Underwater Applications of High Power Light-Emitting Diodes

By Mark Olsson, Kevin Hardy, and John Sanderson

As seen in Sea Technology

Solid-state Lighting Comes of Age in the Deep Sea as High-Power LEDs Debut on Submersible Alvin Dives

Just back aboard the research vessel Atlantis and still dripping wet, Ken Rand, deep submergence vehicle Alvin support diver, exclaimed, “Wow, those lights are bright!” Alvin has just begun its first 1,600-meter dive outfitted with new high-power light-emitting diode (LED) SeaLites from DeepSea Power & Light.

After the first dive, Alvin pilot Sean Kelly said, “I really liked the green LED. It had much less backscatter and greater penetration out front. While I was maneuvering around on the bottom, I left the green light on and shut the other lights off.”

On the next dive, Alvin pilot Mark Spear said he preferred the white LED for its full spectrum color.

During the Alvin dives, light bar test and other performance metrics were taken in order to evaluate the new LED lights.

Solid-state lighting, or LED-based lighting has seen significant performance improvements recently and is moving from specialty and indication applications, such as traffic signals and flashlights, to general home and business lighting applications. DeepSea Power & Light recently tested its underwater LED SeaLites on Alvin, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s (WHOI) manned submersible.

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