the U.S. Coast Guard to maintain certain lighted buoys on U.S. waters for several years. LEDs can now be used on privately maintained buoys in the United States, according to the Coast Guard, which includes other government agencies, municipal governments and private enterprises.
According to the LED manufacturer Carmanah, based in Victoria, British Columbia, the number of private buoys in the United States accounts for roughly half the total in American waters.
The rule went into effect March 4 for so-called patons, private aids to navigation. LEDs burn for up to 100,000 hours (about 20 times longer than the best tungsten-incandescent bulbs, according to the company), use up to 90 percent less electricity and are durable and compact, making them ideal for use on buoys.