U.S. Navy’s nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) (Ike) has begun upgrading to LED lighting systems in an effort to go green under the U.S. Navy’s Great Green Fleet initiative.
“It’s not a difficult process, but it is time consuming,” Electrician’s Mate Fireman Christina Jackson said. “It’s been an ongoing process for almost a year and a half and it’s amazing to see the difference.”
Jackson is just one of a small division of Electrician’s Mates that have banded together in converting every light fixture aboard one of the Navy’s largest vessels.
Instead of Thomas Edison’s old-fashioned filaments or outdated fluorescents, light-emitting diode (LED) is a type of solid-state lighting that uses a semi-conductor to convert electricity into light. Today’s LED bulbs can be six to seven times more energy efficient than conventional incandescent lights and cut energy use by more than 80 percent.
According to Reynolds, if every light 3rd deck and below was changed to an LED, it would save an average of 1.28 megawatts per hour. To put that in perspective, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, a residential American home only uses an average of .9 megawatts a month.
Fluorescent and incandescent lights also create a considerable amount of heat. When a warship is operating in some of the hottest areas of the world, as Ike currently is, keeping equipment and personnel cool is a number one priority. LED lights not only save electricity, but also keep the spaces considerably cooler than their older counterparts.