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ATEX and IEC Ex Flame-proof Explosion Proof Lighting & Equipment
Explosion Proof Lights
Explosion Proof Motors - Motors for Hazardous Locations
Industrial and Vaporproof Emergency Failsafe Lighting
Industrial Cord Reels and Tool Taps
Industrial Work Area Heaters
Machine Vision Lights
QC Series Industrial Portable Lighting - Quick Change Mount
Rig Lights
Stadium lights
String Lights and Temporary Light Stringers
Tank Cleaning Lights
Three Phase Motor Soft Starters
Vapor Proof LED Lights
Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs)
Vehicle Mounting Plates
Workboat Light Fixtures & Lighting Equipment
Yacht Engine Room Lights
Color Changing LED RGB Lighting
Explosion Proof Cord Reels
GOLIGHT Spotlights
Larson FUTURE - Lease Lighting
Remote Area Lighting and Scene Lights
Utility Bucket Mount, Receiver Hitch & Trailer Mount Lighting
Aevum Control Lighting and Equipment - IIoT
Butane and Solvent Extraction Room Lighting and Equipment
DC to DC Transformers and Power Supplies
Explosion Proof Fans & Blowers
Explosion Proof Paint Spray Booth Approved Lights
Explosion Proof String Lights
Explosion Proof Switchgear & Controls
Fleet Service Lights and Lighting Equipment
Industrial Equipment Trailers
Industrial Handlamps & Droplights
ISO 14644/FS-209E Clean Room Lighting
LED Blasting Lights
Night Time Fishing Lights
Portable AC Power Supply Units
Portable Power Distribution Panels
Power Distribution Panels with KVA Transformers
Self-Contained Lighting
Service Pit Lighting
Solar Generators & Solar Powered Lighting
Agricultural Farm Equipment Lighting & Beacons
Explosion Proof Cameras & Surveillance Systems
Explosion Proof Emergency Lights
Explosion Proof Heaters
Garage & Gas Station Canopy Lights
LED Grow Lights
LED Lights
NDT Ultraviolet Lights
Portable Hazardous Location Lighting
Radio Communication Towers and Equipment
Salt Water Processing Equipment
Shelter & Tent Lighting
Thermal Monitoring Cameras and Systems
48V LED Equipment Lights
ATEX Rated Explosion Proof Lights
Automotive Lighting
Class Rated Signals, Alarms, and Systems
Hazardous Location Area Lights and Portable Lighting
HID Equipment Lights
Hot Work Permit Lighting and Equipment
Hunting Lights
Industrial lasers
Industrial Transformers
Light Towers
Outdoor Lighting
Remote Security and Surveillance Systems
Temporary Construction Lights
Vehicle Mounted Spotlights
Equipment & Heavy Machinery LED Light Package Fitouts
Phase Converters - Single to Three Phase
Marine Shore Power Cords and Equipment
24 Volt Military Lights
Disaster Relief / First Responders / Search & Rescue Lighting
Plastic Handcuff Key
110/120 Volt Flood Lights
Post Mount Spotlights
Magnetic Work Lights
Crank-up Light Masts
Intrinsically Safe Lights
Military Flashlights
LED Waterproof Lanterns
Work Area Lights
12 Volt Flood Lights
Boat Spotlights
New Boat Lights
HID Boat Lights
Boat Dock Lights
Remote Control Lights
Control Lights
Tow Lights
Magnetic Control Lights
NEW Lights and New Products
Evaporative Coolers
Police Equipment
AC/DC Transformers
Power Supplies
Military Spotlights 24V
Infrared Filters, Covert Covers, and Blackout IR Lenses
Military Equipment
Ultralife Batteries
Remote Control Pan Tilt Base
Larson Electronics Spotlights
Larson Electronics Parts
Replacement Lamps
Cords - Brackets
Portable Wheeled Generators
Non-Hazardous Location Extension Cords / Plugs / Outlets
HID Work Lights
HID Dive Lights
HID Off Road Lights
Acro Lights HID Lights
Halogen Lights
Acro Light Flashlight
Xenon HID Flashlights
Powerlight Flashlight
HID Flashlights
Xenon Flashlights
LED Status Lights
Forklift Lights
Tractor Lights
HID Post Mount Lights
Roof Mount Lights
Post Mount Light parts
Flashlight Holder
Magnet Spotlight Base
Tripods-Magnetic Base
Recharging Spotlights
Fire Rescue Lights
LED Street Lights
Utility Lights
Hazard Lights
Strobe Lights - Battery Operated
Strobes & Beacons
Strobe Light Bars
Headlights - Headlamps - Hard Hat Lights
Suction Mount Lights
Magnetic Spotlights
12/24 Volt Spotlights
Gifts For Men
New 12 / 24 Volt Lights
Explosion Proof Accessories and Replacement Parts
Explosion Proof Lighting
Explosion Proof Hand Lamps (Drop Lights)
Explosion Proof Lights - Stand/Dolly
Explosion Proof Tank Lights
Explosion Proof Phones and Intercoms
Explosion Proof Extension Cords
Black Friday & Cyber Monday Specials
Crane Lights
Explosion Proof Light Rentals
General Light Rentals
Light Tower and Light Plant Rentals
Power Distribution Rentals
Power Plant Lighting
Refinery lights
Environmental Services Lights
Aerospace Lights
Chemical Plant Lights
Food Grade Safe Lights
Film and Entertainment Lights
Handheld Meters and Devices
Waste Water Treatment Lights
Mining Lights
Ship Yard Lights
Work Site Lighting

06/21/11 Better Boat Lighting Through Aftermarket LEDs

It’s a plain matter of fact that when boat manufacturers produce a new model, a big part of their design and manufacturing considerations include material costs. This is one of the reasons why most boat builders have yet to discontinue using halogen and plain incandescent lighting in favor of LEDs. Although LEDs are so much more reliable and efficient that they save the boat owners significant amounts of money in operational and maintenance costs, their higher initial costs make manufacturers reluctant to make the switch.


Up until a few years ago it remained reasonable to avoid LEDs due to quality and power issues, but not so anymore. LEDs now easily rival traditional lamps in light quality and power, and far surpass them in terms of efficiency and longevity. Although they may cost more initially, they pay for themselves rather quickly with lowered fuel consumption, reduced maintenance, and significantly reduced replacement costs.


Though the prime allure of LEDs remains their efficiency, it is also very important that light quality, durability and effective coverage also be taken into account. It is these factors that once made LEDs somewhat tricky to use for general illumination purposes, but as will be seen, not so now with modern LEDs designs.


One of the earliest problems with LEDs was their poor light spread. Due to design quirks that come about because of the unusual nature of LEDs, the light output of an LED tends to be radiated over a very short degree of spread. To illustrate, imagine a typical incandescent bulb. When this bulb is turned on, it radiates light in every direction from its surface. This is because an incandescent bulb has a centrally located filament that emits light radiation in all directions from every part of its surface when heated. LEDs, however, use a flat piece of semi-conducting material to produce light. This is usually a tiny square of material which is then mounted to a small circuit board, much like a transistor or resistor you’d find in a portable radio, only on a smaller scale. The result is that light is radiated outwards only from the surface of this flat piece of semi-conducting material, rather than from every point of its surface. Additionally, LED manufacturers can alter how wide the spread of light is from an LED by altering the semi-conductors shape, slightly curving it upwards at the center to give a greater degree of radiance.


However, LED manufacturers have found that output is more intense and efficient when the LED surface is kept as close to flat as possible. This is why if you look directly into an LED, it is bright indeed, but if looked at from an extreme side angle, very little intensity is noticed. This poor directional quality, however, has been addressed through improved reflector designs and by creative grouping together of LED clusters, resulting in LED fixtures capable of easily rivaling or surpassing traditional light sources in radiance quality.


Color quality was also once a serious bone of contention among consumers. LEDs once tended to produce light that was of a much higher color index than incandescent lamps, resulting in complaints of the light being too “bluish” or of an unnatural color. Improvements in LED construction and the semi-conducting materials used has largely done away with this problem in all but the lowest quality LEDs. Now LEDs can be produced with a wide range of color temperatures that closely mimic the qualities of incandescent and fluorescent lamps, reducing the problems with unnatural appearance.


Durability has been less of an issue for LEDs than either color quality or directional radiance. LEDs have no glass in their construction and are solid state in design, so they naturally are more durable than typical incandescent bulbs. However, LEDs are very sensitive to heat and current fluctuations. While too little current will not damage an LED, and to a point actually improves its efficiency, even slightly overpowering an LED can drastically shorten its life. Early manufacturers of LEDs did little to address this problem, resulting in LEDs that burned out far before they should have. This particular problem has been solved through the inclusion of special circuitry known as drivers, which manage the current fed to the LEDs and maintain an optimal power level at all times.


While all of this might sound great for LEDs, it may have you wondering what it has to do with boat manufacturers and their unwillingness to yet commit to LED lighting on their new offerings. All of this increases the costs of an LED fixture, which as we mentioned earlier, is a big part of the boat building equation. Cheaper parts equals higher profits for manufacturers, plain and simple. The good news though is that there is a wide range of aftermarket LEDs available to boat owners which can help them reap all the benefits of LEDs with little effort. LED light fixtures like Larson Electronicss’  Marine Spreader Light offer extreme versatility and efficiency in a small package. Easily installed by anyone with basic mechanical skills, spreader lights like this can greatly improve lighting quality and electrical efficiency when included as part of a comprehensive upgrade to LEDs. Although more expensive to install initially, boat owners can quickly realize savings and benefits in the form of less fuel used, almost no fixture maintenance, and no bulb replacements for periods of up to 10 years with some applications.


While it is true that new energy efficiency mandates from the government and gradually shrinking costs are bringing LEDs ever closer to the forefront of lighting technology, it is also true that as long as incandescent bulbs remain cheaper, they will likely continue to be the lighting of choice for manufacturers. In time this will probably change as incandescent bulbs become scarce and consumers increasingly choose LEDs over typical bulbs. Until then, however, boaters can still realize savings and improvements from what amounts to nothing more than changing a light bulb.

Related Categories/Products
Category/Product (click on link below for more information)
LED Marine Spreader Light - Deck/Boat Illumination - 12/24V - IP67 - 20 LEDs - 32 Watt - 2880 Lumen
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