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Guide to selecting your industrial beacon colour

Beacon colours for industrial signalling

Colour can be used to indicate different messages and how the viewer should respond. 

Sometimes the beacon colour used is dictated by the application, but there are occasions when you can make a choice, so it is useful to understand what different colours tend to mean to individuals.

Eaton X10 Beacon Colours Stacked
Eaton's X10 industrial beacon colour options

Red beacon light - Danger

Applications: Live equipment, heavy machinery

Red tends to be used as a warning about a hazard or danger.  It means that the viewer should stop or move out of the way to safety.  If it is used as a flashing light, red sends a very powerful non-verbal message about the immediate danger. You cannot use red for network rail as it is used for signalling.

Red X10 beacon with shipping containers at a dock

Amber beacon light - Be aware

Applications: Forklifts, automatic doors

Amber or yellow is used as a warning that a danger condition could be imminent and to be aware of your surroundings.  It is sometimes used to warn the viewer about potential hazards, for example, low visibility or that a piece of equipment is about to activate such as an automatic door.  

Amber X10 beacon with a row of forklifts

Blue beacon light - A change

Applications: Equipment powering down, security alarm

These are most commonly associated with the emergency services so they should not be used on the road.  They tend to indicate that the viewer needs to get out of the way and are sometimes used as an alternative to red.  Security and alarm activation are common uses of a blue beacon given its association with the police.

In manufacturing a blue LED beacon often signals a difference, such a conditioned response to powering down safety critical processes.

Blue X10 beacon with control panel

Green beacon light - Action under way

Applications: Emergency being dealt with

Green tends to mean security or safety.  It could indicate that an emergency is being dealt with, or to show that an operator of the plant has taken appropriate action.

As a status indicator, it tends to mean all is running well and there are no issues with a process or the environmental conditions. One common application is to signify a seat belt warning on a machine.

Green X10 beacon with control room

White coloured beacon - Long distance

Applications: Moving large objects, poor visbility

White gives the brightest light so is used when you want to project an indication over longer distances. It sometimes substitutes for a red beacon, because the wavelength of white light means that it travels further or can be perceived as brighter. 

In poor visibility it could be used as an indicator to highlight different areas or equipment, which is useful if you have large moving objects.

White X10 beacon with warehouse conveyor belts

Magenta coloured beacons - Danger

Applications: High levels of combustible gas, danger

Magenta beacons can sometimes be used as an alternative to red, where red may be used to indicate a specific hazard such as fire.  Magenta suggests that people should be aware of an immediate danger or hazard and to take action such as leaving an area or attending to broken plant or equipment.

It is often used in the oil and gas industry to signal extremely high levels of combustible gas and also as a safety system of a machine used on the road side.

Magenta X10 beacon with a gas tank

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