Choosing a Replacement Pole Light
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Step 1 - Select a Globe Style
- White all-round Full Output allows for full cockpit illumination. Choose traditional or modern styles.
- White all-round Reduced Glare helps preserve night vision while under way. Choose clear top coastal or inland.
- Bi-Color lights are used on the bow instead of a fixed surface mount light. Choose from models with or without integral white utility light.
Step 2 - Select a Rake Angle
Rake is determined by the pole, base and base location angles. Rake is important for all reduced glare lights to insure that light output is correct. The most common rake angles are 0°, 5° and 16°. Custom made poles often have non-standard rake angles. Choose from 0°, 5° or fully adjustable versions (Delta, Stealth and Omega Series).
Step 3 - Determine if the Key Slot Screw Position is Important
Most manufacturers insert screws into an upper or lower location on the pole to position the light and hold it properly oriented in the base. The location of this screw varies by manufacturer and model. Determine the key slot screw position needed for your base and match it to the pole you select. All Perko plug in bases accept the upper screw position and all Perko lights have an upper screw. Perko Alpha, Delta, Omega and Stealth Series replacement lights offer the option to locate the screw in either place.
Step 4 - Determine the Pole Length
Navigation rules state that the center of the bulb filament of white lights must be mounted at least 1 meter (approx 40")above center of the filament of the red/green lights. The "vertical height" of a light is measured from the deck of the boat to the center of the light filament. Most pole lights (all of Perko's) are sold by their "nominal (or approximate) overall length". Three factors affect the difference between overall length and vertical height.
- The depth the pole goes into the base is typically less than two inches.
- The distance from the filament to the top of the light is typically less than an inch.
- Rake angle can shorten the vertical height by as much as an inch (for bends under 16 degrees). So, as a general rule, the installed "vertical height" will be between 2 and 4 inches less than the nominal length of the pole. Select the shortest light that will insure that the requirements are met after taking this difference into account. Be sure the light is long enough to be seen over any obstructions. If this light is too long to store easily, consider a fold-in-half light for easier storage.
Step 5 - Decide on a Collar Type
Some manufacturers use different types of collars to assure that their pole lights are held securely in the base. All Perko lights are shipped with at least one collar (a locking collar, a large threaded collar or a small threaded collar). Determine whether a collar is needed for your base and match it by collar type to the pole you select. All Perko bases require collars.
Step 6 - Determine the Number of Pins
Bi-color lights are available with and without an integral white utility light. Those lights with a utility light require 3 contact pins. Determine if 2 or 3 contact pins are needed for your base and match it to the pole you select.