Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Everything Is A Trade-Off

Cities around the country are finding out their energy saving LED traffic lights (which use up to 90% less energy than the conventional incandescent type) are not producing enough heat to keep them sufficiently thawed during winter months. As a result, they are crusting over and becoming invisible. This oversight is implicated in many accidents and at least one death! What to do?

Well, how about installing heaters on the lights to prevent this from happening*? Of course this will bump up energy usage thus making the environmental impact of the switch futile. Though they do look pretty cool, I don't think that was a consideration in their implementation.

On the other hand, they could employ crews to thaw them out, making any sort of cost saving benefit futile once again.

It just goes to show, although we strive to do things with the utmost of honorable intentions, we mustn't forget that good intentions have a way of going horribly awry. Alas, everything is a trade-off!

*A client of mine had a most sensible about cities in, say, Minnesota trading their LEDs with cities in Florida that have not yet upgraded from conventional types?

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