About Boat Lighting

Boat lighting has many aspect to consider.  Choosing the right boat light and installing it correctly is a constant cause of problems for many boat owners. Many choose the wrong light types, buying on price, but not reliability or effectiveness.  Many don't fully consider how they should be installed to minimise interference with electronics equipment or to limit large electrical power consumption. Choosing between fluorescent lighting, halogen lighting, LED lighting and low energy-lighting is always a difficult choice. Technology has come to the rescue.  Boat navigation lights are another area of boat lighting that must be considered, both from a regulation and law perspective but also in terms of power consumption in sailing boats.

Selecting the right boat lighting

When choosing boat lighting there are several light types to choose from.  Before you choose the lighting area calculation is very important factor. For smaller fishing boats this is not an issue but for yacht and large power boat people this is important. If you have a cavernous saloon area it is going to take a fair amount of light to illuminate it all. If you want it really well lit so you can read a book, then it may even take more lighting.  These days the LED light has really taken over, low power consumption, reliable, great light output and quite inexpensive.

The area and the location of the various lights is just as important as planning it in a new home. Boat lights provide background illumination, a luxury on a cruising yacht, is generally low power illumination that is used to provide "mood" or ambience illumination, especially when you’re at the boat drinks stage of the evening. What can be called low level illumination is localized and is often used for chart tables, red night and courtesy illumination. Most applications of this type are spot type fittings with localized beams. Boat Cabin Lights create some challenges in selecting fittings.

High level lighting comprise those boat light fixtures that are required to provide good levels of illumination to safely perform tasks. These include galley, saloon, engine machinery space, deck lights etc. In these applications good shadow and glare-free illumination is essential. The word safety is an important one to remember here.

Boat lighting decisions

Of all boat lighting systems, cabin lighting is probably one of the most neglected and poorly planned of all boat electrical systems. Poor planning and equipment selection generally results in unexpectedly high electrical power consumption rates and poor illumination levels. Not to mention those infuriating failures at sea when you need them most, and the flashlight has dead batteries etc. The subject of cabin illumination is not as simple as it first seems.  After spending big money on equipment for the rest of the boat, often the lighting fittings are purchased on the basis of cost alone, followed by aesthetic considerations. Usually this is a hurried visit to your local marine equipment shop. This is not that surprising, as a quick calculation of those beautiful fixtures from the West Marine catalog can cause a momentary heart stoppage and a very big and long breath through clenched teeth. It is easy to spend a $1000 on lighting fittings that usually blows the new boat budget.  Boat lighting needs great boat lights.