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CES installs LED streetlights on base

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Master Sgt. Russell Wells, 30th Civil Engineering Squadron, inspects a Light Emitting Diode in front of the CES Operations Flight Building on Dec. 17. LED lights are being tested on Vandenberg to possibly replace current sodium vapor lamps. LED lights use three times less energy than sodium vapor lamps. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jonathan Olds)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Master Sgt. Russell Wells, 30th Civil Engineering Squadron, inspects a Light Emitting Diode in front of the CES Operations Flight Building on Dec. 17. LED lights are being tested on Vandenberg to possibly replace current sodium vapor lamps. LED lights use three times less energy than sodium vapor lamps. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jonathan Olds)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- In an effort to meet federal and base energy conservation goals, the 30th Civil Engineer Squadron is installing light-emitting diode streetlights here. 

The squadron ordered 50 of the light fixtures, also known as LED lights, at the end of February after eight months of testing. 

The results of the tests were convincing: LED fixtures consume 108 watts, last 50,000 hours and produce a white light, whereas the currently used high-pressure sodium bulbs consume 540 watts, last 12,000 hours and produce a yellow/orange light. 

"The difference in light output other than color is negligible as they are comparable in foot candles at ground level," said Master Sgt. Russell Wells, electrical section superintendent of the 30th CES. "The end result is less man-hours repairing HPS fixtures and a better quality of light output and color." 

A portion of the bulbs were delivered recently and the squadron is installing these along California Avenue, from Utah Avenue to Washington Avenue. 

"Currently, we are estimating 1.5 man-hours (installation time) per fixture, but I feel that once we get into the process it will go faster as the technicians learn the process," Sergeant Wells said. 

While installing LEDs on a shop status board in early 2007, Sergeant Wells came up with the idea of using LED lights as streetlights. He is currently working with Brad King, 30th Space Wing energy manager, testing LED office light fixtures to replace currently-used fluorescent lamps. 

Vandenberg's Energy Management Plan falls in line with the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and Executive Order 13423, both of which direct all federal agencies to reduce facility energy consumption by 3 percent, based on a 2003 fiscal year energy usage baseline.