The Queensferry Crossing over the Firth of Forth involved more than 10,000 people working on the £1.35 billion project.

Hydrosphere’s role in this project demonstrates how important industry specific expertise can be and what it means to be a trusted supplier of Vega LED navigation lights. It also shows how a specialist firm is often required to give expertise, before securing a contract.

Hydrosphere provides consultancy advice for Vega LED navigation lights
Hydrosphere’s first contact with the Queensferry Crossing project came in 2012. Public sector specialists Ramboll Consulting asked for help to design the specification on what type of navigational lights would be needed for the bridge. Discussions included how LED lights might be mounted, the intensity required, and the possibility of installing a monitoring system in the event of any kind of light or power failure.

What’s important here is when niche industry leaders meet big project consultancy firms, there’s often a gap in knowledge to be filled about the latest technology applicable. Jeff Gibson, Hydrosphere’s Sales Director, was able to flesh out ideas with Ramboll Consulting; recommending the LED Vega VLB 36 and 44 lights for their high efficiency and standards of reliability.

Explaining how range, performance and maintenance fits into the whole design specification, alongside the alarm monitoring system circuitry required to link back to a central command position helped the bid writers. The tender was awarded as part of a larger electrical package, to SES Engineering Services (SES).

Hydrosphere wins navigation lights contract with SES
Part of the reason Hydrosphere is a market leader in the supply of marine industry navigational aids is their willingness to give technical support and design specification advice. When SES put the supply of the navigational lights section of their big package out to tender, Jeff Gibson, Hydrosphere’s Sales Director, found himself bidding against several other suppliers. “We won this tender with SES because we provided the specified kit, with consultancy and technical support both at the tender time and right through to installation and commissioning.”

It is worth noting SES went on to win the prestigious Construction News Specialist Awards’ Project of the Year (subcontract over £6m) for its work on the Queensferry Project.

Problem solving and expert help
It’s important to recognise how important it is to have trusted, reputable suppliers on big capital projects such as the Queensferry Crossing. Jeff Gibson adds “As part of our usual service, we fully supply and install navigation lights and can provide a maintenance service. In this case, we didn’t install the lighting system, we supplied the lights power supplies and were asked to problem solve the issue of monitoring in the event of light or power failures. What you try to do in these situations for a client is plan for avoiding any ‘single point of failure’ in a system.”

Again, providing specialist advice resulted in Hydrosphere supplying Vega lights fitted with internal alarm boards which signal in the event of a light failure back to a central control position. Each light is powered by a local battery back-up power supply to maintain power to the lights in the event of a grid power failure.

The grand opening
After a decade of consultation and construction, the spectacular cable-stayed bridge, located between the Forth Road Bridge and the Forth Rail Bridge opened on September 4th, 2017. The guest of honour was, of course, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, who wished to open the Queensferry Crossing on that date, 53 years after she opened the Forth Road Bridge. She commented “The three magnificent structures we see here span three centuries, are all feats of modern engineering and a tribute to the vision and remarkable skill of those who designed and built them.”

Hydrosphere is tremendously proud to have been part of such a significant, award winning project for Scotland. If you’d like to discuss your project requirements for quality marine navigation lights or navigation aids, please get in touch with