Spot/Search Lights

gregs

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I am new to power boats and looking for advise on spot / search lights for a DE Cruiser w/ a remote control at the helm. I have no experience with search lights except understanding that the glare from the deck is very bad, any help with this would be greatly appreciated. Probably use it mostly for picking out a mooring or docking at night.
thx
 

captainlarry84

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Go with ACR Unit. Not cheap but great quality. Plus excellent customer service.

hardtop.jpg

Picture 016.jpg
 

captjohn

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My experience with search lights, the most important thing is where you mount them. If you mount them too low, they will throw a lot of light on the forward deck of the boat, which will create a lot of glare. I have a search light on my boat, on the hard top, which was just too low, too much glare. If I had to do it all over again, I would have mounted it in the tower. If you don't have a tower, but have some kind of mast, I would stick it in the mast. If you can't get it up high, mount it as far forward as possible, same reason, to avoid glare on the forward deck. But to be perfectly honest with you, if you intend to use the light for navigation, a good RADAR, and knowing how to use it, is a lot more useful in the dark than a search light. If your looking to find pots, to pull them, their probably handy. Just my 2 cents.
 

chortle

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I am new to power boats and looking for advise on spot / search lights for a DE Cruiser w/ a remote control at the helm. I have no experience with search lights except understanding that the glare from the deck is very bad, any help with this would be greatly appreciated. Probably use it mostly for picking out a mooring or docking at night.
thx
I would also suggest looking at different bulb outputs for different situations. A fairly weak light is all you need for many situations where you just want some light but don't want to be blinded, like picking out a slip or mooring. You will only need a really powerful light if you are trying to spot something really far away, MOB or piling marker so maybe two different lights for the two different situations? Also look at the bulb life specs, the really powerful ones often have amazingly short burn times. LED's might be the ticket to solve that issue. Anyone have experience with night vision cameras that run through your chartplotter? Seems like a nice solution, looks good in the ads.
 

captjohn

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Not sure if LED spot lights are really to the point where they can match the light output (lumens) of an incandescent bulb. On night vision, right now the only type that I know of that will work through the plotter is thermal night vision. I've used one of these systems before, an overlooked aspect of them is field of view. Too narrow a field of view can cause you go play bump in the night. They can also create a false sense of security, even more so with the inexperienced. I've seen too many times people will focus in on one piece of equipment, and get themselves in trouble. When running in the dark you need to know where you are (plotter), how deep the water is around you (sounder), and what's around you (your eyes, RADAR, hearing, ect). And you need to be a little suspicious of them all, just in case.
 

Toolate

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Kodiakan

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I am new to power boats and looking for advise on spot / search lights for a DE Cruiser w/ a remote control at the helm. I have no experience with search lights except understanding that the glare from the deck is very bad, any help with this would be greatly appreciated. Probably use it mostly for picking out a mooring or docking at night.
thx

I've had ACR on two boats and have been happy with them but I would still do research if I were you. I like joysticks for the remote. Read the reviews on the latest models out. Like most things marine, buy the best you can afford. I like mine mounted about 3 feet above the house, just so the beam misses the boat. Don't expect to much from it. As has been stated, a radar your real familiar with is more valuable.
 

hatterasser

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For glare on my bow cap before mounting my lite , took a piece of twine , ran it from my stem to cabin top and on upto top of my light. That's where I mounted my light. My preferred is golight not big name , made in omeeha they make a neat little dome to go over it to keep dirt out of the gears makes them last longer in my case good customer service.
 

WoundUpMarine

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Eslang

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Does anyone have any feedback on the Rigid LED light bars?
They make a 50" LED spot/flood combo. It's pricey, wondering if anyone has tried one?
 

captjohn

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Wouldn't be of much use as a spot light, probably cause more problems. Those are flood lights, they are designed to flood an area with light. In other words, they spread the light out as much as possible, the exact opposite of a spot light, which concentrates the light into a narrow beam. You wouldn't be able to see anything very far in front of you and it would light up the forward deck, resulting in maximum glare, the exact opposite of what you want. If you want a spot light you can find someone that is willing to sell you an LED light, but your not going to find an effective LED spot light that can throw light very far, waste of money. Also, your cost per lumen (light output) for an LED is more expensive than that of an incandescent bulb. From a strictly cost standpoint, for the same amount of money you will get less lighting from an LED light than from an incandescent light. The LED lights you mention are a perfect example, did a real quick look on my smart phone, cheapest light I could find that they sell was $400, a halogen fixture from Home Depo that throws the same amount of light is $35, making the LED more than 10 times more expensive. If you want a $35 LED light, you end up with a flash light. It's your money.
 

FVSD

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Does anyone have any feedback on the Rigid LED light bars?
They make a 50" LED spot/flood combo. It's pricey, wondering if anyone has tried one?

Great lights. I have three I use to fish at night and raise herring. I've always wanted to add a couple up high pointed forward for running at night.
 

jerseysportfisher

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Great lights. I have three I use to fish at night and raise herring. I've always wanted to add a couple up high pointed forward for running at night.

Rigid makes a great product. The diffused lights are fantastic for pit lighting(and on sale this month). For what you are talking about, these are great

http://www.store.suremarinellc.com/product_info.php?products_id=80185049
http://www.store.suremarinellc.com/product_info.php?products_id=80186825
http://www.store.suremarinellc.com/product_info.php?products_id=80185146


Rigid_Dually_specs.jpg




acr makes a nice remote search light as well
http://www.store.suremarinellc.com/product_info.php?products_id=79924512
http://www.store.suremarinellc.com/product_info.php?products_id=79924009
 
Last edited:

jerseysportfisher

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a halogen fixture from Home Depo that throws the same amount of light is $35, making the LED more than 10 times more expensive. If you want a $35 LED light, you end up with a flash light. It's your money.

Once you factor in the fuel to run you genset, to run your hallogens. Quickly LED become more cost efficient. My whole boat is now rigged all leds. Floods deck lights cabin lights etc, a simple small 35a alternator can run the whole boat.
 

captjohn

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I run the generator all night to run the A/C, 4 whole gallons for the night. The A/C is on a 30 amp line, draws around 20 to 25, then their is all the other equipment running, like the rest of the lights, the electronics, microwave, ect. The halogen light is on a 15 amp line, probably draws 6 amps (what's the LED draw ?), at best. It will take years for the LED to pay for itself.
 

chortle

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I run the generator all night to run the A/C, 4 whole gallons for the night. The A/C is on a 30 amp line, draws around 20 to 25, then their is all the other equipment running, like the rest of the lights, the electronics, microwave, ect. The halogen light is on a 15 amp line, probably draws 6 amps (what's the LED draw ?), at best. It will take years for the LED to pay for itself.
I agree with you that, especially in your case, with a generator running, that the power savings of the LED system would not make sense. The LED's also seem to have a much lower brightness over distance. If you look at the lux values at distances they start out much lower and get lower faster the farther you get from the boat. Some lux value comparisons from Wikipedia:

Examples
Illuminance Surfaces illuminated by:
0.0001 lux Moonless, overcast night sky (starlight)[3]
0.002 lux Moonless clear night sky with airglow[3]
0.27–1.0 lux Full moon on a clear night[3][4]
3.4 lux Dark limit of civil twilight under a clear sky[5]
50 lux Family living room lights (Australia, 1998)[6]
80 lux Office building hallway/toilet lighting[7][8]
100 lux Very dark overcast day[3]
320–500 lux Office lighting[9][10][11]
400 lux Sunrise or sunset on a clear day.
1000 lux Overcast day;[3] typical TV studio lighting
10000–25000 lux Full daylight (not direct sun)[3]
32000–130000 lux Direct sunlight



In theory they should, however, be much more reliable (no resistive metal filament to break from vibration and often 100% potted connections for moisture/corrosion resistance) and they have an inherent longer life (low operating temperature). They might be a better choice for the OP, Gregs, for his application, new installation, smaller wires, less power use, only used occasionally for lighting nearby objects or for lights used around the boat near the deck for fishing where they get a lot of salt spray.

I would post the question to all of you out there that fish commercially or regularly, how often do you need to replace the current light fixtures due to corrosion? How much does that cost in time and money compared to an LED fixture? I don't have a dog in this hunt but I am curious about real life comparisons.
 

petrel

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I run the generator all night to run the A/C, 4 whole gallons for the night. The A/C is on a 30 amp line, draws around 20 to 25, then their is all the other equipment running, like the rest of the lights, the electronics, microwave, ect. The halogen light is on a 15 amp line, probably draws 6 amps (what's the LED draw ?), at best. It will take years for the LED to pay for itself.

I thought Jersey was talking about running 12 volt LEDs. 35 amp alternator. No genset.
 

captjohn

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I'm running the generator already anyway to run the A/C and everything else, so power isn't really a problem. I get about 5 years out of one of the flood light fixtures. I've only replace a bulb once, so I'm doing pretty well. I don't run the light while underway, which probably helps. By the way, high power LED's do generate some heat, the bigger they are, the more heat. But nothing like a bulb does.
 

riskybusiness

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ive got a golight on my boat....it was like $175 works fine, I had one on my last boat and it was great, she still has it on there, works fine. so that makes it 5 or 6 years old. every single central maine power truck has one mounted on it so I would say if they get put through that kind of abuse there pretty bomb proof. im actually going to put a second one on this spring over on the port side for use at the inside helm. there a pretty good unit and for the price if it dies in a few years or you snap it off who cares just go get another one....this ones 2 years old and works finest kind I haven't had any problems with it.
 
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