The best ATV LED light bars are a common addition to trucks and off-road vehicles, but their applications need not stop there. Rugged and versatile, LED light bars can also be used on boats to provide light for both the interior and exterior of the craft. LEDs have many benefits and light bars are a great way to utilize LED bulbs and maximize such benefits. Furthermore, most light bars are designed to withstand harsh conditions, so marine applications are an easy task for them to take on. In this article, we will outline some of the benefits of LED light bars, particularly for boat use, and we will tell you some of our favorite boat light bars that are available for sale on the LED Equipped website. Read on for more!
Benefits of LED Light Bars For Boats
Most boats utilize spotlights and floodlights to illuminate the deck of the boat and the surrounding water. Many boats continue to use halogen and high-intensity diode (HID) bulbs in order to provide solutions for their lighting needs, but they are making a mistake. These varieties of lighting fall short in many areas when compared to LED lights. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of using an LED light bar in place of halogen or HID lighting on boats.
Most boats utilize 12-volt power supplies on board the craft. These batteries tend to be powered by the motor when it is running, by shore power when the boat is docked, or sometimes by solar or wind power supplies on board the boat. Regardless of the charging source, electric power tends to be at a premium onboard watercraft. For this reason, it is imperative to use appliances that maximize function while minimizing energy use. Lights onboard are no different. Enter: LED lighting solutions. By replacing your existing halogen or HID lights with an LED light bar, you could save 80 percent of the energy that was being used by the original lights, without losing any brightness. Efficiency is an important factor when choosing lights for your boat, and LED boat light bars give you the best possible efficiency.
You never know what the water will throw at you. From choppy seas to unexpected contact with obstacles on shore, your boat can take a beating. Boats are only as strong as their weakest link, so you can’t let your highly breakable lights hold you back. Luckily, LED light bars offer unparalleled durability and visibility on the road. Each LED bulb is free of filaments or individual glass enclosures, making them highly resistant to breakage or damage. Other varieties of lighting usually feature glass bulbs, leaving them susceptible to breaking. Furthermore, because of the small size and customizable nature of LED bulbs, the light bars that we will recommend later are able to maximize the functionality of the LEDs while encasing them in the most durable, rugged exterior possible.
If you go out to your boat right now and turn on its existing HID, fluorescent, or halogen bulbs, you will probably notice that they take a while to gradually achieve full brightness. While this may generally be a negligible issue, you could run into real trouble in emergency situations. Imagine operating your boat in stormy conditions, and all of the sudden barely seeing land ahead through the darkness and rain. If your spotlight onboard is unable to immediately shed light on the possible obstacle, you and your boat could be in big trouble. Fortunately, with an led boat light bar, you’ll have the ability to switch your lights to full power instantly. This feature could be the difference between the survival – or the demise – of you and your boat!
Your LED lights, unlike the HID or halogen bulbs they are replacing, will never simply ‘burn out’ unexpectedly. Instead, LEDs slowly dim when they are approaching the end of their lifespan, leaving you plenty of warning time to replace them. But, that is not the main benefit of LEDs when it comes to lifespan. LED lights last way longer than any other type of light. Up to fifty times longer, in fact. The average lifespan of LED lights is between 30,000 and 50,000 hours. Compare this to an average lifespan of around 1,000 hours for an incandescent bulb, and you can begin to understand why LEDs are quickly becoming the more popular option. While a new LED boat light bar might cost you a bit more than an HID or halogen light of comparable brightness, there is truly no comparison when it comes to quality and value. Your LED boat light bar could easily outlast other major components on your watercraft, making it a worthy lifelong investment.
What to Watch for When Purchasing an LED Boat Light Bar
If you were on the fence about purchasing an LED boat light bar when you began reading this article, you are probably ready to go for it by now. But despite the fact that LEDs are a far superior option when it comes to boat lighting, not all LED light bars will satisfy your specific needs. This next section will give you some useful tips to help you select the right light bar for your boat.
If you only spend time selecting one feature of your new light bar, make it the light beam pattern. In marine applications, beam pattern is the single most important variable when choosing a light bar. Boats generally have two major types of lighting on board: Floodlights and spotlights.
Spotlights are used for illuminating far away objects. These are the lights on board your boat that can alert you of obstacles up ahead and allow you the time needed to change course. LED light bars with a spotlight beam pattern create long, narrow beams of light. Spotlights on boats are meant to be mounted in a position where they can be pointed outward away from and in front of your watercraft. If a spotlight is pointed towards the deck of the boat, it can be quite blinding and unpleasant for the passengers on board.
Floodlights are another type of light commonly found onboard boats. LED light bars with a floodlight pattern shed a wide, soft light on the surrounding area. This can be called a ‘flood’ of light, hence the namesake. On boats, floodlights are used to illuminate the deck of the craft, and to light the immediately surrounding area. They also serve the important function of making the boat visible to other watercraft. Floodlights on boats are usually mounted somewhere high up and central, where they can be pointed downwards and provide ample and bright light for the boat deck and surrounding water.
As a general rule, the bigger the light bar, the brighter and more powerful the light. This is because LED bulbs are small, so a larger light bar will simply pack more bulbs into its housing. It is certainly possible to buy a light bar that produces too much light for a given boat’s size, so sizing your light bar accordingly is important. Furthermore, you will need to measure and consider the exact mounting location of your light bar to ensure that the one of your choosing will fit properly. Once you’ve made these considerations, choose a light bar that will provide an appropriate amount of illumination and visibility for your space, and will fit well in the mounting location you choose. As long as you follow these general guidelines, you should be successful in choosing a boat light bar that fits your boats’ needs.
Best LED Boat Light Bars
Without further ado, here is our short list of the best light bars for boats. These LED light bars provide fantastic value, easy options for mounting, and are able to withstand harsh marine conditions.
Prairie Falcon 13 inch Off Road LED Light Bar Flood/Spot Combo
This budget-friendly light bar provides outstanding value for less than fifty dollars. The rugged housing on this compact light bar is made from marine grade materials and is given a waterproof rating of IP67, meaning it can withstand being fully submerged in water for short periods of time. This light bar features both spotlight and floodlight style LED bulbs, with a toggle feature that allows you to choose between the two. For smaller boats, it would be possible to use only one of these LED light bars to provide all the light you need. If mounted correctly on a swivel light bar mount for boats, it can simply be swiveled into an outward-facing position when a spotlight is needed. Alternatively, you could purchase two of these fantastic light bars and use one as a spotlight and one as a floodlight. This boat light bar is sure to last plenty long, if not the entire life of your boat, as it is rated to provide over 30,000 working hours of light!
Falcon Eye2 18 Watt CREE LED Work Light
This rugged work light bar features floodlight LED bulbs and a durable aluminum housing with a waterproof rating of IP 67. This LED boat light bar is a fantastic option for anyone looking for a floodlight to illuminate the deck of their boat and the surrounding water. Smaller fishing boats and recreational boats are a great place for this versatile floodlight. 1300 lumens of light output will be all you need to shed light on everything you need to see, while an ultra-low current draw will keep your batteries full and power available for other appliances onboard. This super-affordable light bar is extremely affordable, costing less than eighteen dollars, and includes a mounting bracket kit. Once installed, you won’t be replacing this light bar for years to come, as it features a lifespan of more than 30,000 working hours.
Prairie Falcon 51 Inch Off Road LED Light Bar Flood/Spot Combo
This 51 inch light bar pumps out an astounding 23000 lumens of light, making it an irresistible option for large boats and yachts. With the most up to date microprocessor circuit available, this light features maximum efficiency. So when you invest in one of these lights, you don’t need to upgrade your entire power source system as well. A lifespan of over 30,000 working hours means that this light bar is well worth your initial investment and will pay for itself many times over when compared with halogen or HID bulbs of similar brightness. Of course, the 100 high intensity LED bulbs mounted on this light bar are encased in a rugged aluminum housing with a waterproof rating of IP67, meaning they will hold up to even the worst marine conditions. With both spotlight and floodlight LED bulbs, this light bar can be mounted in a position where it serves as a deck illuminator, a spotlight for obstacles, or both. This powerful boat light bar includes an aluminum swivel mounting kit featuring high quality rust-resistant stainless steel screws.
This concludes our guide to finding the best boat light bar. We hope this article has been informative and helpful for you as you search for an appropriate LED boat light bar. Thanks for reading!