A Guide To Choosing Boat Lights

Marine Lighting

A Guide To Choosing Boat Lights

Traveling out on the ocean at night means you’ll require the correct lights on your boat to see and be seen out on the water. That’s why we’ve compiled this list featuring some of the most important details on getting the right lights so your journeys after-dark go off without a hitch.

Cabin & Galley Lights

Cabin or galley lights are used inside the boat for providing lighting for ceilings, charts, cockpits, reading or bunks. While they are important for larger boats travelling from one destination to another, it can best to turn them off when underwater as they reduce visibility.

Deck & Floodlights

Surface-mounted deck lights light small areas on the ship to provide adequate amounts lighting without interfering with vision. Floodlights or searchlights are much more powerful and are important for locating landmarks, buoys or anything that goes overboard.

Underwater Lights

Lights below the waterline make a boat look good at night and LED underwater lights are increasingly popular due to their ability to last longer and use less power than halogen or incandescent bulbs.

Being small, they also allow a wider variety of shapes and fittings to suit different boat sizes.

MIRIAM LED Light Warm/White S/S Rim 10-30v Sea Hawk-XLR LED Floodlight White Underwater LED Light 3x3W - White
Quick Cabin Ceiling Light Hella Marine LED Floodlight AAA Underwater LED Light

Legal Requirements

The installation and use of navigation lights must comply with the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) outlines many of the principles of this for each state but there are a few basic standards:

  • Side lights that shine out across the water in an arc are red to indicate the port side and green for starboard
  • Stern lights are white and shine aft and forward on each side. Along with the side lights, they create a full circle of light
  • Masthead lights are also white and shine from 112.5° on the port side through dead ahead to 112.5° on the starboard
FOS 12 LED Vertical Mount Port and Starboard Lights FOS 12 LED Horizontal Mount Stern Lights NaviLED Pro Masthead 5NM 9-33v
Lalizas Port & Starboard Lights Lalizas All-White Stern Light Hella Marine NaviLed Masthead Lights

Boat Sizes

The AMSA also states powerboats less than 20m long need to show side lights, a stern light and a masthead light. For any of these vessels under 12m, it is only necessary to show a single all-round light.

Sailing vessels of less than 20m need to show side lights and a stern light and any vessel moving at night must show navigation lights. The only exception is rowing or sailing boats of less than 7m, although in this case they should carry a torch or lantern with a white light that should be show in sufficient time to prevent a collision.

When anchored outside a special anchorage, power and sail vessels of less than 20m must display an all-round light that should be able to shine through 360°. Vessels less than 7m are exempt unless anchored in a narrow channel or anchorage, or where other vessels typically navigate.

That's all for now! To find out more information, check out the huge range of LED and halogen products on offer from Boat Accessories Australia including deck, cabin, underwater and navigation lights.

Category: Marine Lighting

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