Should your subsea signage be fluorescent?

Do you need to use fluorescent signage for underwater projects?

OK, so you’re in the middle of your project planning phase and the specification calls for fluorescent subsea signage. You’re going to go ahead and choose fluorescent markers, right?


Read on to find out why your subsea signage doesn’t actually need to be fluorescent – and what you should opt for instead.

😕 But we’ve always used fluorescent signage…?

Yup, fluorescent markers were the norm for years. Here at AQUASIGN, our standard specification markers used to be fluorescent too.

So what changed?

Well, two things:

First, we realised there were significant downsides to fluorescent subsea markers, which we’ll outline for you in just a moment.

And second, we developed a new product with all the benefits of fluorescent signage but none of the downsides.


📩 Not got time to read now? Subscribe now to get our updates in your inbox.


The major drawbacks of fluorescent signage

For a long time, fluorescent subsea signage was the only option available to fabricators. But fluorescent markers have three primary disadvantages:

  • They’re not UV stable
  • They’re a health and safety risk
  • They’re a complete hassle

Let’s look at each one of those points in turn.

They’re not UV stable

Fluorescent pigment dyes aren’t UV stable and fade when exposed to direct sunlight.

So, how long does that take?

Well, that depends on two things: how long the sign is exposed for and where in the world it’s located.

A sign being transported through Asia, for example, would fade in a matter of days due to the strength of the sun. Up in Canada or Norway, it’d take a little longer but it would still fade.

They’re a health and safety risk

Is there a way to stop fluorescent signs from fading? Yes, you could put protective covers over each and every sign.

So you would install markers on your asset, cover each of them with a protective cover, then load your asset up for transport.

So far, so good.

These covers need to stay on during transport, otherwise the signs will fade. So you need to wait until just before deployment to remove them. That means accessing all the signs manually, on a barge (hope you’ve got your climbing gear!) and peeling the covers off one by one.

Not the safest job…

They’re a complete hassle

You don’t want your fluorescent ID markers to fade, so you install them and then you put protective covers on them for transport. Then, when ready to deploy, you remove the protective covers again.

That’s a lot of hassle, even before you factor in potential mishaps.

Say you forget to remove one or more of the covers before deployment. That’s a time-consuming and costly mistake to fix when you eventually find out about it.

But wait… maybe the cover is transparent?

Well, yes that’s great… but not for long: hello, biofouling!

A protective cover will be completely obscured by marine growth within six months, maybe less in tropical waters.

Big hassle.


Should your subsea signage be fluorescent - quote image square


🤷‍♂️ OK, so what’s the alternative?

Aquasign’s standard specification is our UV stable subsea marker: Aquasign Solis®.

We developed Solis following an extensive R&D programme that qualified not just its 60-year guaranteed anti-fouling properties, but also its UV stability and visibility.

Here are the key benefits of Aquasign Solis® compared to traditional fluorescent markers:

  • Guaranteed to withstand 24 months exposure to direct sunlight
  • Retains high contrast yellow and black colour pairing
  • 2000% improvement on weatherability
  • Minimum 50% time saving to apply
  • Perfect direct replacement for fluorescent signs

Read more about Aquasign Solis® UV stable markers here.

The added benefits of Aquasign Solis®

In addition to its guaranteed UV stability, Aquasign Solis® boasts a number of other benefits:

  • 60-year visibility guarantee
  • 60-year adhesive guarantee
  • 100% non-toxic
  • Simple, two-step application
  • Environmentally tested
  • Mechanically tested
  • Meets or exceeds all relevant performance standards

Aquasign Solis® is now our standard specification subsea marker, which means it’s also the most cost-effective solution for your project.


Swap out fluorescent for Solis® on your next project.


Aquasign Solis® is a direct stand-in for fluorescent signage, delivering all the benefits of this historically favoured markers with none of the drawbacks.


We hope you’ve found this article helpful. Subscribe to our Knowledge Hub for instant access to all our testing and specification documents or contact us today to find out more about how Solis® can save your project money.

Get in touch

Translate »