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

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 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.