by Lea Johnson
21st Space Wing Public Affairs staff writer
11/5/2012 - PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- For
close to two years, almost half of the street lights and parking lot
lights on Peterson AFB have been disabled in an effort to cut energy
costs. This past summer, the lights started coming back on in
anticipation of new light-emitting diode fixtures being purchased.
According to Jim Jacobsen, 21st Civil Engineer Squadron energy manager,
in late 2007 Air Force Space Command put together a cross-functional
team to conduct market research, identify requirements, and develop
specifications and an implementation strategy. The team's goal was to
reduce energy and reduce maintenance while matching or improving
existing illumination and visibility.
In 2008, Peterson became one of two preliminary testing sites for a
variety of LED and other high-efficiency lighting fixtures along
roadways and in parking lots, to replace existing high-intensity
A variety of fixtures were installed at multiple locations for a little
more than a year and according to Jacobsen, they performed well.
"They conducted tests and evaluations of many different models, to see
what the pattern was like, to see what the white light quality was and
how long they lasted," Jacobsen said.
They performed so well, in fact, that Air Force Space Command approved a
command-wide purchase and the installation of the LED lights.
The pilot project results proved that energy could be saved and
maintenance reduced allowing all the lights on Peterson to be turned
back on. With the study complete and support from the Air Force Civil
Engineer Center, AFSPC initiated a command-wide program to replace all
the fixtures. Included in the procurement is the U.S. Air Force Academy
and 14 other locations.
Fox Theriault, AFSPC energy analyst and LED project manager, said a bulk
purchase of about 6,400 LED fixtures for 15 installations will be made
using $6.4 million of Energy Focus Funds from the AFCEC.
Across AFSPC, and including the Air Force Academy, savings from the
lights will be $388,000 annually with an additional $618,000 annually in
operations and maintenance costs, Theriault said.
"Testing, market research, and industry clearly indicate that this
emerging technology is ready for full implementation with enormous
payback," he said.
According to Theriault, LED fixtures typically have a 60,000 to 80,000
hour life expectancy, which is three to four times the life expectancy
of the old HID style fixtures. The new fixtures will use approximately
60 percent less electricity than HID lights but one of the greatest
savings will be in the reduced maintenance. The new LED fixtures are
virtually maintenance free and come with a 10-year warranty.
The 21st Space Wing is installing a total of 1,540 fixtures at six
installations, costing approximately $152,000. Across the wing, total
energy cost savings is expected to be $162,000 with additional savings
in operation and maintenance of $140,000 a year.
Upfront, the cost of the LED lights is more expensive, but within three or four years, the lights will have paid for themselves.
According to Jacobsen, once the lights are installed, they will all be
illuminated to ensure proper function of the lights and replacements
will be made where necessary.
"Once all of the lights have been (tested) and any required warranty
replacements have been completed we will again look at de-lamping
opportunities to garner additional savings," he said.
In mid-September, a contract was awarded to Utility Systems Solutions,
Inc; an 8a small business set aside company, who partnered with Philips
Hadco to provide all the fixtures. US2 and Hadco engineers are currently
conducting site visits validating the requirements before shipping the
fixtures to each installation. Bases are also finalizing the install
contracts or some are planning to do in-house replacement. Hadco plans
to start shipping fixtures in mid December and installation of the LED
lights will start shortly after they arrive at the bases.
The process should take three to four months to complete.