33 CFR 84.15 - Intensity of lights.

§ 84.15 Intensity of lights.
(a) The minimum luminous intensity of lights will be calculated by using the formula:
I=3.43×106 ×T×D2 ×K−D
I: Luminous intensity in candelas under service conditions,
T: Threshold factor 2×10−7 lux,
D: Range of visibility (luminous range) of the light in nautical miles,
K: Atmospheric transmissivity. For prescribed lights the value of K will be 0.8, corresponding to a meteorological visibility of approximately 13 nautical miles.
(b) A selection of figures derived from the formula is given in Table 84.15(b):
Table 84.15(b)
Range of visibility (luminous range) of light in nautical miles D Minimum luminous intensity of light in candelas for K=0.8 I
1 0.9
2 4.3
3 12
4 27
5 52
6 94
[CGD 81-008, 46 FR 62447, Dec. 24, 1981, as amended by USCG-2012-0306, 77 FR 37313, June 21, 2012; USCG-2012-0306, 77 FR 42637, July 20, 2012]
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§ 84.15 Horizontal sectors.


(i) In the forward direction, sidelights as fitted on the vessel shall show the minimum required intensities. The intensities shall decrease to reach practical cut-off between 1 and 3 degrees outside the prescribed sectors.

(ii) For sternlights and masthead lights and at 22.5 degrees abaft the beam for sidelights, the minimum required intensities shall be maintained over the arc of the horizon up to 5 degrees within the limits of the sectors prescribed in Rule 21 (§ 83.21 of this chapter). From 5 degrees within the prescribed sectors the intensity may decrease by 50 percent up to the prescribed limits; it shall decrease steadily to reach practical cut-off at not more than 5 degrees outside the prescribed sectors.

(b) All-round lights shall be so located as not to be obscured by masts, topmasts or structures within angular sectors of more than 6 degrees, except anchor lights prescribed in Rule 30 (§ 83.30 of this chapter), which need not be placed at an impracticable height above the hull, and the all-round white light described in Rule 23(e) (§ 83.23(e) of this chapter), which may not be obscured at all.

(c) If it is impracticable to comply with paragraph (b) of this section by exhibiting only one all-round light, two all-round lights shall be used suitably positioned or screened to appear, as far as practicable, as one light at a minimum distance of one nautical mile.

Note to paragraph (c):

Two unscreened all-round lights that are 1.28 meters apart or less will appear as one light to the naked eye at a distance of one nautical mile.

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United States Code

Title 33 published on 2015-07-01

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 33 CFR Part 84 after this date.

  • 2015-07-27; vol. 80 # 143 - Monday, July 27, 2015
    1. 80 FR 44274 - Navigation and Navigable Waters; Technical, Organizational, and Conforming Amendments
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      Final rule.
      This final rule is effective July 27, 2015.
      33 CFR Parts 3, 50, 51, 52, 62, 67, 72, 80, 82, 83, 84, 90, 96, 100, 101, 110, 117, 150, 151, 155, 156, 161, 162, 164, 165, 177, and 183