Navy looks to deep-six noisy lighting
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
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
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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