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Beacons, also known as beacon lights, are electronic devices used as a signalling device to alert people of a hazardous area or potentially dangerous situation e.g. for a fire alarm system. These visual alarm devices are extremely important in industrial and automation applications as they keep people informed of what to expect and how to respond safely.

There are many different types of beacon lights and they all have a specific role to play in safety depending on their colour, light effect, and duration of signal or alarm.

RS Components offer an extensive range of high-quality warning beacons from industry-leading brands including Werma, Moflash, Klaxon, Schneider Electric, Clifford & Snell, and of course RS PRO.

What do the different colours mean?

Beacons will all have a lens colour and each colour has a specific meaning. Choosing the right colour is critical. It ensures your site runs smoothly, but more importantly allows you to keep your people safe during their working day.

Red - Danger, act immediately.

Amber – Be aware, warning of a dangerous situation or condition is imminent. Requires monitoring or human intervention.

Blue – A change. Usually requires a defined action by an operator such as equipment or machinery powering down.

Green - Normal conditions and all is running well with no problems or issues.

What are the different types of warning beacons?

Beacons can be categorised into five main types:

Rotating – These types of beacons have a motor-driven reflector that revolves around a bulb that is continuously lit. They produce a powerful beacon range of 360 degrees.

Flashing - This type of beacon technology uses internal circuitry that cycles the bulb on and off continuously.

Static – These are permanently illuminated with a steady light output once the beacon is energised.

Xenon – Xenon beacons contain a discharge capacitor that operates through a converter circuit inside the beacon housing. This ignites the Xenon gas inside the tube creating a bright flash of light.

LED – These types of beacons contain a semiconductor device called a light-emitting diode. The beacon will illuminate when an electric current passes through it.


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