LED Applications on Traffic Control Devices

The use of light emitting diode's (LED’s) has expanded into the traffic control area with units used to enhance attention/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) contains limited LED provisions to guide LED applications. This has led to uncertainty on the part of transportation agencies for the appropriate application of LED’s in traffic control applications. The National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices has submitted LED recommendations to FHWA that maintain basic traffic control concepts, recognize the adaptability of LED technology, and provide guidance for LED use. In the course of developing those recommendations, a number of issues were identified 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 and impacts to automated vehicles, road users, and adjacent residents. Therefore, research is needed to provide industry clarification on the LED applications and guide roadway agencies on basic traffic control concepts that ensure life cycle of significant investments and safety to road users. The objective of this research is to evaluate various LED sign applications and provide research data that supports the best LED application on regulatory and warning signs for the road user.


  • 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: 20220607
  • 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 23 2022 3:02PM