The National Police Agency plans to upgrade the nation’s 770,000 pedestrian traffic lights by using an energy-saving, light-emitting-diode model that is easier to see.

The agency will select a standard model in the summer and begin installing the lights in spring, officials said.

The NPA says LED-type pedestrian traffic lights are clearer than the conventional, bulb-based models and consume less electricity.

One shortcoming of models that use electric light bulbs is that the traffic lights appear to be perpetually on when a strong source of light, such as a setting sun on a clear day, shines upon them, NPA officials say.

The NPA says two models of LED pedestrian lights were installed in Yokohama and Kobe in December on a trial basis. A survey showed that most pedestrians found the LED models clearer and brighter than existing models.

NPA officials say the price of one set of LED pedestrian lights is estimated at 150,000 yen, which is 50,000 yen higher than the traditional models. The overall cost, however, drops over the long term when electric and maintenance bills are taken into account.

The NPA has already installed 8,000 LED-model traffic lights for vehicles. There are 20,000 automobile traffic lights across the nation.

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