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ADS Inc – Think LEDs are more expensive? Military Consumer Behavior Says, “Think Again.”

Sunday, October 16th, 2016

This is a pretty interesting article from ADS Inc regarding the adoption of LED lighting for use by the military. It’s not something I’d normally consider but they make a good case for its adoption when you start to do the cost-benefit-analysis of life-cycle costs.

Automobile headlights, office ceiling lights, shipboard lights, and flashlights are make up the bulk of LED converted lights used in the US Military today. And just like many emerging technologies widely adopted by the military, commercial and residential LEDs have gained popularity in recent years. Regardless of whether you are a civilian or soldier, the common misconception of LED lighting is that it’s more expensive. This case study provides consolidated research that thoroughly examines and demonstrates the benefits of LEDs over its counterparts.

The biggest initial barrier for the widespread adoption of LED lighting (also known as Solid-State Lighting (SSL)) was a purchase price greater than the equivalent Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) or incandescent bulb. SSLs are defined as a light source that emits solid-state electroluminescence through light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and do not use thermal radiation or fluorescent tubes. (Solid-State Lighting n.d.) Since 2000, the Department of Energy (DOE) has invested heavily in Solid-State Lighting (SSL) R&D projects in order to realize the full potential of LED lighting. Finding ways to optimize the use of LEDs included research and development into the reduction of material costs, greater light output, and remedy of underlying technical challenges. As a result of improved technology, the cost of LED lighting dropped almost 40% between 2011 and 2012. (Top 8 Things You didn’t Know About LEDs n.d.)

Cost Comparison

When researching the cost comparison of LED lighting compared to a CFL or incandescent bulb, the question became:

Does switching to LED lighting actually save money, and if so, when are those cost savings realized?

In Cost Comparison (Table A), the cost and lifespan of a single LED, CFL and incandescent bulb are compared. The top-level benefits of using LEDs over CFLs or incandescent bulbs are clear; LEDs cost more upfront but use less energy and last significantly longer.


The real cost-benefit analysis of purchasing an LED bulb over its counterparts becomes clear around the 5-year mark (see Table B – 1 Ballast). At the 10-year mark, CFL bulbs cost two times the amount and incandescent bulbs are six times the amount of a single LED bulb.

How many people does it take to change a lightbulb?

It remains unknown, but what is clear is that LED lighting doesn’t need to be replaced nearly as many times as CFLs or incandescent bulbs. Using Table C – Maintenance/Bulb Replacement, let’s examine changing a CFL or incandescent bulb over the course of 20 years.

You may think to yourself, “Changing a residential light bulb may not require much manpower or preparation.” However, imagine changing a single commercial CFL or incandescent bulb 6 – 49 times over the course of 20 years. Commercial lighting, whether on a ship or in an office, is much more abundant and will require an unwarranted amount of manpower. When lighting requirements are in the thousands, as is with shipboard lighting, changing a lightbulb becomes a man hour intensive exercise.

When you consider the time it takes to replace thousands of commercial bulbs over the course of 20 years, you may be exposing your service men and women to unnecessary risk of injury and countless hours of maintenance that would be better spent on training or fleet operations.


DID YOU KNOWThe U.S. Military has been one of the largest consumers of LEDs sense 1998 (Snyder 2013)

Military Adotion of LEDs

As stated previously, LEDs provide substantial cost, energy, and time savings over CFL and incandescent bulbs. Since the Navy first installed LEDs on ships in 2007, more than 125 ships and submarines – almost half of the current fleet – have been outfitted with more than 500,000 LED products. The Navy’s investment of millions of dollars over the years doesn’t come without a thorough backing in LED research, development and fielding. The Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Ray Mabus once stated that reducing just 3% of each vessel’s total energy equates to an annual savings of over $150 million in fuel consumption for the entire Navy fleet. (Shavers n.d.)

According to the Commander of Navy Installations Command (CNIC), energy bills are the single largest cost for Navy installations. Energy costs at one time made up 28% of the Navy’s overall shore budget. It was imperative to reduce these energy costs to free up budget to invest in crucial support training and fleet operations. In 2010, the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) spearheaded an initiative titled the Navy Shore Energy Program to set specific energy goals geared towards reducing the Navy’s energy costs. The proposed outcome for these goals included reducing the shore energy consumption by 30% in 2015 and by 50% in 2020. (Navy Shore Energy Program n.d.)

Safety and Quality – Added Benefits

In addition to providing cost, energy and time savings, LEDs have been proven to improve performance and safety for our service men and women. Just by reducing the maintenance required, we are mitigating the risk of injury associated with disrupting workflow to replace a bulb. Depending on the mission, having a reliable light source can be critical to safety. Furthermore, the quality of light emitted from an LED creates a “daylight” ambient light that can increase performance and minimize the effects of eye strain, headaches, and migraines associated with traditional fluorescents. Some manufacturers even insist LED lighting can be attributed to changing a person’s mood.

LEDS Lead the Way

ADS is a proud partner and government supplier of Energy Focus, an industry leader in LED technology research and development. Outdated fluorescent technology, whether in a warehouse, on a ship or in an office is proven to cost more, use more energy, require more manpower and strain the eyes. The Energy Focus 2-ft. LED is a direct replacement for these legacy fluorescent lamps, operates with or without a ballast, works with the New Emergency Automatic Lighting System (NEALS), and has a starter that can be removed in either mode of operation. Energy Focus’ technology is the only LED replacement lamp approved by the U.S. Navy for shipboard lighting.

TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
Test Your LED Lighting IQ with this QUIZ provided by the Department of Energy.

If you’d like to learn more about LED lighting and other energy efficiency solutions that can save you time and money, contact a knowledgeable ADS Representative at 866-845-3012.

SOURCES
n.d. Navy Shore Energy Program. http://www.cnic.navy.mil/om/base_support/facility_system_investment/Navy_Shore_Energy_Program.html.
Shavers, Lt. j.g. Clyde. n.d. Navy Installations Go T-LED: Replacement of Fluorescent Bulbs. http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=90427.
Snyder, Tim. 2013. LED Lights Are Now Being Used By The Military. 09 16. http://4wheelonline.com/led-lights-military.231321.0.
n.d. Solid-State Lighting. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solid-state_lighting.
n.d. The True Cost of Lightbulbs. http://greenlivingideas.com/2015/02/19/the-true-cost-of-light-bulbs-led-cfl-incandescent/.
n.d. Top 8 Things You didn’t Know About LEDs. http://energy.gov/articles/top-8-things-you-didn-t-know-about-leds.
n.d. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compact_fluorescent_lamp.

SOFIC 2014 – Source One Distributors

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Source One Distributors has a variety of new technologies including the Bulk Materials Kit from American Innovations, Inc.

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It can be used detect nitrates and chlorides associated with 93% of the IEDs found in Afghanistan. This aids with identifying precursors in bulk shipments allowing you to prevent the shipments before they are manufactured into IEDs.

www.buysourceone.com

SOFIC – Systems Technology, Inc

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

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Systems Technology, Inc gave hands on experience with their free fall simulator.

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The SR-71 ‘Pick’

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Offered by some guys I used to be stationed with in the Air Force, the SR-71, also referred to as ‘the Pick’, is a very specialized piece of kit used in airfield surveys.

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It’s a simple soil strength surveying device used Internationally by Surveyors when assessing semi-prepared and un-prepared airfields. Individuals or a team of surveyors can quickly assess large areas and trouble spots / weak areas on an airfield by ‘picking’ the ground and checking top layers of soil for indicators of GO or NO GO criteria. This can save a lot of time as you may find that there’s no need to even break out the Dynamic Cone Penetrometer.

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specialtacticssolutions.com/STS_Products

AWA Fourth Annual Golf Tournament Wrapup

Monday, June 4th, 2012

AWA President, Bill Ivey, presents a check for $2,000 to the Armed Forces Foundation at the close of fundraising activities on May 10th, 2012.

The Asymmetric Warrior Association (AWA) held its Fourth Annual Golf Tournament and Fundraiser at Renditions Grand Slam Experience located in Davidsonville, Maryland on May 10th, 2012. The AWA was formed in order to foster camaraderie among all ranks of the Asymmetric Warfare Group and support scholarships and charitable donations. This year, AWA raised awareness of Wounded Warrior and Transitioning Soldier issues and provided a check for $2,000 to the Armed Forces Foundation. AWA also plans to present a $2,000 check to Homes for Our Troops and award several college scholarships to AWA dependents. These donations could not have been possible without the support of AWA’s corporate sponsors that included: Vision Technologies, Inc., Heckler & Koch, Beretta, Knight’s Armament Company, Ensign-Bickford Aerospace & Defense Company, Booz/Allen/Hamilton, Nike Golf, Chick-Fil-A, Tranter Graphics, and Spyderco.

AWA President, Bill Ivey, says thank you to a wounded warrior from Bethesda, Maryland’s Transition Center during the Award’s Ceremony at the end of the Golf Tournament and Fundraiser on May 10th, 2012.

www.facebook.com/pages/Asymmetric-Warrior-Association

C.A.T. M4 Tool

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

The M16 family of weapons has been the standard rifle of the Arsenal of Democracy for over 40 years and yet, there have been few attempts at producing proper cleaning tools. To be sure, there are lots of expedient devices such as dental pics, but nothing has ever been specifically tailored for the role. Two Special Forces veterans were sitting around a table discussing just this dilemma. Their concern was that they were employed as small arms marksmanship and tactics trainers and their students couldn’t adequately maintain their weapons. As they began to go back and forth on desirable features for such a tool, a sketch began to form. That drawing became the M4 Tool and those two veteran gunfighters formed Combat Application Tools, Inc.

CAT M4 Features

As you can see in the diagram, the patented M4 Tool features five specific capabilities to clean the M16 family of weapons. It is is American Made and cast from 400 series stainless steel while the bolt cleaning chamber is CNC machined to precisely fit a mil-spec bolt. During a demonstration of the tool on a recent trip to Fayetteville, it made quick work of an outrageously dirty carbine bolt and carrier group. It is also lightweight, compact, and designed to work with the small tool heads supplied as part of SOPMOD.

To order visit www.catm4.com. Combat Application Tools, Inc. is looking for retailers for the M4 Tool.

Additionally, the CAT M4 Tool is available from Blackheart International.