Signal Mate Introduces Subchapter  M-Compliant Navigation Lights

Signal Mate, Baltimore, Md., announced January 4 the release of a new, full line of commercial LED navigation lights that fit with Subchapter M requirements.

Signal Mate’s UL 1104 certified lights have a new modular design, which is fully serviceable with a replaceable LED module and power supply for easy field repairs and less down time.  Quick and economical, a module can be replaced for less than the cost of the light, as opposed to replacing the whole light, as other manufacturers require. The modular design also allows the light to be upgradable from basic light (no monitoring) to monitoring, and from single to double head.

Signal Mate monitors the intensity of the LED with a microprocessor in the light and compares it to the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea candela requirements, to provide all vessels the same safety and reliability that is required in IMO resolution 253 (83) 4.3 for LED navigation lights.

The new line of UL 1104 certified lights is available in a variety of versions with varying capabilities. IMO MSC 253 (83) 4.3 also states, “The rate of decrease of luminous intensity depends on the output of LEDs and temperatures of LEDs.”

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Most manufacturers of LED navigation lights for inspected vessels recommend replacement after 50,000 hours. This lifespan of 50,000 hours came from the manufacturer of High Brightness (HB) LEDs that were tested in the lab.  At 70,000 hours, the LEDs will have lost 30 percent of their initial intensity. In the marine environment, it is inevitable that the intensity of some LED navigation lights will diminish or fail prematurely.

“It is optimistic to assume the LED navigation light will maintain full brightness for a lifespan of 50,000 hours,” said David Horst, CEO of Signal Mate.  “If the technology is available to check the LED intensity, why not use it to provide safety and reliability for your vessel?”

With an incandescent light, when the filament burns out, the light goes off; therefore, there is no more current and the alarm is sounded.  LEDs decrease in intensity with no change in current; therefore, no alarm is sounded.

Signal Mate offers the following IMO MSC 253(83) 4.3 compliant models:

• Single Head—Flashes three times to notify operator, momentarily triggering alarm, but leaves light on (for vessels with or without alarm panels, and no back-up lights).

• Double Head—Flashes three times and turns light off, no more current, alarm triggered (for vessels with alarm panels and back-up lights).

• New autonomous, double head, single input—Flashes three times to notify operator, momentarily triggering alarm. At startup, automatically switches heads, ensuring a working back-up, and giving twice the life of the light. Plus, if the LED intensity is not compliant, automatically switches heads (for vessels that only have a single power cable, but want the safety and reliability that a double head provides).

Signal Mate’s new UL 1104 certified LED navigation lights are robust, machined hard coat aluminum, providing proper thermal management, constant current drivers, and switching power supplies. Signal Mate said its lights are the only lights available that have the option to monitor the LED intensity in a modular design. The lights are warranted for five years, or for seven years with an extended warranty if a spare LED module is purchased along with the light.