What are Beacons used for?

What are Beacons used for?

If you stopped right now and looked around, the chances are that you would notice at least one type of beacon.

Whether it be in the office or on the street, they are the most common visual indicator and part of everyday life.

There are so many uses for beacons:

Warning Beacons

The most common beacons are the ones that draw your attention to a specific hazard for example to warn you of an emergency.

Traffic Light Beacons

Used to direct the flow of vehicle traffic. Most recently during COVID, they have been useful to assist shops and supermarkets with the flow of customers.

Vehicle Beacons

Beacons that are attached to vehicles to warn of their presence such as police and ambulance vehicles, wide-load HGVs, forklift trucks and quarry vehicles.

Beacons for Navigation

To warn aircrafts for example of obstacles such as buildings and cranes.

Beacons for Automation

Stacking beacons assist in manufacturing environments such as a production line that requires attention.

The list is endless!

We offer a wide range of beacons designed for such purposes – visit our website to find out more www.beaconlamps.com, or contact our dedicated Sales Team!

Email: mail@beaconlamps.com

Tel: 01283 550850



ICAO LED Obstacle Warning Beacon available with or without InfraRed LEDs

135mm high x 94mm diameter

The latest addition to the deegee range is the SBB/LED/Type-B/Red, which is an ICAO Warning Beacon available with or without InfraRed LEDs.

– The SBB/LED/Type-B/Red complies with ICAO Annex 14 Chapter 6 regulations for Low Intensity Type B, fixed obstacle lights. Units with Infra-Red (IR) are also compliant with the IR requirements for Low Intensity Obstruction Lights outlined by the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency.

– Housed in an IP66 rated enclosure, pre-moulded with drill-outs for M10 & M20 cable gland entries.

– Carefully designed to minimise dust and dirt build up, and fully water-tight, Series B is perfectly suited to the outdoor environment, and with long-life LEDs, makes maintenance a thing of the past.

Call or email our Sales Team for more information – Email: mail@beaconlamps.com Tel: 01283 550850

Cranes and Warning Beacons

Due to their tall construction, warning devices for cranes are essential not only for the general public but also for nearby aircraft. These warning signals help construction workers and pilots alike to detect a possible danger and give a signal to avoid collisions with other cranes, structures and aircraft. The use of beacons helps to minimise this risk.
When installing a beacon on a crane, it is essential to consider the standards required – for example the number of obstruction lights to use, their visibility and position. It is also necessary to ensure they meet the regulations of ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) and FAA (Federal Aviation Administration).

When choosing the correct obstruction light, the type of crane and its height needs to be considered; the type of crane will be the basis for the number of lights needed to be installed and the height is the basis for the type of obstruction light required.
Standards do change and get updated, so please do check with your local authority before installing to a crane, but currently the standard height is 150 meters. If a crane is below this height, an obstruction light is required only if it’s location can be a danger to air navigation. If a crane is above this height, an obstruction light must be installed.

As a guide, the type of light to be fitted:
Low Intensity fixed red lights.
Used on cranes and tower cranes between 60 to 90 meters high, they are usually installed on top of the crane to ensure visibility. These lights should be visible in every direction.

Medium Intensity fixed red lights.
Used on cranes between 90 to 150 meters high, they are usually installed on top of the crane and on the cranes jib. These lights should be visible in every direction.

2000cd fixed red lights.
These lights are installed for night use.
For cranes that are 150 meters tall and above, they are installed close to the top and placed with a 50 meter gap in between. For every additional 50 meters on the crane’s height, an additional beacon needs to be installed.

See more here: https://beaconlamps.com/products/visual-warning-signals/i.c.a.o.-warning-signals/

ICAO & Aircraft Warning Signals

ICAO & Aircraft Warning Signals

Aircraft warning signals make tall structures more visible for pilots both during the day and at night, for safety purposes. These devices prevent accidents in the air, on land, and even at sea, thus ensures safety for the passengers and other cargos. They must be under national and international regulations to be sure of their effectiveness.

ICAO Regulation Explained

The International Civil Aviation Organization, also referred to as ICAO, is an agency responsible for international air navigation.They ensure orderly and safe flights by improving international air transport.

ICAO is also in charge of the protocols on aviation programs to promote transport safety by following the authorities.They provide techniques for the growth of international air transport, as well as principles for air travel.

Other air navigation concerns such as border-crossing, flight inspection, and even unlawful actions are dealt with by the ICAO.

The ICAO also defines the specifications and guidelines to the requirements of aircraft warning lights or signals to be installed on tall structures for the sake of public safety.

Aircraft Warning Signals

These specific lights come in all shapes and sizes, and there are several options available to help in minimising danger within the aircraft industry. They commonly exist on buildings or huge infrastructures to alert planes from possible collisions.

Aircraft signalling devices can come with various light intensities, depending on your needs, and are also known as Obstruction Lights within the industry.

These safety devices for flying aircraft have required no particular standard in terms of installation and design requirements. But in other nations like the United Kingdom, a strict governing body regulates such things this is the ICAO.

ICAO Standards For Aircraft Warning Devices

The ICAO sets detailed parameters to say whether an aircraft warning device has a good value and is suitable for the application. It includes light intensity, light colour, beam pattern, and even flash rates. Having an idea about those factors will help you out in choosing the best beacon device for aircraft safety.

Here is a brief explanation of ICAO standards in connection to aircraft warning devices:

Light Intensity

Aircraft warning signals are classified into three light intensities, from a low, medium, and high-intensity warning level.

The light intensity of a warning signal will depend on the specific height of the aircraft above the ground. Low-intensity warning signals are designed for a particular height lower than 45-meters while beyond the range requires the use of medium intensity warning signals. For taller structures exceeding 150-meters, a high light intensity is required.

Light Colour

Low-intensity warning lights are usually in red while medium and high-intensity lights may come in red or white colour.

The light colour will depend on the types of lamps used as mentioned earlier.

Beam Pattern

There are fixed lights and flashing lights as patterns used by aircraft warning devices. The fixed light pattern is commonly practiced on medium intensity signals with type C lamp which is mainly used on vehicles. On the other hand, the flashing light pattern is intended for high-intensity signals.

Final Thoughts

For aircraft warning signals to be called safe for air travels, an approval by the ICAO must be gained. The above qualifications should be met by a particular warning signal for aviation to discourage plane accidents. And beacon technology conforms to ICAO to give comfort to the aviation industry.

Click here for more information.

The roles of ICAO & FAA in Aviation

Blog Post

Rules and regulations are crucial to avoid chaos and danger. They help outline what a person can or cannot do. They exist to sustain equity, protect people from each other, promote certain values and to provide goods and services. It also offers protection to victims of crimes and punishment to those who violate laws. Without them, we would not have any guidelines to help keep society functioning day-to-day.

In aviation, there are also certain and specific rules and regulations that every individual must follow to ensure safety and avoid unnecessary accidents from happening. The ICAO and FAA are two organisations in charge of enforcing air navigation rules and regulations which are crucial within the industry. This week, we will look at their retrospective roles in more detail and where D.G Controls can help to play a part in providing warning signals in aviation.

International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)

The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) is a specialised agency and an aviation technical body of the United Nations. Its headquarters is located in Montreal, Canada. It was created after the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation of which was signed by 52 countries in 1944 and was sanctioned and founded in 1947. ICAO’s primary role is to provide a set of standards which will help regulate aviation across the world. It classifies the principles and techniques of international air navigation, as well as the planning and development of international air transport to ensure safety and security. Furthermore, it oversees the US Government’s International Group on International Aviation (IGIA). The international aviation standards were provided to the 191 member states of ICAO around the globe through a global forum in which the member states are expected to adopt and implement these standards. However, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) only provides the fundamental guidelines or SARPs (Standards and Recommended Practices). It is possible for each member states/countries to modify and adjust these regulations when necessary under ICAO’s approval. Despite slight variations from different countries based on the actual implementation in national regulations, civil aviation standards and regulations are still consistent all over the world. These local differences are then reported back to ICAO and published.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or formerly “Federal Aviation Agency” is a national aviation authority of the United States formed in 1958. The FAA is primarily responsible for the advancement, safety, security and regulation of civil aviation. FAA ensures that every aircraft pilot understands their role as air navigators and that all aircraft in operation follows a strict set of guidelines in order to ensure safety and minimise danger. To accomplish these things, FAA created an effective set of aviation regulations known as the Federal Aviation Regulations.

The Federal Aviation Regulations or FAR is a document which consists of tens of thousands of sections covering every details of aviation. It gives detailed instructions such as aircraft maintenance, pilot requirements, hot-air ballooning and model rocket launches, covering almost everything that is needed in order to understand how, when and what to fly. Aircraft pilots and air carriers are very much required to be familiar with the rules and regulations outlined in the FARs.

Aside from its regulatory role, the FAA is also responsible for research and development of aviation related systems and technologies, air traffic control system, maintenance of air navigation facilities infrastructure, airspace and development of commercial space travel.

Primary roles of ICAO and FAA

Some of the major roles of ICAO and FAA in aviation are already mentioned above. One of their primary roles is of course to ensure security and safety by regulating all aspects of civil aviation which includes the construction and operation of airports, the management of air traffic, the certification of personnel and aircraft, enforcing rules and regulations for obstruction lighting, aeronautical charts, search and rescue standards and many more aspects pertaining to air navigation.

ICAO Approved Warning Signals

ICAO Annex 14 Chapter 6, visual aids for denoting obstacles, recommends that: “Low-intensity, Type A or B, should be used where the object is a less extensive one and its height above the surrounding ground is less than 45m.” At D.G Controls, we can provide obstruction warning beacons that meet these requirements and comply with the ICAO standards should you need them. See link below:


Here at D.G. Controls we offer a range of Low Intensity ICAO Beacons:


Low Intensity, certified to ICAO Annex 14, Chapter 6 regulations.

Has a 360 degree viewing enclosure and can be found at:



Low Intensity, meets ICAO requirements for Low Intensity Obstruction Warning Type-B.

Its heavy duty enclosure makes it more suitable for industrial/obstruction use and can be found at:



Exceeds requirements of both CAA (Vehicle Obstacle) and ICAO (Low Intensity Type-C) regulations.

Available with or without magnetic base.

Click here for more information.

For further information, please call us on 01283 550850.