Marine LED Spot Light review

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Marine LED Spotlight - GOLIGHT Radioray LED

Today, one of the best things a boater could have, other than a 12 pack and twins, arrived on my doorstep.  This marine LED spotlight will certainly shed new light on the marine spotlight market.  Long gone are the days of holding up a spotlight while behind the helm trying to navigate with one hand.    With a simple flip of a switch, a push of the joystick up, down, or to either side is all that's needed to light the way.   Even better yet, with the palm-sized remote control option, anyone can take control of the GOLIGHT anywhere on the boat! 

Boasting a 200,000 candela peak beam intensity, and 6000 lumens from ten 6 watt super bright CREE LEDs behind Plano Convex lens technology, the GOLIGHT blasts out an amazing crisp white light to over 2900 feet in distance with a beam width of 88 feet at its peak.  With a 370 degree motorized turn ratio, and a 135 degree tilt, the GOLOIGHT LED spotlight is sure to find whatever it is you are looking for, except for those twins carrying a 12 pack in the middle of the ocean-at night!  

In case you don't know, I am a bit of a lighting nut.  I need lights on everything, and enough to light up whatever I need without struggling to see it.  I have four 10 watt LED lights on my Hewes, two shining from the helm, and two attached to the poling platform, all of which are rotational to point in any direction.  With those four lights I can light up the water like it's daylight in every direction for several hundred feet if need be.  It's no surprise that I had to have this spotlight.

In the coming days I will review the GOLIGHT RadioRay LED spotlight, from installation on my 225 Aquasport Osprey project build, to actual on the water use.  I'll have full video and stills so you'll get a real good feel for what this spotlight can do, beyond the typical factory specs I noted above.   Since I am not yet ready for the install, I'll give you my first impression and then update this review as I move forward.  

Un-boxing the spotlight I immediately took notice of the nice weight, which seems to be around 2.5 -3 pounds and usually indicates quality.  The housing is a rugged ABS plastic, and the cast aluminum heat sink that surrounds the LEDs / lens looks like it will do a great job at dissipating heat, which is key to LED longevity. The LEDs are made by CREE, which are tops when it comes to LEDs.  I'm not sure what material is used for the internal gears and motor, nor the driver details, but will try to get the details from the manufacturer as soon as possible. I am a bit surprised that this spotlight did not come with a lens cover, as there is no need to leave the lens exposed during the day.  

The remote fits nicely within your hand, and has large rubberized buttons for easy use and a rubber grip to ensure it stays in your hands. Being a remote that will see plenty of use on a boat, I expected to see a wrist strap, and after further inspection I did find two small holes that, if not intended for, would work to get a skinny string through. The batteries are thumbcells, and though I would prefer double A's because they are more common, it won't be a problem if they have a decent lifespan.  I don't suppose keeping a few thumbcells on hand would be much of a problem either, though I know that when I need a battery I never seem to have the right type available! 

The spotlight that I ordered has both, the remote control and a dash mounted joystick. The dash mount has a nice foam rubber gasket for the mount, and tightly sealed rubber boots over the rockers.  When you flip the control over, the joystick rocker wires are epoxy podded on the rocker side, and the on/off rocker has a well fit rubber boot to keep it dry.  There are two plugs, a 5 pin and 8 pin that are not sealed, and I am going to assume that these will show signs of corrosion in no time, as the pins are very thin as with most electronic connections.  Before I install the switch I will use a little hot glue to seal the pins from exposure. 

When I ordered the light I was told to pay close attention to the cabling so as to not put it within a foot of power wires or near other electronics because of interference (EMI).  After looking at the supplied cable, it does not appear to be a shielded cable, nor does it appear to have twisted pairs. Personally, though just my opinion, I would have used a 28awg quad shielded twisted pair cable along with ferrite beads to help avoid this. If I run into any issues with EMI after the install, I will rewire it and let you know how it holds up.  Also, the last 2.5 inches of wire at both ends are out of the jacket, thus opening the door to EMI at the connection points. I would recommend twisting the wires tight and wrapping it with tape.        

You know I couldn't wait to play with this light before the install, so I grabbed my power supply, went outside in the dark and fired it up in the yard. My first thought was nothing short of wow!  This light blasted a very bright white narrow beam that looked like the "Batman" signal light.  I shined it several blocks away into some trees and it lit them up like daylight.  I can foresee this light bouncing back images from channel markers and other reflective objects from afar, possibly from the 2900 plus feet stated by the manufacturer.    

I used both the remote and joystick controls to test out the movement and found them to be instantly responsive.  There was no lag or delay of any sort, and the light is indeed instant on and instant off with no burn in or fade out to the light.  The unit has two speeds for rotation and tilt when controlling from the remote, clearly marked by a turtle for slow rotation and a rabbit for faster rotation. When using the joystick there is no option to select a speed, as it starts in turtle speed and within a few second of rotation, when the joystick is held steady to one side, the rotation kicks into rabbit speed.  Letting off the joystick and re-engaging will again start it in turtle speed.

The rotation is smooth and steady, and upon releasing the control, the light showed no over rotation, which made it simple to stop on a target. The motors and gearing are whisper soft and virtually noiseless. The tilt movement, as mentioned above is 135 degrees, which if ever needed would make a great distress signal to passing aircraft.  

My final thoughts before installing and giving this unit a sea trial is that the light is amazingly bright with top notch CREE LEDs, the rotation and tilt movements are crisp and controllable with nice speeds, the housing is well made and the heat sink well sufficient to keep this light burning easily for 50,000 hours.  What I don't know at this point is how well the 5 and 8 pin connectors are going to hold up, what EMI issues I will have from the unshield non twisted pair cable, how long the LED drivers will hold up, and how long the lens will remain clear and in good working order.  My gut tells me that this is going to be a very good light in all aspects except the cable and two connectors, which will just be a minor hickup for anyone with wiring knowledge.  

Stay tuned for the install~ FIA