Boosting Safety at Marine Docks with Motion Sensor LED Lights

In marine sites, docks are high-activity locations that are ongoing throughout the day and night. As a common area for boats, shipping companies, loaders, cranes, forklifts and containers, it is important to keep the location properly illuminated.

These days, dock operators are turning to LED lamps with motion sensors to automate such requirements.

Security and Illumination

Motion sensor LED lights for docks come with numerous benefits. For safety, the components can instantly activate LED lamps upon sensing the presence of workers. Without needing to manually activate lights, individuals could save time. For light switches that are located far from the general work area, this is a huge advantage.

A timer for deactivation may also be used to replace manual controls when turning off the LED lamp. Depending on the task, a specific period of time should be allotted for work conducted in the area. For walkways, timed settings do not have to be long (activation is also more frequent in such areas). On the other hand, loading sites or areas subject to frequent inspection will likely require extended timed settings.

From a security perspective, motion sensors may help deter criminal activity at the work site. This practice is applicable to sections of the dock where deliveries are stored or accepted.

Pole Mounted LED Lamps and Motion Sensors

In order to get the most out of motion sensors, the units must be installed properly. In buildings, motion sensors are typically setup on ceilings or walls. However, at outdoor sites and marine docks, surfaces for installation are severely lacking.

As a solution, pole-mounted motion sensor LED lights are effective for improving the scope of the motion sensor. Operators may also choose to install the motion sensor in a different location – away from the LED light. This is applicable to illuminating entry and exit points at the dock.

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US Navy Transitions to LEDs for Boats and Marine Operations

LEDs offer a myriad of benefits for marine-based organizations and operations, including the US Navy. The military group is very vocal about promoting LEDs for boats, naval ships and establishments located around large bodies of water.

US Navy and LED Adoption

According to the US Navy, adopting LEDs could result in over $150 million in savings, which includes three percent of spending on fuel annually. In April 2015, the Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus released a memo, stating that LEDs are an integral part of improving operations at sea. As of 2015, the military group has installed LEDs in over 170 ships. During this period, spending for new LED lighting systems increased to roughly $2 million per fleet.

When it comes to maintenance, an LED’s robust lifespan of 50,000+ hours can help decrease re-lamping tasks by up to 80 percent. Furthermore, since such tasks require operators to use ladders, lifts and hoisting equipment, naval groups may also improve safety on the ship by decreasing maintenance for lighting systems.

Types of LEDs on Naval Ships

There are numerous parts of US Navy vessels that can benefit from LEDs. Warships that host fighter jets and helicopters could install military-approved LED deck status lights, edge lights, LED strobes and more, in order to supplement aerial operations on the ship.

Inside the vessels, red LED lights are installed in some parts of the ship, to maintain a certain level of discreetness. This practice is more common in submarines. For general illumination, LED tube-style lights are deployed around the ships.

Emergency exit signs may also be LED-powered and supported by a battery system. Supplementary lights, such as around staircases, hallways and corners, are ideal uses for LEDs. Lastly, weapon storage and fuel compartments could adopt explosion proof LED lighting systems for safety. This type of light greatly reduces the risks of combustion in flammable sections of the ship.

How LED Boat Lights Stack Up Against Halogen Boat Lights

INTRODUCTION

The big news in boat lights these days is the introduction of high performance solid state lighting, otherwise known as LEDs. Although they are proving quite effective in real world examples and the number of boaters making the switch to LEDs grows every day, there remains a large group skeptical of their value and effectiveness.

Halogen Boat Lights

Halogen boat lights have been the dominating form of boat lighting for many years. Fairly cheap to purchase and to produce a good amount of light for the money, they have been an effective addition to most boats. Halogen lamps, however, have had several drawbacks that simply cannot be overcome by any improvements, largely because of the constraints produced by their basic design. Halogen lights produce a lot of heat. These bulbs are designed to produce more light than their standard incandescent counterparts, and one of the side effects of producing more light is higher heat production. While a halogen bulb may have the same wattage rating as its incandescent counterpart, it produces more heat because of the filament and bulb design as well as the materials used to construct it. It’s brighter because it causes the filament to run hotter than a standard incandescent. This high heat has led to problems with overheating, fire hazards, and accidental burns.

Halogen boat lights tend to have a rather short operating life. Most halogen lamps tend to have shorter lifespans the higher the wattage is, and averages around 500 to 1,000 hours are common. Depending on how often you use them, you can expect to replace them fairly often, sometimes within as little as a season of use. The durability of halogen bulbs leaves a lot to be desired. Because they are at the basic level a simple incandescent bulb, they too have a thin wire filament and fragile glass bulb used in their construction. This means that the bulb is sensitive to rough handling, and a halogen bulb exposed to frequent vibration can experience premature failure due to the wire filament becoming fatigued and breaking.

LED Boat Lights

LED boat lights although not perfect have at this time pretty well solved the majority of issues associated with standard incandescent boat lighting. Costing more than halogen lamps, the initial cost of LEDs continues to drive some potential buyers away, but a look at the benefits reveals how this initial cost is, in reality, deceptive, and how LEDs can be more cost effective in the long run.

LEDs are a solid state form of lighting that does not rely on a wire filament or glass bulb to produce light. Rather than heating a filament to cause it to glow and emit light, and LED passes current through a piece of semi-conducting material, which in turn causes the material to radiate photons, or as they are more commonly known, visible light. This process does produce some heat, but very little, and since it is so efficient little energy is wasted as heat and is instead radiated as light energy. In other words, and LED fixture will not present a burn or fire hazard due to its operating heat, making it an ideal candidate for installation into cabins as overhead lighting.

CONCLUSION

There are still more benefits associated with LEDs when comparing them to standard types of boat lights such as halogen. To cover them all would be a lengthy process. Suffice it to say, as the price of LEDs continues to drop and the performance of LEDs continues to be improved, the chances are very good that shortly, when we talk about standard boat lights, we will, in fact, be referring to LEDs and not the old halogen standby. Click here for more information: http://www.larsonelectronics.com/c-277-led-boat-lights.aspx

Overview of Regulations for Submarine Identification Lights

In the ocean, identification lights serve very important purposes for boats and vessels. According to US marine regulations, submarines are not excluded from this practice, despite requiring discreet operation in underwater locations.

Read on to understand the type of guidelines submarines are subject to during operation.

32 CFR 707.7

Documentation from Cornell Law School provides more details surrounding such regulations. Submarines are required to incorporate flashing luminaries with an amber color. Furthermore, the unit must take on a sequence of one flash per second – for three seconds, in the first display. This is followed by an off period of three seconds in the second sequence.

When it comes to installation, regulators recommend placing the units in a location on the submarine with maximum visibility. The only guideline provided during installation is that the flashing beacons cannot be setup less than two feet from the lighting system on the mast.

Observation of this practice can help improve detection of the beacon lights, ensuring they are not overpowered by the masthead luminaries.

Emergency Signals and Other Considerations

The use of submarine identification lights should not be mixed up with submarine emergency signals, which utilize colored flares or smoke floats to notify patrollers about the status of the vessel. For instance, a yellow signal warns nearby vessels about the action of the sub, suggesting it is about to move up to periscope depth (from a low underwater location). The propellers should remain operational during this signal.

The guidelines surrounding submarine identification lights do not highlight the requirement of specific lighting technologies. This means that it would be possible to use boat LED lights, instead of traditional incandescent or halogen light sources. However, the units must typically operate based on a set of US Navy standards, since the majority of subs are for government, research, scientific or military use.

Anchor Lighting Requirements and Regulations for Boats

Colliding with another boat at sea is extremely dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. In order to prevent such accidents, the US Coast Guard implemented a set of regulations for anchored vessels, which includes lights. Rule 30 in the USCG handbook recommends the application of lights around anchored boats for streamlined and safe detection. Read on to learn more about this marine anchor lighting regulation.

 

Rule 30

 

According to Rule 30, an anchored boat must display a visible light. Specifically, an all-around white light or one ball should be installed and used during such activities in the water. Furthermore, a luminary can be installed close to the stern for maximum visibility (also a white light).

 

As with most USCG guidelines available today, there are some exceptions to consider when observing Rule 30. First, a boat that measures less than 50 meters does not have to observe all of the recommendations above. Units at sea measuring less than 12 meters in length are not included in Rule 30; though lights should be applied for safety.

 

Types of Anchor Lights for Boats

 

There are several types of anchor lights in the market, which can improve compliance and visibility during anchoring. The most common type is a luminary that emits 360 degrees of white light, mounted on a pole for elevated illumination. It is important to point out that such lamps need to adhere to a two-mile visibility requirement.

 

LEDs are a great choice for reliable anchor lights, due to their solid-state build and long lifespans. Such fixtures can withstand the rugged nature of boating operations. Lastly, a foldable or telescopic pole mount for the LED anchor light is ideal for space-saving benefits.

 

For congested docks with numerous boats in the area, a diffused LED anchor light can be used to reduce blinding or glare.

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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