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If you are looking for a specific type of boat light, we suggest going to our Boat Lights category, where the light products are grouped based on product type (such as Courtesy or Navigation lights). More than anything, this category has been set-up to provide ideas on what types of products can be upgraded to LED to improve the efficiency of your electrical system; something all boaters should strive for.
LED Boat Lights How-Tos
Types Of LED Boat Lights And Their Benefits
In the last few years, the uptake of boat LED lights has been quite encouraging. Boat owners are installing the lights in their vessels. In fact, many are swapping the usual HID, incandescent, fluorescent, and halogen lights in favor of LED lights. There are varied explanations as to why boaters and owners are embracing this mode of lighting. First, it is energy efficient hence doesn't drain the on board battery. Second, it doesn't produce a lot of heat. Third, the lights come on instantly. Fourth, the lights are quite durable and can last for as many as 100,000 hours. Fifth, it is easy to install the lighting fixtures.
1. LED Spreader Lights
Spreader lights are used to provide sufficient lighting on the deck as well as near the boat. The lights illuminate the water thus attracting fish and other sea creatures. They are also used to create a good atmosphere on the deck. In addition, they help in carrying out repairs and maintenance in the boat. They are thus expected to provide good illumination in a large area. However, this also means that many powerful light bulbs need to be installed hence leading to increased wattage. LED lights become a better option considering the huge demand placed on the battery.
2. LED Strips/Ribbons
LED lighting also comes in the form of strips or ribbons. The ribbon also comes in varied lengths hence it is upon the boat owner to determine the appropriate length. The strips are quite light hence are very portable. Also, they are very flexible thus can be used in tight corners and spots. Since the strips come in a variety of colors, it becomes easy to use them for aesthetic purposes. Unlike other light types, fixing LED strips is pretty simple and straightforward. It doesn't involve tearing up the deck or adding extensions on the boat.
3. LED Anchor or Emergency Lights
Anchor or emergency lights automatically turn on even when the crew or boat owner isn't around. For instance, when returning to the shore late at night, the crew will find a boat already lit. The light is attached to a switch that is activated by the absence of natural lighting. Because the boat will always light up when darkness checks in, the battery will be drained quite often. Therefore, using boat LED lights minimizes the load on the power system. The main advantage of LED is that it provides white light that can be visible from quite a distance.
4. LED Navigation Lights
Any boat or yacht owner knows the importance of navigation lights. This light assists other sailors in knowing your location as well as the direction you are heading. In the earlier days, the navigation was a simple incandescent bulb housed in a fixture covered by different colored lenses. A burned bulb meant that you lost the navigation light. With LED lights for navigation, you are assured of having a light for quite an extended time. Also, you worry less about the bulb blowing up or burning out due to coming in contact with water or moisture. Besides better clarity, you are also assured of durability.
5. Underwater Lighting
Individuals will from time to time want to view marine life. Some do it for leisure while others engage in an activity for research purposes. LED lighting for underwater use is more efficient than incandescent or fluorescent tubes due to a number of reasons. The first is that waterproof LED can withstand water and moisture quite well. The second reason is that they only take up a small space. The third reason is that they provide a broad illumination thus offering better views as well as attracting more sea creatures.
Any boat owner who is serious about conserving the power or energy on the boat will certainly appreciate LED lights. The minimal power requirements ensure the battery isn't drained too fast. Doing so shortens its life. Most of the power generated by the alternator is used to charge the battery rather than lighting. Furthermore, less heat in the cabin provides a more comfortable ambiance. When thinking of installing boat LED lights, you might need to factor in some aspects. One, the size of the boat; Two, current (amperes) produced by the battery and alternator; three, the main area of lighting.
The Technical Side of LED Lights
An LED is a light emitting diode. A diode lets current flow in only one direction. To get a diode to emit light, it is made from two semiconductor materials. One has too many free electrons, the other not enough. The electrical current forces the excess electrons across a barrier and light is produced. Compare this to incandescent bulbs, which generate light and heat (wasted energy) by electrical resistance that makes a filament glow. LEDs are somewhat more expensive than incandescent bulbs, but use less power so they are less expensive to run. Their current draw is so low, you could leave your cockpit courtesy lights on for a week and still be able to start the engine. Lights in new cars and trucks, other than headlights, have gone LED. As goes the automotive industry, so it eventually goes for boats.
An LED is a light emitting diode. A diode lets current flow in only one direction. To get a diode to emit light, it is made from two semiconductor materials. One has too many free electrons, the other not enough. The electrical current forces the excess electrons across a barrier and light is produced. Compare this to incandescent bulbs, which generate light and heat (wasted energy) by electrical resistance that makes a filament glow.
LEDs are somewhat more expensive than incandescent bulbs, but use less power so they are less expensive to run. Their current draw is so low, you could leave your cockpit courtesy lights on for a week and still be able to start the engine. LEDs are almost immune to vibration, have a life span measured in tens of thousands of hours, are small for their output, do not dim as rapidly when the current drops, and have a highly directional light. This last feature makes them ideal for running lights.
Many manufacturers now offer running and anchor lights, plus courtesy, bait tank, chart lights, boat trailer lights, and more with LEDs. If you are needing to replace lights in your boat or on your trailer, it's worth it to update them with LEDs.