Energy consumption, shipboard safety and reduced maintenance are among the key factors when considering switching the lighting in your vessel, says Singapore-based LED provider
Energy efficiency and management is driving many of the decisions made by shipowners, whether constructing a new ship or operating an existing one. Energy consumption, shipboard safety and maintenance are all being carefully scrutinised because of their regulatory and operational impact.
One area coming under closer examination is shipboard lighting. Over the last few years, the general awareness of LED lights has improved considerably, with the technology finding widespread adoption in landside residential, industrial and commercial applications.
When it comes to LED usage, the marine industry is a somewhat different case – the main reason being the unknown downside risks. Regardless, the industry understands far more about this new lighting technology than it did at any time in the past.
An early pioneer in the maritime sector has been Singapore-based LED lighting provider Seraphic Energy. In the course of installing LED lighting on close to 1,000 vessels over the last six years, the company has gained valuable insight into the application of this technology.
Many shipowners and managers are considering switching onboard conventional lights to LED lights for power savings, CO2 emission reductions and the longevity of the lights. There are a few other less obvious but even more compelling – and practical – reasons to pursue this goal. Key among these are cutting waste generation – especially hazardous waste such as mercury lamps – reducing maintenance requirements and high levels of reliability during critical operations.
Regardless, the lack of technical information and guidance on LED lighting has slowed adoption. While the cost of conversion is an important criterion, it should not become the sole deciding factor, says a Seraphic Energy spokesperson.
“When a shipowner is ready to invest in LED lighting, it needs to choose what attributes are important for the given application. Lights procured off the shelf at a ship chandler or through a vendor with little background knowledge of the marine industry and the rigors of the operating environment will not serve the best interests of the customer. Reliability and good quality which conforms to the regulations is paramount,” he says.
Seraphic Energy says the five technical reasons impacting the cost of LEDs are: the quality of the LED chip (light source), binning tolerance, Colour Rendering Index (CRI) luminous output and the output angle; the light engine design and thermal performance; the driver design and heat management; the levels of warranty and technical support; and compliance and regulatory documentation.
Shipowners interested in equipping their fleets with LED lights can consider the above factors in making their decisions or, alternatively, hand over the task to Seraphic Energy, which has developed standard templates for different vessel types based on their extensive experience.
A former chief engineer and fleet manager for a well-known Norwegian shipmanagement organisation for over three decades, Seraphic Energy executive director Umesh Kerur heads the company’s technical side. His shipping experience combined with his in-depth understanding of LED technology enables Seraphic Energy to offer precise and optimum solutions, says a company spokesperson.
Seraphic Energy currently operates with companies registered in Singapore and Hong Kong. At present, Seraphic has two warehouses – Singapore and Shenzhen. Of these, the Singapore warehouse is managed by National Forwarder, a well-known ‘ship logistics’ organisation in Singapore. This assists in ensuring shipments are delivered without a hitch.
Seraphic Energy is in the process of establishing additional warehouses in the UAE and Panama. Both are likely to go live before June. Also, another warehouse in Shanghai is in the planning stage. Seraphic Energy is actively looking for alliances in Europe and North America to establish supply bases.
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