Boating Needs Decide Which Spotlight is Right For The Job.|
The wide array of marine lamps available nowadays can be frustrating for the serious boater who is trying to decide what type of exterior spotlights would best serve his needs. For every purpose there seems to be ten possible choices, and for every person you ask, you can get a different recommendation. The best idea for anyone trying to decide upon the correct spotlight equipment for his boat would be to objectively consider his actual needs, and then try to make a decision based on what equipment is best suited to fulfilling those needs. This means that the first thing a boat owner needs to do is assess just what his needs really are. He can then sort through the many offerings available, and consider only those that fit the criteria he has identified. By doing this, a boat owner can avoid any later surprises from equipment that just can’t do the job he needs it to do when the situation arises. So what are the considerations for choosing the proper marine spotlight? Well, these depend to a large extent on the craft and its purposes. For the sake of example, we’ll go with some obvious criteria that are common to most marine applications.
Any spotlight that is going be put into service in a marine environment is going to be subjected to harsh environmental conditions that demand durability. Salt is of course the biggest concern when it comes to electrical equipment for marine use and any equipment that is not properly designed for use on the water is not going to last very long at all. Salt is extremely corrosive to sensitive electronics as well as equipment housings and mounting hardware, and will attack unprotected surfaces from the moment it makes contact. As well as the ever present salt in marine applications, is the repeated contact with water itself that the equipment is likely to endure. Obviously, any equipment used in these conditions is going to need to be well sealed against water intrusion and constructed of materials that are resistant to the corrosive actions of salt on metals.
Additionally, marine conditions are much less forgiving than those typically found on land. Changes in weather can occur in what seems an instant, and surface conditions that were pleasant an hour ago, can become very rough in short order. Spotlights used in marine applications must endure the repeated vibration and bumps of a vessel underway in rough seas without coming loose from their mounts or losing their structural integrity. They must endure abuse from the elements, while remaining functionally reliable. So, as well as being designed to withstand repeated contact with water and salt, marine spotlights must be ruggedly constructed as well.
Just as important as a marine spotlights ruggedness is the lamps ability to throw a strong beam of concentrated light. Is the lamp going to be used for emergency situations like finding someone lost overboard? Is it going to be used for locating buoys in the dark? Will it be used to navigate through storms or squalls? Given these situations, an effective spotlight must have enough power to illuminate long distances and cut through low visibility conditions like fog and rain yet still have an intense enough beam left to illuminate objects on the water.
As well as a strong light beam, the spotlight must also have good light focusing properties. On marine craft, spotlight mounting choices are often limited, and the favorite locations are usually high on a bridge, or at the tip of the bow. The tip of the bow is often discarded as a choice, and the bridge chosen instead because of the tendency for anything mounted to the bow of a boat to be constantly slammed by salt water. However, mounting a spotlight to the bridge can be a problem if a spotlight cannot focus its beam tightly enough, and instead illuminates the foredeck as well. This illumination of the foredeck by a poorly concentrated spotlight beam has the result of effectively blinding the crew’s view of the water ahead of the boat from the bridge. So, a marine spotlight needs to have a strong beam and good light focusing properties as well as salt water resistance and rugged construction.
Yet another consideration important to most avid boaters is the ability to easily place and control the light, effectively putting light where they want it, when it is needed. Under poor weather conditions, the ability to control the spotlight from within a cabin or enclosed bridge is preferable to having only manual control. In addition to this, activities that necessitate working away from the boat require the ability to remotely control the spotlights direction in order to keep light focused where it is needed. This suggests that a spotlight with wireless remote control capabilities is the best choice for filling these requirements.
Using criteria like these, selecting the right equipment becomes somewhat easier. Here is what we have after all these needs are considered.
Corrosion resistance, ruggedness, effectiveness, and directional control.
What’s left to do after considering these requirements as dictated by our needs? Well, we need to find a spotlight that can fulfill all of them with as little compromise as possible.
A look through Larson Electronics.com’s selection reveals several possible choices, all of them good candidates, with one or two filling the bill quite well. We’ll focus on the one that best fits the needs we’ve described here since they are the most commonly occurring requirements in marine applications. What we end up with is the HID Golight Stryker 3067H Wireless Remote Control Spotlight w/ 2 remotes.
A look through this lights specifications shows it can handle all our considered needs quite effectively, with added features that only increase its desirability. The Golight Stryker 3067H from Larson Electronics has a rugged all weather housing that is impact and UV ray resistant. The rest of the Golight Stryker is made with Lexan, brass, and stainless steel, and includes weather proof connectors, so our water and salt resistance criteria are well met, as well as our durability needs.
Next, we consider the Golight 3067’s effectiveness. This spotlights lamp is a 35 watt high intensity discharge bulb that is retail rated at 15 million candlepower. It puts out a narrow spot beam with a conservatively rated effective distance of 2,800 feet. Compared to a traditional 65 watt halogen spotlight, the beam is very tight, with a bright white color as compared to the halogens beam which is poorly contained and yellowish in color. So our effectiveness needs appear well satisfied with this spotlight.
Finally, we look at how well this spotlight can meet our directional control requirements. The Golight 3067 has 370 degrees of rotational ability, and can be directed through 170 degrees of vertical up or down, all the way into a straight up position. It has fast and slow movement capability, continuing movement as long as the controls are depressed, and stops movement when the controls are released, landing it in a locked position. So we now have our directional control ability as well in this spotlight. In addition to our needed directional control, the Golight 3067 comes with two remote controls, with one a wireless pad system for permanent mounting, and a wireless portable keypad that has a range of 250 feet. Both are weatherproof and adjustable through over 60,000 channels allowing them to be programmed to control one light, or several at the same time. Not only do we have our directional control, but we have the ability to do it remotely from a significant distance as well, solidly meeting the last of our requirements.
Since we now have a pretty good handle on which light can do the job, it’s worth it to see what else it has to offer. This light is offered by Larson Electronics.com and comes with a limited three year guarantee. It can be ordered in black, white, or camouflage colors and comes in 12 and 24 volt configurations. It weighs only five pounds, and is six inches deep, by six inches wide, by seven inches high, making it compact as well as powerful. It is recommended for all vehicles and heavy equipment as well as boats. It’s clear that this is a lot of spotlight in a small package.So now we see that we have exactly what we were looking for and more, without having to accept any compromises or shortcomings at all. Despite the sometimes confusing variety of choices available, a little bit of methodical consideration whittles down the uncertainty and rewards us with a marine suitable spotlight we can be confident will perform strongly as well as be perfectly suited to our needs.