Kentucky Air National Guard advances eco-lighting with new technology

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. James W. Killen
  • 123rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
The 123rd Airlift Wing recently took a step forward in environmentally friendly technology with two new lighting projects.

The addition of more efficient fluorescent lighting across the base and LED lighting on the flight line promise to improve visibility while reducing energy consumption and saving money.

Col. Jeff Wilkinson, wing vice commander, said both projects enhance unit effectiveness while helping the wing be good stewards of the environment and government resources.

"We are extremely pleased with the thoughtful efforts of our engineering teams to find solutions that simultaneously enhance mission capability, energy efficiency and environmental responsibility," he said.

According to Tom Spalding, base energy manager, the fluorescent lighting will reduce the current energy consumption by almost one-third and is made possible by advances in the lighting industry.

During a recent energy management steering committee meeting, Spaulding revealed the Kentucky Air National Guard Base is now ranked sixth in energy conservation among 23 Air National Guard units with similar aircraft configurations.

"The five bases ranked higher are also in different climatological zones," noted Spaulding, alluding to the significance of the ranking given Kentucky's wide-ranging, seasonal temperature variations.

In addition to the new fluorescent lighting in buildings 100, 300, 400 and 500, the flight line and apron areas received even greater advances in technology with the installation of LED lighting.

"The ability to use this (LED) technology has only come about in the last year," according to Lt. Col. Phillip Howard, base civil engineer. "This new lighting system is still in the pre-approval stage, but we are ready to take advantage of the enhanced technology."

A flight line test conducted by the base energy team showed significant improvements in visibility, with some areas seeing three times as much light compared with the old lighting units.

Chief Master Sgt. Martin E. Fautz, base facilities manager, said the test was "extremely successful and will provide a great improvement with overall visibility, but most importantly, there was no negative impact regarding our pilot's night vision or other light sensitive equipment." T

he team also recorded no negative impact on infrared systems -- something Howard said was a concern going into the test."

This lighting test was very important," Spalding said. "LED Lighting will save us a great deal, both in terms of the electric bill and maintenance. This is a phenomenal improvement in light quality."

The lighting upgrade is part of a comprehensive energy plan that will include upgraded lighting throughout the base, upgraded occupancy sensors, enhanced heating and air conditioning controls, and more efficient mechanical equipment.

These combined upgrades will provide enhanced indoor environmental quality and comfort for daily operations, both administrative and operational, and has been a factor in the recent award of a $45,000 energy incentive, Spalding said.