Based on the results of this survey, we surmise that the two most important barriers to the more widespread use of LED traffic signals are:

  • the high initial cost of LED signals and uncertainty of LED technology "paying for itself"
  • questions about the performance of LED signals in actual installations

Respondents agree that LED traffic signals are expensive. Most of the municipalities in California that have used them received some form of rebate or other financial assistance from local utilities or other organizations. Several of those communities which have not installed LEDs specifically stated that the lack of such funding was a barrier. Nonetheless, many municipalities were willing to install LED signals without depending upon rebates to do so.

Reasons for this willingness to use LED traffic signals may be related to the second barrier that was identified: the lack of objective information about the performance of LED traffic signals. In fact, while over 19% of respondents stated that they were happy with the performance of LEDs in their own communities in an open question at the end of the survey, another 16%, almost the same number, stated that they were sometimes suspicious of claims made by vendors or manufacturers. Yet another 16% stated that they simply would like more data and information to help them make informed decisions.

If more organizations had access to such information, perhaps fewer would choose to rely so heavily upon rebates or other kinds of assistance. It might still be beneficial, however, to structure financial assistance programs in the form of loans, which are repayed to the lender, in order to encourage the use of LED traffic signals. Such an approach may also have the effect of helping a municipality feel less "out on a limb" when making decisions. An approach combining these strategies could be beneficial, especially in the short term

Survey and Results
1. Survey Questionnaire
2. List of Municipalities Surveyed
3. Market Snapshot
4. Specification and Purchasing
5. Technical Issues
6. Potential Market Activities
7. Summary and Conclusion
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