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How underwater lights will be mounted is an incredibly important decision and needs careful consideration. There are three underwater light mounting options: thru-hull, electromagnetic induction and surface mounted, however another option may be lighting installed on the transom.
Thru-hull underwater lighting units will require a drilled hole through the hull of a yacht to pass wires and the actual light unit through.
Advantages of through-hull lighting:
Disadvantages of through-hull lighting:
Interior access can prove to be an issue
Induction operates by having the primary unit (the housing for all the inverter electronics and communication control) on the inside of the yacht, lined up with the secondary unit (the luminaires and drive circuitry) on the exterior of the yacht. Both units are positioned in place by marine grade adhesive.
Advantages of induction mounting:
Disadvantages of induction mounting:
One lighting specialist embracing this new technology is BGB SILS. Its marketing manager, James Tupper explained, “Perfecting the induction technology and in particular the moulding of the material for the yacht lights has taken up the vast majority of R&D time.
“It certainly hasn’t been easy but we‘re close to having productionised units ready for real-life testing. We have enquiries on a daily basis through the website and certainly receive lots of attention at the shows we exhibit at.
“Our potential customers and test boats have been really patient with us and fully understand that a unique product like SILS needs to be perfected before we dare release it to an industry that seems to be crying out for induction LED products.”
These types of lights only require a small hole to accommodate a wire and some state of the art units need no drilling at all.
Advantages of surface-mounted lighting
Disadvantages of surface-mounted lighting
Another major influence on the amount of light that’s produced is the width and angle of the light fitting.
It’s important to check the penetration angle, the higher the angle generally the more expensive, for example most LED's 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.
The beam angle of the underwater light determines how the light beam appears around the hull. Available in narrow spot (less than 90°) or wide flood (greater than 90°), it produces an even glow of light and allows lights to be spaced further apart on the hull.
When buying any underwater light there are several questions you need to ask to see which is most suited to your boat:
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