Buzz Creates a US Navy Solid-State Lighting Initiative
In August 2011, Energy Focus, Inc. in Solon, OH received a $23.1 million firm-fixed-price contract to design and manufacture “energy efficient, solid state lighting for general illumination on Navy ships to upgrade all the legacy lighting systems with new energy efficient, solid state lighting as part of the Navy’s green initiative.” Work on this first delivery order will be performed in Solon, OH, and is expected to be completed by Dec 1/11, while $1.2 million will expire at the end of the current fiscal year, on Sept 30/11. This contract was competitively awarded on a best-value basis, with 3 offers received by the US Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division, Ship System Engineering Station in Philadelphia, PA (N65540-11-D-0009).
The SSL program actually began when a submarine sonar technician, irritated by the constant buzz of his LED bunk lamp, asked if the Navy could find an LED replacement…
The US Office of Naval Research’s TechSolutions program took up the challenge, funding development and certification of a suite of LED fixtures that are direct form-fit-function replacements for all the T8W5 light fixtures currently used by the Navy, and can handle Navy shock tests and non-interference requirements.
Energy Focus worked with ONR on the project, which offers a number of benefits beyond noise. Power consumption is just 50% of fluorescents’ for the same lighting, the need to dispose of bulbs containing mercury is removed, and maintenance requirements are expected to be be near zero for the lights’ expected decade of service.
Initial test installs included the Virginia Class submarine USS New Hampshire [SSN 778], the Harper’s Ferry Class amphibious ship USS Pearl Harbor [LSD 52], and the Arleigh Burke Flt IIA Class destroyers USS Preble [DDG 88] and USS Chafee [DDG 90].