Located on the deck of a cruise vessel, a helideck must always be clear of any obstacles and is normally exposed to extreme environmental conditions. Seawater, intense sunlight and often enormously high wind speeds place high demands on the landing platforms and also on the installed lighting to ensure the safe approach, landing and departure of helicopters.
Different areas on the ship require special demands for lighting
For night operations, the landing pad and windsock should be illuminated. Obstruction lights must be installed where required in order to mark objects in close proximity to the approach/departure path.
Important factors when working with lighting solutions for helidecks:
- Mechanical strength/impact resistance.
- Low maintenance and reduced power consumption (high energy efficiency).
The development of lighting solutions for helidecks represents a huge challenge in terms of mechanical, electrical and lighting technologies. It means that the products must be extremely robust and function absolutely reliably across a temperature range from -40°C to +55°C. Maintenance-free LED technology ensures that lighting has a long, reliable operating life. Due to their use in extreme environmental/weather conditions, helideck lighting products must be robust and durable in many aspects, as well as UV-resistant. The housing should be made from a seawater-resistant aluminium. This sensitive technology must be fully vibration-proof. An IP rating of IP 66/67 is recommended.
No maintenance and reduced power consumption
An important requirement on-board a cruise vessel is to install luminaires that are virtually maintenance-free. This reduces or eliminates the labour costs primarily associated with the maintenance, servicing and replacement of luminaires in difficult-to-reach locations with either poor access or often no access at all. The luminaires should consume as little energy as possible in order to reduce the size of power generators, save energy and minimise pollution. The efficiency and life span of LED lighting continues to improve. LED luminaires are virtually maintenance-free, which means that cruise vessels with LED lighting will have lower operating costs compared to vessels with conventional luminaires. In addition, the reduced power consumption of LED lighting onboard has a positive impact on the cruise vessel’s Air Conditioning system, as less heat is emitted from the lighting, which means less AC power is needed and fuel consumption is reduced. The initial investment of the LED installation may be higher than a traditional lighting installation, but the reduced energy consumption and lower maintenance costs of LED lighting means that this price difference will be quickly recouped and payback on the investment is recovered quickly.
It goes without saying that lighting solutions must be fully compliant with the relevant international standards such as ICAO Annex 14, an International Civil Aviation Organization guideline to improve the safety of helicopter crews during take-off and landing. Lighting must also comply with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) standards, CAP437 and CAP168.
We always recommend the use of marine-approved lighting products for helidecks.