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Benefits and Drawbacks of LED Boat Lights

LED lights were first introduced over 50 years ago. For a time LEDs were low powered and available only in red colors, making them far from versatile and suitable for few applications infohatworld

However, because LEDs produce light so efficiently, developers spent a great deal of time working to improve the performance of LED lighting technology. Over the last 20 years the development of LED technology has exploded as efforts to improve energy efficiency and reduce the costs associated with lighting have intensified. With protecting the environment and the cost of fossil fuels becoming critical worldwide issues, reducing the energy used by lighting has become a focal point for LED developers around the world as they seek to reduce the amount of energy consumed by lighting.

All of this emphasis on energy efficient lighting has helped to bring LED lighting into the mainstream. We now have LEDs that produce more lumens per watt than incandescent bulbs, yet produce light of better quality. Not only that, but LED lighting is proving more versatile, more durable, and far more cost effective, which has resulted in LEDs being applied to almost every lighting application imaginable. There is probably no other area that better exemplifies the versatility and effectiveness of LED lighting than boat lighting applications. The unique characteristics of watercraft and the critical nature of onboard power, coupled with the most basic of lighting requirements, serve to provide perhaps one of the best examples of just how effective LEDs really are.

Because of their extremely high efficiency, small boats are one of the best examples of just how beneficial upgrading to LEDs from incandescent lights can be. Small boats with no onboard generator and only batteries for providing onboard power are excellent candidates for high efficiency LED boat lighting. There are many fishermen who can attest to the annoyance of having to cut short a late night fishing trip because their spotlights or navigation lights drained their boats’ batteries too quickly. If we consider that a typical halogen spotlight can easily consume 4 ½ amps of power, then compare that to an LED spotlight producing the same amount of light yet using only 1 amp, the benefits are obvious.

Small sailboats and cruisers with only small onboard generators or solar panels for power generation also benefit greatly from an upgrade to LEDs as well. It is common for sailboaters to need an all around mast or anchor light that can run all night, and it is also common for these boaters to find their battery reserves drained in the morning, or worse, their light not lasting through the entire night. With their extreme efficiency, an LED mast or anchor light can run all night, yet consume less than half the power its incandescent counterpart would, not only saving batteries, but removing the safety issues associated with being anchored at night without a mast light.

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