The RSL Story

Some great stories begin with a childhood dream. But others—just as great—start with a moment when unique expertise, industry need, and technological advancement converge.  

In 2001, the RSL story (then known as RSL Fiber Systems) began as a joint venture with Skyler Technologies and Wire-Pro, Inc. to solve lighting and illumination issues they observed in U.S. Navy ships. While naval technology was evolving, so too were its equipment considerations alongside their ancient foes: seawater and sun. Together with our partners, RSL set out to address military lighting complexities like maintenance, safety, radar cross section (RCS), EMI/RFI, corrosion and total ownership costs.

First, a solution

After years of prototypes and collaboration with stakeholders like the Office of Naval Research through the Navy Manufacturing Technology Program (MANTECH), RSL qualified its first major lighting system. The system featured remote source lighting technology that used fiber optic cables to carry light from a source to an emission point, maximizing safety, adaptability, and ease of use. Today, we are proud to say the U.S. Navy has used this same remote source technology for illumination, navigation and signaling light systems since 2004.

Over the decades, RSL’s marine lighting solutions have been adapted for the U.S. Navy’s renowned LPD 17 class, its DGG 1000 stealth destroyer class, and the Italian FREMM multi-mission frigate class. We are known for agile designs that anticipate technological needs of the world’s newest ships and can adapt to retrofit older ships for continued sea readiness.

Then, a revolution

Once you shine light on a path, you see not only what’s next to you but what lies farther ahead. The more your eyes adjust, the farther you can see.

As RSL developed cutting-edge remote source lighting for naval use, we began to recognize how many ways and in what conditions our light technologies can help industry. Indeed, light needed in hard-to-reach places isn’t unique to marine vessels and the revolutionary concept of removing electricity from the point of light emission makes our technology ideal for hazardous conditions.

Today, we continue to build product lines for new industry areas which benefit from our unique expertise. Our commercial lighting products excel in light chromaticity and light pattern distribution, a strength honed over decades building navigation and signaling systems. We work with clients who use RSL products “right out of the box” for a variety of commercial and military applications, and we can modify units for task-specific use.


Precision is Everything. From light chromaticity and light pattern distribution to the unique conditions of its use, RSL considers every variable to deliver the exact light needed without wasting precious lumens. 

Real World Engineering