How LED Boat Lights Stack Up Against Halogen Boat Lights


The big news in boat lights these days is the introduction of high performance solid state lighting, otherwise known as LEDs. Although they are proving quite effective in real world examples and the number of boaters making the switch to LEDs grows every day, there remains a large group skeptical of their value and effectiveness.

Halogen Boat Lights

Halogen boat lights have been the dominating form of boat lighting for many years. Fairly cheap to purchase and to produce a good amount of light for the money, they have been an effective addition to most boats. Halogen lamps, however, have had several drawbacks that simply cannot be overcome by any improvements, largely because of the constraints produced by their basic design. Halogen lights produce a lot of heat. These bulbs are designed to produce more light than their standard incandescent counterparts, and one of the side effects of producing more light is higher heat production. While a halogen bulb may have the same wattage rating as its incandescent counterpart, it produces more heat because of the filament and bulb design as well as the materials used to construct it. It’s brighter because it causes the filament to run hotter than a standard incandescent. This high heat has led to problems with overheating, fire hazards, and accidental burns.

Halogen boat lights tend to have a rather short operating life. Most halogen lamps tend to have shorter lifespans the higher the wattage is, and averages around 500 to 1,000 hours are common. Depending on how often you use them, you can expect to replace them fairly often, sometimes within as little as a season of use. The durability of halogen bulbs leaves a lot to be desired. Because they are at the basic level a simple incandescent bulb, they too have a thin wire filament and fragile glass bulb used in their construction. This means that the bulb is sensitive to rough handling, and a halogen bulb exposed to frequent vibration can experience premature failure due to the wire filament becoming fatigued and breaking.

LED Boat Lights

LED boat lights although not perfect have at this time pretty well solved the majority of issues associated with standard incandescent boat lighting. Costing more than halogen lamps, the initial cost of LEDs continues to drive some potential buyers away, but a look at the benefits reveals how this initial cost is, in reality, deceptive, and how LEDs can be more cost effective in the long run.

LEDs are a solid state form of lighting that does not rely on a wire filament or glass bulb to produce light. Rather than heating a filament to cause it to glow and emit light, and LED passes current through a piece of semi-conducting material, which in turn causes the material to radiate photons, or as they are more commonly known, visible light. This process does produce some heat, but very little, and since it is so efficient little energy is wasted as heat and is instead radiated as light energy. In other words, and LED fixture will not present a burn or fire hazard due to its operating heat, making it an ideal candidate for installation into cabins as overhead lighting.


There are still more benefits associated with LEDs when comparing them to standard types of boat lights such as halogen. To cover them all would be a lengthy process. Suffice it to say, as the price of LEDs continues to drop and the performance of LEDs continues to be improved, the chances are very good that shortly, when we talk about standard boat lights, we will, in fact, be referring to LEDs and not the old halogen standby. Click here for more information:

LED Boat Lights for Gigging Fish at Night

There are many ways to catch fish. Some anglers prefer to use a traditional rod and feel, while others may prefer to use a net for wide casting in open waters. For a hands-on approach to fishing, many enthusiasts turn to gigging. This practice involves using a sharp spear to capture bottom-feeding fish, as well as flatfish (flounder). Interestingly, gigging is often done at night, which requires powerful LED boat lights.

LED Gigging Lights

LED gigging lights come in many different forms. One of the most common types available is a compact LED spotlight mounted on a telescoping pole. This allows the angler to submerge the light at various depths, for active scanning.

The reason a telescoping feature is essential is due to the location of bottom-feeding fish. Individuals must illuminate the bottom of the water and keep an eye out for a pair of glowing fish eyes. Legally, size limits for catching flounder is determined by the distance between each eye. For best results, gigging should be done in calm waters and in locations protected by strong winds.

LED flood light variants are ideal for gigging in shallow water or murky environments. To prevent failure, LED units used for gigging should be waterproof and sealed. It would also be useful to utilize a version that is battery-powered (wireless) and capable of strobing effects for emergency purposes.

Hands-free Illumination

Other LED boat light options for gigging includes submersible or underwater lamps. These variants can be deployed directly in the water without a pole, with minimal setup requirements.

LED headlamps may also be used for hands-free illumination. This solution is designed to replace heavy and inefficient gas lanterns, allowing individuals to conserve their energy for spearing. Furthermore, people who like to gig directly in the water (wading) would not need to rely on another individual for illumination.

Overview of Regulations for Submarine Identification Lights

In the ocean, identification lights serve very important purposes for boats and vessels. According to US marine regulations, submarines are not excluded from this practice, despite requiring discreet operation in underwater locations.

Read on to understand the type of guidelines submarines are subject to during operation.

32 CFR 707.7

Documentation from Cornell Law School provides more details surrounding such regulations. Submarines are required to incorporate flashing luminaries with an amber color. Furthermore, the unit must take on a sequence of one flash per second – for three seconds, in the first display. This is followed by an off period of three seconds in the second sequence.

When it comes to installation, regulators recommend placing the units in a location on the submarine with maximum visibility. The only guideline provided during installation is that the flashing beacons cannot be setup less than two feet from the lighting system on the mast.

Observation of this practice can help improve detection of the beacon lights, ensuring they are not overpowered by the masthead luminaries.

Emergency Signals and Other Considerations

The use of submarine identification lights should not be mixed up with submarine emergency signals, which utilize colored flares or smoke floats to notify patrollers about the status of the vessel. For instance, a yellow signal warns nearby vessels about the action of the sub, suggesting it is about to move up to periscope depth (from a low underwater location). The propellers should remain operational during this signal.

The guidelines surrounding submarine identification lights do not highlight the requirement of specific lighting technologies. This means that it would be possible to use boat LED lights, instead of traditional incandescent or halogen light sources. However, the units must typically operate based on a set of US Navy standards, since the majority of subs are for government, research, scientific or military use.

Anchor Lighting Requirements and Regulations for Boats

Colliding with another boat at sea is extremely dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. In order to prevent such accidents, the US Coast Guard implemented a set of regulations for anchored vessels, which includes lights. Rule 30 in the USCG handbook recommends the application of lights around anchored boats for streamlined and safe detection. Read on to learn more about this marine anchor lighting regulation.


Rule 30


According to Rule 30, an anchored boat must display a visible light. Specifically, an all-around white light or one ball should be installed and used during such activities in the water. Furthermore, a luminary can be installed close to the stern for maximum visibility (also a white light).


As with most USCG guidelines available today, there are some exceptions to consider when observing Rule 30. First, a boat that measures less than 50 meters does not have to observe all of the recommendations above. Units at sea measuring less than 12 meters in length are not included in Rule 30; though lights should be applied for safety.


Types of Anchor Lights for Boats


There are several types of anchor lights in the market, which can improve compliance and visibility during anchoring. The most common type is a luminary that emits 360 degrees of white light, mounted on a pole for elevated illumination. It is important to point out that such lamps need to adhere to a two-mile visibility requirement.


LEDs are a great choice for reliable anchor lights, due to their solid-state build and long lifespans. Such fixtures can withstand the rugged nature of boating operations. Lastly, a foldable or telescopic pole mount for the LED anchor light is ideal for space-saving benefits.


For congested docks with numerous boats in the area, a diffused LED anchor light can be used to reduce blinding or glare.

How to Choose an Underwater Diving Light

For scuba divers, having a reliable handheld diving light at one’s disposal is vital to underwater safety. Because of this, it is important to choose one that is capable of supporting your preferred underwater activity or work task.

As a general standard for marine locations, most underwater lights are waterproof (up to a certain depth or depending on activity), battery-powered and compact. Read on to learn more about specific lighting features that are essential for diving.

Types of Underwater Diving Lights

Most scuba divers carry a primary and secondary spotlight, with the primary unit serving as the main device for illumination. Comfort is a big factor to consider, since you’ll be carrying around the light for long periods of time. With this in mind, one should decide on a pistol-grip style or a conventional tube-style handle.

Head-mounted and wrist-mounted luminaries can also be used for diving. Head-mounted underwater lights are suitable for maintenance and repair tasks, allowing divers to hold tools with both hands. Wrist-mounted lights are designed for general observation and tracking.

For deep and professional dives, underwater can lights are typically used. These units come with two chambers: one for the light and the other for the battery pack.

Underwater Strobe Lights?

Strobe lights are used extensively for diving, mainly for safety. The fixtures are used for tracking in murky or dark water. Such underwater lights can be mounted on the oxygen tank for hands-free operation.

Another use for a strobe light in underwater, marine locations is photography. Also known as an underwater flash, the lamps help bring clarity to images. Unlike units used for land-based applications, the luminaries come with numerous features, such as color temperature adjustments (usually between 4,500K to 5,500K).

To ensure one’s underwater light operates optimally, don’t forget to rinse the unit in fresh water after every dive.

Setting up Underwater LED Lights for Ice Fishing

During the winter season, ice fishing is an extremely popular pastime for outdoor enthusiasts who can’t get enough of the water. Like fishing over a lake at night during the summer season, many anglers use green lights to attract large fish to the surface.

However, due to frigid temperatures that come with end-of-the-year weather, some techniques must be updated to better suit the icy environment.

Ice Fishing with Submersible LEDs

Methods used to attract large fish close to the boat during the summertime are mostly applicable to ice fishing during winter. First, individuals must post up near a structure that is known to attract and house large fish. In most cases, fish can be found grouping together or lingering around channels and random, underwater structures.

After selecting a place on the frozen lake to setup; and after drilling a hole in the ground for your main fishing line, it’s time to setup the lights. When deploying the submersible fixtures, do not set it too far down the hole. Ice can act as a reflector, causing the light beams to scatter underwater. Setting up the LED lamp just below the ice is ideal for luring plankton to the surface.

Some anglers cut separate holes in the ground for the lights, so that it does not get mixed up with the main line. This is highly recommended, in order to allocate more space for the fishing line.

Types of Underwater LED Lights for Ice Fishing

For ice fishing applications, submersible LED lamps should be extremely sturdy. To prevent losing the fixture underwater, a tethered or wired underwater LED fixture is suitable for such activities.

The units are typically low voltage and waterproof for safe operation and for resilience against moisture, condensation and water. Lastly, underwater LED lights that provide full, 360-degree illumination should be applied, which are more effective than two-lamp configurations with one-sided, directional beam configurations. Visit to find your perfect underwater light.

How To Pick The Best LED Lights For Boats?

LED lights for boats have become highly popular and it’s not difficult to see why. When you are going out on a boat for sailing for a day, it can be very important to ensure the right lighting is used. LED lights have become very important within any boat and you must ensure the right lights are used. However, do you know how to pick the best LED lights for boats? If not, why don’t you read on and find out a little more?

Don’t Go For the Cheapest

Far too many people think it’s wise to choose just any LED light as it will be sufficient enough for their boats but it doesn’t work like that! Opting for the cheapest lights might not really be the best solution as it might last as long. What is more, if you buy the cheapest lights and they don’t last long it will mean you are constantly buying new or replacements and it’ll cost far too much. You don’t want to do this so you might want to consider opting for value for money rather than getting the cheapest boat lights.

Consider Whether They Are Designed For Boats In Particular

There are a lot of LED lights available today but a lot of people get them all mixed up and think all lights work for every purpose which isn’t exactly true. LED lights are not all suitable for boats so you have to ensure the lights you choose are suitable for your boat. You might think it doesn’t make a difference but it does. LED lights for boats are needed and they can be a lot easier to find than you might think. Always ensure the lights are suitable for boats; if they aren’t, you might have trouble getting the lights to last a long period of time.

Be Wary Of the Voltage

Far too many people don’t take voltage into consideration when it comes to buying new LED lights and that causes a lot of concern. If the wrong voltage is purchased then it might cause a little trouble on your boat and again it’s not what you want. That is why you have to look at the type of voltage on offer from the LED lights and whether or not they are suitable with the boat. Buying boat lights can be a little troublesome and yet you can get the right light when you know a little more about the type of voltage you need.

Take Your Time to Find the Best

When you have a boat, you have to ensure the lights are fitted correctly and that they are suitable for the task ahead. If the wrong lights are used then you might be stranded in the middle of the ocean without proper lighting. That is why you have to take your time to find suitable lights and there are many simple ways to do so. Getting good LED lights for boats can be pretty easy to do and you can get a better way to light your boats.

Check out this post for more informations:

What Are LED Bulkhead Lights Used For On Boats

Locations without reliable access to power require cutting-edge lighting solutions. On boats, luminaries must be durable, long lasting and bright to support dangerous tasks performed.

To promote safety on boats, it’s common for operators to equip certain sections of the vessel with LED bulkhead lights. Taking on a slim, solid-state design, the units illuminate passageways, stairs and other accident-prone areas on the boat.

Prioritizing Longevity

LED bulkhead lights for boats are designed for extreme reliability. When used as an emergency light, it can be low voltage and support battery-backup features. Low power consumption is an essential feature of the luminary, as well as a sturdy housing typically made out of polycarbonate or robust thermoplastic materials. For installations in locations with low roofing, it would be possible to diffuse the light to prevent blinding and glare.

Furthermore, the lights can be protected with a cage or guard to reduce the possibility of damage during impacts. This accessory is useful when mounting LED bulkhead lights close to the floor or in high-traffic locations. Like other marine-type luminaries, these units are reinforced with waterproof and corrosion-resistant protection when used on boats.

Not Just for Boats

Outside of the marine industry, LED bulkhead lights can be deployed in industrial facilities and rugged locations. In such areas, the units are installed in basements and hallways. As a flat-shaped light, it can easily be incorporated along walls, in a recessed configuration. Although recessed installations are more tedious, they can help maximize space in congested locations.

When used to mark the general location of an entry or exit point in a remote building, LED bulkhead lights could be supported with solar panels. For such installations, the panels are mounted outside of the facility (for optimal exposure to sunlight), connecting to a battery that powers the unit (located inside the facility).

The Evolution of Lighthouse Lamps in Marine Locations

History of Lighthouse Lamps

In the marine sector, lighthouses have been around for over 300 years. The structures serve very important purposes, often notifying ships about their positions during hazy or nighttime conditions.

Over time, like most structures and equipment today, lighthouses received upgrades to their illuminative components. Furthermore, cutting-edge navigational devices, such as GPS and mobile maps, have allowed ship operators to decrease their reliance on the large lamps.

Today, lighthouses are being updated with new lighting technologies. Below covers the evolution of the colossal structures.

Wood, Coal and Vegetable Oil

Initially, lighthouses applied very old methods for illumination. During the 1700s, open fires that burned wood and coal in an iron basket were used. This was extremely inefficient and operators did not have a viable way to control the light from the fires. Pan and fountain lamps eventually replaced wood and coal-based fires. The luminaries consumed oil for fuel and were easier to manage over long periods of operation.

Kerosene burners were introduced to lighthouses in the 1800s. The burners were considered to be safe and sturdy, capable of withstanding the corrosive nature of the ocean. Eventually, electric lamps (in the form of 1,000-watt metal halide and 1,000-watt halogen lights) phased out oil-based luminaries in the 1900s.

Solar Lighthouse Lamps

As mentioned earlier, new lighting technologies and navigational systems have made such structures, and the workers that maintain them, obsolete. Modern lighthouses now offer safety services, in addition to providing illuminative guidance in open waters. For lighting, the structures incorporate solar-powered assemblies and LEDs. This option is ideal for the buildings, since they are far-flung and often do not have access to mainstream power.

Lastly, instead of a continuous beam of light, a giant flashing strobe light is used for notification. The structures are still maintained today, mostly by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) for lighthouses in the US.

How Far Does Light Travel Underwater

How Far Does Light Travel Underwater? A large bulk of today’s underwater lights for boats and docks fall short of people’s expectations. Some individuals complain the luminaries look bright, when tested above water, but appear dull when installed underwater.

Generally speaking, there’s probably nothing wrong with the lights. Instead, it is likely the person failed to take into account the density and absorption rate of water.

Dealing with Light Loss

According to scientists, water is roughly 800 times denser, compared to air. Because of this, light gets absorbed in water at a higher rate. This phenomenon contributes to dullness and decreased quality in illumination. Light is absorbed at different rates, as it hits the water. On the surface, a significant amount of sunlight is reflected from the water, which is why looking down at the surface of water can be unbearable during mid-afternoon conditions.

At roughly five meters, red starts to appear fuzzy. Next, at 10-20 meters, orange and yellow start to disappear. At depths of 50 meters, green and blue are only visible. Lastly, at 200 meters, blue disappears, leaving violet as the last remaining color. This is also where the sunlight zone (euphotic) ends and where the twilight zone (dysphotic) begins. There is not enough light in the dysphotic zone to stimulate photosynthesis in plants.

Four major factors that affect light absorption in water includes the following: weather, conditions at the surface, distance of the subject and depth.

In addition to absorption rates, refraction can be an issue for underwater lights. By comparison, air has a refraction index value of 1.0003, while water features a refractive index value of 1.33. This difference is the reason objects appear closer and larger (sometimes up to 25 percent!) underwater.

Solutions for Underwater Illumination

In order to ensure clarity when setting up underwater lights, they have to be very powerful – beyond the capabilities of above-ground luminaries. It might also help to use a more focused beam, such as a spotlight over a floodlight, if the underwater light is intended for long-distance viewing or support. In some cases, multiple beams or light sources might be required to achieve widespread beam configurations, especially in murky water or in bodies of water that experience a lot of waves and movement.

For underwater photographers, flash guns (also known as underwater strobes) are particularly effective in restoring light in images. For best results, underwater photographers may use dual strobes for increased quality and control over beam angles. Moreover, the strobe must be synced with the camera. Click here to purchase LED underwater lights.