Technology and Innovation in the Military|
Military applications are notorious testing grounds for all manner of equipment that eventually makes its way into the public market. Terms like “Military Approved” and “Military Grade” carry a great deal of weight with the public and with good reason. When the military selects equipment that is going to be used by troops, it is not done lightly. Safety of military personnel is a major priority as well as the effectiveness of these troops in the field and any equipment they are going to be issued must perform to standards determined by these concerns. Durability, reliability, efficiency and capability are all important factors that must be of exceptional grading before they can be confidently allowed into use on the battlefield.
In the current military operations taking place in Iraq and Afghanistan there is new equipment constantly being considered and tested. As well as official military departments introducing new equipment there are numerous units and personnel themselves trying out equipment on their own where regulations permit, and in many cases this has resulted in equipment becoming stalwart additions to the field of operations. Back home, the families and communities that soldiers left behind during deployment have rallied in support of their troops and funded the purchase and delivery of literally tons of vital equipment to the field. Corporations have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment themselves and each year the availability of new and advanced equipment available to troops grows.
In 2006 in response to requests from military personnel and community members Larson Electronics sent cases of their HML-5M 24 volt military spotlights to soldiers in the field. In further contacts with community members Larson Electronics also matched private purchases of equipment for military personnel with their own donations of equipment as well. The HML-5M 24 volt military spotlights sent at that time have been well received by the units they are deployed with and reports state the lights are very effective and durable. Since that time there have been several technological improvements that have resulted in spotlights of even greater efficiency and durability and in April of 2010 Larson Electronics introduced one such product through its Larson Electronics line of lighting equipment. Developments in the last five years have led to LED designs that are revolutionizing how lighting equipment is designed and now these LEDs are finding use in applications once reserved for traditional Halogen and HID lamps.
The Larson Electronics Hand Magnetic LED Spotlight is the result of LED technology being mated with the proven design of the HML-5M 24 volt military spotlight found in the military’s Escalation of Force Kits and has resulted in a spotlight of excellent power, durability and efficiency. The incorporation of LEDs into this spotlights design has resulted in a spotlight that draws less than 2 amps at 24 volts and creates 3600 lumens of illumination at 40 watts; more than the 3200 lumens produced by a comparable 35 watt HID lamp. The LEDs in this lamp improve upon the durability of the HML-5M series by doing away with the glass encased blubs found in halogen and HID lamps. There no filaments as is the case with HID lamps, however, with LEDs the light emitting diodes contain no fragile glass in their construction as well. This adds a further level of ruggedness that no glass lamp can match.
The LEDs used in the HML-5M-LED also serve to lower power consumption and reduce the load placed upon the vehicles and they are connected to. Drawing less than 2 amps from a 24 volt electrical system, they present minimal drain on batteries and can be operated for extended periods without worrying about depleting critical power reserves. The LEDs are encased within the proven HML-5M spotlight housing and because of this are weatherproof and UV resistant. As with all the HML-5M line, these lights are compatible with a wide variety of applications and can be used in the same manner as the original HML-5M-24’s. They are equipped with a magnetic base that allows them to be mounted anywhere a powerful spotlight is needed and the base’s 100lbs grip magnet keeps the spotlight in place even in aggressive driving conditions. These lights are also are available for use in low voltage applications and there are several optional cords that allow them to be connected to a variety of power sources.
As well as using creativity and resourcefulness in procuring new and advanced equipment, military personnel are equally innovative in applying that equipment. Troops have taken advantage of the magnetic mount capabilities of the HML-M5 series of spotlights and attached them to gun turrets, tanks, Humvees, and even mounted them directly to M2 50.Caliber machine guns. All of these applications demonstrate the importance placed on these spotlights and their use in such configurations underscores the importance of durability and dependability. It is here that the moniker of “Military Grade” is earned, and although many products may like to use that designation as a selling point, few have actually earned it.
As the military and its personnel continue to seek ways to improve on their capabilities, public and private manufacturers continue to rise to the occasion and provide them with even more opportunities to do so. Modern technology continues to advance at a rapid pace and LEDs are one of the technologies currently heading the list in both the military and private sectors. In military applications LEDs are being fitted to everything from aircraft and headlights in transport vehicles to the flashlights included with a soldiers gear. Their extreme dependability and efficiency coupled with their ability to produce powerful illumination make them a natural for military applications and as the technology behind them grows so too will their presence on the military stage.As each LED lamp is deployed in military operations, their value and worth is proven again and again. With the military’s continual shift towards improved technologies to further add to the security of their personnel also comes a continued validation of these technologies worth. The HML series of lights have already proven their value and performance in identifying and dealing with hostile forces, IEDs, and all other manner of situations troops encounter and the LED version of the HML-M5 series of spotlights promises to be an even better performer.