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How can you buy old traffic lights?

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Quick Answer

Twin Green Traffic Signals and Traffic Light Wizard sell old traffic lights and traffic light parts online, many of the units refurbished and in working order. Dated traffic lights replaced by municipalities are specialty collectors items and are occasionally auctioned to the public by budget-minded city councils.

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Full Answer

Resellers contract with municipalities to buy up traffic lights in lots as old incandescent lights are replaced by new LED models, or vintage designs with old wiring are modernized and upgraded. The sellers repair, rewire and clean up the weather-beaten fixtures and add custom lenses and other features on request.

Direct auctions are sometimes a city's solution to trimming the traffic light replacement budget. Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania sold 17 traffic lights and 33 "Walk/Don't Walk" signs in lots by bid when it upgraded. Some buyers were collectors and others planned to offer the lights individually for resale.

Sellers who want specific kinds of lights — single-face lights, four-way signals or beacons, pedestrian lights, vintage red-and-green-only lights or other designs — place an order with a regular reseller who searches sources for an exact or similar match. A hobbyist website called The Traffic Signal Museum displays photographs of contemporary and historic traffic lights, a useful way to learn about what might be available from a reseller.

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