Wattisham Flying Station

Airport compliant LED upgrade delivers savings of £46,000 per year

Have you seen the British Army's new battle-winning Apache attack helicopters? The AH-64E Apache aircraft are based at Wattisham Flying Station - an operational Army Airfield located next to the village of Wattisham in Suffolk, England.

VIVO Defence Services, a company that manages the Armed Forces' built estate, was tasked with replacing the airfield's eight High Mast Floodlight Systems, each carrying 5no 1000W SONT floodlights. Working with the Ministry of Defence’s Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), VIVO has developed a deep understanding of MOD culture, ethos, structure, and practice and employs a technology-enabled commitment to improving customer satisfaction levels, asset efficiency and user productivity.

Stuart Murray, CU Phosco, details that "technology has come a long way since we installed our FL444 SONT floodlights in 2001, so the project presented excellent potential for substantial energy savings."

Paul Wright, VIVO Project Manager, Wattisham Flying Station, adds.

“The concept was brought about by Wattisham Flying Stations DIO SEFM, Larry Allsop after a High-Level light failure. It was highlighted that VIVO should review the existing lighting system and supply a practical and cost-effective solution, incorporating sustainability solutions within the design and installation with support and guidance from CU Phosco”


Using the existing 40m high masts CU Phosco worked closely with VIVO to find the optimum LED floodlight for the airfield.

CU Phosco's in-house team completed the lighting design, and its contracting team delivered the LED replacement within a week.

Ideal for replacing existing 1kW floodlighting systems, the chosen luminaire, FL810 LED Area Floodlight, provides a highly efficient solution for the airfield.

FL810's cooling fins are optimised with a high surface area to quickly draw heat away from the LEDs. Vents created by the vertical cooling fins accelerate natural convection through the heatsink. The rising hot air draws cold air in from below, immediately cooling the LEDs and maximising their lifespan and light output. This cooling effect ensures FL810's high efficacy is maintained over its life.

Results and Benefits

The low-glare, Dark Sky friendly solution meets all the requirements for CAP168 compliance and limits obtrusive light to the surrounding environment. Furthermore, its excellent CRI ensures excellent visual conditions for the helicopter pilots on the aircraft stands.

The floodlight's superior energy efficiency has delivered 64% energy savings, helping VIVO to deliver an annual reduction of £46,000 in electricity costs for the MOD, with a payback of under 2.5 years.

Furthermore, with sustainability in mind, the luminaire is fully recyclable at the end of its life.

“The solution was beyond what Larry Allsop and I were expecting. The ease of installation and support of FACIT Testing Ltd, Norwich, for their management and submission of completion certificates was impressive for the works, as were the cost savings and I would highly recommend FACIT and CU Phosco.”

Paul Wright, VIVO Project Manager

Wattisham Flying Station

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