Replacing cockpit or cabin lighting with new, low voltage, super bright LED light bulbs is an easy and cost-effective way to save battery power on a boat

The latest trend of replacing ordinary halogen or incandescent tungsten light bulbs with energy saving LED lights is also a great solution for boats. When underway or anchored out for long hours, boaters want to draw as little power as possible from batteries. Small, inexpensive updates like low voltage LED light bulbs can make a big difference on a battery’s life.

With stylish new colors and super bright illumination capabilities, there are many advantages to using replacement LED light bulbs on a boat.

Saving Boat Battery Power with Low Voltage LED Lights

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, low voltage LED (Light-Emitting Diode) lights use about a tenth of the wattage as halogen light bulbs. This energy savings should translate to being able to use lighting ten times as long on a boat for the same amount of energy use.

Conserving battery power on a boat that is cruising or anchored out is important to both sail boaters and power boaters. It is particularly important for boats without a generator that must rely solely on battery power. The energy savings from use of LED lights can be used for use of other power requirements when on the hook.

Other benefits of LED light bulbs for use on boats include:
  • Longer life than incandescent or halogen bulbs requires less replacements
  • Impervious to vibrations on boats
  • Transmit very little heat to keep the boat cool
  • Super bright white lighting

Choosing Super Bright Replacement LED Light Bulbs for Boats

LED replacement bulbs for boats may cost as much as 2-3 times more than regular incandescent or halogen bulbs. The larger investment typically pays off with energy savings and a longer bulb life that requires fewer replacements.

With replacement bulbs, there is also no need to replace the entire light fixture. Many manufacturers now offer marine grade LED bulb options that are designed to fit common boat lighting fixtures throughout the boat cabin. Cockpit boat fixtures are even more standardized, making it easy to replace bulbs with LED bulbs.

Many lighting manufacturers utilize a “Lighting Facts” label as part of a program with the U.S. Department of Energy that provides a summary of performance in five areas:

  1. Lumens – measuring light output
  2. Lumens per watt (lm/W) – measuring efficiency
  3. Watts – energy required to light the product
  4. Correlated Color Temperature (CCT) – measuring light color (cool or warm)
  5. Color Rendering Index (CRI) – measuring the effects of the light spectrum on color appearance of objects

Purchasing LED replacement bulbs from a vendor that specializes in replacement bulbs for boats will make selecting the right bulbs easier. Marine grade LED bulbs are also a better choice than inexpensive 12V LED cluster bulbs that do not work as well on boats due to voltage variations caused by battery chargers, alternators and power generators.

Choosing to upgrade lighting with LED bulbs is a smart investment for boaters preparing to sell a used boat, trying to improve a boat’s resale value or simply looking for ways to save energy while on battery power.

Blue and Red Color LED Lights on Boats

In addition to the trend of replacing light bulbs with LED bulbs on boats, more and more boaters are now using eye-catching colors on their boats. With a simple switch of the bulb, an entire boat cockpit can be illuminated blue or red. Colorful LED bulbs in a cockpit can give a boat a real nighttime “wow” factor – blue LED bulbs on boats are now very popular. In addition to the cool factor, LED lights in different colors have been known to attract fewer bugs than white lights.

With LED replacement bulbs, boaters can save energy and have fun at the same time.

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Diane Seltzer

Founder & Editor at My Boat Life
Diane is the founder of MyBoatLife.com as well as the boating lifestyle site for kids BoaterKids.com. She is also active in the boating industry, serving as the marketing director for a marine sunshade product, SureShade, and founder of Marine Marketing Tools, a collaborative site for sharing marine marketing best practices. Diane is also the author of the children's book The Amazing Adventures of Boat Girl.

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