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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
Megatower™
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
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Intrinsically Safe Lights
Military Flashlights
LED Waterproof Lanterns
Work Area Lights
12 Volt Flood Lights
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Boat Spotlights
New Boat Lights
HID Boat Lights
Boat Dock Lights
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Remote Control Lights
Control Lights
Tow Lights
Magnetic Control Lights
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NEW Lights and New Products
Evaporative Coolers
Police Equipment
AC/DC Transformers
Power Supplies
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Military Spotlights 24V
Infrared Filters, Covert Covers, and Blackout IR Lenses
Military Equipment
Ultralife Batteries
Remote Control Pan Tilt Base
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Larson Electronics Spotlights
Larson Electronics Parts
Replacement Lamps
Cords - Brackets
Portable Wheeled Generators
Non-Hazardous Location Extension Cords / Plugs / Outlets
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HID Work Lights
HID Dive Lights
HID Off Road Lights
Acro Lights HID Lights
Halogen Lights
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Acro Light Flashlight
Xenon HID Flashlights
Powerlight Flashlight
HID Flashlights
Xenon Flashlights
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LED Status Lights
Forklift Lights
Tractor Lights
HID Post Mount Lights
Roof Mount Lights
Post Mount Light parts
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Flashlight Holder
Magnet Spotlight Base
Tripods-Magnetic Base
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Recharging Spotlights
Fire Rescue Lights
LED Street Lights
Utility Lights
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Hazard Lights
Strobe Lights - Battery Operated
Strobes & Beacons
Strobe Light Bars
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Headlights - Headlamps - Hard Hat Lights
Flashlights
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Suction Mount Lights
Magnetic Spotlights
12/24 Volt Spotlights
Gifts For Men
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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
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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
         

   
03/17/11 LED Lighting for Marine Use: The Change is Here

The arrival of the LED onto the marine lighting scene has had led to some pretty dramatic changes in how boat lighting is designed, managed and operated. Initially seen as a pricey and somewhat less than effective lighting alternative, LEDs still managed to draw large amounts of interest due to their inherent high energy efficiency. As anyone familiar with operating watercraft can tell you, any equipment that holds the potential to reduce power consumption is usually worth a second look. There are few things more unpleasant than spending the night offshore, only to find yourself without battery power when it’s time to start the engines and head home.

Although they have been around for decades, LEDs for the better part of their existence have been relegated to low power, low importance applications. The last ten years have seen this change, however, as advancing technology has produced  LEDs capable of rivaling even the most powerful halogen lamps while drawing only a quarter the amount of power. In fact, in commercial fishing applications LEDs are fast replacing even the once favorite high pressure sodium lamps used to illuminate work decks and open water when working nets and navigating towards markers. This is a small surprise really when you consider the improvements in light quality and amp draw that LEDs represent.

LEDs produce light through a process called electroluminescence. At its most basic, this process is best described as the emitting of light from a material when it is subjected to an electric current. This is different than the usual process of electrical resistance commonly found in incandescent lamps. In a typical incandescent, electricity is fed to a wire filament which resists the flow of electricity. This resistance causes the filament to glow and emit light has it heats up. Although reliable, the problem with this method is that a great deal of the electrical energy applied is wasted as radiated heat rather than light. In addition, the light produced tends towards the red end of the spectrum, so the light created ends up being yellowish or slightly orange in color. With LEDs, electrical current is fed through a semi-conducting material. The electrons flow through this material and move through “gaps” within the material and recombine where they are then emitted as light as they leave these gaps. The color of the emitted light can be controlled by “doping” the semi-conductor with different materials, essentially changing the size of the gaps and causing the photons to be emitted at different wavelengths or more simply put, colors. This process produces very little heat, which in turn means less energy is wasted. This process has been refined to the point where LED manufacturers can now even control the color of the light produced, resulting in not only efficient light production, but light of higher quality with no yellow-orange tinting.  

Although highly efficient, early limitations in semi-conductor technology and materials kept LEDs out of the mainstream for decades, with most seeing use as simple indicator lights on appliances or as the lights used in devices such as calculators. In the late 1990’s, however, semi-conductor technology made several large gains and the resulting improvements spilled over into the development of the first LEDs that were practical for everyday lighting applications. Over a very short period of time, LEDs quickly gained in lumen per watt output and light quality. By 2001 LEDs were beginning to appear in flashlights and small lighting fixtures that were usually battery powered and of generally limited use. By 2005, however, LEDs were appearing in full on lighting applications and presenting a serious alternative to traditional light sources. In the boating world, these LEDs represented cabin lights, walkway lights, workspace lights and even spreader and deck lights although these too tended to be low powered and of limited ability. LEDs for boat applications in 2011 are different story altogether.

Far from being low powered or of questionable practicality, LED boat lights now rival or surpass the traditional incandescent lights they are quickly replacing. Commercial grade LED light bars in particular like Larson Electronics’s LEDLB-200X2E LED light emitter are producing over 30,000 lumens of light while drawing only a fraction the amount of amperage that an incandescent light fixture would require. Even better, these LED designs are producing light of much higher quality, doing away with the yellowish coloring of halogens or the very poor quality orange light found with high pressure sodium units. For commercial fisherman this is a great improvement over the current lighting technology being employed. The fishing industry is a high risk-high expense enterprise. LEDs are helping to reduce these risks and expenses by reducing the amount of power required for illuminating their operations while at sea as well as improving the quality of that illumination. Where the poor light quality of high pressure sodium lamps was once tolerated due to their high output and low power requirements, LEDs offer greatly improved light quality and even better efficiency.

It must be remembered, when you consider the efficiency of the LED, it is not just the actual power they use that needs to be considered. LEDs are compact, require little or no special hardware to install and are also extremely durable and long lived. They require very little maintenance and have rated life-spans averaging at 50,000 hours. This of course means that as well as reducing the costs of providing electricity, LEDs will not require replacement for several years after installation. In commercial operations, all of this translates into a good return on investment. Lower operating costs and a safer workplace, less maintenance and better productivity, all of this is offered by simply upgrading a boat’s lighting systems to LEDS. Lest you think that it couldn’t be that simple, consider that many LED installations require nothing more than a connection to existing lighting terminals and mounting. With some additional hardware like dimmers or digital controllers, many commercial grade LEDs can even be dimmed or set to strobe like beacons, adding even more versatility to their value.

To underscore the point of all this, consider also that boat manufacturers are now offering models with lighting systems entirely or almost entirely comprised of LEDs. From the spotlights to simple walkway lights, LEDs are very much at home in the marine environment. With few if any shortcomings, it’s only a matter of time before they are the only lighting to be found when out on the water.





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