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Proper dock lighting is a necessity whether it’s for a small personal dock or a large commercial marina. Without proper boat dock lights, you are running the risk of causing damage to your boat, the dock or even hurting yourself or someone else.
When selecting the best lights for your dock, there are a few factors to consider:
Once you’ve figured out the answers to these questions, you will be better prepared to pick the best boat dock lights for your needs. If you’re unsure of your answer, or just need more information, one of our experienced marine electricians will be more than happy to help you out.
One of the most popular types of lights for both boats and marinas is the LED light. LED stands for “Light Emitting Diode”. LED technology was first developed in the 1960s, but has become increasingly popular over the past 10-15 years. LED lights are very popular among the marine community for a number of reasons.
Most importantly, LED lights have a much longer lifespan than your typical incandescent bulb. Most LED bulbs have a lifetime of about 50,000 hours. This means that an LED lasts 50 times longer than a typical incandescent bulb, 25 times longer than a halogen bulb, and 8-10 times longer than a CFL bulb.
LED boat dock lights are also far more energy-efficient. The majority of commercial LED lights have an efficiency of 200 lumens per watt. Some LED bulbs can even reach levels of 303 lumens per watt. Your average incandescent light typically gets about 16-20 lumens per watt.
LED lights also do not require a “warm-up” time. As soon as you switch on the lights, they are operating at full power. This can be extremely important for dock safety at night and during storms.
When it comes to marine dock lights, LED lights are also going to be the most pleasant. Unlike halogen or incandescent bulbs, LED lights do not create “harsh” or “hot” lighting. This is ideal for creating a nice atmosphere for patrons. For example, if your marina has a restaurant or bar on the dock.
If you haven’t already made the switch to LED lighting for your boat dock lights, what are you waiting for?
Solar-powered boat dock lights are excellent for smaller marinas and home docks. Solar-powered dock lights do not need to be plugged in, turn on and off by themselves, and best of all will save you a ton of money!
Constantly burning through bulbs because you forget to turn them off? Forget about setting timers or manually operating your lights. Solar-powered boat dock lights turn on when the sun goes down and turns back off at dawn.
Solar powered lights are also really easy to charge. Each light has its own solar panel, so once you’ve installed them, the sun usually does the rest. If your dock is shaded or doesn’t get regular sunlight, that’s no problem either.
You can select a lighting system that includes an external solar panel and set it up in a sunny location. Your lights will then draw their power from the main solar panel whenever needed.
Solar-powered dock lights may not be ideal as the primary light source for a commercial marina. You do not want to run into a situation where a lack of sunlight is disrupting your ability to light your docks. This could result in serious damage to a ship or to the dock. If you plan to use solar-powered lights for your commercial marina, make sure to also have sufficient powered lighting as well.
Thinking of upgrading your boat dock lights to solar-powered lights? We think that’s a great idea! Talk to one of our lighting specialists today to figure out the best option for your dock.
Another really popular form of lighting for boat docks is underwater dock lighting. Underwater dock lights are exactly what they sound like – LED lights that go underwater.
Underwater LED dock lighting is great for a number of reasons. First, they can create a really cool atmosphere at any marina. The lights create a really nice “glowing” effect around your dock for people on the dock as well as out on the water.
Underwater dock lights also typically attract fish of all sizes. This is great for fishermen that like to toss a line off the dock as well as for marinas with restaurants and bars. Depending on how clear the water is, you can also set up a variety of different colors for your underwater dock lights.
Underwater dock lights can also help with boarding, loading and unloading a boat at night. Small items like ropes, cleats, or even loose gear can be a lot harder to see at night. You could take one wrong step and end up dropping everything your carrying, or worse, end up in the water. Having additional lighting coming up from beneath the dock is always a great safety precaution.
When choosing your dock lighting, don’t just think about the aesthetics of the lights, think about the function too.
One important consideration is the placement of your dock lights. Make sure that the majority of the lights are installed about 24-36 inches off the ground. At this height, the dock will be well lit for incoming and outgoing boats, but won’t obstruct your vision as you approach the dock. If you plan to install lights higher in the air for visibility on the dock, make sure they are pointing down towards the dock.
You should also consider installing lighting around the entrances and pathways to and from your dock. No matter whether it’s a personal backyard dock or a large commercial marina, people like to see where they are going at night. Installing subtle LED lights along walkways and other areas will not only improve the safety for those using the dock but will also create a nice atmosphere. Make sure to point these lights down towards the ground though, you don’t want to blind your patrons.
Buying the right lights for your boat dock does not have to be a headache. We can help you source your lighting and electrical supplies, design your lighting construction and install the lights. Unsure which lights are best for your dock? Just looking for quotes on LED lighting retrofits for your marina? Our experienced sales and support staff is standing by to answer your questions and help you design the best lighting setup for your dock.
So what are you waiting for? Contact Tess LLC to upgrade your boat dock lighting today!