Light systems are essential for the safety of a boat especially in low light conditions. When you are operating a vessel, you need to make sure that you have all the required marine lighting as per the regulations of your country.
There are three main colours specified for LED boat lights which are red, green and white. These lights were adopted as the main colours at the International Maritime Conference and this is something that is still used today. The selection of the light will depend on the type of boat you have, the length of the board, destination, how the boat is powered and if it is at anchor. The different colours are set up in a pattern so that everyone is familiar with the system. On the starboard side you will have a green light and a red light on the port side. At the stern of the boat, there will be a white light. You also need to have a couple of spotlights on the masthead.
The names of the lights will be different according to where they are positioned. The sidelights are always red and green. These will indicate your boat’s position to any vessel that is approaching you from the side or directly from the front. The white light behind the boat is called the sternlight. This will be seen from vessels that are behind the boat only. The masthead light is a white light and it illuminates the front and the sides. If your vessel is power-driven, it is essential to have a masthead light. Sailing vessels will not have a masthead light. There are some instances where you can combine the sternlight and the masthead light into an all-around light. This is only possible if your vessel is less than 12m in length. This all-round white light acts as an anchor light.
Depending on the type of marine vessel, the arrangement of the lights differs. For example, if you are the owner of a powered boat which is has a smaller length than 12m; you will need to have a single pair of green and red sidelights and an all-around white light that can be seen from two miles away. The sidelights should be seen from one mile away. The height of the all-around light is also specified. If the length of your boat is between 12m and 20m, the configuration of lights will differ. Your masthead light which is white should be visible from two miles away.
And there should be a white light at the stern that should also be visible two miles away. The sidelights should be visible one mile away. It is best to select LED lights instead of traditional bulbs when you are installing navigational lights in your vessel. The lighting you choose should comply with regulations. There are also specific angles at which you should install the lighting so that their visibility is maximised to other boats on the water. Make sure that you select high-quality LED lights as you don’t need to worry about lighting malfunctions.