LED Applications on Traffic Control Devices

Since the introduction of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) in traffic control systems, LEDs have been gaining in prominence to enhance attention and conspicuity of signs, create dynamic sign legends, and provide basic traffic control. The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) administered by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has limited LED provisions to guide the LED applications, creating some indecision among public agencies relative to the appropriate application of LEDs in their traffic control applications. The National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (NCUTCD) has submitted LED recommendations to FHWA that maintain basic traffic control concepts, recognize the adaptability of LED technology, and provide guidance for LED use. The development of those MUTCD recommendations identified a number of issues where research was not available to support the recommendations. There continues to be growing use of LED signs without clear understanding of possible safety advantages or impacts to machine vision, road users, and adjacent residents. To guide transportation agencies on basic traffic control concepts that warrant the life cycle of significant asset investments and safety to road users, research is needed to provide clarification on the LED applications in traffic control devices. The objective of this research is to evaluate various LED sign applications and provide a guide to the effective use of LED applications in traffic control devices for the road user and current generation automotive machine vision systems.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $500000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 03-147

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    McKenney, Christopher

  • Start Date: 20230529
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01847442
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 03-147
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: May 27 2022 11:23AM