LED lighting found to interfere with VHF-FM radio and AIS reception

Monday 18 March 2019
The United States Coast Guard has sounded the alarm over the potential for light-emitting diode (LED) lighting on vessels to compromise reception on VHF frequencies used for radiotelephone, Digital Selective Calling and Automatic Identification System.

The distance at which the LED lighting starts to have an impact and whether the issue is limited to certain makes of lighting or navigation equipment. The United States Coast Guard has asked the United States marine industry to provide more detail of known incidents.

Due to their energy-saving capability and longer service life, LED lights are commonly used for navigation lighting, searchlights and floodlights, as well as interior and exterior lighting—including those used for visual effect.

If you believe you have experienced LED-lighting interference on your vessel, please read more about how to test for this interference and report it.