Massive Marketing Sign in Trenton Undergoes $600K LED Transformation for 20% More Efficiency

It’s not often we hear of marketing programs that benefit financially from smart energy management moves, but an iconic marketing sign on a toll bridge between Trenton, NJ, and Morrisville, PA, is being upgraded to a new color-changing and energy-efficient LED lighting system under a contract approved today by the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission (DRJTBC) that will be 20% more efficient with a 60% longer life, according to DRJTBC impact studies.

The sign, first appearing as an illuminated display along the river in 1917, uses the phrase “Trenton Makes the World Takes,” and was said at the time to be the “world’s largest municipal ad” and the “largest slogan sign in the world,” according to the Bucks Local News in PA.

Additionally, the sign will be more reliable in all kinds of weather conditions and will reduce energy consumption costs.

The new lights will also have the ability to change colors depending on special events, such as turning green on St. Patrick’s Day. The changes will be completed in the fall. The contract was awarded to PA-based Carr & Duff for no more than $647,000.

 In related news of interest to transit authorities and municipalities, a bit of controversy arose in NYC recently regarding the Port Authority’s project that installed LED lights in the Lincoln Tunnel for $2.1 million. Apparently, LEDs that are installed in tunnels must be recessed into the concrete so that they won’t be hit by buses and trucks, and the lights – meant to last more than 5 years – are dying just three years after installation. Because they are placed in recessed fixtures, heat builds up and eventually shortens their lifespan, authorities have said. But the lights have already survived much longer than the bulbs they replaced, which lasted just six months.
The switch to LEDs is saving about $283,000 in energy costs, the Port Authority told NJ.com in February. The Port Authority also pointed out the the LEDs are still under warranty, so there has been no cost to have them replaced. In the meantime, they are working on a solution to the heat problems.
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