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.
LED Boat Lighting by Seasense (Video)
Introduction into LED Lighting presented by Seasense
[Daren] This is Daren the sensible angler, I'm here at the ICast show where we're going to be dealing a little bit with SeaSense products. Some of the great innovations from this marine company have been around since 1984. I'm speaking with Butch Chamberlain from SeaSense and let's talk a little bit about LED lighting. Tell me Butch what's new and exciting about LED. Everyone knows LED lighting stuff, why is LED the way of the future?
[Butch] LED is a product that has come a long way and pricing was the premier obstacle we had to overcome. They burn from 50,000 to 100,000 hours, they emit very little heat and the product life is just far substantial to the standard incandescent bulbs. We've got color LEDs. A display of LEDs is shown here in the different colors and configurations that you can get them. These are portable lights, well not portable but mounted lights, they are rotational for use in the cabin or under a console for your use.
These are all strip lights, these are some of the most popular sellers right now. We keep can't hardly get these manufactured in our facilities.
[Daren] Who uses the strip lights, where could you use these strip lights at?
[Butch] These strip lights are universal applications. They are 12 V, they can be used in cars, they can be used in boats, trucks and of course the total marine industry. For courtesy lights these are waterproof by inherent nature, they were built and the material is podded. They can be mounted transoms for light, courtesy lights for boarding, they can be mounted for transom lights to illuminate the stern of the boat for fishing or on the sides.
They are available in this array of colors; red, white, blue, yellow and green. And it's ultimately important that you don't mount any red or green on the boat where they can be visible as alternative navigation lights. So you have to keep that in mind that the blue and white are universal applications. The green, yellow and red may get confusing with local law enforcement so maintain contact with local law enforcement for color classification and uses.
[Daren] Excellent and while we are here SeaSense has the best pricing on the market today in the LED market. What can you do for the customer who is looking to mount stern lights on his boat? Are there LED stern lights available now?
[Butch] Yes Daren we've got a selection of LED stern lights. These are two of our models and they range anywhere from 34 inches to 72. It's our own patented design. They are extendable from 30. This one is a 34 - 60 inch and it tightens up with a clamp. You extended and then it plugs in the standard stern light base. So this is adaptable to virtually every stern base on the market right now today.
It's got LED bulbs in it, it meets all the Coast Guard requirements. It's our patented design. They are other people that have made similar products, but we are the innovators of the extendable light. That is really handy because you have to have the minimum height of the light on the boat; 30 inches above the bow. And to achieve that you may have a long pole that you have to store somewhere in the boat. This being collapsible, it reduces the 60 inch down to 34 where you can stow it in a compartment or locker without any difficulty.
[Daren] Excellent. [Butch] This finish is our finish and also we have an EDC coating which is this pipe finished product right here and available in all lengths, they are 3 different lengths as well. Moving on this is LED front marker light.
[Daren] Front marker okay.
[Butch] It's a navigation light red and green. Mounts on the standard base or covers the normal bow light base configuration for ease of replacement and it's updated, upgraded. It's definitely highly visible, it's a brilliant product.
We have several different bases, we only have one on display here. This is the stern light base and this like I said it accepts our bases and is pretty much a universal bayonet type mount. It slides in, makes a contact inside.
We are currently working on some other products, innovative designs and reworking some of the current products that we have. That is what makes SeaSense hugely different in my opinion than our competitors or other people that are in our market, is our innovative products. LEDs were in the forefront, we have as many of them. We have more LEDs than the competitor available and our pricing is un-comparable. We have superior products, superior pricing, our packaging is second to none. SeaSense is the brand of choice.
[Daren] Well thank you very much Butch and remember you can find out more information about SeaSense at www.seasense.com. And for you dealers and distributors out there go to thesensibleangler.com for all your ordering information. Thanks a lot Butch.