Tideland Signal

Last updated
Tideland Signal
Type Private
Founded1954 (1954)
Key people
Matt Scheuing (CEO) [1]
Products Navigational aids
Website www.tidelandsignal.com

Tideland Signal, sometimes referred to as Tidelands, [2] was a privately held, Houston, Texas based manufacturer of marine navigational aids, with main offices in Lafayette, Louisiana, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Burgess Hill, UK, Dubai, United Arab Emirates and Singapore. [3] It was the manufacturer of the ML-300 lantern, widely used in lighthouses around the world for more than 50 years. In 2016, Tideland was acquired by Xylem. In 2020 it ceased operations.



Tideland Signal was founded by several salesmen of Automatic Power, a battery manufacturer which was then a primary player in the buoy market. [4] The company originally sold directly to Automatic's market, but with limited success.

During the 1960s, solar cells had started to become practical systems for recharging batteries in remote locations. Hoffman Electronics, a pioneer in solar power, had approached Automatic with the idea of placing panels on their buoys to reduce the number of battery replacements needed to keep a site operations. Automatic instead saw this as a serious threat to their business, so they purchased the Hoffman concept and buried it. [4]

Shortly thereafter, a research division of Exxon was in the process of introducing their own solar panels. Examining the market, they saw that Tideland was struggling with 30% market share, and approached them. Tideland took up development, introducing a buoy with rechargeable batteries and a solar panel. It was an immediate success, and the company soon eclipsed Automatic. [4] By the late 1970s the solar-powered buoy was widely used.

In 1965 Tideland introduced the world first transistorized automatic lamp changer. In 1967 Tideland introduced a 300 millimetres (12 in) acrylic Fresnel lens lantern, the ML-300, which is still widely used. [5]

In June 2012, Rock Hill Capital closed a majority recapitalization of Tideland. [6] In 2016, Rock Hill sold Tideland [7] to Xylem, a water technology company. [8] In June 2020, Xylem announced that Tideland has ceased operations. [9] In September 2020, Orga Signal, a Netherlands-based provider of marine navigational aids, announce that it has bought some of Tideland's intellectual property and product design assets. [10] In April 2021, Orga Signal announced that it will continue the production of the Tideland product portfolio from the original facility in Houston. [11]

Tideland ML-300

An ML-300 lantern in the Presque Isle Light Presque Isle Light ML-300 lantern.jpg
An ML-300 lantern in the Presque Isle Light

The Tideland ML-300 (ML for MaxLumina) is a multi-purpose marine lantern, with a focal length of 300 millimetres (12 in). It consists of a single piece injection molding acrylic 300mm Fresnel lens and a base assembly, where a flasher or lamp changer can be installed. The light produced is a 360° omnidirectional beam and colored signatures are achieved by colored inserts. [2] It has a range of more than 10 nautical miles (19 km; 12 mi). [12]

An ML-300 at Bugatti Reef Light Bugatti Reef Light.jpg
An ML-300 at Bugatti Reef Light

Since its introduction in 1967, The ML-300 is in wide use all around the world. It is in wide use in the Great Lakes region as a medium-range lens. [2] It is also in use in Australia by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, for example in Dent Island Light [13] and Bugatti Reef Light, [14] both in Queensland.

Other products

In 2010, Tideland Signal provided SB‐30 lateral marker buoys and three DM‐390 buoys for use during the Vancouver Winter Olympics. [15]

Related Research Articles

United States Lighthouse Service Former agency of the United States government

The United States Lighthouse Service, also known as the Bureau of Lighthouses, was the agency of the United States Government and the general lighthouse authority for the United States from the time of its creation in 1910 as the successor of the United States Lighthouse Board until 1939 when it was merged into the United States Coast Guard. It was responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of all lighthouses and lightvessels in the United States.

Ludington Light

The Ludington Light is a 57-foot (17 m) tall steel-plated lighthouse in Ludington, Michigan, which lies along the eastern shores of Lake Michigan, at the end of the breakwater on the Pere Marquette Harbor. Given its location on the northern breakwater where the Pere Marquette River meets Lake Michigan, it is sometimes known as the Ludington North Breakwater Light. Underlying the building itself is a prow-like structure, which is designed to break waves.

Point Pinos Lighthouse Lit in 1855 in California, it is the oldest continuously operating lighthouse on the West Coast of the United States

Point Pinos Lighthouse was lit on February 1, 1855, to guide ships on the Pacific coast of California. It is the oldest continuously operating lighthouse on the West Coast of the United States and even the lens is original. Alcatraz Island Lighthouse preceded Point Pinos by eight months, but was replaced in 1909 by the expanding military prison. The Point Pinos Lighthouse is still an active United States Coast Guard aid to navigation. On-site museum exhibits and other lighthouse related functions are operated by the city of Pacific Grove, Monterey County, California. The lighthouse is surrounded by the Pacific Grove Municipal Golf Links.

Charlevoix South Pier Light Station

The Charlevoix South Pier Light Station is located on Lake Michigan at the entrance to Lake Charlevoix in Charlevoix County in the U.S. state of Michigan at the end of the south pier/breakwater of the channel leading to Round Lake in the city of Charlevoix.

Lightship Nantucket

The station named Nantucket or Nantucket Shoals was served by a number of lightvessels that marked the hazardous Nantucket Shoals south of Nantucket Island. The vessels, given numbers as their "name," had the station name painted on their hulls when assigned to the station. Several ships have been assigned to the Nantucket Shoals lightship station and have been called Nantucket. It was common for a lightship to be reassigned and then have the new station name painted on the hull. The Nantucket station was a significant US lightship station for transatlantic voyages. Established in 1854, the station marked the limits of the dangerous Nantucket Shoals. She was the last lightship seen by vessels departing the United States, as well as the first beacon seen on approach. The position was 40 miles (64 km) southeast of Nantucket Island, the farthest lightship in North America, and experienced clockwise rotary tidal currents.

Kenosha Light

Kenosha Light is a lighthouse and keeper's house on Simmons Island north of the channel into Kenosha's harbor in Kenosha County, Wisconsin, USA.

Navigational aid Marker to assist in safe passage making

A navigational aid (NAVAID), also known as aid to navigation (ATON), is any sort of signal, markers or guidance equipment which aids the traveler in navigation, usually nautical or aviation travel. Common types of such aids include lighthouses, buoys, fog signals, and day beacons.

Kadıköy İnciburnu Feneri

The Kadıköy İnciburnu Feneri is a lighthouse located at the head of Kadıköy Harbor's İnciburnu Breakwater on the Anatolian coast of Bosporus' south entrance, in Kadıköy district of Istanbul, Turkey. It is across from the Ahırkapı Feneri, which is on the Rumelian coast of the strait at a distance of 1.5 nmi. A line connecting the two lighthouses marks the southern boundary of the Port of Istanbul.

Sea Hill Light

Sea Hill Lighthouse, also known as Sea Hill Point Light or Little Sea Hill Light, is a lighthouse on the northwest point of Curtis Island, Gladstone Region, Queensland, Australia. Its purpose was to mark the east side of the entrance to Keppel Bay, on passage to Fitzroy River and Port Alma. The first lighthouse at the locations was constructed in 1873 or 1876, moved in the 1920s, and is now on display at the Gladstone Maritime Museum. A second lighthouse was constructed in 1895 and its state is unclear.

Cape Cleveland Light

Cape Cleveland Light is an active heritage-listed lighthouse located on the northern tip of Cape Cleveland, a promontory projecting into the Coral Sea west of Cleveland Bay in the locality of Cape Cleveland about 40 kilometres (25 mi) east of Townsville, Queensland, Australia. The lighthouse marks the northern point of the Cape, and the entrance to Cleveland Bay.

Dent Island Light

Dent Island Light is an active lighthouse on Dent Island, a small island off the coast of Queensland, Australia, part of the Whitsunday Group of the Whitsunday Islands. Located on the southwest tip of the island, the light guides ships navigating the Whitsunday Passage, between Whitsunday Island and the islands to the west, and marks the Dent Island Passage.

Wharton Reef Light is an inactive lighthouse which used to be located on Wharton Reef in Princess Charlotte Bay off the Cape York Peninsula, Queensland, Australia. When it was deactivated in 1990 it was donated to the Townsville Maritime Museum and it is now on display near the museum. It is the only survivor of a series of twenty automatic lighthouses installed in Queensland during the "Golden Age of Australian Lighthouses" from 1913 to the early 1920s.

Wyborn Reef Light

Wyborn Reef Light is an active lighthouse located at Wyborn Reef, formerly known as Y Reef, about 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) southeast of Albany Island, east of the tip of Cape York Peninsula, Queensland, Australia. It marks the entrance to the Albany Passage. The lighthouse was constructed in 1938 and upgraded in 1991 and 1995. The structure is a stainless steel tower with a fiberglass hut within the framework, carrying a lantern.

Green Bay Harbor Entrance Light

The Green Bay Harbor Entrance Light is an offshore lighthouse near Green Bay, Wisconsin. Located 10 miles (16 km) from the mouth of the Fox River, it was erected to signal the entrance to Green Bay.

Chester Rock Light was a light in Chester, Connecticut on the Connecticut River. It was built in 1889 as part of a $15,000 appropriation by the United States Congress. The 21-foot tall wooden hexagonal pyramidal tower had a black lantern with a 6th order Fresnel lens. The light was first lit on July 1, 1889. The tower was replaced in 1912 by a skeleton tower that was subsequently modified in 1927. Records do not show the deactivation or destruction of the light, but it was believed to have been removed in the 1930s. In the 1990s, the Deep River Historical Society of Deep River, Connecticut wanted to build a replica of the structure for use as a daymark.

The Essex Reef Light or Essex Reef Post Light, also known as Hayden's Point Light, was a light in Essex, Connecticut on the Connecticut River. The 21-foot (6.4 m) wooden tower was erected in 1889 and replaced with a skeleton tower by 1919. The skeleton tower was further altered to an automatic gas light a few years prior to 1931. Two of the keepers, Gilbert B. Hayden and Bernie Hayden, relation unknown, were keepers of the light, but their service years are unknown. As of 2014, a 26-foot (7.9 m) skeleton tower serves as an active daymark and it has a green flash every 4 seconds.

Heugh Lighthouse Lighthouse in County Durham, England

The Heugh Lighthouse is a navigation light on The Headland in Hartlepool, in north-east England. The current lighthouse dates from 1927; it is owned and operated by PD Ports. It is claimed that its early-Victorian predecessor was the first lighthouse in the world reliably lit by gas.

Gannet Rock Lighthouse

The Gannet Rock Lighthouse is a Canadian lighthouse located on a rocky islet 8 miles (13 km) south of Grand Manan in the Bay of Fundy. It was first lit in 1831 and was staffed until 1996. It was solarized in 2002 and remains operational in 2017. It was declared "surplus to requirements" by the Canadian Coast Guard in 2010 and is no longer being maintained.

Grandique Point Lighthouse

Grandique Point Lighthouse is an aid to navigation for Lennox Passage, which is the channel of water between the southern shore of Cape Breton Island and Isle Madame, Nova Scotia, Canada. The lighthouse is located on the beach at Grandique Point in Lennox Passage Provincial Park and is accessible by a gravel road within the provincial park. The site is open to the public, the tower is closed.

Lighthouses on Lundy

Lundy has three lighthouses: a pair of active lights built in 1897 and an older lighthouse dating from 1797.


  1. "Who is Tideland". tidelandsignal.com. Retrieved July 29, 2014.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. 1 2 3 Terry Pepper (2007-02-12). "Seeing The Light - The 300mm plastic lighthouse optic". terrypepper.com. Retrieved February 8, 2011.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. "Contact Us". tidelandsignal.com. Retrieved February 8, 2011.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. 1 2 3 John Perlin (2002). From Space to Earth: The Story of Solar Electricity. Harvard University Press. pp. 60–61.
  5. "Company Profile". tidelandsignal.com. Retrieved February 8, 2011.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. "Rock Hill Invests in Tideland Signal Corp". MarineLink. 11 July 2012. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  7. "Rock Hill Capital Announces the Sale of Tideland Signal Corp". www.businesswire.com. 5 February 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  8. Trauthwein, Greg (8 February 2016). "Xylem Acquires Tideland Signal". MarineLink. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  9. "Xylem closes 60 year old Aids-to-Navigation company, Tideland Signal". DredgeWire. 29 June 2020. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  10. "Orga Signal BV strengthens its global Aids to Navigation market position by acquiring assets of Tideland Signal" (Press release). Orga Signal. 14 September 2020. Retrieved 2 October 2020.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. "Tideland Signal Manufacturing LLC continues production of Tidelands product portfolio" (Press release). Orga Signal. 19 April 2021. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  12. "Incandescent Lanterns". tidelandsignal.com. Retrieved February 8, 2011.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. "Dent Island Light, QLD, AN362-01" (PDF). Aids to Navigation Schedule Issue 11. Australian Maritime Safety Authority. September 2004.
  14. "Dent Island Light, QLD, AN490-01" (PDF). Aids to Navigation Schedule Issue 11. Australian Maritime Safety Authority. December 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-06.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  15. "Tideland Signal Buoys Win Gold at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics" (pdf). Tideland Signal Canada Ltd. Tideland Signal Corporation. February 2010. Retrieved February 6, 2011.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)