About Navigation Signal Lights | Bozhou Marine
Navigation signal lights, also known as navigation lights, are an essential component of every vessel that travels on water. They are used to signal to other vessels and provide vital information on the type and direction of the vessel. Navigation signal lights have been in use for centuries and have gone through significant improvements in technology and design.
The International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGs) mandates that every vessel must have navigation signal lights that are visible at least two nautical miles away. These regulations are crucial to ensuring the safety of vessels and their crew, particularly in low visibility conditions.
Navigation signal lights consist of three primary colors: red, green, and white. The red light is always placed on the port (left) side of the vessel, while the green light is placed on the starboard (right) side. The white light is typically located on the stern (back) of the vessel and is used to indicate the vessel's direction of travel.
The red and green navigation lights are called sidelights and are used to indicate the vessel's direction of travel. When a vessel is traveling at night, the sidelights are used to determine the vessel's heading. If an observer sees only the red sidelight, they know the vessel is traveling from their left to right (port to starboard). If they see only the green sidelight, they know the vessel is traveling from right to left (starboard to port). If both sidelights are visible, they know the vessel is either approaching or traveling parallel to their position.
The white stern light is called the masthead light and is used to indicate the vessel's direction of travel. This light is placed high on the vessel and is visible from all directions. If an observer sees only the white stern light, they know the vessel is traveling away from them.
In addition to the sidelights and masthead light, vessels may also have other navigation signal lights, including the all-around light and the towing light. The all-around light is a white light that is visible from all directions and is used to indicate that the vessel is not underway (i.e., not moving). The towing light is a yellow light that is used to indicate that the vessel is towing another vessel or object.
Navigation signal lights are powered by electricity, typically from the vessel's battery. They can also be powered by solar panels or wind turbines, which are becoming more common on modern vessels. The lights are designed to be long-lasting and durable, able to withstand the harsh marine environment.
Navigation signal lights are also designed to be easily distinguishable from other lights on the water, such as those from shore-based structures or other vessels. The lights are positioned and shaped in such a way that they are easily recognizable and cannot be mistaken for other lights.
In addition to their role in ensuring the safety of vessels and their crew, navigation signal lights are also important for the environment. Many marine animals, including sea turtles and sea birds, are affected by light pollution from vessels. Navigation signal lights are designed to minimize the impact of light pollution on the environment while still providing the necessary information to other vessels.
In conclusion, navigation signal lights are an essential component of every vessel that travels on water. They provide vital information on the type and direction of the vessel, ensuring the safety of vessels and their crew, particularly in low visibility conditions. Navigation signal lights have gone through significant improvements in technology and design over the centuries, and they continue to evolve as technology advances. As vessels become more sustainable and environmentally friendly, navigation signal lights will play an increasingly critical role in minimizing their impact on the environment.