Modular Stacking Beacons

Modular Stacking Beacons

Modular Stacking Beacons are also known as Beacon Stacks, Andon Lights, Indicator Lights, Signal Tower Lights and Light Towers.
They are a very easy to use product due to their click together mechanism, making them ideal for many applications, particularly for multi-signalling applications.

The design of modular stacking beacons means each tower can be comprised of different lamp types, different colours, different mode types and sounders all mixed freely in one stack, giving it the versatility to be used in so many applications and giving the end-user ease of use.
This design also helps with future maintenance as modules can be added or removed safely and with ease.

Stacking beacons are essential for manufacturing environments as well as places where process and machine operation take place due to their instant and easy understanding. Their ideal use in on various types of equipment to show the operating status of machinery in process control environments, increasing productivity and minimising wastage time, but they are so versatile that you have probably seen them in supermarkets too on the self-checkout tills!
Modern technology allows these types of beacons to be used to their full potential as they can be controlled using PC control systems and controllers incorporating sensors, timers and relays.

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Stacking Beacons and Their Application

Stacking Beacons and Their Application






Stacking beacons are also known as indicator lights, signal tower lights, industrial signal lights, warning lights, Andon lights, light towers, and tower lights. They are most commonly used on equipment in process control environments and industrial manufacturing to deliver audible and visual indicators of a process event or machine state to machine operators, production managers, technicians, and factory personnel.


Different Application of Stacking Beacons

Just like typical beacon strobes or lights, stacking lights are used to relay a warning or essential message to a broad audience. They have the same application as beacons, but the information they provide encompasses more process or machine conditions.

Mostly, stack lights come with an LED, incandescent, or xenon-type strobe light source. They generally display columnar structures in different shapes, positioned on top of one another while having colour-coded indicator segments. Their name came from the way they are positioned, in a ‘stacked’ orientation.

It is more common for stack lights to have up to five different coloured segments to display different conditions on a process or machine. They can include red, green, yellow or amber, blue, and clear white. Also, these lights are sometimes static (solid-on) or flashing.

Here are some of the typical applications of stacking beacons:

Lean manufacturing – A systematic method that comes from the Japanese manufacturing industry that aims to minimize the waste in a manufacturing system.

Productivity monitoring – Stacking beacons are also used to monitor productivity in machine environments by uptime and downtime monitoring. It is also utilized to observe overall equipment effectiveness.

Warning indications & management of machine fault – Among the usage of stacking beacons is to indicate machine fault during the process as well as indicate warnings.

Assembly station workcells – In a manufacturing environment, stacking beacons are used for assembly stations during the arrangement of resources to optimize speed, quality, and cost of the process.

CNC machining equipment as well as process monitoring and feedback – Different colours of stacking beacons allows people around a machine operation and process to determine the status of the process.

Broadcast studios – Just like its other applications, stacking beacons are used in broadcasting studios to show statuses such as when the studio is on air, phone calls, live microphones, and doorbell within places that require silent indication.

How do Stacking Beacons work?

Stacking beacons are dubbed as passive devices that can be controlled using distributed control systems, PC control systems, programmable logic controllers, or hardwired into machine controls like sensors, timers, and latching relays.

Here are the commonly used stacking beacon colour codes for machine state conditions:

  1. Yellow or Amber – For machine state conditions, yellow or amber indicates warning messages, including over-pressure or over-temperature conditions.
  2. Red – Just like a traffic light, red stacking beacons mean emergency stop or it may mean failure conditions like machine fault.
  3. Blue – When you see a blue stacking beacon flashing or solid-on, it means an external help request. It might indicate that an operator is requesting raw materials, maintenance personnel assistance, or scheduling.
  4. Green – The green light for machine operations shows that the process is at a normal condition of flow.
  5. White – This light shows user-defined conditions to a particular machine. It is mostly related to productivity monitoring.

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Final Say

Stacking beacons are devices that are essential for manufacturing environments as well as in places where process and machine operation are highlighted. These devices may be similar to a typical beacon, but they are intended mainly for such purposes. They are also durable and high-quality to meet the needs in such environments. Also, stacking beacons can provide security and safety for people and establishments where they are used.

Stacking Beacons and Their Application

Stacking Beacons


A range of modular stacking (click-together) beacon lamps, often called andon lights, with high environmental protection to IP65 standard (sounder ASA is IP54).

These products are ideally suited to internal or external multi-status signalling applications, and are commonly used on machinery as a visual alarm to draw attention to warning messages and fault conditions, helping minimise avoidable periods of non-productivity.

This modular approach enables stacks to be constructed from any combination of module types and eases the task of design and maintenance engineers, system integrators and stockist/ distributors. The comprehensive range builds from a common base/terminal module and offers choice of visual indicator modules including LED (Rotating, Pulsed and Static), Xenon Strobe, Filament Lamp (Pulsed and Static), together with electronic sounders.

•All external parts are moulded from engineering-grade, UV-stabilised polycarbonate for enhanced durability
•To complement the range, Wall Mounting Brackets, Pole Mounts, Compression Glands and AC to DC Converter Modules (UC-RECT) are also available
•These devices are totally modular and can be used as single indicators or multi-stacked up to 6 modules high

For each stack required, order one Base+Cap Module, and individual Indicator Modules/Lamps
Maximum stack = One Base+Cap Module + six (maximum) individual / assorted modules, of which one can be a Sounder Module



techNOTE – Modular Stacking Beacons

techNOTE – Modular Stacking Beacons

The latest in our 2014 techNOTE series is published today aiming to help you select the very best product for your application.  The series unpacks some of the product differences across our range and outline the pros and cons of some of the individual options.

This techNOTE discusses our extended range of modular stacking beacons – ideally suited to machine status and andon applications.  This techNOTE can be downloaded here.

All techNOTE articles will be available on our download page as they are published – be sure to check-back often!