Lighting. Monday , September 24th , 2018 - 09:12:47 AM
Fluorescent lighting has been around a long time and you may not think it is that efficient. Old fluorescent lighting certainly isn't T12 and T8 tubes and their drivers can be horribly wasteful, sometimes using double the amount of power they are rated at. However T5 fluorescent tubes coupled with a modern ballast is remarkably efficient, almost as efficient in fact as LED lighting. Modern warm start ballasts have also increased reliability and allowed for extending the life of the tubes which can now reach as much as 30,000 or 40,000 hours. Modern drivers also operate at high frequency, unlike their older counterparts, which mean there is no longer a noticeable flicker with fluorescent lights. Fluorescent lights do also suffer from early failures, and because they rely on a filament the more often they are turned on and off the shorter their life will be; this means turning them on and of with presence detection to reduce their use and save money on your bill could backfire when you have to frequently replace the tubes. If you do go down this route make sure the drivers feature warm start and don't set the controls to frequently turn the lights on and off.
The light emitting diode, or "LED" for short, has largely obliterated the problems usually associated with navigation lighting. Powerful, efficient, compact, highly durable and extremely long lived; incandescent navigation lights never stood a chance once the LED was introduced. Where it was once pretty much standard practice to periodically inspect, clean and replace your lights several times during the boating season, LEDs have made it possible to go an entire season with little more than an occasional inspection to ensure everything is still operating as expected. In most cases, an LED lighting won't even need replacing for 5 years or more.
Safety is a critical issue. You do not want the wires exposed for children to trip over. You also do not want the wires to be prone to electrical problems, or even fire, so make sure you buy a fixture with safety properties. There are also particular flood lighting systems equipped with security and sensor features. if you are planning to buy these systems, you might as well consider getting two in one systems as they are more economical.
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