Our combined experience and deep understanding of marine lighting have taught us quite a few lessons about the ins and outs of marine lighting — along with which marine lighting mistakes to avoid. From the docks to the vessels, pay close attention to the details to optimize exterior marine lighting. Below are a few of the fundamental and more universal factors that lead to LED marine lighting success and common mistakes to avoid along the way.
Location, Location, Location
Don’t overlook the importance of the placement of your lighting. Although LED marine lighting offers enormous cost- and energy-saving benefits, and they can be brighter than traditional lighting, poor placement is still poor placement. If you can’t shift the fixtures, look long and hard at different LED lighting options that allow you to change the color and intensity of light. Remember, too, that overly bright light could be just as dangerous as dim lighting.
Go In the Right Direction
Orientation — the direction the light is pointing — is technically a byproduct of placement. Think about how the beam of light will be directed to illuminate areas that need the most light. Because LED lighting can be directional, it can provide light to spots where traditional lighting wasn’t sufficient. Improper orientation is also a problem. It would be best if you treated your marine lighting plan the same way you would treat an office or warehouse project — think about the people using the space every day to understand optimal orientation:
- Will the projected light meet the natural line of sight of the operator(s)?
- If it does, can the fixture be repositioned?
- If not, can another fixture not in the line of sight be used to make up the illumination for the fixture(s) that do?
Choose a Hue
Whether it’s color-coded for safety or simply a style choice, LED marine lighting comes in a wide variety of colors and color correlated temperature (CCT) measured in Kelvin units. A higher Kelvin count means the lighting is more bluish-white, and lower Kelvin lighting is warmer. Too high, and the lighting could be too bright and increase glare. Too low, and the lights could become bothersome to operators exposed to the light for more extended periods.
While these guidelines apply to non-colored LED lighting, marine lighting often uses other colors as well. If you’re using lighting for marine safety, don’t think that colors are interchangeable or that non-colored bulbs can replace red or green lights, especially when they’re being used to keep marine operators safe.
Quality Really (Really!) Matters
It’s easy to think that the best option is the cheapest, but that’s not always the case. Lower quality marine LED lighting has a shorter lifespan and can be far less energy efficient, negating the switch to LED lighting for these purposes in the first place. Buying high-quality lighting can give you peace of mind knowing that it will withstand the test of time and keep operators safe without dying unexpectedly before the manufacturer’s lifespan claims.
Replacing lighting isn’t something you want to do alone. Working with a lighting partner that can steer you in the right direction is an important step. After a comprehensive audit of your current setup, a supplier with expertise in this area will be able to give suggestions on all of these critical factors and work within your budget, so you don’t have to compromise quality.
Whether you’re working on a new exterior marine lighting project or retrofitting a current layout, we are committed to delivering a high-quality product along with prompt, friendly, and professional customer service. We take great pride in our ability to provide our customers with products they need to help ensure they’re including these factors in their lighting plan. Let’s talk about your next marine lighting plan!