LED Lighting Saves Energy at New BX Gas Station
By Lt Jonathan Walsh, 61 CELS/CLPS
/ Published May 22, 2008
Los Angeles Air Force Base -- Army Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) has broken with tradition and installed Light Emitting Diode light fixtures (LED) for the AAFES (BX) Gas Station, at Los Angeles Air Force Base (LAAFB). Not only, is it economically feasible, but it is a demonstration of green leadership and sets a standard for the rest of us to follow. A reduction in energy will cut the Air Force electric bill, help the electric company cut their costs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
LED light fixtures are 60 to 90 percent more efficient than traditional high output lights. AAFES has been installing the most efficient Metal Halide lights possible at other bases, but by replacing these lights with LEDs at LAAFB, they will be saving a cool $1,000 a year on their electrical consumption (based on 12 hour nights, 365 days a year). In addition, LEDs have a much longer life span. The traditional design would require the Air Force to buy new Metal Halide lights every three years. A very conservative estimate of the cost to replace 24 lights includes the expense of the new light, the paper work, and the time it would take the government to accomplish the job. Outside of the work order process, which is expensive in itself, 24 lights will take 45 minutes a piece or 18 work hours total. At $40 an hour, this translates to a savings of at least $720 every three years, whereas an LED fixture needs to be replaced only every 9 years.
Demand for electricity changes by the minute and the Electric Company needs to have available the infrastructure based on the highest demand possible. Even though part of this infrastructure sits idle most of the time, the Electric Company has to charge for the peak demand which in turn costs the Air Force more. LEDs at the gas station will lower LAAFB's overall peak demand leading to savings on utilities.