A quiet revolution is taking place that is changing every aspect of lighting used aboard your boat. It is destined to replace every interior and above-deck light fixture, including navigation lights. Here’s why LED is leading the way.
Inside the boat, many have been quick to replace energy-consuming incandescent lights with LEDs. Simply, you can replace a present fixture with a similar or brighter LED light. This is a quick screwdriver task. Rewiring is not necessary since existing incandescent wiring is more than adequate.
You also can often change out an incandescent light bulb in a present fixture with an LED module that fits in the same bulb socket. LED replacement bulb sources include Ancor (marinco.com), Lunasea (lunasea.com), Dr. LED (doctorled.com) and Marine LED Shop (marineledshop.com).
Lunasea has also developed a clever 12-volt replacement with a screw-in base that replicates an incandescent light bulb.
Wireless lights? Yep, they’ve got them too. Small, battery-powered LED fixtures can be effective in hanging lockers and limited-access areas where running wire is difficult. Some screw in place; others come with a peel-off backing that allows you to stick it in place. Rite Lite (ritelite.com) and similar brands are readily available at Walmart, The Home Depot and other hardware stores and marine chandleries.
Navigation LEDs can operate far longer and are far less likely to fail than traditional bulbs. Sources include Attwood (attwoodmarine.com), Imtra (imtra.com), Perko (perko.com) and Sea-Dog (sea-dog.com). The bulbs of many popular running and navigation lights also can often be substituted with an LED module.
LEDs have advanced to a brightness level where they can be used as spotlights. Magnalight (magnalight.com) has a 30 LED high-intensity panel (model LED-BL-150W, $1,062) in a rugged marine housing that produces a 14,790-lumen beam. Rigid Industries (rigidindustries.com) offers marine LED spotlights starting at $119.