Extended boating operations, such as commercial fishing and patrolling, require LED Lights support. The main issue with this need is lack of reliable power sources. Batteries are heavy and can be expensive to maintain a constant supply.
For trawlers, this concern is addressed through the use of glow sticks. The temporary units are secured on or near the hook for visual clarity, allowing marine creatures to see the bait and consume it.
Replacing Glow Sticks with Solar LEDs
For this specific application, relying on glow sticks is an extremely wasteful practice. The lights only last a few hours and are thrown away after use. Fishermen usually throw the flimsy light sources back into the ocean, while pulling lines back in the boat.
Jesse Senko, a biologist at Arizona State University’s School for the Future of Innovation in Society, wants to change this practice, by replacing traditional glow sticks with solar-powered LED lights.
The reason Senko chose solar-powered units is due to its reusability. When he interviewed local fishermen during trials for the lights at sea, boat operators clearly expressed that throw-away batteries are not sufficient for net or trawling lights. Inserting new power cells in demanding and wet conditions can be difficult. Furthermore, it cost money (and space for storing batteries on the boat) to keep the lights operational.
Net Lighting Requirements
In order for the lights to be useful on fishing boats, they have to be able to provide illumination for long periods of time – at least 12 hours. LEDs are perfect for meeting such stringent operational requirements. The lights consume very little energy, compared to incandescent and halogen lamps.
Furthermore, the solid-state luminaries can withstand rough impacts, which on a trawling vessel includes constant banging on the side of the ship, constant pressure, when deployed underwater, and corrosion from surrounding saltwater.