The International Regulations for Prevention of Collision (COLREGS) at Sea rule number 20 thru 31 clearly identifies which vessels shall use navigation lights, the type of navigation lights and when to display the lights. Navigation lights are made up of a combination of side lights, Stern lights, mast lights, special flashing lights, all round lights and working lights. The United States Coast Guard administers the rules of vessels adopted the colregs and added additional rules to suite domestic commerce. When it’s time to replace or upgrade the navigation lights, being informed as to what is legally required then assuring the equipment desired meet those requirements is the responsibility of the vessel owner. Navigation lights might not appear as if they have not changed in years but internally most are now manufactured using LED’s. This change provides for longer lasting lights, brighter lights and use less power than that of incandescent lights. The down side is that should a LED navigation light fail, it is not uncommon to have to replace the whole fixture. Retrofitting navigation lights with LED type light bulbs is still and option worth considering if the light fixture is still serviceable.
Side lights come in various shapes, sizes, and styles. The similarity is that they either shine green, red or a combination red and greed when illuminated. Depending on the size of the vessel and the maximum speed determine the type and intensity of the side lights. All side lights
must meet the requirements of the colregs. Aqua Signal®
manufactures an extensive selection of navigation lights and navigation light panels suitable for recreation, military and commercial vessels. Perko®
are both additional manufactures of top-quality side lights.
A stern light
also comes in various shapes sizes and styles. A stern light is required to shine white when illuminated. A light with the same characteristics as a stern light but shines a yellow light is referred to as a towing light and depending on the vessel this light is an addition to the stern light. Stern lights must meet the requirements of the colregs. Aqua Signal® manufactures an extensive selection of stern lights suitable for all vessels. Perko® and Sea-Dog® are both additional manufactures of top-quality stern lights.
Steaming light or Masthead Light
A steaming light
is a mast light
showing an unbroken white light over an arc of the horizon of 225 degrees and shall be visible from 22.5 degrees abaft of the beam on either side of the vessel. This light must also conform to the requirements of the colregs in intensity, and location depending on the size and type of vessel. Aqua Signal® manufactures an extensive selection of steaming lights. Perko® and Sea-Dog® are both additional manufactures of top-quality steaming lights.
An all-round light
is an unbroken light with an arc of 360 degrees. The color of the all-round light is dependent on the intended function and can be either green, red, white, yellow or blue. It is not uncommon to find a mast on a vessel fitted with multiple all-round lights of different colors. These lights are arranged in such a way that specific combination of lights are displayed when turned on.