Previously dominated by halogen lights, ROV Lights have very strict illuminative requirements that are incomparable to land-based, industrial operations. Because of this, marine biologists started to turn to LEDs, in order to address the pitfalls of halogen lighting in underwater locations.
Inefficiencies of Halogen Lamps
Halogen lights offer bright illumination, especially for spotlighting applications. The lamps are capable of throwing light beams over great distances. However, the way they produce light is very inefficient. By comparison, LEDs can last up to 2-3 times longer than halogen units. This is a huge benefit for underwater ROV Lights, as maintenance and repair for the vessels can be extremely costly.
Furthermore, high color temperature lighting is needed for clarity in underwater operations. Halogen lights typically come with a color temperature range of 2,500K to 3,000K, while HID lamps feature a color temperature range of 4,500K to 7,000K. LEDs can be specially manufactured to emit a superior beam with a color temperature of up to 9,000K. For underwater photographers, a range of 5,000K and 6,000K is suitable for colorful photos.
Underwater Lighting Standards
To understand why LEDs are advantageous for underwater ROVs, one must know the type of standards the industry has for the vessels. For clarity, operators expect an output range of 5,000 to 6,000 lumens. By squeezing in numerous diodes or chips into the luminary, LEDs can meet such requirements. Moreover, the unit should be low voltage, since the ROV is battery powered and does not rely on AC power sources.
For small underwater ROVs, equipment must be lightweight in order to maximize power and thrust during operation. Again, this is where LEDs shine. Halogen units provide roughly 13.2 lumens per gram, while LEDs offer 22.5 lumens per gram, at a rate of 6,000 lumens of light. As a result, LEDs provide more illumination at lighter weights.