RAF finds LED lighting to be perfect fit for helicopter base (Updated)

PriDE, a joint venture between Interserve and SSE Contracting that performs real-estate management and provides construction services, has installed SSL hangar lighting at RAF Benson in Oxfordshire, UK in order to save energy and provide a better work environment.

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The Defense Infrastructure Organization (DIO), along with PriDE, has installed new solid-state lighting (SSL) at the Royal Air Force (RAF) helicopter base, RAF Benson, in Oxfordshire, UK. The LED lighting retrofit is part of a larger energy efficiency initiative that in aggregate is expected to save £110 million ($173 million) by 2014, and £70 million ($110 million) each year afterwards. One hanger has already been converted, and the remaining hangers will be updated with LED lighting over the next 12 months.


The change in lighting offers more than just cost savings, the new lights reduce carbon emissions and do not need to warm up like conventional HID hangar lighting. These lighting changes are part of the DIO’s Energy Spend to Save program.

“We’re extremely pleased with the effect of the new lighting system in the hangar,” said Steve Rowley, a sensior engineering officer, “Much of the engineering work undertaken on the Merlin helicopter is comparatively complex due to the high-tech systems the aircraft employs, thus maximum light conditions to enable attention to detail is extremely beneficial. In addition, the increase in light levels has given a better and safer overall working environment for our engineers, all of which contributes to successful operations.”

PriDE is currently reviewing the lighting requirements of the Ministry of Defense to find more ways to cut costs and provide better workplaces for employees.

“The new lighting at RAF Benson is a winner for all concerned,” said Matt Foley, DIO Head of Utilities. “RAF staff get better working conditions, whilst the MOD takes another step in ‘greening’ our operations and supporting important environmental goals set by the Government.”

The partners relied on SSL products from Philips Lighting for the retrofit.

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