Yellow Lights Turn Green in TN


There’s something important happening in Tennessee right now, that many people may not have even noticed. When I first noticed, I thought it was just one school, but in the last few weeks I’ve realized, it is spreading all over the place. More and more, all over this town and surrounding areas there are school zone lights, flashing yield lights at intersections, and other types of electric traffic signs all now being run on solar energy.

The first time I saw the tiny solar panel on a school zone light, I pointed it out to my sister and we discussed how cool that was for the school to do that. Then we saw another set of panels on another school zone in another town later in the week and discussed how we were glad to see it was catching on. Not long after that, we noticed that a local by-pass has swapped its hanging electric yield lights at both its major intersections with a new set of flashing lights on poles which have large solar panels on top – and we realized this was happening all around us, not just in one or two isolated areas.

I haven’t been able to find anything in the news about a new solar-powered light initiative in TN, or even any mention of other people noticing them. I did manage to find this article from February, which explains how they are able to make these solar-powered lights possible.

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3 Responses to “Yellow Lights Turn Green in TN”

  1. I believe they do that to avoid having to run cables to the signs. I’ve seen this in a lot of different places in Michigan as well, though I don’t think it’s environmentally motivated in the least. An LCA of electricity costs + cable installation is probably greater than the solar, or at least comparable, in many situations.

  2. Aaron, I’m sure cost was probably a factor, but these were existing lights, which already had cables, which they uninstalled to put in these solar lights, so they didn’t save themselves money in that respect. Also, whatever their intentions, the effect is green, and that’s what counts in the end.

  3. We have those all over the place here in northwest washington to. I believe the first one they put up was 2 years ago in front of the middle school near where I live.

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