If you’ve ever been out on a boat at night and admired the sound of the waves lapping against the hull and the distant lights of the shoreline in the darkness, you’ll appreciate the value of adding lights to your vessel.
Installing underwater lights on your boat can provide a whole new level of safety, a beautiful display of lights that illuminates the water under your vessel and even lure predator fish if you’re out fishing.
In this article, you’ll learn all about underwater boat lights and how you can purchase and install them on your boat.
Why Install Underwater Boat Lights?
Underwater boat lights are a great addition to any vessel, providing these primary benefits:
Make Vessel Visible
Underwater boat lights can be used to make the vessel and any surrounding area clearly visible. This is particularly important when navigating low-light conditions, such as at night or foggy days. Lights can help other boaters see the vessel, avoiding dangerous collisions and potential accidents.
Improved Night Fishing
Underwater lights are especially suitable for stationary or just drifting boats, as this allows the lights to be used for fishing at night. The visibility offered by the lights attracts bait fish, making them easier to catch and providing an enhanced fishing experience.
Boating at night can be dangerous if the vessel is not adequately lit. It is important to ensure other boaters can see your boat to avoid potential collisions. Underwater boat lights provide a much brighter, more noticeable, and more visible light source, which can help make boating at night safer.
Underwater boat lights can be used to provide an enhanced experience for the passengers. The lights can create a soothing and calming atmosphere, enabling passengers to enjoy their time on the water.
Types of Underwater Boat Lights
Depending on the needs of the boat and its operators, several varieties are available. Here are the most common categories and types of underwater boat lights available:
LED vs. HID
At the most basic level, there are two types of underwater boat lights – LED and HID (High-Intensity Discharge). LED lights are more commonly used and are known for their durability and long lifespans (up to 50,000 hours of continuous illumination). HID lights are less popular due to their shorter lifespan and higher power consumption but offer higher luminosity.
Wired vs. Wireless
Wired boat lights are connected to the boat with cables, and the light is usually placed on the very bow of the boat. This connection makes the lights more reliable and stable, however, it can be costly to install and it limits the boat’s maneuverability. Wireless boat lights are not tied to the boat, and they can be easily moved and installed in any location on the boat. They are often battery-powered and require periodic recharging.
Surface Mount vs. Flush Mount
Surface mount lights attach to the boat with a bracket and are generally used when applying lighting in shallow water, as some part of the light will remain above the surface. Flush mount designs, on the other hand, are completely submerged, providing superior performance in deeper waters.
Underwater Boat Lights Colors
When it comes to color selection, underwater boat lights are available in four main varieties - green, blue, white, and red.
Green lights are generally the brightest and most visible from a distance, making them the best choice for navigation.
Blue lights provide a softer contrast and are ideal for accenting nighttime fishing excursions.
White lights are the most commonly used and can be used for both navigation and for creating an underwater ambiance.
Finally, red lights make an excellent aesthetic choice, but their color can fade over time.
What are the Best Underwater Lights for Boats?
Whether looking to add lighting to a vessel for safety, visibility or just to create an impressive lighting scene, there are a few factors one must consider when choosing the best underwater boat lights.
Being able to navigate through the water confidently and safely is important, and the higher the lumens of an underlight, the brighter and clearer it will be. For navigation, at least 700 lumens are necessary.
Make sure that the underwater light you choose for your boat is made from waterproof materials and withstands seawater corrosion, algae, and barnacles. Lights made of steel guarantee the highest degree of protection against the elements.
The underlights should also be strong, impact and stretch resistant in order to withstand the pressure and motion of the waves and the regular impacts of the boat when docking.
When it comes to selecting the right boat underlight brand, reliable brands that are well known in the boating community can be an asset. Few popular brands include Lumitec SeaBlaze, HUSUKU, OceanLED, Aqualuma, and Lumishore.
It is vital to make sure a warranty is included with the purchase of a light. Knowing that a manufacturer will stand behind their product will give you a sense of security in case of any unexpected malfunctions or repairs that may occur later.
Different lights may be equipped with a range of additional features, including preset colors, color cycling, color sweeping, different lighting scenes, and the ability to control the lights via a remote or mobile app. It is always best to invest in lights with these features if you plan on entertaining guests, as some of these features can help create a more dynamic atmosphere.
Easy to Install
The installation of your lights should be easy and quick. Look for lights with a simple design that don’t require too much drilling in order to save time and avoid any potential damage.
For most boaters, a mini light such as the Lumitec SeaBlaze Mini LED Underwater Light, Spectrum RGBW at a cost of $233.99, would be a great option. For something more heavy-duty, a higher-end full-color light such as the Lumitec Javelin 600X Underwater Light is costlier but more powerful at $524.99.
How Many Underwater Lights Should My Boat Have?
The type of boat and intended use will affect how many underwater lights you should have. Generally, the more the better. It's best to have at least three lights that are spread out by two feet each. This will create a larger area of coverage which should draw more small creatures and in turn, attract the predatory fish if you’re out for fishing.
Boat Underwater Lights Installation
To install underwater lights from your boat, start by choosing where the lights will be attached. For fishing applications, attaching the light to the hull of the boat is the most effective option as it makes the boat look like a light source from below. For other purposes, flush mounts may be a better fit. To proceed with the installation, first, make a small hole for the mount where the lights will be attached, then use screws to attach the lights to the mount and secure them in place.
The Bottom Line: Are Underwater Boat Lights Worth it?
Absolutely! Underwater boat lights are an invaluable addition to any boater’s onboard arsenal. Not only do they add a touch of class and elegance to a boat, but they also provide practical benefits such as illuminating otherwise dark areas, increasing visibility for divers, and attracting bait for fishing. With a myriad of color options, along with various types and installation methods, there’s sure to be an underwater light that’s perfect for any boating application. So, don’t think twice about investing in underwater boat lights- they’re worth every penny!
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