Marine Boat Lights

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Boating Know How
Learn about the types of lights found on boats.

Marine Boat Lights – Types And Their Uses

Any mariner or boater knows the importance of installing marine boat lights. The lighting makes the boat, yacht or any other watercraft more functional. Here we are talking about being able to maneuver the boat in the darkness, as well as seeing where you are stepping ... read more while on deck. Lights also improve the aesthetic appeal of the boat thus making it more comfy and conducive. The number and nature of lighting depend on the size of boat, nature of use, and also cost.

Notable lights are as follows:

Navigation Lights

These lights are used to indicate the vessel's position and also the direction it is heading in. This helps the boaters give way to each other hence minimizing the likelihood of a collision or accident. The lights are supposed to be put on view from sunset until sunrise. They are illuminated during periods of poor visibility for example fog. The navigation light is made up of different colored lights. These are stern light (white), combination/sidelights (green & red), and masthead (white).

Anchor Light

In many cases, the law requires sailors and mariners to install an anchor light on the watercraft. The light indicates the location of a vessel at the dock. It also alerts other boat owners that it has simply docked, and there is no problem. As part of safe boating procedures, the light is required to be bright white. This makes it easy to see the boat in the dark as well as in poor visibility.

All-Round White Light

This light is mandatory in any water vessel that is power-driven. It is visible from all direction thus indicates the position of the boat. An all-round white light may also double up as an anchor light in case the sidelights aren't functioning or have been switched off. It may also serve as a masthead light and stern light in vessels measuring less than 39.4 feet lengthwise.

Deck lights

Deck lights are used to illuminate the deck. Besides the deck, they are also installed in the cabin. The lights come in a wide assortment to cater for the varied locations they are usually mounted. They can be installed along the sides of the boat, under the roof, on the surface of the deck, and many other areas. Fixing deck lights should be done carefully so as not to degrade the overall appearance of the deck. Usually, many boaters try to match the lighting fixture with the deck.

Iboats carries a wide variety of lights

Spreader Lights

Spreader lights are among the most popular marine boat lights. They provide illumination in various areas of the boat and also serve different purposes. Boaters use the lights to carryout general boat maintenance and service. Others use them to illuminate the water during a fishing expedition at night while others use them to provide lighting to nearby vessels. Spreader lights can also be used to provide illumination when docking. Since they are considered work lights, they are used quite often hence the need to install durable, energy efficient and effective lights.

Docking Lights

Dock or docking lights are used when approaching or leaving the dock or marina. The lights are designed to offer maximum light so as to allow a boater or mariner dock the boat in the stipulated space. They are fixed on the front part of the boat and usually come as white lights. Besides being fixed to the boat, the lights are also placed along the harbor or dock. They may be mounted on high posts and also on the surface.

Underwater Lights

As the name suggests, underwater lights are placed at the lower surface of the boat. They will therefore be near the water surface or submerged in it. The lights are used to attract water creatures especially in the night. This makes it easy to observe marine life and also when fishing. Some people install the lights to make the boat standout. Since the lights are placed near water, they come in a waterproof enclosure. Due to being more waterproof, LED lights are most popular.

Search Lights

Searchlights are used for locating something on the deck or in the water. The lights are, therefore, not used as frequently as other lights. Considering that the location has to be well lit, the lights provide a lot of illumination over a wide area. In addition, the lights can be rotated or turned to face any angle easily. Searchlights are normally placed at a central position so as to cover any part of the vessel when the need arises.

Utility/Courtesy Lights

Courtesy lights are more decorative as opposed to being functional. They will only provide a minimal amount of lighting. Furthermore, they are placed in hidden or slightly hidden places thus the brightness is seen without necessarily seeing the fixture. Common areas where the marine boat lights are fixed include under the counter, table, or on the edge of the boat. Due to their small size a number of lights will be placed within an area. LED strips and ribbons make good courtesy lights.

Flood Lights

Marine floodlights work in a similar manner to the ordinary ones. The goal is to provide high intensity light over a wide area. The lights will normally be seen in large vessels since they produce a lot of light. One floodlight is capable of lighting a large area hence no need to install other lights. However, these lights are known to consume more energy and may easily drain a small battery. The lights may also double up as docking or search lights.

Although lighting a water vessel may seem pretty simple, the impact it will have on the boating experience is huge. Proper lighting helps a person maneuver a boat in water, dock the vessel and also alert other boaters. Good lighting also comes handy when you decide to host a party in the boat or at the dock. In order to come up with a good lighting strategy, it is essential to purchase quality Marine boat lights. Iboats offers a wide variety of boat lights at an affordable price.
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Portable Nav Lights: Now Power with AA Batteries

Using proper navigation lighting for small battery/engine-less boats has historically been a challenge, leaving many small boat-owners to choose between buying and maintaining a 12v battery (without a motor to charge it), only boating in the day, or accepting a compromise of their safety. ... read more Fortunately, SeaSense, Attwood, and Innovative Lighting saw the issue and came up with a solid solution: portable navigation lights powered by AA or AAA batteries.  All three companies use LED lights, which are bright, long lasting, and use very little energy.

Because we have three quality and marine-specific manufacturers that started addressing this issue, you have your choice between suction-cup or clamp-on mounting types, and the availability of bow-lights, stern-lights, side-lights, and transom-lights, all starting around 25 bucks.

For images, descriptions, or to purchase our Portable LED Nav lights, click on the links below:

Portable LED navigation lights from Innovative Lighting

Portable LED navigation light kit from Attwood

Portable LED clamp-on bow light from SeaSense
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boat lighting
Boat Lighting - Aqua Signal LED All Round Navigation Lights Demonstration (Video)
A video demonstration of the Aqua Signal LED All Round Navigation Lights by Aqua Signal ... read more



Video Transcription

Hello I’m David from Aqua Signal. I would like to talk to you today about the incandescent technology and led replacement technology for your incandescent lights. You are probably very familiar with this particular fixture; this is an Aqua Signal tri-color anchor light and it’s been in our line for 25 to 30 years, and we would like to talk to you about how easy it is to replace incandescent technology with our new led technology. The easiest thing to do is just go up your mast, take this out. And you can take your new led tri-color anchor light and put it in the same fixture, no new wiring or no additional wire is required. Just put it in there and away you go. What I would also suggest that you do is keep this light as a backup light in case you happen to have a failure at some point down the road which we don’t think you will, these are rated at 50,000 hours of use. But if for some reason you did and you were to break it or hit a bridge or some kind of a breakage. You could use this as your backup and it will go right back in the same existing fixture. So that’s what’s new from Aqua Signal.
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Our Marine Lights category is dedicated to providing you with all types of Marine lighting products, from handheld, cabin, deck & flood lights to underwater and livewell lights, and all other sorts of LED Marine Lights. Plus the largest selection of boat navigation lights including bow lights, transom lights, and side lights, all meeting the boat navigation requirements of all 50 states. All of our Marine lighting equipment is made by quality marine lights brands such as Perko, Aqua Signal, SeaSense, and Attwood, providing reliability, and more importantly, piece of mind.
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