Whether you own a fishing boat or a yacht, there are two types of lights your boat needs to have. The first can either be an all-round white light (for boats smaller than 39.4 feet / 12 meters long) or the combination of a masthead light and a sternlight. The second set of lights you’ll need are red and green navigation lights.
Our LED boat navigation lights are now USCG certified!
Oznium’s LED navigation lights are now USCG certified. Our lights have undergone rigorous in house testing using a spectrophotometer and goniophotometer, before also being sent to the authorized test laboratory. They have 2 nautical mile visibility and an IP68 rating which means they’re fully waterproof, so we can be certain that our lights go above and beyond the USCG standards.
Why do you need navigation lights for your boat?
You’re going to require navigation lights when venturing out at night, which means that you should always be using your boat navigation lights between sunset and sunrise.
It’s an absolute must in conditions with reduced visibility, such as heavy fog for example. Not only are your boat’s navigation lights really useful in these conditions, but you’re also legally required to have them, so they’re as necessary to have as your fire extinguisher or life jacket. Another boat’s navigation lights can also indicate to you the size of the vessel you’re approaching, and more obviously, the direction that it’s traveling in.
What type of boat requires navigation lights?
USCG boat navigation lights requirements state that only small rowing and sailing boats do not require navigation lights when out at night, for every other type of boat, navigation lights are a must. For small power boats no larger than 39.4 feet (12 meters) you’ll need to have either separate or combined red and green navigation lights, which will need to cover 112.5 degrees. It’s also required that your navigation lights be visible for at least 1 nautical mile.
When purchasing boat navigation lights, you’ll always need to ensure that they are USCG certified, this means that they meet all requirements set out by the United States Coast Guard.
USCG certified lights should effectively meet USCG, ABYC and NMMA standards.
In case you’re wondering who all these organisations are, and what they even do? Never fear, we’ve created a brief description of each one to make sure you’re well informed.
The USCG is the coastal defense and maritime law enforcement division of the United States Armed Forces. USCG standards are all the requirements set out by the United States Coast Guard, which are necessary to follow for anyone owning a yacht or boat.
The American Boat & Yacht Council or ABYC is a non-profit organization that supervises the creation and management of boat manufacturing requirements regarding design, construction, maintenance, and repair. ABYC helps in the development of world-wide safety recommendations.
National Marine Manufacturers Association or NMMA Certification assists boat manufacturers in compliance with industry safety and construction standards and federal regulations.
It’s important that you meet all Coast Guard requirements to ensure your own safety on the water as well as that of others, also you might just save yourself a lot of unnecessary hassle from the authorities.
How to wire boat navigation lights
It’s important to remember to find the correct position for your navigation lights to achieve the 112.5 degree angles required by the US Coast Guard. Once you have the correct position, you can install your lights.
With Oznium’s LED navigation lights, it’s as simple as drilling a hole, feeding the wire and LED through the hole, then tightening the nuts and you’re done! Because they are separate, the red one will need to be installed on the Port side, and the green one on the Starboard side, as done on this boat by the boat manufacturer, Sardine Marine.
It may come as a surprise that many boats can be bought with lights that don’t meet legal requirements due to their design or position, which is why it’s always a good idea to check if your boat lights meet USCG standards. At Oznium, we strive to provide you with the best LEDs for your boat, which is why we went the extra mile and got our LED navigation lights USCG certified.