Author Archives: LED Bulb

Docks are common locations for large gatherings and festivities during the holiday season. To promote celebrations, many boat owners take this time to decorate their vessels for parades or colorful illumination.


Below are some useful tips and best practices for lighting up boats with LEDs.


Minimizing Current Draw


LEDs are highly recommended for lighting decorations on boats. The units are compact, allowing them to cater to intricate and detailed designs. Furthermore, the lights can incorporate over 16 million different color combinations via RGB (red, green and blue) diodes.


The luminaries consume little energy during operation. For AC-powered LEDs, individuals can feed the system through an inverter, so that it can run on the vessel’s power cells. If the boat is near the dock and will not be departing (or making any rounds around the water), it would also be possible to connect the lights to a portable (land-based)  generator.


A ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) is recommended for protecting circuits during operation. This is particularly important around marine and corrosive environments.


Mounting and Aesthetics


Keeping the LED lighting systems properly mounted is an effective way to decrease damage when in use. It is best practice to avoid mounting units close to the bottom of the boat, wherein direct exposure to waves is the greatest.


Festive boats that are required to complete rounds around the water must observe other guidelines related to stability and seaworthiness. Ideally, LED lighting decorations should not utilize bulky wire frames. Such components can destabilize vessels, especially when strong winds are present. It can also decrease space and maneuverability inside the boat for the members of the crew.


Lastly, don’t forget to test the LED boat lights before events and prior to departing from the dock. Always check the weather the day before to ensure the conditions are suitable for deploying decorative LED fixtures.

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In construction sites, LED light towers are typically exposed to rugged environments and rough contact. To ensure reliable operation under such conditions, it is crucial to incorporate a protective layer over the surface. The coating may serve as a barrier between the base metal and corrosive elements.

A common protective layer used to reinforce steel is molten zinc (at 860 °F or 460 °C), via hot-dip galvanization. Called galvanized steel, the material is capable of withstanding a wide range of destructive elements, such as saltwater, rain and dust particles.

Reducing Corrosive Reactions

Galvanized steel is extremely effective in decreasing interactions with corrosive substances on the surface of the material. Without the zinc coating, the base metal is open and free to react with acidic elements, which can be found in cleaning agents, rain and other unstable liquids. Without the protective layer, the material would be increasingly prone to rust.

From a cost perspective, galvanized steel is considered to be less expensive to incorporate with equipment than stainless steel. However, over time, the coating could fade, which will leave the compromised surface exposed. To prevent such occurrences, operators at the construction site must periodically check surface of the LED light tower for inconsistencies.

High-temperature and Marine Applications

Galvanized steel can help LED light towers endure high temperatures during operation. This material is applicable to temperatures up to 392 °F or 200 °C. Beyond this threshold, the protective layer will peel or melt away. LED light towers used in marine locations may also find galvanized steel to be advantageous, due to its ability to deter rust.

For thick galvanized steel, equipment manufacturers may apply electro-galvanization, which uses an electrolyte solution consisting of cyanide and zinc sulfate, instead of traditional hot-dip galvanization. This allows the manufacturer to control the thickness of the coating more accurately.

There are several ways to light up boats at night. Common choices include compact led floodlights, LED light bars and LED strip lights. Traditionally, spreader lights for boats were a popular option for sailboat masts. The lamps are installed from an elevated position, with the beam pointing downwards at the floor of the ship.

Learn more about the difference between LED floodlights and LED spreader lights in the article below.

Beam Configuration, Lighting Design

These days, the term ‘spreader lights’ is widely used to refer to a floodlight that emits a wide beam coverage. The lamps can be incorporated on any part of the boat (not just the mast), usually mounted on a high platform or surface. To distinguish an LED spreader light from a standard LED floodlight, one must take a look at the configuration of the diodes. Most LED spreader fixtures take on a slim profile, like an LED light bar for land-based fleets.

LED spreader lights can be battery-powered and low voltage for streamlined use on ships. Additionally, they can be equipped with magnets for portable applications. Corrosion resistant housing and cage guards help improve durability for protection against saltwater and rough impacts. Because the lights are directional sources, the units do not emit a full, 360-degree beam.

Indoor and Outdoor Applications

Previously, halogen lamps were used as spreader lights for boats. Over the years, LEDs superseded the lighting technology, resulting in new and extended applications on vessels. LED spreader lights are not just found on the ship’s exterior. Currently, they can be used for illumination inside cockpits, control centers and navigation rooms.

For such applications, the fixtures are diffused to prevent the creation of glare. This is a crucial feature that is not commonly found on LED spreader lights for outdoor use. LED floodlights for boats are mainly utilized for exterior illumination.

In saltwater environments, galvanic corrosion can occur when two metals, with different charges, are connected through a conductive path. Additionally, such types of corrosion may also be facilitated when one of the two metals is considered to be impure.

The movement of molecular components from the anodized material to the cathodic material causes this type of deterioration. Preventing galvanic corrosion can be done by applying a preventive coating over the exposed surface.  This robust layer stabilizes chemical reactions on the material, disrupting the transfer of ions related to corrosion.

Read on to learn about the different types of corrosion in marine environments.

Stress-related Corrosion

Stress-related corrosion involves a material that has experienced intense tensile stress. This causes the surface to become weaker, forming cracks and rips. Unlike galvanic corrosion, this type of degradation on the surface can be caused by welding and extreme temperatures. Furthermore, the presence of saltwater could stimulate stress-related corrosion and streamline damage. If left untreated, the opening could allow foreign contaminants to enter the unit and wreak havoc on internal parts.

Localized and Caustic

When corrosion occurs on one part of a device, other sections that are well-protected are rarely affected. This form of isolated damage is called localized corrosion. Such occurrences will cause the affected area to deteriorate at a very rapid rate, while the other components remain sturdy. As a result, the unit becomes less sturdy and efficient. If the affected section of the unit is a critical component, such as wiring, the onset of corrosion may result in premature failure.

The presence of moisture and water in marine locations may cause stable chemicals to become highly corrosive. This type of corrosion is facilitated by caustic agents that mix with watery elements in the surrounding area. The harmful combination causes a corrosive substance to propagate; and when exposed to unprotected surfaces, may result in corrosion. An example of a substance that can initiate caustic corrosion is hydrogen sulfide.

Do you have a trip to Europe on your bucket list?  If this is the first time you’re venturing to Europe, the planning process for such a big trip can be both exciting and somewhat intimidating and over whelming. If you’re completely stumped, or truly a novice traveler, enlist the assistance of a travel agent. They can generally find great deals and steer you towards areas of special interest. Take these recommendations from the travel experts on planning tips to undertake before you even leave the country.

European cities are by and large designed for pedestrians. As such, prepare to do an enormous amount of walking. Take advantage of the awesome deals offered by Groupon coupons and invest in a pair of athletic shoes from the terrific selection available from Foot Locker. Wear them as you plan for your trip. The first priority in planning for a European vacation is a passport. Many European countries require that at least ninety days are remaining prior to expiration after the date on your return ticket. If you passport has expired or you need to apply for the first time, allow for at least 2-3 months for processing at your nearest Passport Office.

Check with your cell phone service provider for data options in the countries you are visiting. Some carriers have special plans for Europe that can be added for the duration of your trip. Another option, albeit somewhat cumbersome, is to purchase SIM cards preloaded with a data allotment for the country in which it’s purchased. As such, a new SIM card would need to be purchased for each country on your tour.

Finally, order a lump sum of Euros from your bank. This may take the better part of a week to arrive at the branch office. As most smaller vendors do not accept credit cards, it’s wise to have a sum of cash upon arrival. Exchange rates in train stations and airports won’t be nearly as favorable as the rates you’ll receive directly from your bank. You’re now ready to book your flights, accommodations and in country transportation. Best of luck on your grand European tour!

Rugged work sites in marine locations, such as shipyards and docks, are filled with extreme hazards that can easily damage nearby lighting systems. From saltwater to intense vibrations during operation, workers typically reinforce marine lighting systems with protective mechanisms to prevent premature failure.

Lamp Cage Designs and Applications

A very common option for protecting portable lights in marine locations is the use of a lamp cage. This lighting accessory covers the light fixture with a wire-style guard. Compared to a traditional glass globe, lamp cages are breathable. This design allows air to pass through the protective layer, which keeps the unit cool during operation. Furthermore, lamp guards can be white or yellow to promote visibility in dark work sites.

In most cases, lamp cages are constructed of heavy-duty material, such as high-impact plastic or lightweight polycarbonate. These days, lighting manufacturers offer guards that are easily removable via keyless locking features or snap-on fasteners. This offers seamless maintenance, when the light sources fail or exceed their intended lifespan.

Do You Really Need Them?

Lamp cages are very popular in supporting land-based lighting systems and operations, such as mining and construction, where lights are exposed to falling debris on a regular basis. By creating space between the sensitive parts of the luminary and hard surfaces, the guard is able to cushion rough impacts effectively.

In marine locations (with exception to land-based shipyard operations and boat repair facilities), most hazards are water based. Because of this, full coverage of the marine lighting systems would be more helpful in protecting the unit. An open lamp cage will allow saltwater to pass through, which is undesirable for sustaining marine operations. A better option for such locations is the use of a transparent, thick lamp globe. Typically made out of high-strength glass, the accessory can be sealed to ensure full ingress protection.

The right set of lights can improve one’s chances of catching big fish. But unlike hunting, red lights are rarely used by professional anglers in the water. Instead, white and green are heavily utilized, in favor of their ability to attract zooplankton and small fish close to the boat. If lured properly, underwater lighting entice large fish to feed around the target area.

Why White and Green?

Plankton are naturally drawn to white and green light colors, due to their urge to reproduce under such conditions. Out of the two light colors, green is preferred because it can penetrate the water deeper than white bands. At lower depths, green also appears clearer. This reduces the gap between predatory fish – usually lurking much deeper underwater – and small baitfish. Other lights, such as blue, are unattractive to plankton in fresh water. By comparison, blue light is noticeably effective in saltwater.

When catching large fish, one must cast the line below the group of zooplankton near the surface. Predatory fish are known to observe prey from a distance before striking. Even with green light, large fish rarely swim very close to the surface, as the creatures are not attracted to the green light – only to plankton and baitfish.

Types of Boat Lights for Fishing

There are several types of boat lights for fishing. Traditionally, floating luminaries were extremely popular options for anglers. However, the lights attracted insects around the surface of the target area. To prevent luring insects close to the boat, individuals began using submersible LED fishing lights.

For reliability in the water, the luminaries are typically waterproof, low voltage and battery powered for portability. A small weight attached to the unit pushes the underwater lighting below the surface, at roughly 2-3 feet. It is common practice to install a few lights around the vessel, as opposed to using one, powerful luminary pointed directly down at the water.

LED Boat Cabinet Lights

Not all LED boat lights are used for navigation. Inside ships and vessels, luminaries are used to illuminate control rooms, cabins, hallways, lobbies and panels. In most cases, lights found inside boats are different from ones installed in the exterior, due to its applications.

For example, LED boat cabinet lights that are installed in enclosures are not as bright and could be more compact than large navigation lights on the side of the vessel.

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Cabinet Lighting and Motion Sensors

LED boat cabinet lights serve very important purposes for operators. The lights can be found inside critical control rooms and enclosures that house switches or navigational components. They can be mounted vertically or horizontally, depending on the configuration of the controls. Tool-less mounting features are steadily becoming the standard for cabinet lights. Such options allow operators to position the luminary seamlessly without risk of damaging the unit and the surface.

Furthermore, some cabinets on ships are used to store equipment. During emergencies, the crew needs to be able to sift through the compartment quickly and accurately, which can be supported by LED cabinet lights.

To help ships cut down on energy consumption, one could install motion sensors to go with the lighting system. The advantages of this component are numerous. Operators would not have to activate the light manually, greatly reducing time spent tinkering with the cabinet and other equipment. For storage units, crew members carrying heavy tools would not have to reach for a switch to deactivate the light on the way out.

Choosing the Right Color Temperature

To improve distinction, operators may apply specific color temperature settings in cabinet lights. For enclosures that house green/blue colored switches or items, day white color temperature ratings between 6,000K and 7,000K are recommended. This range can help such colors stand out more. For general lighting requirements in cabinets, a color temperature range of 4,000K and 4,500K may be applied. This range is useful for enclosures that contain a variety of colors. For individuals who are unsure about color temperature requirements, the latter setting may be used.

For large enclosures, LED boat cabinet lights with daisy chain features should be installed in the location. This can help create uniform illumination inside the cabinet. Using one, extremely bright light is not a suitable replacement for daisy chain lighting systems. The effects of a dominant light source typically includes blinding and glare – elements that could cause headaches and misinterpretation of gauges or controls.

This article is sponsored by Larson Electronics. Boat navigation lights serve very important purposes out in the ocean. In addition to looking great, they also provide navigational benefits and guidance. This is a very important part of their application, as numerous marine regulators, such as the US Coast Guard, have specific guidelines surrounding the type of lights certain boats should have (colors and configuration) during operation.

This article explores these requirements, which are critical aspects to boating safety.led boat navigation lights

Boat Sizes and Light Configurations

Generally speaking, sailing boats must have a green light that shines 112.5 degrees aft (ahead) on the starboard side, while the port side should emit a red light. This is also applicable to power boats. For power boats under 40 feet, a white light is needed at the center that shines in both directions or all-around (360 degrees). This requirement applies to boats that are anchored, indicating its status in the water. During the day, a black anchor ball is used to indicate the same status. Boats that are less than seven meters in length do not have to follow anchorage guidelines.

Manual-powered (oar driven) vessels have the option to use sail boat lighting guidelines or a lantern. Mast head lights must be white. They should be installed at the pole, over the side lights, encompassing 112.5 degrees on both sides. Most guidelines vary, depending on the size of the boat. For example, a boat that measures less than 65.7 feet could use one bicolor luminary, instead of separate red and green side lights. Additionally, sail boats that measure less than 65.7 feet could use a tri-color unit to combine side and stern light functionality.

Because of this, it is recommended to setup LED boat navigation lights based on the type and size of the vessel. Furthermore, the location of the water you intend on deploying the boat may also dictate such configurations and practices.

Why LEDs?

LEDs are optimal lighting technologies for navigation lights. The units are extremely compact, making them suitable for installations in tight spaces. Their compact and sturdy form factor can withstand vibrations associated rough waters and constant contact with docks or large debris in the water.

LED boat navigation lights also require less maintenance and repair, compared to their outdated alternatives. This can help reduce operational costs for individuals or businesses that are frequently on the water. To conclude, LEDs are ideal options for navigation lighting systems on boats, due to their resilient and durable features.