Underwater boat lights serve a multitude of purposes for any boater, whether for fishing, pleasure, or work. Underwater boat lights simply look cool, attract the food chain to your boat, increase your visibility to oncoming boats, and aid in location signaling in rescue situations. Regardless of your intent, underwater boat lights are certainly worth a look.
In regards to fishing, let's face it, if you are going to spend the money for a seaworthy boat, fishing gear, and the fuel to get you to your honey holes, it only makes since to optimize each trip to get the best return on your investments, whether that be limiting out on your catch numbers, or simply catching fish all day for fun, underwater boat lights enhance your experience and are a must have.
So now that your interested in underwater boat lights, you are probably wondering how to chose the right underwater lights that will serve you best, both in performance and budget. I too wondered the same. I first turned to the web and searched high and low for underwater boat lights in hopes of finding the information I needed to make up my mind. As a consumer, and outdoor writer, I am well aware of the power of the pen, or in today's world, the power of the key stroke! Reviews by non biased writers, and those from the average consumer are where the real worth lies.
In my quest to find the best underwater boat light I came across about 20 brands, some reviews that seemed biased, and a lot of forum chatter, as well as the manufacturer's specs. Upon reading those I was more confused than ever. I've got a fairly good knowledge base on LED lights and the functioning of constant current drivers, but I simply found too many variations in product descriptions, and in light output numbers from many of the brands. With no way to really measure beyond buying an expensive light meter, it boils down to simple visual perspective and in field use. I wish I had a better answer for you at this point, but I don't. Rather than comparing underwater boat lights to those used above water, I'll dig deeper and put together a guide on selecting the right LED underwater boat lights from my point of view in the near future..
I did jump the gun and went on gut feeling and purchased one Lifeform 6, and two Titan series underwater boat lights and will post my findings in detail. My setup might be a bit different than others, as I wanted one for the underside of my anchor pulpit (lifeform 6) to light up the front of my boat, and two for the vertical transom lights, (now thinking another two going horizontal on the transom). Why light the bow area you may wonder? First off, not all underwater lights can be used out of water, but Lifeform ensured it wouldn't damage the led lights, as they have a safety feature that decreases output to 25% until they reach operational temperatures again. Beyond having the normal fishing uses, having an underside bow light helps greatly in the dark for hooking and unhooking the trailer, seeing the anchor line, getting through shallow water, searching for bait fish, and as you can see, it shines on the hull and makes the boat more visible, which is a good safety feature.
More on why I chose these lights from my gut feeling later.
In Progress... Full review pending.