marine lighting system

How to Get the Most Out of LED Retrofits for Marine Lighting Systems

Transitioning from outdated lighting systems, such as incandescent and fluorescent lamps, to LED Marine Lighting is a rewarding experience for businesses in the marine sector. Based on performance and cost, to get the most out the project, it is important to take certain factors into consideration. Timing, cost and assessment are example of factors that should be carefully addressed before commencing with an LED retrofit project.

Pricing and Delays

Yes, it is true that at this time, LEDs come with higher upfront costs. However, cost savings for marine LED lights must be calculated over its lifespan. Since LEDs offer over 50,000+ hours of illumination, operators at the marine site will be spending less time and money on maintenance and re-lamping.

Buying cheap, low-quality LEDs is not recommended, as such a decision may result in more frequent purchases due to risk of premature failure.

Another common mistake made by businesses in the marine industry is delaying LED retrofit projects. Because the units provide immediate cost savings after installation, one would end up missing out on decreased monthly energy bills. As an estimate, delaying an LED retrofit project for 30 days equates to forgoing five percent in savings during installation.

Expert Help

Depending on the type of LED retrofit installation, seeking help from a lighting specialist is advisable to ensure compliance and safety. This tip is highly applicable to projects that require additional wiring or replacement of fixture components. On the other hand, some boat LED lights are compatible with legacy lighting systems, allowing operators to simply switch out the bulbs.

Since LEDs have different illuminative properties and designs, it would also be helpful to seek consultation about various lighting setups and arrangements. Although such services can be costly, an optimized lighting configuration at the marine site may require less LED lamps (resulting is lower acquisition costs).

LED Marine Lighting Systems

Weatherproof vs Weather Resistant for LED Marine Lighting Systems

Individuals gauge the sturdiness of LED Marine lights and equipment, based on their ratings. For protection against the ingress of water, operators typically check International Protection ratings associated with the unit during purchase.

Another common type of protective rating is weatherproof. This type of rating, which determines the product’s ability to withstand rugged, outdoor environments, can easily be confused with weather resistant.

Contrary to popular belief, weather resistant and weatherproof do not offer the same levels of protection against rough conditions.

Defining Weather Resistant

Weather-resistant ratings provide light to moderate levels of protection from water, sunlight, strong winds and mildly corrosive elements. It is important to highlight that such features cannot provide a complete seal against such variables. Furthermore, if the housing of the luminary resists foreign contaminants, via a robust coating or finish, the type of protection becomes weather repellent.

Weatherproof protection is designed to keep LED lights operating like new units. Furthermore, there are various degrees of performance, as the term ‘weatherproof’ encompasses several outdoor conditions.

For instance, CFM ratings may be used to determine the level of wind resistance certain weatherproof materials provide. Rating inspectors may implement water pressure tests to check for water leaks. Weatherproof also includes ultraviolet protection (UV) against persistent sunlight.

Which One is Right for Me?

A thorough approach to protecting LED lights for marine locations is to use the highest level of protection available, which is weatherproof. This approach can be costly to implement, as materials used for weatherproof protection are more expensive. But because of this, the units could last longer, reducing money spent on replacement and maintenance.

In some cases, weatherproof ratings are needed, in order to streamline compliance with marine regulations. For such applications, it is crucial to adhere to such requirements. To improve operation, weather resistant housings in marine environments can be supplemented with covers.

LED Lights for Boats — Choosing Yours

Six things to consider when coming up with the switch to LED spotlights. LED navigation signals last longer and offer greater efficiency than old-fashioned incandescent navigation signals. Light-emitting diodes have spawned a revolution in marine lighting.

In addition to providing productive onboard and underwater illumination, excellent LEDs can help light just how on docks, bettering safe practices even before you can get on the boat.

Insist upon Marine Level LED Lighting

Resist the enticement to set up nonmarine lights on your motorboat. Marine-grade LEDs feature housings that avoid corrosion in a saltwater environment, while others — even LEDs created for outdoor and garden uses — will probably succumb to the rigors of briny applications.

LED spotlights for watercraft also come covered to prevent drinking water intrusion. Look for the highest waterproof evaluations of IP 67 and IP 6K9K.

Research Coastline Guard Compliance

Make certain the new LEDs meet Coast Guard regulations and guidelines arranged by the North american Fishing boat and Yacht Council. Red (slot) and green (starboard) part marker signals, for example, should light up a sector spanning 112.5 certifications from dead in advance to aft on each aspect.

In addition, each LED nav light — like the white all-around light — should meet the Coast Safeguard and ABYC requirements for awareness range. These legislation change with the size of the vessel, but also for ships under 40 foot, the required presence range is 2 nautical mls.

Use the Right Lighting Angles

The angle of illumination serves an important function and is basically determined by the zoom lens. For courtesy and spreader signals, for instance, you want a fairly large beam — at least 50 diplomas — to adequately light up a cockpit or walkway. A broad beam also helps minimize dark shadows that might impair visibility.

For a LED spotlights, on the other hands, a narrower beam of about 20 certifications better targets a specific subject and direction, whether it is near or very good.

Select LEDs While using Same Footprint

If you are replacing a vintage incandescent, try to select an LED that suits the same cutout or bracket, a practice that will save you time, work and profit patching or enlarging slots or creating an adapter for the new LED fixture. This shows especially important when retrofitting your motorboat with underwater LEDs. Fixing a gap below the waterline can get expensive.

Finding an comparable replacement might not continually be possible, but these matchups do can be found. Hella’s SLIMLINE LED courtesy signals, for example, fit the same hole as the old Perko circular incandescent courtesy lamps — a swap-out I made on my motorboat a couple of years ago.

No. 5: Avoid EMI

A regulator within the LED spotlights microcircuit constantly switches voltage to the diode off and on. In case the regulator is not properly shielded, the line resulting in the LED emits radio frequencies that interfere with onboard consumer electronics. This electromagnetic disturbance can manifest in peculiarities such as VHF radiointerference, static over a stereo system, and “hash” over a fish-finder screen. The ultimate way to avoid EMI is to look for the “CE” designation on the marine LED fixture. This indicates that the manufacturer has complied with Conformit? Europ?enne (European conformity) in shielding the LED.

Lastly, Don’t go overboard in your zest for sea LED spotlights. Carefully select, set up and utilize LED technology, and you’ll improve your vessel, your angling experience as well as your safety when sportfishing at night.

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.