How to Protect Your Marine Navigation Lighting Well?

Marine navigation lights are still playing an important role in navigating ships at sea, despite the advances in marine navigation technologies like GPS, ECDIS, and various satellite signaling systems, navigation lights can directly help at the sea. Since it’s so important, do you know how to protect it yourself? Read this article to know how.

marine navigation lights

These signal lights have been an integral part of ship navigation procedures for decades, and due to their frequent use, they are included in routine maintenance procedures.
Navigation lights are used when navigating ships near coastal areas, in areas of heavy shipping traffic, maneuvering in ports, or just sailing at sea. They help indicate the ship’s position, status, heading, etc. to other nearby ships to avoid collisions at sea. This is the first form of non-verbal communication that ships have with nearby ships during their voyage.
The ship’s navigation and signal lights are located in these areas, making them easy to notice even from a distance. However, when it comes to the maintenance of these lights, getting into such a high position can be very dangerous, especially when the vessel is on the high seas.

The three important purposes of marine navigation lights are

main mast
Stern signal station

Maintenance of Ship Navigation lights


Potential Factors


The lamp lights off

no voltage

Check the Power

Poor contact with the lamp socket

Reinstall the lamp

Starter failure

Turn the starter, if it fails to work, replace it

Ballast failure

Measure and rule out with a multimeter

The enlightenment troubles

The starter is damaged or not matched

Replace a matching starter

voltage is too low

Check the power

The ballast does not match

Replace a matched ballast

 Lamp aging

Replace a new lamp

 Both ends of the lamp are on, the middle is off

 Starter contact short circuit or capacitor breakdown

Replace the starter

 Ballast is noisy

The iron core piece is loose

Tighten the core

 Poor quality of iron core

Replace ballast

 The power supply voltage is too high

Adjust the voltage

 Ballast overheating

 Poor quality ballast

Replace ballast

 Poor starter, long trigger time

Replace the starter

Factors Might Harm Your Marine Lighting

1. Water (seawater and rainwater)

Water is a major threat to all electrical systems onboard. Ingress of water can cause the electrical system to catch fire due to a short circuit. Since all navigation lights are located outside the deck of the boat, they are susceptible to the harmful effects of seawater, rain, and atmospheric moisture.
Therefore, the navigation light is placed in a weatherproof and waterproof enclosure. However, even if these enclosures are weatherproof, there is a high chance of water infiltration due to leaks in the system due to rust and frequent opening of the enclosure to replace the bulb.

marine navigation lights

Points to consider:
Regularly check lamps for water leaks
Whenever you turn on a light fixture to change a bulb, make sure to use a waterproof material such as silicon or putty
Visually inspect the inside of the casing for salt formation. If the salt formation is found, seawater has seeped inside.
Use fine clothing and detergent to clean the glass of the light fixture for good lighting/signal
Check the lamp holder inside the fitting for corrosion or fungal formation
Whenever the light is turned on, use a contact cleaner for cleaning

2. Vibrations

There is nowhere on board to reach the vibrations generated by the mechanical operation of the ship’s engine room. Since the navigation lights are located at the highest point of the ship, they are always subject to vibrations when the main engine is running. This is another cause of bulb failure.
Make sure to use shock-absorbing materials such as rubber gasket materials whenever possible.
When operating the navigation light, check for loose nuts, bolts, and brackets. Tighten and secure them as necessary.
Use washers where nut bolts are used in light fixtures to avoid loosening of nuts
The structure of the clamp-mounted light fixture.

3. Sunlight and wind

This is a factor that affects marine navigation lights, of which nothing can be done.
The lifespan of lamps is often shortened due to constant sunlight exposure, especially if they are made of plastic. Therefore, it is best to install light fixtures made of weatherproof brass materials.

4. Wire Securing

Navigation light wires fixed to the mast often become tangled or loose due to weather exposure. Please check the wires for any loose connections and secure the wires with a cable wire. Check the condition of these wires regularly.
All navigation lights on board are installed in pairs, i.e. two. If one fails, the other replaces it. However, it is important that responsible personnel conduct routine maintenance checks on these lamps and check for lamp/bulb failure alarms.


I believe you already got the knowledge of how to protect your marine light, if you still have some questions about the marine lamp? If so, inquire us for answers. Or what’s more, if you got any marine lighting needs, contact us, we can help with it, YSMARINE is a professional marine products supplier!