Navigation Lights: LED Replacement Bulb Information

Boatlamps LED navigation lights

Exchange your halogen bulbs for cool running, low energy consumption, state-of-the-art marine LED lamps!

Boatlamps stock a wide selection of LED lamps to replace incandescent navigation bulbs used for all types of marine craft. All of our LED bulbs are produced using only high quality, high output, SMD LEDs and we have some of the highest light output available for navigation lights on the market today. Our bayonet and festoon lamp products are popular with boat owners for use in many types of signal lights.

Aqua SignalHella MarineLalizas

For boats up to 20 metres the COLREGS (International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972) requirements dictate that visibility of the coloured lights be extended to 2 miles. We have higher lumen output lamps available that meet or indeed exceed this requirement.

For boat owners who wish to be seen over even greater distances we now stock a range of very high output (VHO) LED replacement lamps. These lamps utilise the very latest high output LEDs and these significantly outperform 25W standard incandescent lamps and are visible well in excess of three nautical miles.

The table below is a summary of the requirements of part ‘C’ of the COLREGS paragraph 22 ‘Visibility of Lights’.

Light type Vessels 50 metres (164 ft) or more in length Vessels between 12–50 metres (39–164 ft) in length Vessels less than 12 metres (39 ft) in length
Masthead light 6 nautical miles 5 miles; except for vessels less than 20 metres (66 ft), 3 miles 2 miles
Sidelight 3 miles 2 miles 1 mile
Towing light 3 miles 2 miles 2 miles
White, red, green or yellow all-around light 3 miles 2 miles 2 miles

Please note: This document should not be relied upon as a comprehensive document as unforeseen errors may have been unintentionally included. So called ‘International Regulations’ are not always consistent from country to country.  So if you need absolutely precise information please refer to the official COLREGS that apply to your locality as there may be ‘Country Specific’ local requirements that need to be met.


Navigation lights typically comprise of individual white, red and green light fixtures. Sailing craft having the option of utilising bi-colour (red/green), often at deck level, or tri-colour (red/green/white) mounted at the mast top.

If your boat has individual navigation lights, you will get the best results by using red LED lamps behind red lenses and green LED lamps behind green lenses. Maximum visibility is provided by using cool white lamps behind clear lenses utilised for anchor light, stern and steaming lights.

Do not place cool white LED lamps behind coloured lenses as they do not produce the correct colours for navigation purposes.

Warm white lamps are popular behind bi and tri-colour red and green combined lenses for boats up to 12 metres. For boats up to 20 metres see our Bi & Tri Colour light information page.

Please do not install standard LED lamps with exposed soldering into light fixtures that leak. A dunking in seawater does our lamps no good and will ultimately lead to corrosion and lamp failure. Failures due to sea water contamination are not covered by our warranty or indeed any other suppliers warranty. In our experience stern lights, steaming lights, mast top anchor and tri-colour the fixtures are not adversely affected by leakage.

Navigation lights located at the bow, both the bi-colour when fitted and the individual port and starboard lights are more prone to significant leakage, particularly if they are not well maintained. This is due to regular immersion into the sea in almost any weather condition. The added water pressure takes its toll on the fixture sealing arrangement, especially if the seals are of some age and have hardened. The bow fixtures can be effectively sealed with silicon but are often neglected until trouble arises.

Salt water can not only damage lamps and their electrical holders but can also penetrate into the cable supplying the lights. This will cause corrosion of the conductors and often means replacing the cable. That not good news particularly when cables disappear into the deck with the cable run not at all obvious.

We can supply waterproof LED lamps for use in the most exposed light fixtures on boats up to 20 metres, and boats up to 12 metres.

Try to mount AIS and other sensitive antenna remote from all LED lamps as far is practicable. Some sensitive receivers can be affected by the low level of EMI emitted from LED lamps.

Important: In common with other replacement LED lamps on the market, it is not possible to have any sort of marine authority certification for individual replacement bulbs. These LED lamps are easily visible at distances exceeding 3nm in standard fixtures and are the brightest replacement LED bulbs available. Given the vast array of navigation light fittings installed on marine vessels, it is the user's decision alone whether to use our products to retrofit any particular light fitting used for navigation purposes.

Continue shopping
Your Order

You have no items in your cart