McDermott light & signal

McDermott Lights and Signal is a great company located in upstate New York..  They were one of the first groups to commit support for the Fir project so they hold a special place in our minds.

Converting incandecent light bulbs to LED lightbulbs is hardly a novel thought.  And, any one can find a LED bulb that will replace a conventional bulb. So, one may be inclined to think they can convert their Navigational Lights to LED by just changing the bulb.  The rub is that maritime authorities have a very strict certification process for both the effective range and the color of Navigational Lights.  Just changing the bulb may very possibly make your existing Navigational Lights out of compliance.  The big deal here is that operating with improper lights may void your insurance and make you responsible for an accident.

We have special concerns because we exceed the 50 meter cutoff so the rules for Fir are more demanding.

One benefit of dealing with McDermott is that they know all the class rules relating to lighting. So, they can recommend lights that comply with all the rules.  And, relatively speaking, their product is inexpensive.  Lower generator demands, inexpensive digital switching, plastic housings that are unaffected by the conditions and an insanely long lifespan are all great reasons to consider a LED conversion.

We are using a complete set of McDermott Navigational lights certified for 50 meter boats,  We are also using several of their work lights to illuminate the decks.  

And, we are repurposing the attractive, old bronze lights as scones in many areas of the boat. 



The original bronze light on the A Frame

The original bronze light on the A Frame


The existing lights were built to last and the exterior has done so. But, many of the bronze lamps leaked and the internal workings are corroded. 

The replacement LED lamps are sealed, poly carbonate housings. The original lamps depended on incandescent bubs that lasted months. The LED lamps measure their longevity in decades.

We anticipate that our new system will deliver a decade of maintenance free service.    

The modern replacement for the lamp pictured to the left.

The modern replacement for the lamp pictured to the left.

Electrical Demand

LEDs consume about 10% of the electricity to produce the same amount of light. A large goal of our project is to reduce the electrical demand of our systems. So, moving to LED supports our general plan.

In addition, the LED lights will permit our emergency battery backup system to run the navigational lights for days after a major failure in our electrical generation systems. 


The existing systems are 110V controlled by manual switches. Controlling AC circuits is expensive.  

Our new LEDs are 24 volts of DC electricity.  Our Czone distributed power panels can incorporate the navigational lights into our control network.