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Old 09-24-2013
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Re: Dangers of LED navigation lights

Bubblehead pretty much nailed it. Basically, if your nav lights look like they're the right color, then they probably are within the COLREG specs.

The fact is the the specs (in COLREG Annex I, Section 7; Color specification of lights) are pretty broad. The main concern in most of these discussions seems to be centered around "white" and "green" lights. If you look at the specs in the COLREGS, and compare those to a CIE chromaticity graph, you'll find that any "white" LED with a "temperature rating" below about 6500K is fine. This includes all "warm white" and "natural white" LEDs. For "green" lights it's a little trickier. But, again comparing the COLREG specs to the CIE chromaticity graph, you can see that the acceptable range of "green" is pretty large. In fact, it dips quite a bit into the "bluish green" part of the CIE chart. So, if it looks pretty damned green, it's fine. Even slightly blue-green is probably fine. If it looks more blue than green (i.e., "greenish blue" on the CIE graph), then it's time to be concerned.
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Last edited by SlowButSteady; 09-24-2013 at 02:41 PM.
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