A new piece of equipment that can measure the intensity of LEDs has been developed by Missouri University of Science and Technology.

The long-standing problem many cities have regarding their traffic light bulb maintenance and the forced delay prior to replacement, could now be solved as a result of this new equipment.

Assistant professor of engineering management and systems engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology, Dr. Suzanna Long, told Phys Org, “In many of the nation's traffic lights, light-emitting diodes or LEDs with their brighter light and longer life have replaced standard bulbs.

"But knowing when to replace the signal heads has remained a guessing game," Dr. Long added. This is because LED traffic lights slowly lose brightness over time, rather than just burning out.

Dr. Long and her team of researchers – along with the Missouri Department of Transportation - have developed the laser-guided instrument to enable measurements of the intensity of the LEDs to be taken at night from the roadside.

This process is far simpler – and safer for motorists - than technicians having to physically carry out checks on the lights using a truck during daylight hours.

“The maintenance costs associated with sending a crew out to replace a single LED are very high. Our methodology provides a more cost-effective mechanism for determining replacement and allows agencies to meet goals of being good stewards of public money,” Dr. Long went on to say.

The LED measurement tool was created whilst developing a data-driven replacement schedule for the LED bulbs, in conjunction with the Missouri Department of Transportation.