LED’s, or light emitting diodes, have revolutionized how we light up our world. From car headlights to streetlamps, even to billboards, LED’s have made the world a little bit brighter. They have even made our maritime endeavours better.
More compact, enduring, and efficient than the old-fashioned incandescent lights, LED’s add more illumination to their environment. In the maritime environs, it improves night-time safety and allow boaters to add lighting wherever necessary. This, combined with the number of brands of lights to choose from, makes for a vast array of possible purchases, from LED spreaders to 12 volt LED strip lighting. And, whilst marine LEDs are pricier, the higher price is compensated for by the longer life, and lower power cost of LEDs, hence they are becoming more and more popular as time passes.
Here are some tips when purchasing those LEDs for your boat.
- Choose Marine Grade: Marine-grade LEDs have additional features to aid it against the maritime environments; such as special corrosion-resistant housing which are not present in other grades of LEDs. There’s also waterproofing to take into account.
- Maritime Law: Whether it’s the US Coast Guard of Her Majesty’s, there are rules and regulations to be followed for lighting on marine vessels. Always ensure that any installations that will be made are compliant with these laws.
- Measure the Angle: There are different types of lights on a marine vessel, and it is imperative that the light used fit the function they are to set for; wide beams for spreader and courtesies, narrow beams for chart lights or spotlights.
- If Replacing an old light, check the slot: When replacing old lights, ensure that the LED you have in mind can fit in the same location as the old one. Whilst this may cost more time searching for a specific LED, it will save more in the long run as it removes the need for alterations to the vessel’s lighting.
- EMI is a no-no: LED microcircuits are designed with regulators which constantly switch voltage to the diode. If improperly shielded, the wiring emits electromagnetic interference that can mess with the instruments on board. Seeing that this is a matter of safety, it’s important to check for such things.
Just a few things to take note of in case you want to install 12 volt LED strip lighting to your vessel.