Clever reflectors and LEDs cut out the glare

RLX lights can be used to outline different working areas RLX lights can be used to outline different working areas

LED floodlights have a number of desirable characteristics but in the top ten must be the ability to tailor the beam, giving LED’s a significant advantage over more traditional solutions.

It’s an area that Luminell has been pursuing with some success.  “Instead of the more traditional reflectors where you have a high percentage of waste light we’ve really developed the optics. More power goes to where you need it and you get a very efficient lumen output per Watt than you would for normal, filament-based lights,” said Jacob Ole Hanken of Luminell.

It yields more than efficient power. One of the biggest issues comes from light not getting to where it’s needed – and conversely, creating glare where it isn’t wanted.

So, for example, traditional spot beams designed to flood the rear deck may unfortunately also reduce the vision of, say, a crane operator. More, even white-painted structures could bounce light into the eyes of the bridge personnel, blanking out detail and even undermining night vision.

It’s not just those onboard who suffer: minimising the bleed of light around the vessel also makes a difference to other, nearby craft – or even personnel who might be above the deck, say on an offshore structure.

Instead of a broad, wash of light, a more focused beam helps mitigate the issues, “created by a combination of optics and LEDs”, said Mr Hanken.

The RLX series runs from around 40W all the way up to the dimmable, 240W ‘E’ unit and there are some real advantages to the LED design. As Mr Hanken explained, the lights are suitable for corrosive and hazardous atmospheres, designed to meet ATEX and IECEx zone 1, 2, 21 and 22 regulations.

They are also maintenance free and robust enough to handle the shock and vibration common to workboat operations. The electronics are encapsulated, making them seawater resistant, and there’s a submersible version for work to depths up to 40m. The lightweight, compact footprint and reduced power draw are also characteristics to be prized said Hanken: “For example, our RLX CX 160W floodlight is 9.7kg, but it replaces 400W high-pressure sodium lamps.” In conclusion, LEDs seem to be making good on their promise for the workboat market.

By Stevie Knight

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