Marking Canadian Island’s Navigation Hazards with Precise Omni-Directional Sector Light

Sealite Case Studies

Marking Canadian Island’s Navigation Hazards with Precise Omni-Directional Sector Light

Marking Canadian Island’s Navigation Hazards with Precise Omni-Directional Sector Light

By:Roxie Crosby | August 02, 2022
Application: Marking Multiple Navigational Hazards
Product: SL-ODSL Omni-Directional Sector Light
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date: May 2022


Johnstone Strait stretches 54 miles on the north side of Vancouver Island connecting Blinkhorn Peninsula and Chatham Point. It is also home to orca whales, with a population of approximately 200 whales, as well as a wide variety of other marine life. This important thoroughfare is used by main vessels including cargo freighters, fishing vessels, local, commercial, and public mariners, as well as cruise ships bound for Alaska in the summer months.

Along the Johnstone Strait lies Helmcken Island where currents can run up to 6 knots and conditions can change quickly. A sector light is installed on the south side of Helmcken Island to mark the safe route and aid mariners around the island avoiding the rocky coastline and nearby hazards.

The Challenge

The sector light installed used an incandescent light source, which requires a large power supply making it inefficient to operate and over time, expensive to maintain. Frequent maintenance to a steep coastline and unpredictable waters established a need to upgrade the light and modernize the optic.

The Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) needed to source a new sector light that met specific requirements:
The light must be precise in providing mariners Arc of Visibility.

It is energy efficient for reduced maintenance and increased reliability.

It has the technology to program and service the lantern.


The Canadian Coast Guard has a long-standing relationship with Sealite and has had success with Sealite products in various installations. In collaboration with Sealite, the CCG installed the SL-ODSL Omni-Directional Sector Light at Helmcken Island.

The sector light is customizable for locations like Helmcken Island where there was a need to mark multiple areas with a single unit. The two-tier design allows a sufficient amount of sectors with the capability to alternate colors with precision. Each sector color optic does not blend with each other and instead projects a sharp transition line with an accurate, clear distinction between navigable and unnavigable waters.

With a maximum intensity of up to 2600 candelas in white, Sealite’s SL-ODSL Omni-Directional Sector Light has a visible range of 7-11NM. It is far greater than any other sector light on the market. Because the SL-ODSL uses LED optics, it has a lighter footprint, consumes less energy, therefore uses fewer batteries and improves maintenance costs. Integrated Bluetooth® technology allows CCG to conveniently program the light and perform periodic maintenance from a mobile device up to 50 meters away, removing the need for their technicians to scale the coastline.

While Helmcken Island has reported some of the most turbulent conditions, the Sealite’s SL-ODSL has an IP67 rating to withstand harsh conditions.


Sealite’s Omni-Directional Sector Light was easily installed and programmed by the CCG. The SL-ODSL has precise sectors with virtually no bleeding of color, and mariners can clearly recognize the Arc of Visibility.

The newly installed sector light has helped all mariners using the Johnstone Strait to safely navigate around the south side of Helmcken Island.

To find out more about Sealite’s ODSL and other marine lanterns, visit the product pages on our website.


“The Sealite product line features excellent products servicing the needs of various installations across the rugged coastlines of Canadian waters.”

Joe Pilgrim
Supervisor of the Helmcken Island Project