Hella Marine


US Coast Guard Alert - LEDs and EMI

11 September 2018 in News


The United States Coast Guard (USCG) recently published an alert (bit.ly/2PPRK50) detailing the effect of Electro Magnetic Interference (EMI) caused by some LED products, and the potential for electronic communication interference. Simple testing can identify whether there's a problem, but the situation can be avoided if owners choose products that are certified to international standards.

All active electronic devices, including LED products, create some degree of EMI. The danger comes when this interference occurs in the frequency range between 156 MHz and 165 MHz, used by marine VHF and AIS systems. This can potentially compromise communication, with major operational consequences posing a serious safety risk.Radio Communication

But, if owners use LED products specifically designed to eliminate EMI, they can avoid potential problems. There are dozens of national and international standards addressing EMI; a partial list is at bit.ly/2QkmtY7. However, most are not designed for, and don't take into account, the unique environment of marine applications. For this reason, regional and international regulatory authorities have created specific maritime navigation and radio communications equipment standards for LED lighting used on boats.

Lamps tested for Electro Magnetic Interference

For safety, boat owners should look to ensure both exterior and interior LED lamps meet maritime EMI standards. If they don't, upgrading to quality models that do can be an easy retrofit process, with the added benefits of enhanced durability, brighter light and long life such products afford.

One such manufacturer is Hella marine, which has long been aware of the effects that EMI can have on other devices. Its LED lighting products are designed, tested and certified to exceed international maritime EMI standards, paying special attention to the frequency range used by marine VHF and AIS systems. Its DoC certificates can be found at hellamarine.com/en/certification.

LED Lights tested to VHF and AIS frequencies

Specified by the USCG, commercial vessels, military and private operators for over a decade, Hella marine LED products have a proven record for reliability and EMI free operation. Its range of interior, exterior and navigation LED lights are also backed by a 5-year warranty.


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