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LED Seaport Lighting - Container Port Lights

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LED Lighting for Seaports and Container Ports

MyLEDLightingGuide supplies seaport, shipping port, and all related lighting fixtures to illuminate your ports. Reduce energy usage by 75% and increase safety.

Seaports and container ship facilities use large poles of multiple high power lights to provide general flood and area lighting throughout the port facility. Port lights use to require large amounts of power to operate, but it's been reduced by 75% with LED Port Lighting Options from MyLEDLightingGuide, and even more when controls are used.

Seaport High Mast Lights

Marine Grade LED Flood Lights

3 styles of LED Port Lighting

Traditional Style High Mast Lights

Low Profile Slip Fitter Pipe Mount

Low Profile Trunnion Mount

What Are LED Seaport Lights?

Shipping ports and container terminals (container ports) use lighting poles with multiple high-power lights in order to illuminate their expansive facilities. These light fixtures are known to consume massive amounts of electricity, but since the advent of LED seaport lighting, power costs have been cut by up to 75%.

LED bulbs are fitted with semiconductors. They are uniquely designed to turn electrons that pass through them into light. LED seaport lights use this technology to illuminate ports and terminals, while reducing overall energy usage.

Where Is LED Seaport Lighting Used?

Port safety goes hand in hand with good lighting. Just as their name suggests, LED seaport lights are used to illuminate seaports and container ports. Ports, ship yards, and container terminals require adequate lighting in order to ensure safe navigation on waters, allow safe docking, loading and unloading of cargo, and movement of freight in and out of the port.

Outdoor Seaport Lighting

LED Mast Lights for Seaports and Container Ports

Where bright light is needed, LED Mast lights are always the best choice. When Mast lights are strategically placed, they illuminate a wide area with broad, powerful beams of light. This is of great importance to seaports and container terminals where high intensity lighting is required to facilitate easy maneuvering and bolster security.

LED Mast lights are used outdoors. Depending on the area you want to illuminate, there are two categories of flood type fixtures to choose from: area and directional flood-lights. They are generally classified as per their intensity and how they illuminate open areas.

Directional mast lights are used to illuminate certain features in buildings in order to enhance their visual appearance. They are also used for wall washing and wall grazing. Area flood-lights, in contrast, are used to light up large outdoor areas like sports arenas, terminals, or applications that require a high luminous intensity.

Since these light fixtures are installed outdoors, manufacturers usually engineer them to endure all weather conditions. The fixtures are fitted with aluminum casings which shield the light bulbs from humidity, rain, snow, storms, and temperature fluctuations.

The Main Types of Mast Lights used at Ports 

HighMast Lights with Dusk to Dawn Photocells

Photocells also go by the name dusk to dawn sensors, CdS (Cadmium-Sulfide) cells, photoresistors, or LDR (Light Dependent Resistors). They work almost the same way as infrared sensors, which detect the presence of objects. However, photo-resistors detect the presence of light and increase or decrease resistance, therefore regulating the amount of light.

When the surrounding environment has enough light, their resistance decreases; when it’s dark or there’s minimal light, they have a high level of resistance. Their ability to regulate the amount of light is very important because during the day, LED flood-lights are automatically turned off. At dusk, they are turned back on.

Passive Infrared (PIR) Mast lights

These infrared sensors use infrared technology to detect the movement of objects up to 8 meters away. They have a detection angle of up to 180°. They are ideal for security or perimeter lighting and can be placed in cargo bay entrances and exits.

As soon as the sensors detect movement, the lights switch on automatically. In case there’s no movement or activity taking place, the lights switch off automatically. The good news is that most of the existing LED highmast-light fixtures can be fitted with either photocell or PIR sensors, so you don’t have to purchase other fixtures in order to benefit from this technology.

Every seaport focuses on the following three aspects:

1. Enhancing Safety

Port workers require proper light which minimizes risks and allows them to easily move around the yard. LED seaport lighting fixtures have greatly facilitated this, and because of their improved color rendering, workers can see more clearly without being affected by glare.

2. Boosting Productivity

Productivity directly depends on how fast containers are loaded and offloaded, as this means multiple tasks are carried out within a short time. The installation of LED light fixtures in seaports ensures quicker movement of containers in and out of the yard.

3. Reducing Its Environmental Footprint

Regulatory bodies such as the EPA have stringent measures, especially when it comes to conserving the environment. A recent study by the Royal Society showed that traditional lighting fixtures emit bright but less efficient light, increasing carbon dioxide emissions in the process. They also attract some marine creatures that damage ships and boats.

Vital Considerations for LED Seaport Lighting


The IP Rating

The IP (Ingress Protection) rating is an international rating standard that is used to represent the sealing effectiveness of light fixtures against foreign elements such as dust, dirt, moisture, and water. Each number that follows the initials “IP” has a specific meaning. The first number specifies the level of protection (of the fixture) from foreign bodies while the second number represents the fixture’s magnitude of protection against any form of moisture.

The first digit numbers are 1 to 7 while the second digit numbers are 1 to 9. If a number is replaced by x, for example, IP3x instead of IP34 or IP32, it shows that the fixture is not rated for that specification. For ports, use IP65 or greater.

This table explains IP ratings in detail:

First Digit - Dust and Solid Objects Second Digit - Water and Moisture
0 No special protection 0
No protection
1 Solid objects larger than 50mm – such as hands or large tools 1 Condensation or vertically falling drops of water
Solid objects larger than 12mm – like fingers 2 Vertically dropping water when the fixture is angled up to 15° from its regular position
3 Solid objects larger than 2.5mm – such as wires 3 Water sprays of up to 60° from the vertical
Solid objects larger than 1mm –
Like small tools and wires
4 Water sprays from all directions.
Dust – but not large deposits 5 Low-pressure water jets (from all directions), or water sprayed from a 6.3 mm nozzle
Completely safeguarded from dust 6 Powerful water jets, or water sprayed from a 12.5 mm nozzle
7 Temporary immersion (between 15cm and 1m of water)
8 Prolonged periods of immersion under pressure
IK Rating

The IK rating is an international rating that signifies the level of protection a light fixture has against mechanical wear and tear and the extent to which it can withstand sudden impacts. The rating spans between IK01 and IK10.

Light fixtures with a high IK rating (between IK07 to IK10) are best suited to high-impact risk environments, where they are susceptible to mechanical impacts. Low IK ratings, between IK01 and IK07, are given to fixtures well suited to low-impact risk areas.

IK Impact Rating

The Optics

Different LED products have diverse optics to offer diverse optical solutions. Non-primary optics configure the beam and radiation patterns and also maximize light efficiency. In order to meet lighting specifications, the non-primary optics allow for multiple combination possibilities.

These non-primary optics are comprised of diffusers, lenses, total internal reflection lenses, and reflectors. The lenses are designed to collect light and uniformly spread beams of light at a compact angle while the reflectors redirect the beams in order to illuminate at a big angle. The total internal reflection lenses are responsible for gathering and processing light.

LED lights for high-voltage applications have lenses made of acrylic or polycarbonate. These lenses boast superior mechanical strength, brilliant optical features, powerful thermal stability, excellent thermal conductivity, and water absorbing capability.

High-power flood-lights have both lenses and TIR lenses for enhanced optical efficiency and higher light uniformity. Some flood-lights have reflectors to get rid of spill light and glare and to achieve a particular beam pattern.

LED Optics

Correlated Color Temperature


Color temperature is sometimes a difficult term to define because color does not have a temperature in the true sense of the word. But color temperature is basically the temperature of the light color produced by a light source. Color temperature is usually indicated on the light bulb (and on the packaging box) to show how bright or dim a light bulb is.

For Port lighting, choose a color temperature between 4000K and 5500K.


LED Color Temperature

Color Rendering Index

When you want to know how the colors of objects will appear under a light source, you check its color rendering index. If the color rendering index is low (below 65), the bulb will not be able to reveal the true colors – show how the objects look like in real life. This is because the color rendering index of light sources is measured against that of an ideal light source like the sun – which has an excellent CRI of 100.

If the CRI of a light bulb is good (70-90), the colors of the objects it illuminates will appear almost real. If the CRI is excellent (90 and above), the colors will appear as they would if the objects were illuminated by the sun.

Seaports need lights with a high color rendering index to ensure easy loading and offloading of cargo, easy movement of freight, and safe navigation on waters. When then lights are powerful, they will maintain the recommended foot candle levels for sufficient illumination. If they are not, accidents are bound to happen. CRI 70 or above is adequate for port lighting.


5 Reasons to Replace Traditional Seaport Lights with LED

1. They Produce Much Better Light


It is no secret that LEDs have a high CRI (between 70 and 98). This means they produce more natural light than traditional light fixtures and have the ability to show the smallest differences in color.

Light fixtures with a high color rendering index are crucial in applications such as seaports and container terminals because they enable workers to differentiate freight by looking at their markers and colors. Also, their ability to show slight color differences ensures workers can easily spot product or equipment defects that may be masked by color pigments.

LED seaport lighting fixtures distribute light that can be varied and controlled to be perfectly uniform. These lights come with different beam angles to effectively meet the unique lighting needs of different applications.

LED light beam angles range from 15° to 120°. A wide beam generates softer light that is evenly distributed to different locations of a space while a narrow beam generates focused light that is concentrated and is not widely distributed. Narrow beam angles are mostly used for accent lighting.

LEDs are directional; they are not like conventional lights which emit light in every direction. These lights produce focused light and their optical efficiencies range between 80%-90%. Traditional light fixtures suffer from a rapid loss of light intensity.

Take for example, metal halides. These light sources have a light intensity loss of up to 60%. Due to their high optical loss, light pollution (glare, spill light, uplight, and halo effect light) is usually a big problem in areas where they are installed.


2. High Energy Savings


LED seaport lights use much less energy to deliver a high lumen output. For example, a 1000W HID bulb consumes up to 1150W. This is because its ballast requires approximately 15% of the energy it uses in order to function. Therefore the ballast will consume an extra 150 watts, which directly translates to higher electricity costs.

On the contrary, LED fixtures consume a lot less power than traditional lighting fixtures; therefore a 450 watt LED bulb can replace a 1000 watt HID lamp. Moreover, LED lights do not require ballasts. What this means is that electricity consumption will greatly decrease – by up to 75%. Pair them with lighting controls such as motion sensors and dimmers, and you are guaranteed to decrease energy consumption by up to 90%.

To determine which LED seaport lights will make the best replacements for your current traditional lights, consider having a photometric analysis done for your facility.

Controls for Outdoor Lighting

3. Capable Of Working with Lighting Controls


LED lights fitted with dimmers have the ability to dim up to 100% and dimming doesn’t affect their lifespan. Their light output can be frequently increased and decreased and they will experience no negative effects. This feature is extremely useful because the lights can be switched off or dimmed when natural light is enough to illuminate an area, saving energy in the process.

High-quality LED seaport lights retain 70% of their initial light output for up to 100,000 hours, which is more than 5 times the lifetime of HID lamps. This means fewer light fixtures will be needed to illuminate expansive areas for a long period of time. 

Another great thing about LEDs is that they have the natural capacity to produce a range of light colors that are suitable for different environments. What’s more, they not only produce high-quality light, they have the ability to direct the light exactly where it is needed. LEDs have a great advantage over high intensity discharge lamps and fluorescents which use reflectors to reflect light – because they are omnidirectional by nature.

4. Economically Beneficial

For every lighting option you choose, it is important to consider the economical aspect to it. This includes electricity bills, servicing, and maintenance costs. High wattage lighting systems consume a significant amount of electricity in order to produce very intense light for large areas. This is true for all traditional lighting fixtures – there are no exceptions.

Conventional lights also experience lumen loss extremely fast and their life expectancy is not long. Most of these lamps normally produce very bright light when they are first switched on but lumen reduction begins within the first few hours of use. Because of this, their efficiency quickly decreases over time, which means they have to be frequently replaced.

Also, in case the ballast used in the fixture gets damaged, the bulb starts to draw electricity uncontrollably. This causes premature burnout and the need for a replacement.

LED lamps are fitted with hard-wearing semiconductors and maintain 70% of their lumens for up to 100,000 hours. According to research, LED lamps only lose their initial light output by 30% towards the end of their lifespan but continue to function provided there’s power.

Since HID lamps have a short lifespan (of up to 15,000 hours), you can make up to 6 HID replacements during the lifetime of a LED lamp. And considering that seaport lights are usually mounted on very tall lighting poles (80 to 120 ft high), bulb replacement costs can be very high, depending on the special equipment used.


5. Not Affected by Temperature and Weather Changes

Traditional light fixtures are mostly affected by changes in temperature and weather. For instance, some fluorescent bulbs fail to light up in temperatures below 50°F. However, this is not because of the light itself, but because of the type of ballast used in the light fixture. Magnetic ballasts do not work in cold temperatures. Also, the light output of conventional lighting fixtures is usually poor in bad weather conditions, for example when it rains.

LED seaport lights are resistant to temperature fluctuations and changes in weather. Since they come in different options to fit various needs, they are capable of providing bright light, especially during darker winter months, enabling workers to maneuver comfortably within ports and seaports.

Outdoor LED lamps have sturdy casings that protect their inner components from dust, moisture, and dirt, therefore minimizing the risk of fire or damage to their conductors. These lighting fixtures are verified and approved by various certification agencies.


LED seaport lighting

Port Lighting

My LED Lighting Guide provides LED seaport lights that are superior and can withstand all weather and temperature conditions. Talk to us about your lighting project. We’re here to help!

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