Improving Safety in Marine Environments with Remote Controlled LED Spotlights

Improving Safety in Marine Environments with Remote Controlled LED Spotlights

In order to boost illumination in marine-based facilities, LED spotlights are mounted on poles or other hard-to-reach locations. This allows the units to cast light beams over the target area with minimal obstruction.

Unfortunately, such mounting options reduce access to the LED fixture. As a result, the operator’s safety is greatly compromised, every time the individual uses or makes adjustment to the luminary.

Benefits of Hands-free Operation

A solution to this issue is the application of remote controlled LED spotlights. These cutting-edge lamps are designed to be operated at a safe distance, via a handheld (wireless) controller. When used in dangerous work sites, operators do not have to be in direct contact with the LED spotlight all the time.

For example, an LED spotlight mounted on a boat rack is perfect for casting light on the surface of the water. However, equipment towers are often bulky and out of reach. With a remote controlled LED spotlight, one does not have to stop the boat or leave the captain’s chair to adjust direction of the beam. Moreover, it would be possible to participate in several tasks at once, such as recovering gear from the water while keeping the light beam on the object. Visit this page for large online selection of boat spotlights.

Dangerous and Hazardous Location Sites

Another use for remote controlled LED spotlights is for illumination in dangerous work sites, such as construction and petrol refineries. In both locations, LED spotlights are mounted on heavy-duty equipment, such as cranes, pipes, rails and tanks.

Such equipment are exposed to hazardous materials on a regular basis, which can be harmful vapors, corrosive chemicals or large amounts of dust. To prevent exposure to flammable and deadly substances, operators may opt to leverage a remote controlled LED spotlight. By controlling the fixture with a handheld remote, the operator is able to stay out of harm’s way.

Benefits of Polycarbonate for Marine-based Lighting Systems

Benefits of Polycarbonate for Marine-based Lighting Systems

Marine locations, including shipyards, boats and commercial docks, are rugged work sites. Such areas are exposed to numerous harmful environmental elements, from saltwater to strong winds. Protecting lighting systems with sturdy materials is one of the best ways to overcome extreme marine sites, which includes polycarbonate. These days, the amorphous thermoplastic is applied to a range of industrial products. Examples such equipment includes protective eyewear, shatterproof covers, lighting lenses and more.

Polycarbonate Properties

Polycarbonate gets its durable features from a specific chemical reaction that takes place between bisphenol A and phosgene. Interestingly, this is the same process used to manufacture bulletproof materials and surfaces.

Compared to fiberglass, it can withstand harder impacts (up to four times). Furthermore, the robust material is less prone to dents and deformation experienced with impacts or rough handling on stainless steel-based surfaces. From a cost perspective, polycarbonate is cheaper to acquire and implement in product manufacturing.

In the application of polycarbonate for industrial lights, the material is usually transparent (used as a lens cover). However, it can also be manufactured with a diffused layer, which is applicable to decreasing glare in busy work sites.

Extreme Marine Work Sites

Operators in marine work sites favor polycarbonate because it is non-corrosive, with an operating temperature range of -31 ̊F to 180 ̊F. When used in wet or damp locations, the material is suitable for achieving stringent IP or NEMA ratings for industrial fixtures.

For marine environments, polycarbonate can reduce warping and help maintain the integrity of fixtures on the work site. Since the material is UV resistant, operators do not have to worry about maintaining a UV coating for protection. To streamline protection, manufacturers may incorporate UV stabilizers and other additives. Polycarbonate is also particularly useful for mitigating the negative effects of mainstream acids commonly found in cleaning agents and rainwater.

 

 

 

 

 

 

uscg approved lights

What are USCG Approved Lights for Boats?

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) governs and oversees large bodies of water in the country. Boaters are required to closely observe USCG regulations, when deploying vessels in oceans and lakes. A major highlight in USCG boating guidelines is the application of USCG approved lights. Reports of USCG patrollers issuing warnings and citations about the use of non-approved USCG lamps have increased, due to a spike in availability of low-quality fixtures for boats.

USCG Approved Lights 101

According to a 2015 USCG memo (Safety Alert 10-15), lights for recreational and commercial vessels must comply with Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (72 COLREGS) or Inland Navigation Rules (33 CFR Subchapter E). Recommendations for light sources are not provided, implying that individuals can select any type of fixture, such as incandescent, metal halide or LEDs, to use on boats.

When a USCG warden inspects a lighting system on a vessel, he or she is on the lookout for specific labels on the fixtures. There should be ‘USCG Approval 33 CFR 183.810’ or ‘Meets ABYC A-16 guidelines’ (or similar) wording on the lamps. Additionally, markings from a recognized testing laboratory, such as ETL or UL, should also be present on the label.

Decorative Boat Lights vs USCG Boat Lights

Another important aspect of USCG-approved fixtures is performance. USCG officials discourage the use of decorative lighting on vessels. This is because such lighting systems can easily be mistaken for or obstruct existing navigation lights. For example, bright LED strip lights or boat spotlights which are commonly found on boats, can easily overpower red/green navigational fixtures (when installed within the same part of the vessel).

Lastly, the application of flashing decorative lights should be avoided (when possible), as the luminaries could provide a false impression of a law enforcement vessel patrolling the location.

Leds

LEDs to Lead the Way for the Era of Autonomous Ships

Autonomous technology is not just for cars. The industrial shipping industry is also in a position to directly benefit from driverless platforms. In fact, there’s a possibility that marine-based vessels will operate autonomously before land-based vehicles, as there are less obstructions and challenges to address during navigation (no pedestrians, intersections and stop lights). How will LEDs usher self-driving ships into the modern era of shipping?

Reliable Lighting for Unmanned Ships

Recently, Google and Rolls-Royce announced a strategic partnership that would streamline the development of driverless ships. Machine learning, as well as AI-powered classification systems will be applied for identification of other ships and landmarks on the ocean. When developing driverless platforms for vessels, engineers feed images to the system in a virtual environment, before deployment in a live setting.

For accurate sensing, ships require powerful lights around the vessel. Because the units will not be operated by a crew (the overall goal is unmanned navigation), the lamps must be reliable. LEDs can meet such rugged prerequisites due to their solid-state design. Furthermore, the vessels will need to be equipped with standard navigation lighting.

LIDAR and LEDs

Autonomous platforms use LIDAR systems to gauge and monitor distance. The unit sends out rapid light beams and measures the duration of travel between the sensor and object. LIDAR components are generally expensive to acquire, as the technology is mostly used in the military and for large-scale surveying.

Cheaper LIDAR variants have started to enter the market, which utilize LEDs for operation. Instead of using lasers for detection, the units emit a blinking LED chip. The blinking LED contains a unique signature that is constantly monitored by the unit. These low-cost LIDAR systems are capable of identifying objects as far as 45 meters with up to 95 percent accuracy.

Going beyond autonomous ships, LED-powered LIDAR units can be installed on drones, due to their extremely compact size.

underwater lighting

Addressing Pitfalls of Underwater Lighting with LEDs

This article is sponsored by Larson Electronics, US manufacturer of commercial boat lights.

The ocean is extremely unpredictable, making illumination vital to sustaining marine operations. For underwater operations, such as the installation of large valves or inspection of lengthy pipelines, underwater lighting must be used to withstand the rough environment. These days, such requirements are being addressed by LEDs.

Find out how LEDs are being used to illuminate underwater work sites below.

Color Temperature and Power

Before the introduction of LEDs, halogen lights were used for underwater lighting. Unfortunately, the outdated light sources were ineffective in dealing with the environment.

Halogen lights emit a color temperature of 3,000K. This range is not bright enough for deep, underwater sites. LEDs, with a color temperature range of 3,500K to 9,000K, are better at providing sharp illumination. When compared to incandescent light sources, LEDs offer higher lumen output, while consuming less energy.

As a primary, underwater light source, LED lamps may take on rubber, handheld grips. This can help operators position light beams over the target, using gloved hands (when protected by a wet suit).

Seamless Integration with Tools

Although underwater locations are spacious, compact light sources are preferred by marine operators. Compact luminaries can be combined with tools and equipment to form a cohesive device. For instance, a low-voltage drill could incorporate a small LED light above the head for direct illumination over the target. The unit could be battery powered for portable applications.

For safety, integrated LED lighting could also improve reaction times for both underwater workers and camera operators overseeing operations remotely in a separate, above-ground facility.

As a pressure-tolerant unit, LEDs are ideal light sources for underwater, remotely-operated vehicles (ROVs). The luminaries can be equipped with heavy-duty parts to be able to withstand extreme depths and exploratory projects carried out by ROVs. Lastly, for discreet viewing of deepwater creatures, infrared LED lamps can be used.

truck lights

Choosing Trailer & Truck Lights For Boating Operations

Boating operations are mostly limited to large bodies of water. But before the vessels are deployed at the shore or dock, they must first be transported to the location. Due to the size of boats, most individuals use trailers, trucks or other heavy-duty hauling equipment, or even a large vessel. Like boats, these units utilize trailer & truck lights for navigation, visibility and safety.

Keep reading to learn more about choosing a set of luminaries for your trailer or truck for supporting marine operations at the dock.

Compact and Reliable

LEDs are the way to go for illumination during deployment and preparation at marine sites. They are compact and won’t get in your way when trying to fit in between tight spaces. The lights also consume less power, streamlining compatibility with low voltage requirements typically observed in automotive and marine systems. Furthermore, LEDs are solid state and offer better resistance against rough handling and outdoor elements.

It’s important to point out that individuals residing in the US or Canada must adhere to some of the same set of guidelines for trailer lighting systems. Such configurations include the application of an amber and red light close to the front axle (for side clearance), as well as conventional turning and stop lights. The size of the trailer being used, which depends on the size of the boat being hauled, will determine the application of other lighting configurations.

Mounting Options

There are several types of mounting options for truck lighting systems. For supporting boating operations, a remote-controlled LED light can be mounted on the roof of trucks, via a mounting plate. Such elevated positions allow the unit to illuminate the entire target area, from a safe distance. Handheld variants are also useful for setting up vessels near docks. A pistol-grip LED spot light is ideal for inspecting the water before deployment, with the use of intense, sharp beams capable of reaching far distances.

Lastly, because trailer and truck lights for boating operations are exposed to saltwater, they should take on corrosion resistant builds.