A Guide to Beacon Lights

Throughout the history of time, beacons have been commonplace. They have served as a means of getting attention and making people aware of something, whether to warn or to call for assistance in certain scenarios.

Now, beacon lights are commonplace. Beacon lights generally act as a Warning mechanism, whether it be on vehicles, aircraft, buildings, or a variety of other structures. As it turns out, there is far more to beacon lights than meets the eye.

The First Beacon Light

To get a better understanding of what beacon lights are, we must first take a trip back in time. The earliest beacon lights came in the form of illuminated woods. These would serve as a warning that enemies had been spotted and were nearby. Lighthouses are another form of beacon light, though they have since been replaced by advanced technology.

Before electricity, beacon lights came in the form of signal fires. They would be positioned on high terrain, like hills, so that they could be seen from great distances. They were created to give armies time to prepare for an attack and to prevent them from being taken off guard. Over time, beacon lights have adapted their uses.

Warning and Navigation

Beacon lights have since become part of warning systems. They can be used to project warning signals on factory floors. They are oftentimes installed inside factories in order to provide a means of warning during dangerous tasks or activities.  Sometimes, beacon lights alert workers that a process has finished, that danger has taken place, or that there has been an error.

Likewise, beacon lights are used in navigation. On dark and foggy nights, beacon lights can be used to direct sailing ships. They often alert the proximity of shorelines, sometimes through the aforementioned lighthouses. They are common on land-based transportation vehicles as well, coming in handy for vehicles that must navigate foggy or otherwise challenging conditions.

Different Colors

As is the case with any other style of light, beacon lights come in an array of colors. Each has its own distinct use and meaning. There are five to be aware of:

White – White beacon lights are most often found in public transportation settings. These are used to improve the visibility of road boundaries as well as other vehicles that are out on the road.

Green – These are generally associated with security and safety. You will find them on things like mobile command centers as well as safety vehicles to inform people that a response team is currently handling an emergency.

Yellow – Cautionary, people should slow down, exercise caution, and pay attention to their surroundings. It is common to find these on construction sites, in buildings, on roads close to airports, etc.

Blue – Blue beacon lights are very similar to red ones. That said, blue lights are generally not allowed on public highways and streets.

Red – The most frequently used color to convey hazardous situations, risks, or emergencies. You will find them as flashing lights in public settings, typically by police and fire vehicles. They are also commonly used in buildings for evacuation purposes.

Great Warning Tools

Though they are somewhat simple in nature, beacon lights have proven to be effective in a number of ways. They are essential in public areas, designating warnings and alerts where necessary. It is a simple yet effective way of getting the attention of passersby. Even better, technology keeps improving these simple tools making them more and more useful as warning and safety devices. Don’t expect beacon lights to be replaced anytime soon given their ease of installation and maintenance as well.

One thought on “A Guide to Beacon Lights

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