LED’s – The MOD’s answer to budgetary constraints!

November 12, 2015

What do a Defence Infrastructure Organisation initiative and Exterior LED Lighting has in common? It sounds like the start of a bad joke but actually, there’s a strong link between the two. Why? There is no doubt that we are living in some of the most economically challenging times of recent years and even a huge body such as the MOD cannot remain immune to the effects of this. Change is on the cards and the push behind it is hard.

So what can a tiny light module do towards this?

Rather than deploying the usual cost- cutting methods of reducing the size of the defence force the DIO have come up with a new initiative to look at cutting cost elsewhere. It’s simple really the MOD can reduce cost by reducing their energy bills through switching from incandescent lighting to using these powerful energy saving LED modules. On average Exterior LED Lighting can make saving of 50% and in some situations up to 90%.

What are the MOD’s main targets?


They can be solved in 2 words ‘LED Replacement’, a quick economical, quality solution which involves minimal disruption to today’s national security infrastructure at the same time as providing them with an exceptional distribution of light.

Why Exterior LED Lighting?

Reduced power consumption – when comparing traditional incandescent lighting , savings of between 50-90% are common in many LED applications especially when using low voltage DC power conversion from mains power. This result in a significant reduce in energy costs.

Increases life and decreases maintenance – ideal for the MOD as LED’s have a life span of > 100,000 hours and require minimal to no maintenance, leading to a considerable financial saving. This is due to a minimal degradation of light output which eliminates the cost of lamp  replacements and the regular maintenance required.

Wide range of working voltage options – LED’s are very different from traditional incandescent lighting as they only require small amounts of power (typically in the 12Vdc to 48Vdc range) to operate effectively which is ideal when considering systems to be run from solar power. In addition to this running LED lighting systems from mains generated power (110Vac- 220Vac) via conventional transformers result in vastly reduced running costs.

Minimised lower pollution – being green and looking after the environment is critical to many of us. This can be virtually eliminated as light output from LEDs is directional, only directing light where it is required via reflector or optical guidance. Specific beam spread can be defined typically within a range of 2 – 250 degrees from the light source. This is extremely effective as no light is wasted when compared to conventional lighting where light is typically omnidirectional from lamps and tubes.

Reduced carbon Emissions – All LED lighting systems are environmentally and ecologically friendly, as there are no poisonous elements used unlike traditional technologies which use mercury and other noxious and polluting gases.

Control – There are a number of control mechanisms that can increase the energy saved using LED and these can come in a number of forms. One of which is dimmable controls enabling the lighting output to be reduced when requirements cease. There are other controls such as Photocells, PIR and Nema photocells which enable the luminaire to be illuminated when either light levels fall or when motion is detected.

Shock Resistant – Unlike Traditional incandescent lighting sources, LED are not subject to sudden failure or burnout, as there are no filaments to burn out or break. The modules in LED’s emits from encapsulated silicon diodes immersed in phosphor which can be energised from a very low voltage input. Many manufactures wire it in a way that should a module fail the luminaire stays illuminated.

Light Quality – LED’s have a more uniform distribution of light potentially reducing the number of fitting required.

What else?

Exterior LED Lighting comes in a range of forms for different applications, when it comes to LED MOD lighting the solutions are no brainers they reduce significant energy cost which can be utilised on resources for our national security infrastructure. The return on investment is on average 3 years along with a year on year substantial energy saving.  In addition to this there is minimal to no maintenance as LED’s aren’t like traditional lighting whereas lamps need to be replaced every 5,000-6,000 hours whereas LEDs typically last 50,000-100,000 hours.

All in all, the MOD needs to implement LED MOD Lighting incorporating the latest LED Street lighting, LED Flood lighting and LED Car Park Lighting to save costs without compromising on the quality of light provided and their role of protecting the UK.