What to Look for in Boat Lighting Installations

Some people might think boat lighting is an indulgence, but for anyone who spends the summer evenings on the water, it’s a necessity. Anglers know how beneficial lights can be at night, but lighting is just as useful for the leisure boater. Whether adding lights for greater visibility or purely for aesthetics, there are some important things to keep in mind when prepping for a boat lighting installation.

Choosing the Right Lighting

Before choosing your boat lighting, the first thing you need to determine is your main reasons for adding lights. Are you an angler looking to attract more fish to your boat? Or are you planning on hosting the whole neighborhood on your boat for a Fourth of July party? There are lots of reasons to add lights to your boat, and each one is suited best by a different setup.

Fishing at Night

Chart Plotters Safety

If your main interest is nighttime fishing, you are going to want to go with a far less flashy setup than if you are outfitting your boat for summertime parties. Anglers have been using floating or portable lights for years, but installing lights directly into the boat is becoming more popular.

While LED boat lighting comes in many different colors, to attract fish, you will want to use a green light, or white if green is not an option.

Party Lighting

On the other hand, if you’re outfitting your boat for late night parties or hanging out at the docks, the lighting options are numerous. You can reflect your unique personality through sizes, colors, and styles. There is underwater lighting, light bars, speakers with built-in LEDs, and much more. With all the options available, you should be able to find something that meets your tastes.

The Best Installation

Once you decide on the size, color, and style of your boat lighting, you need to plan for the installation. Installing your lighting correctly the first time is important because mistakes can be hard to fix, especially once holes are drilled into your boat.

When installing lights, there are several factors to take into consideration, but most important are light placement, wiring, and price.

Installing Chart Plotters

Light Placement

When you are determining where to put lights, it’s not enough to only think about how it will look in the water or from above. Lights should be positioned so that maintenance and replacement aren’t too much of a hassle. Also, if you’re mounting the lighting directly into the hull, you’ll have to be careful that nothing important will be pierced while drilling.

Wiring Boat Lights

Light placement is also determined by your wiring needs. Wiring should be done as safely and unobtrusively as possible. Nobody likes seeing exposed wires. Depending on the placement, wiring boat lights into the electronic system may require running cords along the transom or hull. When done right, all wires will be properly sealed, and nothing will be exposed to the elements or your guests.

Choose Your Price

As with anything else, when it comes to boat lighting, you get what you pay for. That doesn’t mean you need to pay the highest price, but you should think of it as making an investment in your boat. Don’t skimp on the quality of the boat lighting or on the work. Whether you’re doing the installation yourself or you’re hiring professionals, invest enough time and money to ensure you’re happy with the results.

With the right lighting, you’ll be the life of the party all summer long.