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VLS-46 Entrance Marker in Salcombe Harbour, UK



The Salcombe harbour, Sandhill Point , which lies between Bolt Head and Prawle Point in South Devon, has a sand bar that is dificult to negotiate on an ebb tide with strong onshore winds or swell.


The UK’s leading supplier of aids to navigation, Hydrosphere, was chosen to make the entrance to the harbour safer. Hydrosphere and Vega worked together with Salcombe Harbour Authority and proposed a VLS-46 LED Sector Projector replacing the existing light.

This high-resolution VLS-46 is powered by LEDs, and uses a separate projector for each colour. Two models are available with a horizontal beam angle of 5° or 10°. Typical boundary resolution of 3 minutes of arc. Range is up to 0.8NM by day, 12NM at night @ 0.74T.

The beam angle inside each projector is user-adjustable in the horizontal plane from 100% to 10% of the maximum beam angle. The base plate allows for accurate adjustment of the projectors so that colour boundaries are correctly aligned.

The VLS-46 sector light is suitable for a variety of navigation tasks – multiple projectors can be mounted together so that it can be used for marking danger areas, vessel turning points, lane separation, parallel channel marking with a two-station range system, or for marking a marine reserve or boundary.

The new light is in position 50 degrees 13.74min North, 3 degrees 46.67min West (red sector: 10°, white sector: 5°, green sector: 20°).


The new LED sector light for Sandhill Point was chosen for its versatility, energy efficiency and sharp denition between sectors and has already received praise from visiting yachtsmen.

Assistant Harbour Master, Chris Gill, in charge of logistics and maintenance, explained: “The denition between the colours is excellent, whereas the old light was blurred between the green and white sections.

“It can now be seen very distinctly – we had numerous complaints about the clarity of the previous light. We researched and found this light, which will hopefully be maintenance free. It was very easy to set up and has already had good reviews.”


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