Cost of LED vs. Incandescent Lights

When looking at cost comparisons between incandescent and LED lights, the City considered 3 main factors:

Material Costs

This includes all signal components required for LED or incandescent traffic light installation. Up front costs for LED traffic light materials are substantially higher than incandescent traffic light materials.

Energy Costs

Energy costs for LED traffic lights are considerably less than costs for incandescent traffic light materials.

Labor Costs

Labor and equipment to material assembly and installation are necessary costs. When comparing labor costs between qualified City of Midland staff and private contractors, it was found that installation by City staff in a five-year period would cost less than contracting out the work.


Considering the LED / incandescent comparison of materials, energy and labor costs, it was determined that the new LED system will pay for itself in approximately 4 years. As indicated in the table below, it will cost the City less to replace lights with LED materials than it would to replace traffic lights made with incandescent materials.

Total Installation & Operating Costs

The table below shows the estimated total savings for using LED lights when comparing the installation and operations costs between LED and incandescent lights.

After 1st Year
After 5th Year
After 10th Year
Replacement with Incandescent
Replacement with LED
Total Difference

Installation of the new LED lights took about 5 years. By spreading the implementation over that time span, City staff has been able to balance LED light maintenance and replacement with their regular operations.

After 5 years, the LED warranty expires; therefore LED replacements will occur in 5 year increments.

Reduction in Energy Costs

Through a coordinated effort with Consumers Energy, a system has been developed to make sure that once the LED work at each signalized intersection is completed, Consumers Energy will be immediately notified. Once notified, Consumers Energy will place the information in their system and reflect the changes on their next billing cycle to the City of Midland.