How LED Boat Lights Stack Up Against Halogen Boat Lights

INTRODUCTION

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.

CONCLUSION

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: http://www.larsonelectronics.com/c-277-led-boat-lights.aspx

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.

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 LarsonElectronics.com to find your perfect underwater light.

Selecting Underwater LED Lights For Boats

The type of underwater LED lights you install on your boat can greatly affect your experience in the water. With LEDs offering maximum flexibility in designs and configurations, individuals have numerous options for lighting up their vessel.

Read on to learn about different factors to take into consideration when choosing and installing underwater LED lights on your watercraft.

Flood vs Spot

Beam angles determine the density of the light beam, as it looks around the hull of the boat. If you’re relying on lights for guidance or for monitoring underwater operations, the beam configuration of the LED luminary will also affect the distance and spread of the light. With this in mind, a flood beam, measuring between 20 degrees to 120 degrees, is designed for wide-area applications. The distance of the beam is limited, trading off for its wide spread.

On the other hand, spot light beam configurations offer tight, intense illumination with a maximum measurement of 19 degrees. At such angles, boat operators are able to illuminate specific targets from far distances.

Colors and Color Temperatures

In addition to beam types, LEDs allow for unique color and color temperature configurations. White is the most common choice, which is ideal for shallow water with thick sand accumulation at the floor. Green is suitable for inland locations, while blue goes with just about any type of marine setting. Going beyond aesthetics, some boats require specific colors for underwater LED lights, depending on the activity being conducted. For instance, submersible lights that emit green beams are used to attract large fish.

When it comes to white light, individuals have several options for color temperatures. Choosing the right range can help improve visibility, as well as mood and aesthetics. Low color temperature settings, between 1,500K and 3,500K, features a yellowish color and does not penetrate the water well. On the high end of the spectrum, between 6,000K and 8,500K, light beams appear bluish and are perfect for deep water illumination.

Please visit Larson Electronics for more information regarding underwater lighting for boats.

Understanding IP and NEMA Ratings for LED Boat Lights

For sustained illumination in marine environments, which in most cases are rough, humid and watery, LED boat lights are reinforced with specific standards, such as Ingress Protection (IP) and National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) ratings.

IP and NEMA standards are the most common set of guidelines that allow operators to effectively gauge how far they can push lighting systems before succumbing to malfunction or failure. This article explains how to distinguish IP and NEMA ratings on LED boat lights.

IP Guidelines

IP ratings follow a standard format of ‘IP’ followed by two digits or letters. The first letter is related to the unit’s level of protection against solid particles. This indicator ranges from zero to six, with zero offering no special protection against solid objects. At the highest level, a starting digit of six provides dust tight protection or complete protection from dust. The second digit reveals the object’s level of protection against liquids. This salient indicator ranges from zero to 9K, which provides protection from hot jets (80 °C water) – associated with wash or spray down sessions.

IP ratings can also include additional letters for protection against specific hazards and conditions. A letter ‘F’ signifies oil resistance, a letter ‘H’ relates to high voltage and a letter ‘W’ offers protection from various weather-related conditions.

For LED boat lights, the most common IP ratings include IP67, IP56 and IP54.

NEMA Ratings

NEMA ratings are prevalent in the US and Canada, while IP guidelines are applicable worldwide. Moreover, the guidelines go beyond protection from liquids and dust. The rating system adds protection against corrosion resistance and hazardous atmospheres, related to flammable or explosive substances. NEMA enforces their ratings using a scale that ranges from one to 13. NEMA 1 is applicable to indoor enclosures with limited or general protection from dust (note: not dust tight), light, water and normal weather conditions.

NEMA 6 and NEMA 6P (as well as NEMA 4 and NEMA 4X) are most suitable for LED boat lights. This NEMA type provides protection in submersible conditions, with NEMA 6P offering extended periods of submersion in water or oil. This level of protection may also apply to manholes and quarries.

NEMA 7 to NEMA 10 are reserved for certain classifications of explosion proof protection. NEMA 10 adheres to compliance with MSHA guidelines for mining equipment. The last three NEMA ratings (NEMA 11, NEMA 12/12K and NEMA 13) are related to corrosion resistance and special elements.

IP and NEMA ratings are two different rating systems; however, some classifications intertwine with each other. For example, NEMA 1 is equivalent to IP10, while NEMA 6 and NEMA 6P corresponds to IP67.

For more information regarding boat lights, please visit – Larson Electronics.

 

 

 

 

 

Benefits of Corrosion Resistant Lights

LED boat lights are exposed to a wide range of harsh elements in the water, such as small rocks, dirt and salt (depending on the body of water). Because of this, waterproof protection is not enough to keep your lights running in optimal condition at sea.

For complete protection, you need corrosion resistant lights that are capable of preventing damage caused by saltwater.

Waterproof vs Corrosion Resistant Lights

Waterproof ratings, such as IP65 and IP67, are useful for preventing water from entering the unit. But water isn’t all that boat lights can succumb to in the ocean. Rough treatment and constant abrasion from corrosive agents, such as salt and solvents used for cleaning or wash-down sessions, could easily destroy luminaries. Without proper protection, salt and UV light can cause housings to warp. This is common in boat lights that use flimsy plastic.

When you’re out in the ocean, reliability matters. This is what corrosion resistant LED boat lights can offer. The units are capable of decreasing chances of premature failure by ensuring all of the components are working properly. From a cost perspective, investing in corrosion resistant units may help reduce maintenance and replacement costs associated with marine lighting systems.

Lights with saltwater damage appear worn out, as the lens often take on an abrasive film. This type of damage can reduce the luminary’s illuminative features, forcing operators to either replace the light or use more units to light up the boat. Using more lights will result in higher energy consumption rates, which should be avoided at all costs on boats, since power sources are limited to batteries and compact generators.

What Makes LED Boat Lights Corrosion Resistant?

Corrosion resistant lights for marine applications are manufactured differently, compared to mainstream, low-quality units. The lights consist of materials that can withstand saltwater corrosion, such as glass and high-strength stainless steel. Focusing on the latter component, manufacturers typically treat the metal with robust coatings and paint in order to make the surface more resilient.

Glass is a suitable material for the lens cover. Most standard boat lights for consumers are enclosed in transparent glass. Lights on docks and marine locations with limited activity may use corrosion resistant lights with glass lenses. For such lighting systems, manufacturers may choose to apply thick glass to prevent breaking when exposed to rough conditions. Other materials that are used to enforce corrosion resistance includes rubber. This material is used around wiring hubs and other openings to prevent saltwater from entering the unit. For more information visit: http://www.larsonelectronics.com/c-277-led-boat-lights.aspx

 

 

Preparing for Boating Season With LED Boat Lights

LED lights for boats: During the winter months, particularly in areas where snow and freezing temperatures are commonplace, most boaters leave the craft covered and trailered until the warmer months.

With the coming of April and spring, however, thoughts begin turning towards preparing for the coming boating season, and as well as performing the general freshening and basic maintenance needed to prepare for putting to water, early spring represents a great time to perform upgrades as well.

Check your equipment and stuff must be a consideration

One area where almost any boat can benefit from upgrades and improvements is found with the lighting systems. Unless your craft is a newer model outfitted with the latest in high-efficiency marine lighting, the chances are very good that your current systems provide adequate performance at best, and operate far less efficiently that they could.

Most boats manufactured before 2010 are outfitted with traditional incandescent lamps.

Boat lightsEnergy efficiency

Energy efficiency, in particular, is a major area of concern for boaters, and many simply don’t realise just how much power they are losing when running their lights. Lightings onboard and the various wattages and amperage draw of each. Once this is done, it becomes far easier to not only get a better idea of just how much overall power is required to run your current lighting but how much power you save after an upgrade.

LED boat lights performance

Today is led lights for boats offer performance regarding output, light quality, versatility, durability, longevity, and efficiency that not incandescent bulb can match. For some comparisons, consider the following facts:

  • Incandescent Bulb Life = 500 to 1500 hours
  • LED Lamp Life= 30,000 to 100,000 hours
  • Incandescent Light Output Per Watt= 15 to 17 Lumens per Watt
  • LED Light Output Per Watt= 60-100 Lumens Per Watt
  • Incandescent Light Quality= Color Temperature Approximately 2700 Kelvin to 3300 Kelvin (Slightly Yellowish/Red Light Coloration)
  • LED Light Quality= LEDs Can Be Designed to Produce Light with Colour Temperatures Ranging from 3000 Kelvin to Over 8000 Kelvin (Warm White to Cool White Depending Upon User Preference)
  • Incandescent Efficiency= Up to 90% of Consumed Energy Wasted as Radiant Heat
  • LED Efficiency= Over 80% More Efficient Than the Incandescent Bulb
  • Incandescent Durability = Poor. Glass Bulb is Fragile, Wire Filament is Prone to Damage and Breakage from Vibration and Rough Handling
  • LED Durability= Excellent. No Glass, Solid State Construction, No Filament, Almost Impervious to Vibration and Mild Impacts

When we also factor in the longevity and durability of led lights for boats, was also see that more savings can be realised in reduced maintenance and far fewer bulb replacements. Since a LED will last for several years compared to the season or two of an incandescent, the chances are good that you may not need to replace a bulb again for the entire time you own the boat.

With fewer lamp breakages and burnouts from rough conditions as well, unexpected replacement costs also drop. What this means is that even though led lights for boats do cost more to purchase initially, over the life of the fixture, it becomes more cost effective as its operational life is far longer.

To conclude:

Overall, the benefits of upgrading to LEDs onboard you boat simply makes too much sense to ignore. If you’ve been considering installing marine led lights, now is probably the right time. With the boat out of the water and more conveniently accessed, it only makes sense not only to freshen thingsup but make improvements that will save money and add increased enjoyment as well.

Check out this link for more informations: http://learn.eartheasy.com/2011/08/led-bulbs-are-ready-to-light-your-home-7-tips-you-should-know/