How To Pick The Best LED Lights For Boats?

LED lights for boats have become highly popular and it’s not difficult to see why. When you are going out on a boat for sailing for a day, it can be very important to ensure the right lighting is used. LED lights have become very important within any boat and you must ensure the right lights are used. However, do you know how to pick the best LED lights for boats? If not, why don’t you read on and find out a little more?

Don’t Go For the Cheapest

Far too many people think it’s wise to choose just any LED light as it will be sufficient enough for their boats but it doesn’t work like that! Opting for the cheapest lights might not really be the best solution as it might last as long. What is more, if you buy the cheapest lights and they don’t last long it will mean you are constantly buying new or replacements and it’ll cost far too much. You don’t want to do this so you might want to consider opting for value for money rather than getting the cheapest boat lights.

Consider Whether They Are Designed For Boats In Particular

There are a lot of LED lights available today but a lot of people get them all mixed up and think all lights work for every purpose which isn’t exactly true. LED lights are not all suitable for boats so you have to ensure the lights you choose are suitable for your boat. You might think it doesn’t make a difference but it does. LED lights for boats are needed and they can be a lot easier to find than you might think. Always ensure the lights are suitable for boats; if they aren’t, you might have trouble getting the lights to last a long period of time.

Be Wary Of the Voltage

Far too many people don’t take voltage into consideration when it comes to buying new LED lights and that causes a lot of concern. If the wrong voltage is purchased then it might cause a little trouble on your boat and again it’s not what you want. That is why you have to look at the type of voltage on offer from the LED lights and whether or not they are suitable with the boat. Buying boat lights can be a little troublesome and yet you can get the right light when you know a little more about the type of voltage you need.

Take Your Time to Find the Best

When you have a boat, you have to ensure the lights are fitted correctly and that they are suitable for the task ahead. If the wrong lights are used then you might be stranded in the middle of the ocean without proper lighting. That is why you have to take your time to find suitable lights and there are many simple ways to do so. Getting good LED lights for boats can be pretty easy to do and you can get a better way to light your boats.

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What Are LED Bulkhead Lights Used For On Boats

Locations without reliable access to power require cutting-edge lighting solutions. On boats, luminaries must be durable, long lasting and bright to support dangerous tasks performed.

To promote safety on boats, it’s common for operators to equip certain sections of the vessel with LED bulkhead lights. Taking on a slim, solid-state design, the units illuminate passageways, stairs and other accident-prone areas on the boat.

Prioritizing Longevity

LED bulkhead lights for boats are designed for extreme reliability. When used as an emergency light, it can be low voltage and support battery-backup features. Low power consumption is an essential feature of the luminary, as well as a sturdy housing typically made out of polycarbonate or robust thermoplastic materials. For installations in locations with low roofing, it would be possible to diffuse the light to prevent blinding and glare.

Furthermore, the lights can be protected with a cage or guard to reduce the possibility of damage during impacts. This accessory is useful when mounting LED bulkhead lights close to the floor or in high-traffic locations. Like other marine-type luminaries, these units are reinforced with waterproof and corrosion-resistant protection when used on boats.

Not Just for Boats

Outside of the marine industry, LED bulkhead lights can be deployed in industrial facilities and rugged locations. In such areas, the units are installed in basements and hallways. As a flat-shaped light, it can easily be incorporated along walls, in a recessed configuration. Although recessed installations are more tedious, they can help maximize space in congested locations.

When used to mark the general location of an entry or exit point in a remote building, LED bulkhead lights could be supported with solar panels. For such installations, the panels are mounted outside of the facility (for optimal exposure to sunlight), connecting to a battery that powers the unit (located inside the facility).

The Evolution of Lighthouse Lamps in Marine Locations

History of Lighthouse Lamps

In the marine sector, lighthouses have been around for over 300 years. The structures serve very important purposes, often notifying ships about their positions during hazy or nighttime conditions.

Over time, like most structures and equipment today, lighthouses received upgrades to their illuminative components. Furthermore, cutting-edge navigational devices, such as GPS and mobile maps, have allowed ship operators to decrease their reliance on the large lamps.

Today, lighthouses are being updated with new lighting technologies. Below covers the evolution of the colossal structures.

Wood, Coal and Vegetable Oil

Initially, lighthouses applied very old methods for illumination. During the 1700s, open fires that burned wood and coal in an iron basket were used. This was extremely inefficient and operators did not have a viable way to control the light from the fires. Pan and fountain lamps eventually replaced wood and coal-based fires. The luminaries consumed oil for fuel and were easier to manage over long periods of operation.

Kerosene burners were introduced to lighthouses in the 1800s. The burners were considered to be safe and sturdy, capable of withstanding the corrosive nature of the ocean. Eventually, electric lamps (in the form of 1,000-watt metal halide and 1,000-watt halogen lights) phased out oil-based luminaries in the 1900s.

Solar Lighthouse Lamps

As mentioned earlier, new lighting technologies and navigational systems have made such structures, and the workers that maintain them, obsolete. Modern lighthouses now offer safety services, in addition to providing illuminative guidance in open waters. For lighting, the structures incorporate solar-powered assemblies and LEDs. This option is ideal for the buildings, since they are far-flung and often do not have access to mainstream power.

Lastly, instead of a continuous beam of light, a giant flashing strobe light is used for notification. The structures are still maintained today, mostly by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) for lighthouses in the US.

Understanding IP and NEMA Ratings for LED Boat Lights

For sustained illumination in marine environments, which in most cases are rough, humid and watery, LED boat lights are reinforced with specific standards, such as Ingress Protection (IP) and National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) ratings.

IP and NEMA standards are the most common set of guidelines that allow operators to effectively gauge how far they can push lighting systems before succumbing to malfunction or failure. This article explains how to distinguish IP and NEMA ratings on LED boat lights.

IP Guidelines

IP ratings follow a standard format of ‘IP’ followed by two digits or letters. The first letter is related to the unit’s level of protection against solid particles. This indicator ranges from zero to six, with zero offering no special protection against solid objects. At the highest level, a starting digit of six provides dust tight protection or complete protection from dust. The second digit reveals the object’s level of protection against liquids. This salient indicator ranges from zero to 9K, which provides protection from hot jets (80 °C water) – associated with wash or spray down sessions.

IP ratings can also include additional letters for protection against specific hazards and conditions. A letter ‘F’ signifies oil resistance, a letter ‘H’ relates to high voltage and a letter ‘W’ offers protection from various weather-related conditions.

For LED boat lights, the most common IP ratings include IP67, IP56 and IP54.

NEMA Ratings

NEMA ratings are prevalent in the US and Canada, while IP guidelines are applicable worldwide. Moreover, the guidelines go beyond protection from liquids and dust. The rating system adds protection against corrosion resistance and hazardous atmospheres, related to flammable or explosive substances. NEMA enforces their ratings using a scale that ranges from one to 13. NEMA 1 is applicable to indoor enclosures with limited or general protection from dust (note: not dust tight), light, water and normal weather conditions.

NEMA 6 and NEMA 6P (as well as NEMA 4 and NEMA 4X) are most suitable for LED boat lights. This NEMA type provides protection in submersible conditions, with NEMA 6P offering extended periods of submersion in water or oil. This level of protection may also apply to manholes and quarries.

NEMA 7 to NEMA 10 are reserved for certain classifications of explosion proof protection. NEMA 10 adheres to compliance with MSHA guidelines for mining equipment. The last three NEMA ratings (NEMA 11, NEMA 12/12K and NEMA 13) are related to corrosion resistance and special elements.

IP and NEMA ratings are two different rating systems; however, some classifications intertwine with each other. For example, NEMA 1 is equivalent to IP10, while NEMA 6 and NEMA 6P corresponds to IP67.

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