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  • Navy looks to deep-six noisy lighting

Photonics Spectra
May 2011
ARLINGTON, Va. – The big buzz aboard US Navy vessels these days is the one coming from noisy fluorescent lighting, prompting the rollout of a quieter alternative.

The Solid State Lighting (SSL) project, created by the Office of Naval Research’s TechSolutions program, is one of several using recommendations and suggestions from Navy and Marine Corps personnel. The project introduced 33 energy-saving, nonhazardous LED fixtures to the USS New Hampshire in late January. Installation also is scheduled in July aboard the USS New Mexico. These submarines will serve as pilot platforms to enable the Navy to measure savings achieved from the SSL project.


Submarines and surface ships may one day have all their fluorescent lights replaced by solid-state LED fixtures.


The LED fixtures also are being installed for testing on three surface ships: the USS Pearl Harbor, USS Preble and USS Chafee.

Although the SSL project is in its early stages, the LED fixtures may one day replace existing hazardous fluorescent lights aboard submarines and surface ships. LEDs can reduce fuel use and maintenance requirements fleetwide and increase fleet readiness. They contain no hazardous materials, unlike fluorescents, which must be stored onboard until expensive and intensive disposal procedures are carried out.

TechSolutions worked with Energy Focus to produce patented LED fixtures that are direct replacements for fluorescents. The replacements produce the same light output but use half the power. Energy Focus fixtures have had a good track record on Navy ships, but TechSolutions’ products were the first to be fully qualified by the service. Those components met the most stringent electromagnetic interference standards, requiring innovative manufacturing methods.


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