Signal Mate


Intelligent UL 1104 Certified


Commercial / Military LED Navigation Lights


Sub Chapter M – Towing vessels over 65′ (20M)

Inspected vessels over 65′ (20M)

Vessels over 165′ (50M)


Monitors LED intensity to ensure COLREGs nautical mile visibility requirements are always maintained

as specified in IMO Resolution MSC 253 (83) 4.3.

Light can communicate with panel to turn on both heads during restricted visibility.

AC and DC available in single or double head and auto switch-over option.

Modular – 4 components: Luminary, Lens, Power Connector, Base for economical quick field replacements.


Basic     or      Monitoring.

(B1)    Basic light for vessels not requiring backup/redundant lights.

Monitoring LED intensity to COLREGS – 3 options:

(M1)    Monitoring / Single head with one power cable  –

Used as a stand-alone light, or as one of two separate lights that supply the required backup/redundant light for inspected vessels.

(M2)     Monitoring / Double with two separate power cables  –

Combines two lights/heads into one fixture for typical manual switch over to backup / redundancy.

(MA)     Monitoring / Auto switch over & Alternates heads. Double with one power cable  –

Combines two lights/heads into one fixture.

Auto switch over to backup / redundancy.

Signal Mate will be releasing a smart panel that communicates with the lights to fully utilize the auto switch over function.

Alternates to the other head at startup to extend the life 2 times 50,000 = 1000,000 hours, and to always ensure the correct LED intensity.

Please contact us if you have any questions.


LED facts, requirements, and impact on industry.                                                                                              (Open toggles below.)

Signal Mate monitors the LED intensity to ensure COLREGs nautical mile visibility is maintained. Why? ...Read more...

LED facts:

HB (High Brightness) LEDs have undergone testing by LED manufactures who have determined that a LED will retain full intensity for a lifespan of 50,000 hours only when using constant current drivers and proper thermal management.

Furthermore, at 70,000 hours, the LED will have lost 30% of the original intensity even in a well-designed light.

The LED will gradually lose intensity, but the current will not be reduced.

A LED navigation light can fail prematurely before reaching 50,000 hours due to failure rates of electronic parts (MTBF), improper thermal management, improper mixing of thermal adhesives, and assembly procedures.

UL 1104 and LED navigation lights requirements:

Manufactures of UL 1104 LED navigation lights for inspected vessels are required to comply with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Resolution MSC.253 (83) Performance Standards for Navigation Lights as stated in section 4.3 entitled Special requirements for lights using LEDs.

This resolution provides two choices: 1.) monitor intensity; or 2.) specify lifespan (count hours).


“The luminous intensity of LEDs gradually decreases while the electricity consumption remains unchanged. The rate of decrease of luminous intensity depends on the output of LEDs and temperatures of LEDs. To prevent shortage of luminous intensity of LEDs
.1 An alarm function should be activated to notify the Officer of the Watch that the luminous intensity of the light reduces below the level required by COLREGs;
.2 LEDs should only be used within the lifespan (practical term of validity) specified by the manufacturer to maintain the necessary luminous intensity of LEDs…”

Industry impact based on UL 1104 requirements: 

It is inevitable that some LED navigation lights will fail, and there is no way to know which lights will last 50,000 hours at full intensity. Monitoring the LED intensity is the only way to ensure that the COLREGs nautical mile requirements are always maintained.

Most manufactures of UL 1104 navigation lights for inspected vessels have chosen (.2) in IMO resolution MSC 253(83) to count 50,000 hours of use and thus requiring replacement of the light. During the 50,000 hours, there is no way of knowing if the lights are maintaining the intensity per COLREGs nautical mile requirements.

Counting hours provides no indication as to whether the navigation light has the proper intensity for inspected vessels or for vessels over 165′ (50M). Signal Mate has chosen to monitor the LED intensity to ensure the nautical mile requirements are always maintained as specified in (.1) in IMO resolution MSC 253(83). If the light intensity falls below the COLREGs nautical mile requirement, Signal Mate will turn off the current to the light, so the panel will trigger an alarm.

Upgrading alarm panels for navigation lights from incandescent to LED:

As the industry adapts from incandescent to LED navigation lights, a problem exists for inspected vessels that require alarm panels . With incandescent lights, if the light goes out, the current drops, and the alarm is triggered. LEDs can lose intensity without a reduction in current; therefore, the alarm may not be triggered.

To make matters worse, older alarm panels were designed to work with incandescent currents that are much higher than LED currents. Alarm panels for incandescent lights must be modified to work correctly with the LED lights’ lower currents.

Since Signal Mate turns off the LED when the intensity falls below COLREGs, the current is also turned off, which will trigger the alarm panel regardless of how well the panel was modified from incandescent to LED.


Proper navigation lights are critical equipment for all vessels, especially inspected vessels and vessels over 165′ (50M) that require certified UL 1104 LED navigation lights. Proper navigation lights are too important not to utilize the safest and most reliable lights available.

Three models: Single light fixture with one power cable; Double head (2 in 1) lights two cables; Double one cable. ...Read more...

The single light fixture with one power cable is used as a stand-alone light, or as one of two separate lights that supply the required backup/redundant light for inspected vessels.

The double head (2 in 1) light with two separate power cables combines two lights into one fixture for built-in backup/redundancy.

The double head (2 in 1) light with one power cable enables a vessel with only one power cable to have a backup/redundancy light built-in one fixture. This allows new inspected vessels to only need one power cable to meet the requirements of having backup/redundancy lights.


The double (2 in 1) light alternates each light at power up for safety and to extend life to 100,000 hours. ...Read more...

Every time the double head (2 in 1) light with one power cable light is powered up, it will alternate from the top to bottom head or vice versa. This allows both drivers and both LEDs to be tested for proper intensity ensuring both lights are providing proper COLREGs/ nautical mile requirements, and ensuring a backup / redundant light is always available.

Modular design for quick replacement of any components. ...

The modular design allows the four major components to be replaced without having to replace the whole light.

1. Luminary – LEDs, drivers, processor.

2. Lens – UV stable poly carbonate.

3. Power connector / termination circuit board – 12/24/32 VDC, or 120/240 VAC with wire ready terminal block.

4. Permanent base – hard coated aluminum heat sink (should never need to be replaced).


Available in 6/12/24/32 VDC or 120/240 VAC. ...

6 VDC / solar for portable applications.

12/24/32 VDC for most newly designed vessels.

120/240 volts for vessels that currently use 120/240 volts.

Intelligent lights can communicate with panel for additional built in safety features. ...Read more...

Monitors LED intensity to assure COLREGs / nautical mile requirements are maintained.

Communicates with panel for additional safety by turning on both the top and bottom head in a double light during periods of restricted visibility.

Communicates with Signal Mate alarm panel to indicate status of the light.