These days, operating a navy can be similar to managing a business. You have to cut costs whenever you can. So it’s no surprise to hear the US Navy is using LEDs to save money. The recent installation of LEDs in a guided missile destroyer, USS Chafee, should reduce bills by $50,000.

LEDs and USS Chafee

USS Chafee is a relatively new addition to the US Navy. The destroyer had her maiden deployment in 2005 with the USS Nimitz Carrier Strike Group. In this role, the Chafee has been involved in a number of expeditions. But the ship’s latest claim to fame is the replacement of much of its lighting with LEDs.

Navy awards two further LED contracts

The US Navy has awarded two further LED contracts. The first is to put LEDs in place of incandescent bulbs on the USS Preble, another modern destroyer. The second contract is for the replacement of T12 fluorescent tubes on both the Chafee and the Preble.

Once the work is over, the US Navy expects to save $100,000 per year for each destroyer.

The savings for the naval ships come from three sources:

  • LEDs are low energy users. The ships therefore spend less onboard power on lighting.
  • LEDs last for many years. Maintenance staff can spend less time changing bulbs.
  • LEDs generate less heat than incandescent and fluorescent lighting. As a result, the ships can turn their air conditioning down.

The US Navy has used LEDs before at naval bases. LED lamps have replaced traditional street lights, car park lights and area lights. The initiative has cut outside lighting costs by 60%.

The US Navy’s decision to use LEDs on ships builds on this success. It is further proof of the way switching to LEDs brings practical benefits.

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