The answer to this month’s problem solver is supplied by James Morgan, Eaton Electrical.

Published:  27 February, 2020

Q; What beacon colour should I use for my industrial signaling?

A: Exactly what colour beacon you select will depend on what message you are conveying. Let’s run through some of the more common options.

A red beacon light tends to mean danger. It is used as a warning about a hazard and signals that the viewer should stop or move out of the way. A flashing red signal sends a very powerful non verbal message about immediate danger.

An amber beacon is used as a warning that you should be aware of your surroundings. It can be used to warn people about potential hazards such as a piece of equipment or an automatic door about to activate.

In manufacturing a blue LED beacon often signals a difference, such as powering down safety critical processes or perhaps as a security alarm. People associate this with the emergency services so it should never be used on the road and for the same reason it can be used to indicate that people should get out of the way.

Green is associated with security or safety. It could show that an emergency is being dealt with, or that all is running well and there are no issues.

White typically gives the brightest light of all due to its use of the entire colour spectrum, so it is used when you want to notify something over a long distance, or perhaps if there is poor visibility.

And finally, magenta is sometimes used as an alternative to red, to indicate a specific danger. Like red, it suggests that people should be aware of an immediate hazard and take appropriate action, such as leaving the area.

If you use sounder beacons that have interchangeable LED beacons then you can swap the different colours to change the nature of the notification in the future.

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