Affordable, Advanced Shipboard Lighting System

Period of Performance: 05/08/2006 - 11/04/2006


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Protobox LLC
5717 Huberville Ave
Riverside, OH 45431
Principal Investigator


Protobox LLC proposes to develop an advanced Navy shipboard lighting system concept. The lighting system will incorporate multiple types and colors of high brightness LEDs combined with optical elements within a single lighting fixture. A unique control system will allow the user to select the desired chromaticity and brightness of the lights, and to control the lighting system using existing Navy shipboard wiring. The proposed lighting system will support an expanded range of Navy missions without the need to change lighting filters; White, Red, Amber, and NVIS Green chromaticity can be achieved all within a single lighting fixture simply by selecting the desired light color. Intensity of all colors is continuously variable. The proposed Phase I research begins with development of performance goals and standards, then conducts a design study of the proposed architecture. The investigation will include a Return On Investment (ROI) study and estimate the Total Ownership Cost (TOC). A concept demonstration lighting system will be prototyped and demonstrated at the conclusion of Phase I. Full development of the proposed system will improve the Navy ship s lighting system by offering a modular system that can be retrofitted into a large number of different types of Navy shipboard lighting fixtures. BENEFITS: The proposed innovative lighting system and its unique control system will be the first to allow Navy shipboard users to control the color and brightness of the lighting within a single lighting fixture. Navy manpower currently required to periodically change light bulbs, and to install different color filters over the lights as the mission changes, will be eliminated. The modular approach also enables future higher power and brightness LEDs to upgrade the lighting fixtures as the LED technology improves. Although the initial light fixture cost is high, the total ownership cost will be reduced by reducing the number of light fixtures required, and by reducing the manpower costs required for periodic maintenance. Initially, the advanced lighting system fixtures are targeted to replace existing Navy ship lighting fixtures; however, the proposed modular approach is designed to allow the same modules to be configured for new smaller lighting fixtures which could be used on future Navy ships. A simplified version of the proposed lighting system will be applicable to commercial and private ship lighting systems.