Asking the right questions in marine lighting: why Lux levels matter

Today’s ports play a pivotal role in the global production and supply chains that power national economies around the world. 

Operational 24x7, these vital gateways for domestic and international trade act as a crucial link between sea and land transport – ones that are key for connecting consumers and industries to the goods and products they depend upon daily.

So it’s no surprise that when a port slows down, everyone suffers.

Little wonder that port and maritime authorities are now focused with a laser-like intensity on putting in place the right technologies and infrastructure to ensure the smooth and optimised running of their operations.

That includes implementing lighting solutions that not only improve productivity, safety and security but reduce cost and minimise environmental impact too.

Making the move to LED high-power lighting

In recent years, a growing number of maritime facilities have made the switch to modern energy-saving LED lighting solutions that meet the most demanding legal, regulatory and operational requirements.

Designed with low maintenance and harsh weather conditions in mind, these lighting systems enable personnel to work more efficiently and safely in all areas of the port at all times of the day or night. 

These anti-glare floodlights can be configured for a variety of specific use cases, including maritime crane lighting and high-mast LED lighting for quaysides, and can dramatically reduce energy consumption – by typically as much as 50%-70%.  

Embarking on a lighting upgrade project can be complex, requiring careful consideration. But, by asking the right questions up front, and specifying the right requirements, ports can extend their operational windows and minimise the disruptions caused by poor environmental/lighting conditions. 

Lux vs Lumens: it’s what hits the ground that counts

All too often, I come across tenders for new lighting solutions that focus exclusively on requirements relating to lumen output levels. It’s a topic I’ve explored extensively in a previous blog post on the effective use of crane lighting.

However, focusing solely on lumen output misses a trick when it comes to real-life working environments. Higher lumen output doesn’t necessarily result in optimal light distribution on the ground. In some scenarios, it may even generate bright spots that ‘shadow’ and obscure the presence of darker areas. This can create a host of health and safety issues at complex sites. 

To ensure working environments are truly optimised for safer and more efficient operations, with the lowest power consumption possible, careful consideration needs to be given to the actual amount of visible light – the lux – in any given area. In other words, it’s important to ensure that lighting is appropriately balanced and uniform so that potential hazards can be seen and that glare is minimised.

A long-term investment

Any lighting upgrade project also needs to be considered in terms of how it will enable ports to improve and enhance their operational agility over the long term.

By making the right choices and decisions early on, port operators can ensure they make ‘no regret’ purchasing decisions that deliver on every requirement – performance, durability, maintenance-free operation for mission-critical applications, enhanced visibility, environmental gains, and so on. 

Having deployed LED solutions in over 30 of the world’s busiest ports, Midstream offers the support authorities need to futureproof their investments. 

Combining a deep understanding of how lighting can contribute to improved operational resilience and uptime, and with the know-how to meet maritime-specific use cases, we’ve helped clients enhance safety, boost performance and reduce cost. 



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