Marine Safety Alert from the Coast Guard concerning LED lights

Discussion in 'OnBoard Electronics & Controls' started by Ike, Aug 31, 2018.

  1. Ike
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Location: Washington

    Ike Senior Member

    I picked this up on the Cruisers Forum and looked it up. Apparently some LED lights interfere with VHF, AIS and other on board electronics.

    "The U.S. Coast Guard has received reports from crews, ship owners, inspectors and other mariners regarding poor reception on VHF frequencies used for radiotelephone, digital selective calling (DSC) and automatic identification systems (AIS) when in the vicinity of light emitting diode (LED) lighting on-board ships (e.g., navigation lights, searchlights and floodlights, interior and exterior lights, adornment)."

    see the safety alert at https://www.dco.uscg.mil/Portals/9/DCO Documents/5p/CG-5PC/INV/Alerts/1318.pdf?ver=2018-08-16-091109-630
     
    Will Gilmore and hoytedow like this.
  2. JamesG123
    Joined: Mar 2015
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    Location: Columbus, GA

    JamesG123 Senior Member

    The radios get great reception. The receive the interference generated by all those LED just fine! har har har

    IOW Don't mount your VHF antenna right next to high-power lighting (that is mostly cheap chinese made LEDs these days).
     
    hoytedow likes this.
  3. jehardiman
    Joined: Aug 2004
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    Location: Port Orchard, Washington, USA

    jehardiman Senior Member

    It's not the lights themselves, it's the inverter.
     
    hoytedow likes this.
  4. comfisherman
    Joined: Apr 2009
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    Location: Alaska

    comfisherman Senior Member

    Most the marine specific ones take this into consideration. Most the issues come from the big led bars from Amazon that folks bolt right next to the antenna. Up here where light bars are much less verboten you see it a lot. My old stall mate for my little boat would flip his on and the vhf would static like crazy until turned off.
     
    hoytedow likes this.

  5. philSweet
    Joined: May 2008
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    Location: Beaufort, SC and H'ville, NC

    philSweet Senior Member

    And suppression requires a fair bit of effort. Ferrites help, but there's more to it than that. This has only been a problem for about the last 50 years or so:rolleyes: The devil is in the details.

    LEDtronics | LED Light Bulbs | Category: LED Panel Indicators, RFI EMI | 193 https://www.ledtronics.com/product_category.aspx?id=193

    It depends on the frequency. Radiators have to match the radiation wavelength. It can be the bulb, the wiring, or the driver electronics, depending on frequency. There is a lot of trouble with backfeed in the wiring. That sounds like what comfisherman was experiencing at the dock.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2022
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