Authorities in Taiwan said Wednesday they had changed more than 690,000 traffic lights throught the island in a project that will save enough electricity to power more than 60,000 homes.
Under the Tw$550-million ($18-million) project launched in 2009, the traffic lights have had their traditional bulbs replaced with technology using light emitting diodes (LEDs), the Bureau of Energy said.
LED lights consume only one tenth the electricity of traditional bulbs, meaning the project is estimated to save 247 million kilowatt hours, enough for 67,700 families on the island, it said.
"LED traffic lights are not only energy-saving, but also safer, as they are brighter and more easily visible to motorists," Kao Shu-fang, an official at the bureau, told AFP.
Encouraged by the success, the economic ministry plans a more ambitious project, which aims to retire 800,000 "energy-guzzling and environmentally unfriendly" mercury-vapor street lamps over the next five years.
The project is expected to cost the government Tw$18 billion, Kao said.
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