The reflective road stud is one of the UK’s most enduring and recognisable inventions, existing in much the same form for the past 90 years. In the last few years, however, a new challenger has emerged to take the crown of the UK’s favourite road marker: the solar-powered road stud.
Instead of relying on a high retroreflectivity, solar-powered studs use high-powered LED lights that are charged by exposure to sunlight. This means that they are visible from as much as 900 metres away – ten times the distance of a traditional reflective road stud.
This brightness is enough to illuminate the layout of roads without being overwhelming to drivers. The particular benefit of this technology is that it gives drivers a full 30 seconds to react to the changes in the road, such as spotting a bend or a slip road, as opposed to just three seconds with a traditional stud.
The brightness of solar-powered road studs means that they stand out better than reflective studs in adverse weather conditions, such as snow and rain, where the light from headlights can be refracted or obscured. They are also highly durable, with a similar longevity to traditional milled road studs.
Solar-powered road studs aren’t just suitable for sunnier areas such as the South of England, either. The studs will receive plenty of charge from an average day, with four hours of daylight providing enough power for up to 200 hours of use.
Solar-powered road studs are particularly beneficial for areas which lack street lighting, where the reaction time for drivers is more substantially impacted. Their longer life should also mean fewer roadworks, and a cost saving compared to reflective studs.
Given government backing in 2015, solar-powered studs have proved increasingly popular in recent years, and form the bulk of new road stud projects by Highways England. Solar-powered road studs may be the future of road markings, and could even become a mandatory element of modern road safety.
Our solar-powered road studs are available in a range of form factors, and can be supplied in different colours for different uses. Every project is different, and the road studs you choose will depend on a range of factors. Read through our Case Studies page to view some of our past projects, or contact us today to discuss your requirements, and find out what Hi-Way Services can do for you.