Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Single Traffic light

One BIG traffic light
  [vote for,

Using LEDS, instead of three separate lights, use one, that would show all three colors. Not sure of all the advantages, but with this, you could be sure when the light is NOT working,
senatorjam, Jun 24 2003

LimeLite http://www.limelite.com/limelite.htm
Needs some more brightness for this application, but there is always R&D. [kbecker, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]

LED Traffic lights http://www.howstuff...com/question178.htm
[PiledHigherandDeeper, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]

The Other One http://www.halfbake..._20Traffic_20Lights
Started out as a single-segment idea. [galukalock, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]


       That actually sounds kinda kool.
snarfyguy, Jun 24 2003

       The color blind people won't appreciate this. You might be able to get around that by making the colors show up in different shapes: red hand (or octagon), yellow diamond, green arrow. Though a color blind person without really good vision would have a harder time from a long distance.
scad mientist, Jun 24 2003

       One disadvantage would be that colorblind drivers would be clueless.
bungston, Jun 24 2003

       I worked on something like this. It was for remote controlled signs in conference facilities. They signs could even change the symbols for the restrooms from men to women. I have no idea why that was in the specs.   

       The diodes would be kind of expensive at this time. The conference signs used some foil like LimeLite (see link) with individual electrodes attached so one could piece together the different shapes to light up.   

       [S...M...] A circle, an X and a straight vertical bar are usually easy to recognize from far away, so I think the additional separation by shape would work. In addition blinking at a reasonable rate (4Hz?) can be used to signal the transition that is currently signaled by yellow.
kbecker, Jun 24 2003

       [kbecker] given that lights are being replaced by LED lights because overall cost of ownership of the lights is less (see link) then I think this is very feasable, if you look at a led light the leds are not that closely packed, would be easy to put three colours of leds at each point.   

       Maybe they should use red, green and blue led's and the lights could be used as a very low resolution tv! (I know blue LED's are expensive).
PiledHigherandDeeper, Jun 24 2003

       [PHD] They are getting cheaper, but not cheap enough yet. The initial investment is very high and the savings come later, so there will be a cashflow problem. Using one illuminated pane for all three signal states will be better than the current three but will it make up for it?   

       I think this idea is on the edge of feasible and the senator has my croissant. Where is yours?
kbecker, Jun 24 2003

       //A circle, an X and a straight vertical bar are usually easy to recognize from far away, so I think the additional separation by shape would work.//   

       Acuatly they have something already like this, or acuatly a prototype that I saw in my newspaper recently. It showed a regualar street light, with this display. When the light turned red, a stop sign appered on the display. The display was made out of LEDS...
DarkRanger, Jun 26 2003

       Yeah, but it's still 3 lights, costwise, for enough led's to create 3 different colors and shapes(which you have to have for the colorblind), so where's the advantage? Just putting all the led's in the space of one light doesn't save any money, except for the extra housing. You can't use fewer led's than current led light replacements use, because you need a certain minimum of brightness, and as they are using super bright led's as it is, unless there is a new, brighter, cheaper led out there, you might as well just keep the 3 in the same configuration you have now.   

       fishbone for this one.
oxen crossing, Jun 26 2003

       Hey, I already did this!   

       ...Well, actually, I deleted it and reposted it as "Improved Traffic Lights" (link-a-dee-doo-da) due to the colorblind issue.   

       That aside, as for the three colors, this can be accomplished with only red and green. Simply light both up at once, behind a diffuser, and viola! You've got yellow!
galukalock, Jun 26 2003

       (+) If you're going to use LEDs, why not have them count down the time to green, so I’ll know if I have time to finish my nails?
pluterday, Jun 26 2003

       [pluter] They could put nail care robots along the lanes that do the nail job for you. When the robots suddenly stop working you know its time to get the hands back on the steering wheel. You wouldn't even need to stare at the light any more so another robot could do your eyelids and lipstick.
kbecker, Jun 26 2003

       <horrified> “Charlene, what happened to your fingers!”
<smacking gum> “Robots! First it was those bums with newspapers. Now it’s the damn robots. Never put your hand out at a light anymore, I’m telling ya.”
pluterday, Jun 27 2003

       Someone please explain to me what this saves, besides a little housing? You are not saving energy over a 3 segment all led signal, and you are not even using fewer leds, just packing them closer together in the space of one segment. And it complicates the whole signal recognition process, esp. for the colorblind, as noted.
oxen crossing, Jun 30 2003

       It doesn't save anything; it's a design idea.
snarfyguy, Jun 30 2003

       ok, fair enough.
oxen crossing, Jun 30 2003

       If you do the whole 'lighter housing' thing as discussed in the other idea, you can save on wire to hang it from, as you would require less of that high-quality stuff to keep the light up in a high wind.
galukalock, Jul 01 2003


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