OceanLED is by far the most popular and most widely distributed marine lighting brand in the world. The UK-based company has been accredited with kick starting the marine LED revolution back in 2005 and is still to this day, changing how boat owners light up the night.

General Underwater Lighting FAQs

1. Why LED?

Very simply put, LED lights, provided they are designed and specified correctly, will last longer than any other light source, use a minimal amount of power, have much less heat exposure, and withstand the rigors of spiking electronics, humidity, water ingress, and vibration on a boat. Bulbs use a huge amount of power, are fragile, and don't last long in a marine environment.  And despite what you may have been told - OceanLED underwater lights are the brightest on the market.

2. Who are OceanLED?

OceanLED is by far the most popular and most widely distributed marine lighting product in the world. The company has a highly skilled team pushing the technological boundaries of LED lighting and the electronics to run them, with all products being designed and produced in-house. The Superyacht division is a small dedicated team within the organisation solely focusing on the larger yacht market. Drawing on all the expertise within the company the SY Team work to give the best service, the best product knowledge, and the best solution in the industry. We take pride in the fact that we have carved out a special section of the company to manage this important segment of the market.

3. What light is right for the project?

This depends on certain criteria:

  • Metal hulls can use the F1, P1 or L1 fixtures.
  • For GRP / fibreglass hulls the V1 and K1 fixtures.
  • Each light offers certain advantages over the other so working with your OceanLED technician will help establish what is right.

Who's got the brightest lights?

4. What is the most popular colour?

Superyachts tend to opt for white underwater. White is a very classic, traditional look. OceanLED offers two choices of white: a cool white which is very white, gives a modern feel and penetrates the water the furthest, and a soft white which is warmer in colour and better suited to more traditional / classic style yachts. Blue is starting to become popular with the more outrageous styled projects but has been limited to the minority rather than the majority.

5. What is the best colour for getting the best effect?

Blue and green light have shorter wavelengths than white light, and can penetrate through the water more efficiently making them look brighter. The human eye is more sensitive to blue too which helps to make the lights look brighter. However, if you do your boating in crystal clear waters we recommend White, as this simply enhances the natural beauty. OceanLED white LEDs are whiter than any other underwater light on the market so when you want a white light, you do truly get a white light as opposed to the 'yellow' variety. Blue is great for slightly murkier waters, such as the Florida coastline or the Mediterranean. And green which is great for attracting fish is the best colour for penetration in fresh water. If you have the yacht in intercoastal waterways or very bad visibility areas, green helps make the water look cleaner, but is not always the most aesthetically pleasing.

Can I run with my lights on?

6. Who has the brightest lights?

This is like asking who makes the fastest car? i.e. it's not always about brightness. The real question comes down to design, technology, and size. OceanLED lights are designed to use less power, maintain much longer life spans, and with far better colour retention and clarity. All superyacht series underwater lights from OceanLED are brighter than most other products available and should you want or need more power we can customise the electronics on certain models to give even greater performance, this does however come with the disadvantage of a shorter life span, typically from 40,000 hours to 10,000 hours which is still more than anyone will ever use them for so this should not be seen as a major drawback.

7. How do you get different coloured bulb underwater lights? Is it a good idea?

No. Other underwater bulb lighting companies are doing their best to keep up with the coloured underwater lights produced from OceanLED by placing crude filters over the lens, this not only dramatically reduces the light output as it blocks out the colours not wanted (i.e. white light is a mixture of all colours so to see only one colour you block the rest), but it will make the fixture run much hotter, resulting in shorter bulb lives and increased safety concerns.

8. Should I buy the brightest light available?

Think of it like this - What works best? - One 1000 watt speaker under your TV or 6 individual speakers around the room? Surround sound is the answer to clever sound, and clever lighting design can be done by using more individual lights; think of it like surround lighting! We would recommend a careful design of good placement, correct product selection, and beam angle selection.

9. What is the truth about HID lamps?

Cutting through all the nonsense that is put out there, there are three core drawbacks to an HID lamp, or indeed most lamps.

  1. Power - it takes large power surges to kick start the bulb, it can take 2 minutes to get to full brightness, and if turned off will take 10-20 minutes to come back on due to the technology.
  2. Heat- HID bulbs are great for operation in open air applications but the moment you start enclosing the bulb into a housing the heat aspects start to become extreme. The light in most applications will reach at least 200 degrees centigrade posing a potential risk to materials and the boat.
  3. Colour and brightness is constantly decreasing, from the moment it is first used it is losing power and the colour of the light starts to yellow. If you do not leave the lamp running for at least 10 hours a time the life is catastrophically effected and so is the colour temperature.
10. How do OceanLED lights compare on these three points?
  1. Low DC power, no inrush current on start up, can be switched on immediately and straight off and back on again with no detrimental effect to the light or the electronics.
  2. Very low heat. Due to the way the lights are designed they do not run hot, however for safety all lights are thermally controlled so should they start to reach 80 degrees they will turn themselves off to protect the electronics.
  3. Colour retention is a big part of our binning process. Binning is the term used for selecting which LEDs are to be used. Binning is done in three categories, brightness, colour and forward voltage - by controlling and selecting the right product, longevity of light span and colour retention is something that is not an issue with OceanLED products.

What is the light beam length?

11. Plasma vs LED

In recent years underwater lighting has taken a considerable path of innovation in efficiencies and designs. Technologies such as HID or metal halide and halogen are dinosaurs in comparisons to the latest electronic lighting sources.

The two most prominent in the market today are LED (Light emitting diode) and Light Emitting Plasma or LEP.

Both technologies can provide incredible light output, far superior to anything that has been previously available, but how each product achieves this is rather different, and it is these differences that set the two technologies apart.

Product in review: SV19 Made by Underwater Lights

With claimed efficiencies of up to 120 lumens/watt before being placed inside a lighting fixture and 75 lumens/watt when assembled, resulting in around 60% efficiency, these pill-sized plasma light bulbs by the Luxim Corporation are a pretty awesome contender for "light of the future".

An RF (radio-frequency) signal is generated by the solid-state power amplifier (ballast) and is guided into an electric field about the bulb. The high concentration of energy in the electric field vaporizes the contents of the bulb to a plasma state at the bulb's center; this controlled plasma generates an intense source of light.

This wireless RF-induced plasma lighting has been around since 1971 and has been used by semiconductor industries for decades but it’s the way the product can now be packaged that has brought it to the mainstream.

The unit is powered via a mains AC 110-240v input into the Amplifier which converts the AC into high voltage DC (figures cannot be obtained of exact data) and this power running through the cabling ignites the plasma. The cabling between the amplifier and the bulb has to be armor shielded due to extreme EMI outputs and the ultra high voltage passing through it. The Amplifier and the light have to be located within close proximity of one another.

The big advantage of the plasma is that is gets to full brightness within 45 seconds much quicker than the older HID lamps, but the draw back is extreme heat exposure. With such a small source producing so much light the heat being produced as a by product needs to be very carefully considered.  Luxim Corporation in the United States has packaged up a ready to use kit which is being used in a variety of applications from video projectors to street lights to stadium lighting.

Adapting one of these light sources for a marine application has its difficulties. Vibration, humidity and electrical spikes do not fair well with the fragile apparatus and whilst the LUXIM plasma bulb does not have filaments the amplifier and connections are susceptible to damage and corrosion in a marine environment.

As an additional note - the driver ballast (Amplifier) is clearly not made for the marine environment and does need modifying, measuring in at 395mm (15.55”) long x 177mm (6.97”) wide x 164mm (6.46”) tall and the secondary power adaptor needed to maintain a clean 28v to the Amplifier measures in at 360mm (14.17”) long x 160mm (6.29”) wide x 91mm (3.58”) tall. The combined weight of these boxes is a staggering 13.2 kilograms (29 pounds) !

Product in review: F-1, V1, L1, P1, K1 series Made by OceanLED

The very latest LEDs available on the market can also achieve 120 lumens per watt and around 95 lumens/watt when placed inside a fixture with efficient optics, resulting in around 80% optical efficiency vs 60% on plasma. The use of optics means the light can be directed and used more efficiency when placed inside a fixture hence the better efficiency rating over the plasma.

LEDs give out light when a voltage is applied to them and there is a transfer of electrons and holes across an active layer of the LED chip, and where they combine they give out light. LEDs were invented back in the 1930’s but it has not been until the last 5 years when they have proven to be more than just indicator lights.

Provided they are cooled efficiently LEDs will last 10,000’s of hours, as they loose their heat through conduction rather than convection. Metal mass is the sign of a good thermal heat sink and all these products benefit from additional cooling though the boats hull. Passive thermal management is clearly a driving factor in the design of these fittings.

LEDs are a solid state light source, i.e. no moving parts, which does make LED products versatile in their design. The 1 series from OceanLED have been specially tailored to the marine environment to suit varying applications.

The driver (ballast) is resin sealed to protect against humidity, vibration and localized heat build up, and the electronics are built to withstand lightning strikes and crazy voltage fluctuations often found on board. Drivers can either be separate or banked together in driver cabinets that can be remotely positioned up to 250 meters away from the light.

LED drivers can be operated on mains AC (90-270vAC) and are only 150mm long x 65mm wide x 40mm high with a total weight of 1.04kgs (2.29lbs). It must be noted the OceanLED driver has been specifically designed for marine use.

The plasma style light is certainly a step forward from the traditional bulb models, however it is only 60% efficient when converting its raw light power into useful light, termed as fixture lumens. However it is suspected that the Plasma is slightly brighter than the LED models.

However we have to ask is brightness the main consideration when choosing a lighting system?

The sheer size and weight of the control/amplifier equipment for the Plasma raises questions about its practicality for marine use and ease of installation.

The heat exposure of the Plasma certainly raises concerns about designing around the light units as they will need additional consideration and engineering time.

Both units can dim, and come to full brightness relatively quickly, but the missing details of exactly what power is required to strike the plasma remains unknown and needs to be answered.

The Plasma is versatile and is being used in a variety of applications, but its suitability to underwater lights on a yacht remains to be proven. The LED units, on the other hand, have been meticulously engineered and refined over time by the people installing and using the products. Without question the LED products are more tailored to this application.

With closely comparable light outputs, the LED offers lower heat exposure, lower power draw with more rugged and robust marine features.

For installation the plasma lighting has many connections through terminal blocks and wires, whereas the LED solution has IP68 sealed connectors that make the installation almost plug and play.

Colour is a big topic which is not to be ignored. Plasma offers a great bright white colour but is limited to just that. The LED products offer a variety of white colour temperatures from warm white to cold white, through to blues and greens and for the ultimate in creativity a full colour change system which can be integrated into any touch panel device as a colour palette.

Pricing for the systems is at this time unknown but it is anticipated both systems will come in competitively priced.

12. What voltage do the OceanLED fixtures run on?

24vDC as standard on all models with the option of 110/220-240 vAc mains. The Driver Cabinet option is functional as it contains all the electronics so all the drivers and power aspects are in one area of the boat with the cabling running off to the lights. This greatly speeds installation and annual inspection.

13. Can they be retro fitted?

Yes is the short answer. However different projects require differing products and this can certainly add to design and labour times. A GRP / fibreglass hull is much quicker to work with that a steel or aluminum hull for instance but interior access can prove to be an issue. At OceanLED we treat each project as if we are starting from the beginning and make sure little is compromised in getting the perfect effect.

14. Is there a wait for the lights to get warm?

Unlike traditional high-powered underwater lights, which can take up to 2 minutes to reach full brightness, OceanLED lights are on instantly at full brightness with no power surge, which on some lights can be as high as 18 Amps per light, creating a huge strain on batteries and generators.

15. Can the yacht be in motion with the underwater lights on?

Absolutely, LEDs are a solid state light source and therefore are vibration proof. All lights are also fitted with thermal cut out protection, so if the light does overheat for whatever reason it will turn itself off as a precaution. Running with traditional lights will put bulbs at risk.

What's the difference between the 50 degree and the 180 degree lens option?

16. Where are the lights made?

OceanLED is a UK based company. Everything we supply is designed in house to our exacting requirements. From cables to LEDs all parts are made to our standards and designs and then assembled and tested in our facilities in the Midlands prior to shipping.

How long do Ocean LED lights last?

17. Testing, what lengths do you go to?

In addition to all that is required from Lloyds, RINA, ABS and DNV, we torture test all our products before releasing them as a product. We take them from one extreme to the other, for instance we will freeze the light engine of an F1 in a block of ice and then rapidly heat it up in a boiling pan of water to thermally shock the seals and electronics. Another test we conduct is the rattle test. On a boat vibration is ever present and we subject all our lights to a paint rattle test. When you go to a DIY store and get paint mixed the machine they use to rattle the mixture together is the same machine we use to ensure all electronics, solder joints and seals are firmly in place. Another fun test we do is the lens impact test. We take 1 kilo of lead and drop it on to the lens at ever increasing heights to ascertain the strength in the product. The lead weight has to reach about 12 inches for the light to pass the test!

18. Are the lights approved?

Due to the nature of the way the light is mounted into the hull, approval bodies such as Lloyds, RINA, ABS and DNV prefer to approve per project. This is something OceanLED co-ordinates in-house. We have very strict quality control on areas such as materials, production processes and paperwork so all aspects can be traced through. At the completion of a project a complete document file is supplied to both the yard and the boat.

19. What projects has OceanLED done, that can be used as a reference?

Although OceanLED has done a lot of work within the superyacht arena, most projects cannot be discussed due to NDA and agreements. Projects that can be disclosed are new builds at Feadship at both the De Vries and Makkum yards, principally 682,683,684 and 685 and 1001, 1002, 1003 and 1004. On going projects at Oceanco are hull numbers 705, 707 and 708. We also have a number of projects at Vitters, Christensen, Blohm and Voss and many others. Recently completed projects include, Hurrican Run by Terrence Disdale Designs, Predator by De Voogt Naval Architects.

How does an LED work?

20. How important is the Tritonium lens protection?

We believe it's essential. Relying upon bulb lights to burn off any sea life is not good enough, especially if the lights are not on every night. Tritonium lenses are a unique feature to OceanLED products. Tritonium essentially creates a non stick layer which protects the glass lenses from barnacles and sea life. With other lights it is necessary to break the barnacles etc from the lens to maintain a constant light output, however in removing the sea life the lens gets scratched and marked making it easier for future growth to occur.

21. How do I clean my lenses?

All OceanLED lights are treated with the Unique Tritonium coating. This basically forms a non stick layer making it virtually impossible for barnacles and so on to stick to the lens. If you find they do, however, it is very easy to clean them off. If in the water a soft bristle brush will work, and if the boat is out of the water then make sure the lens is soaked with water and then using an ice scraper or something similar. It is very easy to bring it back to new again as shown in the video here.

22. What is the light beam length? How far will the lights project underwater?

There are a number of factors regulating how far the lights will shine out, #1 being how big/bright the light is? #2 What colour are you using? #3 How clean is the water? In dirty water we have seen light reach as little as 6 feet / 2 meters but in perfect conditions the same lights reach out beyond 150 feet / 50 meters.

23. How do I change a bulb?

You don't. LEDs are extremely reliable and OceanLED over engineer headroom in all products adding to their reliability. An LED rarely fails, instead they gradually die over time. Problems in other competitors products tend to be with poor or cheap electronics. If there is a problem there will never be a catastrophic failure as with traditional bulbs where they just go out. In the rare circumstance there is a fault, the entire fixture needs to be replaced. OceanLED designs lights with this in mind making reliability the main concern when designing products. Depending on the model used with our underwater lights, all maintenance and servicing can be achieved without hauling the boat. If you are using F1's, V1's or K1's service is from inside the boat, and with P1's and L1's servicing is from the outside.

24. What happens if the lights over heat?

All OceanLED lights have thermal protection cut out as a precaution. If the light overheats for whatever reason, the light will turn off. Once the unit has cooled down the light will turn back on, or depending upon the switching system on board, it may be necessary to recycle the power. Most competitor's products do not have this feature. Customising of the thermal cut out range is possible if needed for yachts that have darker coloured hulls and based in extreme climates - ask for details.

25. How hot do the Lights get?

The running temperature of any underwater light from OceanLED is designed to run within 40 - 60 degrees centigrade (104 - 140 degrees Fahrenheit) depending on which size of light and the ambient conditions.

26. Are the electronics reverse polarity protected?

Yes, all lights have reverse polarity protection. Red is always positive, black is always negative. Surprisingly most competitor's products aren't, which can cause an installation and warranty replacement problem.

27. What are the beam angle options?

The new optics give a wide Oval 20 x 60 degree spread which allows the light to penetrate the farthest out into the water whilst giving a wide spread to help blend lights into one another. The flood lens is an exclusive to OceanLED giving the light a diffused flood effect. When putting these lights together on a boat the light beams from light to light combine eliminating dark spots. This lens is perfect for use down the sides of a boat. The ultimate goal is to achieve a perfect halo of light around a boat. Many setups use the standard lenses on the transom, and flood lenses on the sides. Speak with you local OceanLED representative for specific requirements for your boat. The picture below shows M/Y Island Time, a 110' Broward with 5 standard lens lights on the transom and 26 flood lenses light up both port and starboard - the result 'a perfect unbroken halo of light'.

28. How long do OceanLED lights last?

One of the best LED manufacturers in the world, CREE, recommends we can advise 100,000+ hours on our products. However we limit this to 40,000 hours for underwater due to the operational conditions. We are extremely confident in this due to our policy of half and double e.g. if a component we use states a rating of 20 we assume it is only 10. If a component needs to be made at a rating of 10 we make it 20, just so every part does not run on its maximum limits. The LEDs are run at half the recommended maximum temperature and run at half the input voltage.

29. What happens at the end of the products rated life?

The human eye can only perceive a 30% drop in light and when an LED has reached this stage it is assumed the product's useful light has ended, i.e. the L70 line. However you can expect the fixture to last for at least as long again but at ever diminishing output.

30. What customer service does OceanLED provide?

The Superyacht division at OceanLED is dedicated to providing the best service, products and aftercare of any lighting company, indeed of any superyacht supplier.

OceanLED has an in-house team of dedicated customer service, sales, and engineers on hand to support our superyacht clients in various stages of the build. With full CAD CAM facilities OceanLED will follow projects from inception through to launch to ensure the best possible solution. Some clients alternatively want a quick one stop solution and again this is no problem due to our unique product mix and customization abilities.

Underwater Light Positioning
OceanLED will provide advice as required on ideal spacing of lights, quantity, and depth of fixture dependant on the desired effect of the underwater lighting system. The lighting effect can vary from penetrating shafts of light (with widely spaced fixtures) to a halo effect around the hull (achieved by positioning the lights much closer together). As a general rule OceanLED recommends placing the lights at a 15-degree angle so that only a very small amount of light is lost through shining up and out of the water. Each project is dealt with on a case-by-case basis though and will be reviewed individually.

Interior/Exterior Light Positioning
Lighting interior and exterior spaces requires a good level of understanding of colour temperatures, desired effects, control systems, styles, etc. OceanLED has a combined experience of over 100 years of lighting in-house so can assist within many areas of the specification. Although we are not Lighting consultants we can assist designers and engineers and alternatively refer external companies whose specialty is in lighting design.

Power Consumption
Power consumption on any vessel is always a major consideration. Lights have traditionally been very power hungry so the advancements made in LED technology to provide lower energy consuming options have revolutionised the market. OceanLED lights are low voltage DC at the light engine eliminating the risks associated with traditional 110/240 vAC underwater lighting systems requiring large power surges for illumination. OceanLED lights have no power surge on startup and use considerably less power in operation. When illuminating underwater OceanLED lights can be switched on all at once and if the lights are turned off for any reason, they can be turned straight back on without waiting for up to 20 minutes for the bulbs to cool in order to re-strike, which is one major draw back with high power bulb style lights.

31. What is the typical delivery schedule?

This varies on the products and the project. Most products in the Superyacht series from OceanLED are made to order so very little is held as finished product. Typical lead times are between 4-6 weeks. OceanLED however offers a 3 step delivery service in order to work in harmony with the project.

3-Step Delivery:

Stage 1. Hot Work - The cofferdams are delivered and welded into the hull of the yacht at the earliest part of the build.

Stage 2. Wiring - All the electrical connections and driver cabinets can be delivered and installed at the right time to best suit the yacht builder.

Stage 3. Light Delivery - At the final stages of the construction OceanLED will deliver the light engines ensuring the yacht is launched with lights that have the very latest LED technology.

32. What is the Warranty?

As a standard for all Superyacht projects OceanLED products are covered by a 3 year warranty. Most of the time the installation is signed off by one of our engineers prior to launch and this allows us to qualify the install and document the mounting locations, wiring runs etc so should there be any issues further down the line, we can trouble shoot as effectively as we can. Upon Launching of the vessel, OceanLED will instigate the start of the 3 year period and all products will be pre-registered on to this website. To see a full statement of our warranty guidelines please click here.

The most approved underwater lighting company in the world

33. Who/What are Tritonium Optical Technologies?

Tritonium Optical Technologies is a small research laboratory located in England specialising in optical systems mainly for the Military and Aerospace industries. 12 months of research and development between OceanLED and Tritonium has resulted in a world beating optical lensing system, not only for underwater lighting, but for lighting in general. See our Technology page for more information.

34. What's the cost advantage over bulb style lights?

Some conventional lights are cheaper, but by the time you have replaced a few Xenon or HID bulbs, and one or two ballasts, conventional lights can turn out to be a lot more expensive than OceanLED lights. Typical life expectancy of bulbs are as follows: Halogen = approx.500 - 1000, hours HID = approx. 3000 - 5000 hours, Ocean LED = approx. 40,000 - 60,000 hours. The longest life of an HID lamp can only achieved when left on for more than 10 hours at a time in a cool environment. The more they are used for shorter periods, the less time they will last. On average HID bulbs will have lost 50% of their light output, by the time they have reached their half life. If there are HID lights on a boat and one bulb blows, all bulbs will need to be changed in every light to maintain a matching colour temperature and brightness. See the picture below of a yacht on the cover of an edition of Dockwalk. We see this all the time.

35. Why do so many H.I.D. lamps fail well before their rated life?

Some facts taken from a Xenon and HID bulb manufacturer: according to Osram (www.osram.co.uk), H.I.D. lamps need to be run for at least 10 hours at a time to reach their estimated lamp life. The more times they are switched on and off, the shorter the lamp life. In addition, if the bulb is turned on for less than 15 minutes from switch off, its life is yet again shortened. If the light is only used for: 5 hours at a time then the bulb life is shortened by 25%. 2.5 hours at a time then the bulb life is shortened by 45%. 1.25 hours at a time then the bulb life is shortened by 60%! This last figure would give an H.I.D. lamp life of only 2400 hours. By half the bulbs life, the H.I.D. lamp (and Xenon technology) has lost half its light output. OceanLED lights can be turned on and off for any length of time with no harm to any part of the light, there is no cool down period and no reduction of life expectancy.

36. Does switching on and off OceanLED lights shorten the LED life?

No, you can turn the lights on and off a million times an hour with absolutely no effect to the LEDs. OceanLED lights have no warm up time and no startup power surges unlike HID, which take at least 2 minutes to achieve full brightness and up to 20 minutes cooling time if the light is switched off and needs turning back on. This is a major advantage when integrating underwater lighting with an onboard security system.

37. Could you please supply us with the various light output ratings on the various models so we can better make adequate judgments as to what we need. Specifically, LUMENS.

OceanLED does now give exact Fixture Lumen outputs of our fixtures, but you must be aware of the differences when comparing LED to conventional bulb technologies and other lesser LED products. At present, the total lumen output of LED's will be considerably lower than some bulbs. This however does NOT mean though the total light output is less. The term 'Lumen' refers to the total amount of light produced at the source i.e. the bulb or the LED. Our LED products, whilst lower in Lumen value, use patented optical lenses placed over each LED to focus and magnify the light produced by up to 500%. Therefore, by emitting a lower value of Lumens, the product still emits a very high value of LUX. LUX is the total amount of light falling on a surface at a set distance from the light. However, LUX can be measured in a multitude of ways making some lights appear brighter on paper than others, when they are not.

The most professional way of measuring light output is FIXTURE LUMENS, i.e. the actual light output from a completed fixture. Therefore this is what we consider the USEFUL light output. Unfortunately our competitors blindly quote the bulb or LED manufacturers figures rather than testing their own fixtures and this does not help when trying to accurately compare like for like. To give an example of how Lumen figures can be misinterpreted; a bulb rated to 10000 Lumens, is placed in a fixture, and the lens is then painted black so no light exits the fixture at all. The fixture is still rated to 10000 Lumens, even though no light is being produced from the fixture!!!

Fixture Lumens for lighting products, although expensive to obtain via independent test houses, is the best way of comparing like for like. In 2009 OceanLED invested heavily into its own optical laboratory to conduct its own tests in order to know for sure what was what. When comparing always ask the manufacturer to confirm where their data has been derived from.

38. Will the electronics interfere with the other equipment onboard?

All OceanLED lights are EMC tested, i.e. they emit no radio frequencies. From our observations all the other underwater lighting products on the market have not gone through this essential testing and approval process.

39. Can I extend the cabling between the light and the electronic driver?

Yes, we have pre-made extension cables available in 2, 4, 6 and 9 meter lengths. It is possible to centrally locate all electronic drivers in one location and run off to the lights up to 500 meters away! For custom installations we provide cabling on a drum which can be laid and custom lengths can then be terminated. We also offer a Driver Cabinet which centrally locates all electronic drivers in one location. OceanLED offers a commissioning service on larger projects. OceanLED engineers will visit the yacht to finalise connector terminations and test the system prior to sign off.

40. How easy is the installation?

As all OceanLED lights are totally factory sealed and essentially only consist of either 1 or 3 components (light only, or light, driver, and connection cable).  The installation is effortless and designed to be fool proof with illustrated installation instructions and clear 'on product' labeling.

41. What is the recommended installation depth for underwater lights?

Under ideal circumstances OceanLED would recommend the following installation depths to achieve the best lighting effect: - 200-250mm (8-10") to the top of the fixture. However provided the product is underwater during normal operation the effects can still be good.

42. Are OceanLED lights safe?

With our LEDs you will gain increased safety as a result of lower operating voltages and on average 50 percent less heat exposure. All connections are made with sealed, over molded plugs which comply with ABYC, E11 regulations. All lights have thermal protection cut outs as a precaution.  As the technology does not need to facilitate bulb change, all lights are totally resin sealed, including the electronic drivers, to IP68 water ingress protection offering the ultimate in protection. Competitors bulb style fixtures are vulnerable to leaking at the rear seals where bulb changing is necessary especially when a lens has been broken, as the fixture is essentially hollow. All OceanLED lights are solid, resulting in a quadruple protection barrier.

43. Are OceanLED lights approved?

OceanLED has a large portfolio of products that are type approved across various approval bodies worldwide. These cover a variety of different applications and vessel class and are subject to continuous improvements.

44. Are the underwater lights totally waterproof from behind?

Yes 100%, all lights from the smallest to the largest, DC or AC powered, are totally resin sealed, meaning they can operate underwater. This includes the electronic driver. For permanent installation, however, always mount the electronics in a dry location.

45. Should the underwater lights be bottom painted with anti - foul paint? And should I bond them?

Yes, it is highly recommended to anti-foul all metal parts of the light that are exposed to the water. All OceanLED lights are now supplied with a Lens Masking Disc to help prevent anti fouling paint sticking to the lens whilst painting - this innovation was developed from customers feedback received over the past year. All metal parts on the exterior of a hull should be connected to the vessels cathodic protection system. A bonding point is available on every model.

The unique lens masking disc

46. Why do you use Aluminium Bronze for the housing on some of the underwater lights?

Props and propellers are made from the same material for a very good reason - it is one of the most robust metals underwater. Stainless Steel is very good out of water as its top layer oxidizes, however underwater this does not occur and therefore it will corrode. Aluminium Bronze, is expensive but has great resilience to salt water corrosion as well as having great thermal characteristics to help keep the light and LEDs cool.

47. Where can I purchase the lights?

Contact OceanLED directly.

48. I have a metal hull but don't want to use a Weld-IN model. What can I use?

The V1 fixture can be used with a delrin isolating sleeve to separate the dissimilar metals.

49. Are the AC units brighter?

No, an LED driver maintains a constant power to the LEDs and the input voltage makes no difference to this. For competitors products, however, it is true that high powered lights can only work off of mains/AC power as the power consumption would be excessive and dangerous.

50. What is the piece of paper inside the light?

This is a silica bag to absorb excess moisture. As the lights are supplied as a factory sealed unit, there is a certain amount of trapped air inside the fixture. When the light is on the water molecules evaporate, when the light is turned off the water molecules cool and condensation can occur. The silica bag absorbs all of this within the first few operations. Previous models without the silica bag can appear to have 'water' inside the light, however this is only condensation and will not effect the operation of the light itself - it is purely an aesthetic feature that we introduced the silica pack.

51. The history of the LED

In well under a decade, LEDs have expanded their role from little red spots which tell you the HiFi is on, to include brilliant white light sources capable of illuminating a room or lighting the road ahead. Production quality LEDs are now capable of efficiencies of around 70 lm/W, compared with 12 lm/W for incandescent light bulbs, and single die devices are producing over 100 lm.

History of LEDS

Practical white LEDs were made possible by work with GaN semiconductor materials in the 1990s by Dr Shuji Nakamura at Nichia Corporation in Japan. There has been heated argument as to where the actual credit lies, but it is certain that the company, the man, and the previous research were all necessary. Nichia initially concentrated on making white LEDs in the classic 5mm and 3mm LED packages, as well as small surface-mount variants. The Philips-owned Californian company Lumileds introduced the first successful high-power white LEDs, using larger die (1x1mm) for intensity and complex packages to extract the heat generated. Cree of North Carolina has joined, or even surpassed, Lumileds as the producer of the brightest and most efficient LED die, and Far Eastern companies are not far behind.

How White LEDs work

The 'white' of white LEDs comes from the narrow-band blue naturally emitted by GaN LEDs, plus a broad spectrum yellow generated by a phosphor coating on the die which absorbs a proportion of the blue and converts it to yellow. 'GaN' die are actually InGaN heterostructures, which can produce operational wavelengths from green to ultra-violet by varying the relative amounts of indium and gallium during production. Although this blue die + yellow phosphor approach yields light which appears white, it has little green and almost no red content leading to inferior colour rendering compared with incandescent bulbs and even 'tri-phosphor' florescent tubes. 'Warm white' LEDs, which include a red-producing phosphor, are an attempt to improve this situation as well as make LEDs illumination more acceptable in living spaces.

LEDs for lighting?

White LED versions of traditional luminaires are already available from several manufacturers, particularly in the MR11 spotlight style. LED headlights are also used in car headlights and LED bicycle headlights have been available for some time.

Reality checking

Firstly, firms which claim 90% efficiency from LED light sources are making it up. Even the latest ones convert far more electricity to heat than they do to light. Next, according to lighting industry experts, LEDs will remain expensive compared with light bulbs and florescent tubes. And whilst they will increasingly appear in homes and offices, they will almost certainly will not replace florescent tubes in office lighting. Florescent tubes, at 100 lm/W for the best fittings, are equal in electrical efficiency to the best LEDs. In the future, large area sheet emitters based on organic LED or AC electroluminescent technology are likely to match LEDs in efficiency and to cost far less per lumen to manufacture. One of these two will probably end up replacing florescent tubes in office lighting and eventually most light bulbs in the home. In their favour, LEDs are the only real alterative if colour-tuneable accent lighting or colour-tuneable whole-room lighting is required.

52. Do OceanLED make name boards?

No but if you are looking to have a custom name board made we would recommend a company called Yacht Sign whose product we feel is one of the best on the market. Check out their website for previous examples and to get a quote: www.YachtSign.com.

53. The new OceanLED brochure indicates the new 3010FM HD model has 7000 “fixture lumens”, which seems not as bright as previously 12,000 “lux-level”. Can you explain the different between “lumen” & “lux” level, for my comparison? As you have known, the HID-150 watt has a lumen level of 12,000, and the 3010FM-HD supposes to have twice of this.

We have changed the way in which we measure our light output levels resulting in the different output data. A lux reading which we previously used to use, was achieved whilst in a dark room and measuring the light output using a light meter 1m / 6' away from the fixture and the highest reading generated was recorded. With our lights which generate a wide beam, the variance was not too much, however with the HID lights which as you know have a direct 'hot-spot' effect, the lux reading in the center primary beam was far superior that the secondary and territory beams.

Recently (within the last 2 years) have invested in a very expensive piece of equipment called a light integrating sphere (photo attached) where the light output from a finished component can be measured. This measurement is the future lumen rating. It is a much more solid number to use, because the lumen output from the finished and complete fixture is measured. To give you a comparison, a light bulb may have 1,000 lumens however if this is put into a black fixture so no light comes out, the lumen rating is still 1,000 however the fixture lumens are now 0. To refer back to the HID units therefore, the bulb may be rated at "X" number of lumens, however once put into the fixture, and shielded behind a thick piece of borosilicate glass, heated to the point of failure (since the bulb is completely encased) this fixture lumen rating will not nearly be as high as the original bulb data.

So to get back to our light units, the fixture lumen rating for the older 3010 units were 3,200 fixture lumens which produced the 12,000 lux. The new 3010 HD series now pumps out 7,000 fixture lumens.

For Superyacht customers however we would want to steer towards the V1/F1 and L1 series. Using these lights on 110vAC / 240vAC line voltage, we can increase the fixture lumen output to 14,000. This is achieved using higher powered LED units, and the units are driven at a higher forward voltage thus increasing the light output.

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