Underwater Lighting Installation: What You Need to Know

Underwater Lighting Installations

Avid boaters know, just because the sun has set doesn’t mean the day must end. Whether you enjoy fishing after dark or are trying to keep the party going until morning, underwater lighting is a trendy way to illuminate your fun and make sure everyone is safe.

Lights that illuminate the underwater world can be mounted on the transom, the outrigger spreaders or under the hull and have assisted anglers and boaters for decades in powering-up nighttime fishing. Underwater lights add action to a nighttime trolling spread, and they look awesome when fired up at your dock.

When it comes to underwater lighting, there’s no shortage of styles and colors, and one size does not fit all. Fishing at night needs a different setup than entertaining guests at the dock.

Know What You Want

Before starting, determine the type of lighting installation you want or need. There are many different lighting brands. Underwater lighting can be a simple portable light hung from your boat, or it can be lights inserted into the hull.

LEDs are the new generation of underwater lights and use less energy, operate at lower temperatures, tolerate vibration, and operate with DC voltages.

Underwater Lighting Installations Process

Boat Lighting Installations


Imagine Marine can help guide you through the selection process and provide suggestions on what type of system will work best with your boat.

Several mounting styles allow underwater LED fixtures to be mounted on boats ranging from the smallest runabout to the biggest yacht. Imagine Marine can help you determine the best location for mounting your lights. For example, the most effective placement is six or more inches below the water’s surface.

Proper wiring is critical. Whether we run wires through the hull or over the transom, properly wiring underwater boat lights is vital. We will make sure all the wiring is properly sealed and insulated.

Safe installation requires taking the proper precautions when installing underwater lighting. At Imagine Marine we always follow established safety procedures. We also are aware we will be drilling into your boat, and we exercise extreme care when doing so.

Underwater Lighting Installations Concerns


Professional Installation

Exposed wire

Even the strongest wire gets worn down by exposure over time, especially when it’s vulnerable to being stepped on or submerged under water. We typically run wiring through the hull – both because it looks better, and it protects the wire – but some wire is likely to be exposed. For extra protection, electrical tape is used.

The Displays

With some exceptions depending on client requirements, most boats want to keep the illuminations understated. This can help with nighttime fishing, for example. A little light on a cloudy night is sufficient.

Navigation Lights

Navigation lights must meet certain requirements set by U.S. marine law. The law requires all boats to be equipped with navigation lights for safety.

You must use the lights between sunrise and sunset and when poor weather restricts visibility.

Installation of these lights should be completed by a professional to ensure all codes requirements are met.

The Coast Guard can assess a hefty fine if your boat is found in violation.

Final Thoughts

Underwater boat lighting for navigation is required by law. Underwater boat lighting for recreation is a wonderful way to spruce up your boat and add to your enjoyment while at anchor, nighttime fishing or cruising along the waterways.