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(CBC)   Maybe we don't want to replace -all- the traffic signals with LEDs, especially not where it snows   ( cbc.ca) divider line
    More: Facepalm, Traffic light, traffic signal bulbs, LED bulbs, Traffic signal lights, storm to-do list, new LED bulbs, corporate communications David, red light  
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5362 clicks; posted to Geek » on 05 Nov 2017 at 5:27 PM (32 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2017-11-05 03:34:33 PM  
I'm going to start designing lights with built in high amperage heating units augmented with glycol dispensing spray bars. Sure, it'll cost a lot but it's for your safety.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2017-11-05 03:46:40 PM  
The United States discovered this years ago.
 
2017-11-05 03:56:55 PM  

ZAZ: The United States discovered this years ago.


Mercedes designed their tail lights with stepped lenses to avoid this problem back in the late 70s.

img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-11-05 04:18:21 PM  

edmo: I'm going to start designing lights with built in high amperage heating units augmented with glycol dispensing spray bars. Sure, it'll cost a lot but it's for your safety.


It would still be pretty easy to put heaters on that are more efficient than old school lamps.

I mean, they emitted heat all the time, as a side-effect of the light they produce. Put a heater on the LEDs with a thermostat that only comes on at low temperatures. Still going to use less energy than a traditional incandescent, as it will only run hot when it's cold.
 
2017-11-05 04:42:40 PM  

iron de havilland: Still going to use less energy than a traditional incandescent, as it will only run hot when it's cold.


Well, that would assist the...

(•_•) / ( •_•)>⌐■-■ / (⌐■_■)

General Public
General Public - Hot You're Cool
Youtube XBczzt9iwNE
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2017-11-05 04:44:08 PM  
Simply angling the lens would take care of the problem.
 
2017-11-05 05:01:44 PM  
It only needs to get to above 32F to melt.  Put a heater keep the snow off and you only need it for part of the year.
 
2017-11-05 05:12:13 PM  

vpb: Simply angling the lens would take care of the problem.


Blizzard-force winds would beg to disagree.
 
2017-11-05 05:41:45 PM  
This is what happens when you save electricity.
 
2017-11-05 05:42:01 PM  
i.cbc.caView Full Size


This is what Canadians look like in 2017... sigh...
 
2017-11-05 05:44:33 PM  

derpes_simplex: ZAZ: The United States discovered this years ago.

Mercedes designed their tail lights with stepped lenses to avoid this problem back in the late 70s.

[img.fark.net image 850x729]

Pretty sure I've been seeing something similar in LED traffic lights in the north.
 
2017-11-05 05:49:04 PM  
Must be that time of year again.
 
2017-11-05 05:51:42 PM  

Thong_of_Zardoz: [i.cbc.ca image 780x439]

This is what Canadians look like in 2017... sigh...


Firstly, that pic is from a 2013 article. Secondly, it's PEI.
 
2017-11-05 05:52:41 PM  
Adding heating elements is relatively trivial.  At the factory, they could also add a hydrophopic nano-texture to the lenses, to shed water, ice, and snow.
 
2017-11-05 05:55:01 PM  

Bedstead Polisher: Thong_of_Zardoz: [i.cbc.ca image 780x439]

This is what Canadians look like in 2017... sigh...

Firstly, that pic is from a 2013 article. Secondly, it's PEI.


If you look at that picture long enough, you can actually hear Kim Mitchell and Honeymoon Suite playing in the background.
 
2017-11-05 05:59:29 PM  

MissedThePoint: This is what happens when you save electricity.


Can I use my dishwasher to clean some coal? 🤔
 
2017-11-05 06:04:25 PM  
1910 Fruitgum Co 1- 2- 3 Red Light (1968)
Youtube ACHBnbktFJs
 
2017-11-05 06:22:02 PM  

Any Pie Left: Adding heating elements is relatively trivial.  At the factory, they could also add a hydrophopic nano-texture to the lenses, to shed water, ice, and snow.


Wouldn't that make the heating element redundant? It would probably require maintenance by the city, but if they make them as durable as a car's rear window defroster, all they would have to do is cycle the heating elements on and off every half hour to maintain visual clarity.
 
2017-11-05 06:24:49 PM  

iron de havilland: MissedThePoint: This is what happens when you save electricity.

Can I use my dishwasher to clean some coal? 🤔


It may deodorize your dishwasher
 
2017-11-05 07:03:27 PM  
2009 called and asked for it's long solved problem back.
 
2017-11-05 07:20:04 PM  
Are the lights in canada not designed with precipitation shrouds for some reason?

I mean, heating elements aren't necessarily a bad idea, they're a lot more power-efficient than using the heat from filament bulbs and it's not a huge expense to just have someone go around the city twice a year to turn them all on in September and off in April or whenever if you're worried about the drain.  But... come on, man, putting the equivalent of a metal umbrella over each light is literally how the housings for the old-school bulbs are already designed, just use the old housings.

// Because ice expansion literally shatters gas-stabilized bulbs like the old incandescents, what moron thinks that they don't have icing issues?
 
2017-11-05 07:39:54 PM  

Jim_Callahan: Are the lights in canada not designed with precipitation shrouds for some reason?


If anything, the shrouds make the problem worse...

img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-11-05 07:54:22 PM  
CSX uses 12V incandescent bulbs in signals..  won't go to LED for this reason...  also, all signals are considered red if they are dark....
 
2017-11-05 07:56:58 PM  
This problem has a very simple, inexpensive solution: heating tapes. They are available everywhere it snows and, in bulk, probably wouldn't cost more than $15 per fixture.

plus $1450 for union labor to install
 
2017-11-05 08:01:42 PM  

iron de havilland: It would still be pretty easy to put heaters on that are more efficient than old school lamps.


That's what some jurisdictions have done.  You only need to run the heaters a few days out of the year.  Meanwhile, incandescent lamps suck more juice all the time.  So even with the extra parts cost for the heaters, it is cheaper to use them with LED lamps than to stick with incandescent lamps over the life of the traffic light.  The savings from the longer MTBF for LED lamps is just extra.
 
2017-11-05 08:08:07 PM  
This isn't news for like the last decade.
 
2017-11-05 08:54:49 PM  

iron de havilland: edmo: I'm going to start designing lights with built in high amperage heating units augmented with glycol dispensing spray bars. Sure, it'll cost a lot but it's for your safety.

It would still be pretty easy to put heaters on that are more efficient than old school lamps.

I mean, they emitted heat all the time, as a side-effect of the light they produce. Put a heater on the LEDs with a thermostat that only comes on at low temperatures. Still going to use less energy than a traditional incandescent, as it will only run hot when it's cold.


They already have them. The heating coils turn on any time ice or snow start to accumulate in the lens. Doesn't add much to the cost, and since they only operate when needed, the lights are still far more efficient than the old ones.
 
2017-11-05 08:55:38 PM  

vpb: Simply angling the lens would take care of the problem.


Unless sticky snow falls sideways into them.
 
2017-11-05 08:59:00 PM  
They could put a ring of red lights around the visors. They could do that with clear plastic ring. I've wondered why they don't have a simply battery circuit that flashes one red LED when the power is out. Many people don't seem to notice unlit traffic lights.
 
2017-11-05 09:43:31 PM  
And hell, if only idiots remembered if you can't confirm a traffic light, you FARKING STOP THE DAMNED CAR.

Can't see a red light OR the other colors? IT'S NOW A FOUR WAY STOP YOU WINDOW LICKING MOUTH BREATHER. You don't get to assume "Well, I can't see a red light, therefore I will continue on my merry way, la dee dah."
 
2017-11-06 03:53:33 AM  
This is what happens when you cheap out in the short term and ignore the long term.

LEDs are great drop in replacements, they're even better when they get something designed for them. It may cost a little more in the beginning but then you avoid issues like this.
 
2017-11-06 05:03:27 AM  
I appreciate the article pointing out that intersections with no viable lights are to be treated as a 4 way stop. Because damn no on in VA seems to know that. Last major hurricane, a lot of the lights were out for a few days, and the city suddenly turned into the goddamn thunderdome. People acted like an absence of traffic conto meant there was no longer a system of laws. Not only did they not stop, they actively speed up to keep other people from going.
I came to a stop, and some farker behind me in a huge pick up layed into his horn as he swerved around me with his tires screeching and flipping the bird. Saw many times where two assholes almost t-boned each other because everyone just barrels through the damn intersection.
 
2017-11-06 05:13:11 AM  

iron de havilland: I mean, they emitted heat all the time, as a side-effect of the light they produce.


Technically speaking, light is the side effect from producing heat.
 
2017-11-06 05:33:37 AM  

Jim_Callahan: Are the lights in canada not designed with precipitation shrouds for some reason?


I always though those were to block glare from the sun and make the lights easier to see.
 
2017-11-06 06:41:21 AM  
You see the same article every year. Haven't they learned from the last 5+ years?
 
2017-11-06 06:54:00 AM  

Thong_of_Zardoz: [i.cbc.ca image 780x439]

This is what Canadians look like in 2017... sigh...


This week on " Fur Collar or Mullet"
 
2017-11-06 07:47:31 AM  

dyhchong: This is what happens when you cheap out in the short term and ignore the long term.

LEDs are great drop in replacements, they're even better when they get something designed for them. It may cost a little more in the beginning but then you avoid issues like this.


This.

The problem isn't that LEDs don't produce heat, sure they produce less as they are more efficient at transforming electricity into light, it's just that the heat is produced in a different area, and doesn't radiate with the light source itself.

They usually have a heatsink, but it's behind the light emitting bit.  Sure it won't get as hot a an incandescent bulb, but there is still heat there, they just have to redesign the bulb carrier with the heat sink in the right place.
 
2017-11-06 08:10:15 AM  
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-11-06 08:34:49 AM  

akula: And hell, if only idiots remembered if you can't confirm a traffic light, you FARKING STOP THE DAMNED CAR.

Can't see a red light OR the other colors? IT'S NOW A FOUR WAY STOP YOU WINDOW LICKING MOUTH BREATHER. You don't get to assume "Well, I can't see a red light, therefore I will continue on my merry way, la dee dah."


That's all well and good, except that not all the lights will get covered at the same rate. With drifting snow, the build-up will vary with wind direction. I can picture the lights for one street being covered while the lights for the cross-street are still visible. Bad news.

The good news: devices to turn electricity into heat are really cheap and reliable. And it's not even that hard to turn them on and off as needed.
 
2017-11-06 09:25:19 AM  

Skyfrog: Jim_Callahan: Are the lights in canada not designed with precipitation shrouds for some reason?

I always though those were to block glare from the sun and make the lights easier to see.


They are.
 
2017-11-06 11:20:21 AM  

iron de havilland: It would still be pretty easy to put heaters on that are more efficient than old school lamps.

I mean, they emitted heat all the time, as a side-effect of the light they produce. Put a heater on the LEDs with a thermostat that only comes on at low temperatures. Still going to use less energy than a traditional incandescent, as it will only run hot when it's cold.


You don't even need that.  Put the heater in there but connect it to a photosensor, not a thermostat.  There's no need to run the heater when it's cold, the heater is needed when there's snow.  The photosensor notes how much the ambient light changes when the light turns on.  A calibration chart is prepared when the weather is warm (this could be done automatically).  If you get too much light reflected back there's some snow in there, turn the heater on.  The same electronics could also be used to note that the light had failed.  Put some sort of communications device in there and let it phone home.
 
2017-11-06 11:43:30 AM  

MythDragon: I appreciate the article pointing out that intersections with no viable lights are to be treated as a 4 way stop. Because damn no on in VA seems to know that. Last major hurricane, a lot of the lights were out for a few days, and the city suddenly turned into the goddamn thunderdome. People acted like an absence of traffic conto meant there was no longer a system of laws. Not only did they not stop, they actively speed up to keep other people from going.
I came to a stop, and some farker behind me in a huge pick up layed into his horn as he swerved around me with his tires screeching and flipping the bird. Saw many times where two assholes almost t-boned each other because everyone just barrels through the damn intersection.


The trouble happens when the light has gone out because of horrible weather, and it's in a location and at a time where cross traffic is virtually nil.

I've got one stretch of three lights on a downhill stretch near me, all of which are connected to shopping centers where everything's closed after 10pm and doesn't open again, not even for deliveries, until 6am at the earliest. (The signals still turn red every minute. Farked if I know why, but that's another issue.)

So along come the pre-dawn commuters who have to get to work in the ice storm or whatever, and the lights are out. Like hell they're going to stop on an icy road, three times, for nobody, when there's tractor-trailers breathing down their necks.
 
2017-11-06 12:21:11 PM  

OlderGuy: CSX uses 12V incandescent bulbs in signals..  won't go to LED for this reason...  also, all signals are considered red if they are dark....


I have a B&O dwarf CPL - those lights pull some current!

getting drivers to treat an out signal like a red... hahahahaha
 
2017-11-06 12:32:53 PM  

jfarkinB: akula: And hell, if only idiots remembered if you can't confirm a traffic light, you FARKING STOP THE DAMNED CAR.

Can't see a red light OR the other colors? IT'S NOW A FOUR WAY STOP YOU WINDOW LICKING MOUTH BREATHER. You don't get to assume "Well, I can't see a red light, therefore I will continue on my merry way, la dee dah."

That's all well and good, except that not all the lights will get covered at the same rate. With drifting snow, the build-up will vary with wind direction. I can picture the lights for one street being covered while the lights for the cross-street are still visible. Bad news.

The good news: devices to turn electricity into heat are really cheap and reliable. And it's not even that hard to turn them on and off as needed.


Don't even really need devices. A simple  metal strip will turn electricity into heat amazingly well. *Not* turning electricity into heat has been a problem eningeers have been trying to solve for some time.
 
2017-11-06 01:07:02 PM  

Thong_of_Zardoz: [i.cbc.ca image 780x439]
This is what Canadians look like in 2017... sigh...


His next job:

img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-11-06 01:44:38 PM  
I think only the red light would need to be incandescent 
Its really not important if I know if its green, i'll figure it out in a few second, just if I know if i'm going to plow into the side of a school bus that has green
 
2017-11-06 03:27:21 PM  
img.fark.netView Full Size


There, I fixed the problem...That will be one million beaver pelts or whatever you lousy, stinking, francophonic, bacon-loving bastards use as currency.
 
2017-11-06 03:53:12 PM  
LED lights with heater strips on a separate circuit.  LEDs are massive power savers compared to incandescents.  That one drawback to not being able to melt snow has a easy fix.  That, or pay some bum to bush them off with a broom on a long pole.
 
2017-11-06 08:20:46 PM  

iron de havilland: edmo: I'm going to start designing lights with built in high amperage heating units augmented with glycol dispensing spray bars. Sure, it'll cost a lot but it's for your safety.

It would still be pretty easy to put heaters on that are more efficient than old school lamps.

I mean, they emitted heat all the time, as a side-effect of the light they produce. Put a heater on the LEDs with a thermostat that only comes on at low temperatures. Still going to use less energy than a traditional incandescent, as it will only run hot when it's cold.


And you've also tripled the complexity of the entire works, massively decreasing the mean time to failure and introducing two whole categories of new malfunctions that simply were not possible before.  And thrown away half or more of the engergy savings of the LEDs in the first place, significantly increasing the number of years until the replacement cost pays for itself.

If you want to split the difference, fund an R&D program to develop a bulb that heats up just enough, and/or the most optimally efficient casing design to transfer exactly enough heat to keep the casing and lenses just above freezing.  But that smacks of work, so just slap a thermostat and a heating coil in there...
 
2017-11-06 08:43:44 PM  

TheOtherGuy: iron de havilland: edmo: I'm going to start designing lights with built in high amperage heating units augmented with glycol dispensing spray bars. Sure, it'll cost a lot but it's for your safety.

It would still be pretty easy to put heaters on that are more efficient than old school lamps.

I mean, they emitted heat all the time, as a side-effect of the light they produce. Put a heater on the LEDs with a thermostat that only comes on at low temperatures. Still going to use less energy than a traditional incandescent, as it will only run hot when it's cold.

And you've also tripled the complexity of the entire works, massively decreasing the mean time to failure and introducing two whole categories of new malfunctions that simply were not possible before.  And thrown away half or more of the engergy savings of the LEDs in the first place, significantly increasing the number of years until the replacement cost pays for itself.

If you want to split the difference, fund an R&D program to develop a bulb that heats up just enough, and/or the most optimally efficient casing design to transfer exactly enough heat to keep the casing and lenses just above freezing.  But that smacks of work, so just slap a thermostat and a heating coil in there...


You know that thermostats and switches are pretty basic technology, right?
 
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