Flotilla 26-4 What's New!

Fri, 19 Jan 18  

LED Navigation Lights Marine Safety Alert! Are your NAV lights, or other lighting, creating danger on the water?


The LED rope lighting beneath the rubrail obscures the green sidelight. Also, the green LED light itself may not be USCG approved--look for documentation when buying a new boat or replacing lights on older boats.

In the past few years numerous new lighting configurations have been displayed on the water as new technologies come about. One of these revolutions has been the addition of LED lighting ropes along the exterior of the boats on the water. While they may provide nice exterior look or light up the docks when pulling in what most are not considering is how they may conflict with or obscure the already existing light schemes on a boat. 


 As shown above the there is no clear determination about what side of the boat we are looking at, is it moving and in what direction is it moving. Seeing the lights from the boat when it is as close as the above image may be too late in open waters at high speed. 

 The requirements for all navigation lights aboard vessels are prescribed in Rules 20. 21. 22 and Annex I of the "Rules of the Road." which is the Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (72 COLREGS) or the Inland Navigation Rules (33 CFR Subchapter E).

Specifications for lights differ between vessel types, regardless of the light source (in candescent filament or LED).

This Safety Alert is provided for informational purposes only and does not relieve any domestic or international safety, operational, or material requirement. This Alert has been developed by the U.S. Coast Guard's Headquarters' Offices of Navigation Systems, Auxiliary and Boating Safety, and Investiga­tions and Casualty Analysis. For questions or concerns, please email