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Airports to Sustainability

than 40 years. The small digital devices can be used to produce millions of dif- ferent colors and brightness levels of light, but they have the potential to use significantly less energy than traditional lightingmethods. Within the past few years, LED

technology has advanced to the point where application level performance can sometimes outperformthat of appli- cations incorporating traditional high- intensity-discharge (HID) solutions. Previously,

some conventional

approaches to developing general illu- mination LEDs often involved retro- fitting existing fixtures to house new LED technology. Many early attempts simply used traditional standards and housings, resulting in poor performance and lower fixture life. Be wary of this approach, and look for products specifi- cally designed around LEDs.

LED Advantages Due to their potential long life,

LED products may offer nearly mainte- nance-free service, along with the pos- sibility for significant energy savings. LEDs also re-strike instantly after a power interruption and may be con- trolled with occupancy sensors to offer even greater energy savings. Additionally, an LED does not

burn out like a standard lamp, so indi- vidual diodes do not need to be replaced. Instead, they gradually pro- duce lower output levels over a very long time. In fact, well-designed fix- tures may operate more than 50,000- plus hours and still deliver at least 70% of their initial performance.Also, if one diode fails, it does not produce a com- plete fixture outage. In real-world applications, the

LED luminaires are virtually mainte- nance-free for more than 50,000 hours, compared with typical metal halide products with recommended re-lamp- ing specified at 6,000 to 8,000 hours. This longevity alone translates into greatly reducedmaintenance.Addition- ally, LED lighting for general outdoor use provides: Durability: LEDs are solid-state

devices containing no moving parts, no filaments or fragile glass to break, elim- inating the risk of damage during trans-

portation, installation and operation, even in the toughest environments. Green: LEDs are considered sus-

tainable because they potentially decrease the need for additional power plants that cause the release of CO2 into the atmosphere. The DOE has heralded LED lumi-

naires as the future of lighting because they have the potential for extremely long life span when compared with incandescent lighting – in many cases 20 times longer. In addition, LEDs con- sume less energy and are clean burning, thus reducing carbon emissions.

T.F. Green Airport Case in point:The state-owned T.F.

Green airport inWarwick, RI, is operat- ed by the Rhode IslandAirport Corpo- ration. Like many organizations and businesses, the Airport Corporation looks for ways to reduce energy con- sumption and costs, as well as lessen maintenance expenses. With ConEdison Solutions, the air-

port agency conducted an overall ener- gy audit to determine current usage and identify opportunities for efficiency and reduction as part of an Energy Sav- ing Performance contract. One area identified as needing efficiency upgrading was the airport’s arrivals roadway. Originally, it had 150 of the 175W metal halide fixtures mounted indirectly and positioned toward the ceiling, providing little light on the roadway. A decision was made to explore the testing of LED luminaires. Fifty-eight LED luminaires were

installed, reducing energy consumption by more than 50%. These fixtures pro- vide dramatically improved lighting per- formance and produce a brighter,whiter light for the arrivals roadway. A lifecycle cost analysis of the fix-

tures, combined with available funding and utility rebate subsidies, will allow the stateAirport Corporation to deter- mine if additional LED luminaires will be installed in exterior areas, such as the airport parking lots.

Michael Winegard, East Coast Regional Sales Manager for BetaLED, can be con- tacted at (401) 954-5769 or

For more information, visit This article first appeared in a 2009 issue of Parking Magazine.



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