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Energy Efficiency led

Published on January 10th, 2009 | by Jerry James Stone

9

Pentagon to Get Over 4,000 LED Fixtures

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January 10th, 2009 by  

 

Cree Inc. will be fitting Wedge 5 of the Pentagon with over 4,000 LED light fixtures.The U.S. Department of Energy said that LED lighting saved the country about 8.7 trillion watt hoursin 2007. This is out of the 765 trillion watt hours used for lighting in the United States.
 

 
The LEDs will reduce power usage by 22 percent and pay for themselves in four years. I can’t help but wonder, is the Pentagon trying to get on the good side of President-Elect Barack Obama?

Details on the deal have been very hush-hush, as one would expect from the Pentagon, but Cree did say the fixtures would cost about $380 apiece. Funding comes from Title III, a Department of Defense program designed to “promote creation and strengthening of domestic industrial capabilities to support national security needs.”

A goal of the program is to enable early adoption, and drive down the cost, of new tech for weapon systems – eek!

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About the Author

is a web developer, part-time blogger, and a full-time environmentalist. His crusade for all things eco started twenty years ago when he ditched his meat-and-potatoes upbringing for something more vegetarian-shaped. His passions include cooking, green tech, eco politics, and smart green design. And while he doesn't own a car anymore, he loves to write about those too. Jerry studied at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA. During his time there he was a DJ at the campus station KCPR and he also wrote for the campus paper. Jerry currently resides in San Francisco, CA with his cat Lola. You can stalk him on Twitter @jerryjamesstone.



  • seanmcg

    You can thank the Defense Department for a lot of the technology you currently use for normal, everyday, not-even-close-to-military purposes. Suffice to say that the buying power of DoD allowed for the development and commercialization of a multitude of items that might have been too expensive otherwise. GPS, anyone? That is just one, high-profile example.

    LEDs are FAAAAAAAAR more efficient and longer-lasting than fluorescents and do not contain mercury. However, they have a high up-front cost, reducing their adoption among homeowners and others who can’t afford to buy in bulk, or who have a hard time seeing past the initial cost. You may have noticed that many traffic lights are going to LED.

    Think about The Pentagon. Lights stay on a long time, and many around-the-clock. After 4 years, these LEDs will still be going strong while their regular and fluorescent counterparts will have been replaced a couple of times over. Unit cost + energy cost + labor = total cost of the fixture over its lifetime. $380 was the RETAIL price of the fixture. You can bet the government cost was less. 4000 units is nothing, compared to the building, but is significant enough to be used as an example for others.

    I’ve purchased several LED bulbs for my house and conversion kits for my flashlights. In the time I’ve had the LED bulbs, I’ve replaced other, regular bulbs, with similar usage, several times over. The investment is worth it.

    Someone, somewhere decided to push CFLs despite the fact that they may be more harmful in the long run than regular bulbs, thanks to the mercury. Had someone focused on LED bulbs, instead, costs might be coming down and their adoption more widespread.

  • seanmcg

    You can thank the Defense Department for a lot of the technology you currently use for normal, everyday, not-even-close-to-military purposes. Suffice to say that the buying power of DoD allowed for the development and commercialization of a multitude of items that might have been too expensive otherwise. GPS, anyone? That is just one, high-profile example.

    LEDs are FAAAAAAAAR more efficient and longer-lasting than fluorescents and do not contain mercury. However, they have a high up-front cost, reducing their adoption among homeowners and others who can’t afford to buy in bulk, or who have a hard time seeing past the initial cost. You may have noticed that many traffic lights are going to LED.

    Think about The Pentagon. Lights stay on a long time, and many around-the-clock. After 4 years, these LEDs will still be going strong while their regular and fluorescent counterparts will have been replaced a couple of times over. Unit cost + energy cost + labor = total cost of the fixture over its lifetime. $380 was the RETAIL price of the fixture. You can bet the government cost was less. 4000 units is nothing, compared to the building, but is significant enough to be used as an example for others.

    I’ve purchased several LED bulbs for my house and conversion kits for my flashlights. In the time I’ve had the LED bulbs, I’ve replaced other, regular bulbs, with similar usage, several times over. The investment is worth it.

    Someone, somewhere decided to push CFLs despite the fact that they may be more harmful in the long run than regular bulbs, thanks to the mercury. Had someone focused on LED bulbs, instead, costs might be coming down and their adoption more widespread.

  • http://mises.org/ Old Rubberlegs

    It’s funny how government always seems to be the “early adopters” with stuff like this.

    Since they’ve become widely available, I have yet to see a single one of these in use among any of the hundreds of homes and businesses I’ve been to.

    How is it that in homes and businesses, where the cost “benefits” of such a device would be much more direct and keenly felt by those who pay the bills no one is using them, yet with government, where money seems to always be so easily gotten (or printed, or stolen), and the decision-makers are insulated by so many layers of bureaucracy, these kinds of things come online so much more quickly?

    I happen to think the above figures have been seriously tweaked. If these “pay for themselves in four years”, homes and businesses would be *loosing* money by not using them.

    According to the story a 22% savings over four years amounts to $380. Check my math, but I think that means $481.82 worth of electricity per “fixture”, per year. Exactly how big of a light bulb uses $431.82 worth of electricity per year?! Or, how much does one have to pay for electricity before a light bulb burns $431.82 worth of power per year!?

    You are free to believe that this is actually being done because those in government are far smarter than the average American or that government tends to be more careful with regard to money matters. …Sigh. That’s probably it.

  • http://mises.org/ Old Rubberlegs

    It’s funny how government always seems to be the “early adopters” with stuff like this.

    Since they’ve become widely available, I have yet to see a single one of these in use among any of the hundreds of homes and businesses I’ve been to.

    How is it that in homes and businesses, where the cost “benefits” of such a device would be much more direct and keenly felt by those who pay the bills no one is using them, yet with government, where money seems to always be so easily gotten (or printed, or stolen), and the decision-makers are insulated by so many layers of bureaucracy, these kinds of things come online so much more quickly?

    I happen to think the above figures have been seriously tweaked. If these “pay for themselves in four years”, homes and businesses would be *loosing* money by not using them.

    According to the story a 22% savings over four years amounts to $380. Check my math, but I think that means $481.82 worth of electricity per “fixture”, per year. Exactly how big of a light bulb uses $431.82 worth of electricity per year?! Or, how much does one have to pay for electricity before a light bulb burns $431.82 worth of power per year!?

    You are free to believe that this is actually being done because those in government are far smarter than the average American or that government tends to be more careful with regard to money matters. …Sigh. That’s probably it.

  • joe blow

    Umm…

    $380 each…4000 units…

    $1,520,000.

    A million and a half to upgrade the lightbulbs?

    When are we going to stop giving out tax money for this kind of crap?

  • joe blow

    Umm…

    $380 each…4000 units…

    $1,520,000.

    A million and a half to upgrade the lightbulbs?

    When are we going to stop giving out tax money for this kind of crap?

  • john doe

    eek? for real? are you serious? a grown man uses the word eek?

    also, the pentagon releases yearly assessments to national security and for the past 4 years has indicated global warming as the #1 threat to national security, implementing LED light fixtures are a small part in the broad shoring up of national security.

    they are not trying to get on obama’s good side, it has nothing todo with that. as the article states, LED fixtures were already installed in 2007. please be more careful with how you word your articles, thank you.

  • john doe

    eek? for real? are you serious? a grown man uses the word eek?

    also, the pentagon releases yearly assessments to national security and for the past 4 years has indicated global warming as the #1 threat to national security, implementing LED light fixtures are a small part in the broad shoring up of national security.

    they are not trying to get on obama’s good side, it has nothing todo with that. as the article states, LED fixtures were already installed in 2007. please be more careful with how you word your articles, thank you.

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