The following Marine Safety Alert has been issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:
The U.S. Coast Guard is concerned about the sale and availability of unapproved recreational and commercial vessel navigation lights. Purchasers of such lighting should be aware replacement lighting may be improper for its application due to the failure by manufacturers to meet technical certification requirements. Furthermore, technical advances in marine lighting, such as the use of Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs), rope lighting, underwater lighting, and other various types of decorative lighting, may violate navigation light provisions of the Nautical Rules of the Road.
Some manufacturers are producing and distributing navigation lights that do not meet certification requirements. These lights are typically less expensive, making them a tempting choice for uninformed consumers. Use of lights that do not provide the proper chromaticity, luminous intensity, or cut-off angles could result in the issuance of a notice of violation or potentially cause an accident. Recreational boaters should ensure each purchased navigation light contains the following information on the light or its packaging:
USCG Approval33 CFR 183.810
MEETS ABYC A-16 or equivalent TESTED BY (an approved laboratory)
Name of the light manufacturer
Number of Model
Visibility of the light in nautical miles
Date on which the light was type-tested
Identification and specification of the bulb used in the compliance test.