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When looking for underwater lights for your yacht or boat you might ask yourself, who sells the brightest lights? However it's not always about brightness. There are several other features that need to be considered when looking for underwater lighting, and remember, the brighter the light, the shorter the life expectancy.
When buying, consider how much it costs to power the lights, as well as the upfront price. What is the beam power in angle degrees and lumens? Will it fit through your hull or not? What is the life span of the unit? Is the bulb generic or will you have to replace the whole unit once it’s dead?
There are many types of underwater yacht lighting on the market, each proclaiming that theirs is the best. This article will give objective advantages and disadvantages of different types of underwater lights.
There are many components of underwater lighting, but there are four key features that need to be considered to make sure you select the right one for your yacht.
There are four main types of light sources that are used for underwater lighting; LED, Xenon, Metal-Halide and Halogen. LEDs are typically the most widely used lights in the yacht industry.
How bright the light will be depends on how much AMP power is available. All lights are rated by lumens per AMP; for example a leading LED underwater light manufacturer claims their lights outputs hundreds of lumens per amp, however Metal-Halide are in the thousands of lumens.
The last thing to check is the penetration angle, the higher the angle the more the price (generally speaking), LEDs start at 40 degrees (0 starting horizontally then going down), this will effect the spread of the light backwards and downwards, again, the more the spread is, the higher the price is.
LEDs (light emitting diodes) are one the most popular forms of lighting.
LEDs offer a huge variety of benefits but at the same time they cannot be viewed as the optimum solution for every lighting-related application.
One of the common systems employed by manufacturers these days are Xenon bulbs. Also referred to as high intensity discharge (HID), they offer a crisp whitish-blue light that illuminates deep into the water.
The most expensive (unit price and power requirement) lights are metal halide, which need to run on AC power.
Halogen has only one advantage, Price. However it is the cheapest for a reason. It draws too much power, it is sensitive to its environment and it has low lumens per AMP and poor lifespan. These should be avoided, as there are much better alternatives on the market.
A website was created to serve as a comparison between different marine underwater light products and manufacturers. You can view details such as lumens and price, and compare actual photos of the lights’ output to see how they really look: http://underwaterlightcomparison.com/
Wattage is the measure of power consumption. Luminance is a measure of light output. The higher your lumens and the lower your wattage, the more efficient your light, and thus the longer it will last, don’t let manufacturers confuse you here, high wattage without lumens to back it up is a waste.
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