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ATEX and IEC Ex Flame-proof Explosion Proof Lighting & Equipment
Explosion Proof Lights
Explosion Proof Motors - Motors for Hazardous Locations
Industrial and Vaporproof Emergency Failsafe Lighting
Industrial Cord Reels and Tool Taps
Industrial Work Area Heaters
Machine Vision Lights
QC Series Industrial Portable Lighting - Quick Change Mount
Rig Lights
Stadium lights
String Lights and Temporary Light Stringers
Tank Cleaning Lights
Three Phase Motor Soft Starters
Vapor Proof LED Lights
Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs)
Vehicle Mounting Plates
Workboat Light Fixtures & Lighting Equipment
Yacht Engine Room Lights
Color Changing LED RGB Lighting
Explosion Proof Cord Reels
GOLIGHT Spotlights
Larson FUTURE - Lease Lighting
Remote Area Lighting and Scene Lights
Utility Bucket Mount, Receiver Hitch & Trailer Mount Lighting
Aevum Control Lighting and Equipment - IIoT
Butane and Solvent Extraction Room Lighting and Equipment
DC to DC Transformers and Power Supplies
Explosion Proof Fans & Blowers
Explosion Proof Paint Spray Booth Approved Lights
Explosion Proof String Lights
Explosion Proof Switchgear & Controls
Fleet Service Lights and Lighting Equipment
Industrial Equipment Trailers
Industrial Handlamps & Droplights
ISO 14644/FS-209E Clean Room Lighting
LED Blasting Lights
Night Time Fishing Lights
Portable AC Power Supply Units
Portable Power Distribution Panels
Power Distribution Panels with KVA Transformers
Self-Contained Lighting
Service Pit Lighting
Solar Generators & Solar Powered Lighting
Agricultural Farm Equipment Lighting & Beacons
Explosion Proof Cameras & Surveillance Systems
Explosion Proof Emergency Lights
Explosion Proof Heaters
Garage & Gas Station Canopy Lights
LED Grow Lights
LED Lights
NDT Ultraviolet Lights
Portable Hazardous Location Lighting
Radio Communication Towers and Equipment
Salt Water Processing Equipment
Shelter & Tent Lighting
Thermal Monitoring Cameras and Systems
48V LED Equipment Lights
ATEX Rated Explosion Proof Lights
Automotive Lighting
Class Rated Signals, Alarms, and Systems
Hazardous Location Area Lights and Portable Lighting
HID Equipment Lights
Hot Work Permit Lighting and Equipment
Hunting Lights
Industrial lasers
Industrial Transformers
Light Towers
Outdoor Lighting
Remote Security and Surveillance Systems
Temporary Construction Lights
Vehicle Mounted Spotlights
Equipment & Heavy Machinery LED Light Package Fitouts
Phase Converters - Single to Three Phase
Marine Shore Power Cords and Equipment
24 Volt Military Lights
Disaster Relief / First Responders / Search & Rescue Lighting
Plastic Handcuff Key
110/120 Volt Flood Lights
Post Mount Spotlights
Magnetic Work Lights
Crank-up Light Masts
Intrinsically Safe Lights
Military Flashlights
LED Waterproof Lanterns
Work Area Lights
12 Volt Flood Lights
Boat Spotlights
New Boat Lights
HID Boat Lights
Boat Dock Lights
Remote Control Lights
Control Lights
Tow Lights
Magnetic Control Lights
NEW Lights and New Products
Evaporative Coolers
Police Equipment
AC/DC Transformers
Power Supplies
Military Spotlights 24V
Infrared Filters, Covert Covers, and Blackout IR Lenses
Military Equipment
Ultralife Batteries
Remote Control Pan Tilt Base
Larson Electronics Spotlights
Larson Electronics Parts
Replacement Lamps
Cords - Brackets
Portable Wheeled Generators
Non-Hazardous Location Extension Cords / Plugs / Outlets
HID Work Lights
HID Dive Lights
HID Off Road Lights
Acro Lights HID Lights
Halogen Lights
Acro Light Flashlight
Xenon HID Flashlights
Powerlight Flashlight
HID Flashlights
Xenon Flashlights
LED Status Lights
Forklift Lights
Tractor Lights
HID Post Mount Lights
Roof Mount Lights
Post Mount Light parts
Flashlight Holder
Magnet Spotlight Base
Tripods-Magnetic Base
Recharging Spotlights
Fire Rescue Lights
LED Street Lights
Utility Lights
Hazard Lights
Strobe Lights - Battery Operated
Strobes & Beacons
Strobe Light Bars
Headlights - Headlamps - Hard Hat Lights
Suction Mount Lights
Magnetic Spotlights
12/24 Volt Spotlights
Gifts For Men
New 12 / 24 Volt Lights
Explosion Proof Accessories and Replacement Parts
Explosion Proof Lighting
Explosion Proof Hand Lamps (Drop Lights)
Explosion Proof Lights - Stand/Dolly
Explosion Proof Tank Lights
Explosion Proof Phones and Intercoms
Explosion Proof Extension Cords
Black Friday & Cyber Monday Specials
Crane Lights
Explosion Proof Light Rentals
General Light Rentals
Light Tower and Light Plant Rentals
Power Distribution Rentals
Power Plant Lighting
Refinery lights
Environmental Services Lights
Aerospace Lights
Chemical Plant Lights
Food Grade Safe Lights
Film and Entertainment Lights
Handheld Meters and Devices
Waste Water Treatment Lights
Mining Lights
Ship Yard Lights
Work Site Lighting

04/01/11 Marine LED Light Bars: The Highest Performance in the Worst Conditions

Marine environments are tough. The humidity, salt water, pounding waves and intense sun and weather all conspire to make short work of any electronics and metals not protected from their effects. Salt water in particular is highly corrosive to most metals and any electronics allowed to come into contact with it will be destroyed in an very short amount of time. Electronics used aboard boats are at an extremely high risk of damage from corrosion and the more time a craft spends on the water the greater the chances become that they will eventually fail.  Exterior electronics are directly exposed to salt water and as a result, failures of this equipment are all too commonplace. Exterior lighting receives particularly severe exposure as its necessary placement quite often puts it directly in the path of constant spray and splashing when a boat is underway.

Corrosion in the marine environment is the result of an electrochemical process. The better a material conducts electricity, the greater and more severe its rate of corrosion will be. Lighting fixtures fair particularly poorly at sea because the electricity that powers them serves to act as a sort of accelerant, speeding up the process of corrosion and making protecting them more difficult. As a general rule of thumb, anything made out of metal when exposed to the marine environment is going to eventually corrode if not constantly protected. Naked electronics are much more sensitive and should they receive a dousing of salt water are rarely useable afterwards. Because of these simple facts, planning for and protecting against corrosion in the marine environment is right there at the top of the list of things to practice religiously for boaters.  

Most electronics designed for marine use are specifically designed to withstand a salt water environment and incorporate into their construction corrosion resistant materials, protective coatings, heavy duty seals and water tight wiring and connecting hardware. Although these protective measures are generally useful, their quality and the diligence of their application plays a large role in how effective they are. Many light fixtures designed for marine use are touted as weather or waterproof and that may be true. However, unless they are conform to standards certified by a credible regulating body such as U.L. or NEMA, there is little way of knowing for certain how effective their protection really is. A manufacturer may claim a light is waterproof, but their idea of waterproof might be a light that can withstand a light sprinkling of rain and nothing more. Reputable manufacturers will include clear explanations with their lighting equipment that details which agencies and standards their equipment is in compliance with. For instance, an LED unit like the Larson Electronics LEDP10W-240E LED Light Bar carries clear documentation showing it is rated IP68 in accordance with NEMA certification. This tells a boat owner that this particular light is waterproof beyond at least 1 meter and sealed against intrusion by particles such as dust as specified by “IP” standards.

IP represents what is known as the International Protection Code and the numbers following these two letters correspond to different levels of protection against intrusion into the units housing by various materials or objects. The first number, for example, represents the housings resistance to intrusion by solid objects such as fingers, tools or dust. The second number represents resistance to intrusion by liquids such as water. If the first number is only 2 for instance, this tells us that the housing will not allow objects such as fingers to be inserted into the housing. 6 is the highest number and represents dusts, the smallest objects on the scale. If the second number is a 1, this means the housing is sealed against intrusion by dripping water. 8 is the highest number on the liquids scale and represents full and prolonged immersion beyond 1 meter. Thus, IP68 tells us that this unit meets the highest standards for dust-proofing and waterproofing according to the International Protection Code. Marine lighting equipment carrying an IP rating of at least IP67 then means that the units interior electronics and metallic components are sealed against contact with salt water, thus making them impervious to possible corrosion damage.

While protection against corrosion is critical to the longevity of lighting equipment in marine environments, this equipment must also be able to withstand the heavy vibrations, shocks and impacts associated with boat operation. Heavy waves, high speeds and rough seas all contribute to sometimes jarring and prolonged impacts and vibrations that can potentially damage or ruin the oftentimes fragile components used in marine lighting fixtures. This is a particularly serious problem with traditional lamps such as incandescents which rely on fragile filaments and glass for their construction. Newer LED lighting provides much greater protection against physical damage from impacts because there are no filaments and no brittle glass used in their construction. LEDs are solid state and resemble the diodes you find inside a radio more than they do a traditional light bulb. Although they are not indestructible, they can withstand shocks and impacts far beyond anything a traditional light bulb could be expected to endure. This makes them ideal for use in heavy duty and high abuse applications like boat lighting and when paired with IP68 rated housing provide serious performance that can be expected to continue regardless of the operating conditions they are exposed to.

Rounding out protection are the coatings and materials used to protect light fixture housing and mounting hardware against corrosion and damage from rough use. Although stainless steel is oftentimes used in marine lighting construction due to its ruggedness and resistance to corrosion, it is expensive and heavy. LED light bar manufacturers typically take advantage of the light weight and strength of aluminum for constructing housings and use stainless steel for mounting hardware. Aluminum, however, is susceptible to corrosion and so is normally given a heavy coating, usually a polymer or epoxy that is highly resistant to damage and effective for sealing any bare metal against contact with salt water.

Combined together, LEDs, corrosion resistant materials, internationally accepted standards and quality design and construction create a marine grade light bar that can operate for years in the harmful conditions of outdoor salt water environments without failing or requiring heavy maintenance. It’s for this very reason that LED light bars are quickly becoming the lighting of choice for above decks lighting in marine environments, military applications, industrial operations and anywhere else a high grade lighting solution is needed.

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