How can LED Lighting save the MOD money?
In a climate where the word ‘austerity’ is on everyone’s lips, the UK is no exception. The economy needs an overhaul and cuts must be made. But perhaps we can ask – where exactly are the Government looking to make these cuts? And can LED lighting make a shadow of a difference?
The answer lies, partly, with the Ministry of Defence. This globally recognised structure is responsible for millions of jobs and decisions each year. However during the last financial year the Exchequer was asked to produce cuts worth a huge £500 million. This was part of a wider economy drive, however cuts like that will always be keenly felt. Whilst there’s no definitive answer yet on where these savings will potentially be made, the heat is certainly on to cut the defence budget substantially. Senior personnel are being pressured to ensure that the MOD functions in the most technologically efficient manner possible; to reduce both costs and the negative impact on the environment.
However, this is a contentious issue. Whilst there are those demanding cuts in spending from the MOD, some politicians are calling the cuts irresponsible. They argue at a time when national security is on a high alert and Britain has never been more at risk of a terror attack, the last thing that we should be doing is cutting down on our essential military strength. There have already been cuts worth millions of pounds within the MOD, reducing the front line strength of our defence. With this pressure being felt, it’s little wonder that the MOD are casting around for other cost-saving measures.
And so, in amongst all of this, could LED’s be an unlikely anchor in the ocean of austerity? They have certainly seen a meteoric rise in their success. From first exploding onto the market over ten years ago, they crept into use at the MOD shortly afterwards and LED lighting has been increasingly deployed by the Government in recent years. They want reduced energy usage and lower overall maintenance costs – which fits neatly in with what LED lighting can offer.
Why are LEDs becoming so popular in MOD spending?
Firstly, they are a lot more economically efficient; they simply take less energy to power. It really is that straightforward. They also give a massively improved clarity of vision with their ‘cool’, clear light and they don’t take time to reach their optimum output, illuminating instantly.
Well manufactured LED Flood lights can also offer the MOD higher levels of security due to their enhanced reliability. LED Flood Lights with multiple high power LED’s (Wired individually) are now widely used on MOD perimeter fence lines, as if one LED chip should develop a fault the remaining LED’s continue to work; reducing the possibility of a dark zone developing and increasing the possibility of a security breach.
LED’s provide a direct light which means that there’s no light pollution and there are also no environmental pollutants. They are easy to install and come in a number of different shades and colours.
Above: Spitfire 24 LED Flood Lights now installed on over 50 MOD sites across the UK –
So how does the saving last?
Having established that it costs the MOD, much less to maintain LED lights and the superior quality of these compared to halogen lamps makes them an even more attractive option, how do they go on delivering a saving?
The initial outlay to fit LEDs is more expensive than to fit halogen lamps, however the saving is made back very quickly – and will continue to save the MOD money for a long time after.There are a number of reasons for this:
Energy consumption is significantly reduced.
They are very reliable so maintenance costs are low.
They do not flicker, or succumb to rust, making them ideal for outdoor MOD purposes.
They have a very long life span.
The sum of all of this is that by choosing LED lights, the Ministry of Defence is able to make significant savings whilst not compromising on national security. In fact it can be argued that LEDs may even enhance security through their structure and function.
“LED lighting may be made up of tiny little LED chips – but the impact they have on reducing MOD spending is far, far larger”