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New Lights Signal Decreased Spending

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Bryan and College Station change out traffic signal light bulbs on a regular basis, but a new, more cost-efficient way to direct traffic is moving into the area.

Light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, are being installed at intersections in both cities, replacing the traditional bulbs.

According to College Station Traffic Systems Supervisor Lee Robinson, the technology has been around a while, but not at the right price.

"Ten years ago, we looked at LED technology," Robinson, "and at the same time, it wasn't perfected and the costs were just more than we could budget. And as time went, more and more came out, so we decided to make the transition."

In addition to the intersection of Holleman and George Bush East which you saw earlier, FM 2818 and Texas Avenue has seen a change in lights.

According to Robinson, it cost $120 each month to power the incandescent bulbs at the intersection before the change, but now with the energy-efficient LEDs, that cost has dropped to $75 a month.

Just a handful of the 60 lighted intersections in the city have been fully installed with LEDs, and more are on the way over the next couple of years.

With the lower wattage usage, as well as less maintenance required, College Station hopes to save hundreds of thousands of dollars yearly.

"You figure 365 days a year of operation times the savings," said Robinson, "that's quite a bit of savings."

Bryan officials also said they're slowly transitioning to the LEDs. Another benefit of the new lights: unlike the current bulbs which go out without warning after around 18 months, the brighter LEDs slowly dim when their five-year lifespan is running out.