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.

For more information regarding boat lights, please visit – Larson Electronics.

 

 

 

 

 

Benefits of Corrosion Resistant Lights

LED boat lights are exposed to a wide range of harsh elements in the water, such as small rocks, dirt and salt (depending on the body of water). Because of this, waterproof protection is not enough to keep your lights running in optimal condition at sea.

For complete protection, you need corrosion resistant lights that are capable of preventing damage caused by saltwater.

Waterproof vs Corrosion Resistant Lights

Waterproof ratings, such as IP65 and IP67, are useful for preventing water from entering the unit. But water isn’t all that boat lights can succumb to in the ocean. Rough treatment and constant abrasion from corrosive agents, such as salt and solvents used for cleaning or wash-down sessions, could easily destroy luminaries. Without proper protection, salt and UV light can cause housings to warp. This is common in boat lights that use flimsy plastic.

When you’re out in the ocean, reliability matters. This is what corrosion resistant LED boat lights can offer. The units are capable of decreasing chances of premature failure by ensuring all of the components are working properly. From a cost perspective, investing in corrosion resistant units may help reduce maintenance and replacement costs associated with marine lighting systems.

Lights with saltwater damage appear worn out, as the lens often take on an abrasive film. This type of damage can reduce the luminary’s illuminative features, forcing operators to either replace the light or use more units to light up the boat. Using more lights will result in higher energy consumption rates, which should be avoided at all costs on boats, since power sources are limited to batteries and compact generators.

What Makes LED Boat Lights Corrosion Resistant?

Corrosion resistant lights for marine applications are manufactured differently, compared to mainstream, low-quality units. The lights consist of materials that can withstand saltwater corrosion, such as glass and high-strength stainless steel. Focusing on the latter component, manufacturers typically treat the metal with robust coatings and paint in order to make the surface more resilient.

Glass is a suitable material for the lens cover. Most standard boat lights for consumers are enclosed in transparent glass. Lights on docks and marine locations with limited activity may use corrosion resistant lights with glass lenses. For such lighting systems, manufacturers may choose to apply thick glass to prevent breaking when exposed to rough conditions. Other materials that are used to enforce corrosion resistance includes rubber. This material is used around wiring hubs and other openings to prevent saltwater from entering the unit. For more information visit: http://www.larsonelectronics.com/c-277-led-boat-lights.aspx

 

 

Preparing for Boating Season With LED Boat Lights

LED lights for boats: During the winter months, particularly in areas where snow and freezing temperatures are commonplace, most boaters leave the craft covered and trailered until the warmer months.

With the coming of April and spring, however, thoughts begin turning towards preparing for the coming boating season, and as well as performing the general freshening and basic maintenance needed to prepare for putting to water, early spring represents a great time to perform upgrades as well.

Check your equipment and stuff must be a consideration

One area where almost any boat can benefit from upgrades and improvements is found with the lighting systems. Unless your craft is a newer model outfitted with the latest in high-efficiency marine lighting, the chances are very good that your current systems provide adequate performance at best, and operate far less efficiently that they could.

Most boats manufactured before 2010 are outfitted with traditional incandescent lamps.

Boat lightsEnergy efficiency

Energy efficiency, in particular, is a major area of concern for boaters, and many simply don’t realise just how much power they are losing when running their lights. Lightings onboard and the various wattages and amperage draw of each. Once this is done, it becomes far easier to not only get a better idea of just how much overall power is required to run your current lighting but how much power you save after an upgrade.

LED boat lights performance

Today is led lights for boats offer performance regarding output, light quality, versatility, durability, longevity, and efficiency that not incandescent bulb can match. For some comparisons, consider the following facts:

  • Incandescent Bulb Life = 500 to 1500 hours
  • LED Lamp Life= 30,000 to 100,000 hours
  • Incandescent Light Output Per Watt= 15 to 17 Lumens per Watt
  • LED Light Output Per Watt= 60-100 Lumens Per Watt
  • Incandescent Light Quality= Color Temperature Approximately 2700 Kelvin to 3300 Kelvin (Slightly Yellowish/Red Light Coloration)
  • LED Light Quality= LEDs Can Be Designed to Produce Light with Colour Temperatures Ranging from 3000 Kelvin to Over 8000 Kelvin (Warm White to Cool White Depending Upon User Preference)
  • Incandescent Efficiency= Up to 90% of Consumed Energy Wasted as Radiant Heat
  • LED Efficiency= Over 80% More Efficient Than the Incandescent Bulb
  • Incandescent Durability = Poor. Glass Bulb is Fragile, Wire Filament is Prone to Damage and Breakage from Vibration and Rough Handling
  • LED Durability= Excellent. No Glass, Solid State Construction, No Filament, Almost Impervious to Vibration and Mild Impacts

When we also factor in the longevity and durability of led lights for boats, was also see that more savings can be realised in reduced maintenance and far fewer bulb replacements. Since a LED will last for several years compared to the season or two of an incandescent, the chances are good that you may not need to replace a bulb again for the entire time you own the boat.

With fewer lamp breakages and burnouts from rough conditions as well, unexpected replacement costs also drop. What this means is that even though led lights for boats do cost more to purchase initially, over the life of the fixture, it becomes more cost effective as its operational life is far longer.

To conclude:

Overall, the benefits of upgrading to LEDs onboard you boat simply makes too much sense to ignore. If you’ve been considering installing marine led lights, now is probably the right time. With the boat out of the water and more conveniently accessed, it only makes sense not only to freshen thingsup but make improvements that will save money and add increased enjoyment as well.

Check out this link for more informations: http://learn.eartheasy.com/2011/08/led-bulbs-are-ready-to-light-your-home-7-tips-you-should-know/