Adding low voltage, energy-efficient blue LED lights, LED rope lighting or underwater lights is an easy upgrade on a boat
Upgrading our cockpit lighting with blue LED lights was one of the most dramatic – yet simple – updates we have made to our boat.
Not only are LED lights energy-efficient, but they give your boat a definite “cool factor” at night on the dock. With the new trend of blue LED replacement lights readily available on the marine market, you’ll likely see more cool blue illuminated boat cockpits on your dock soon too.
This cool glowing effect can be achieved by installing simple replacement LED light bulbs or rope lights… or taken to the next level by installing blue LED underwater boat lighting systems.
Low Voltage Replacement LED Light Bulbs
For our Sea Ray, we opted to simply replace the exterior light bulbs on our radar arch with blue LED light bulbs. It was as simple as changing a light bulb. We decided to only replace the light bulbs on our radar arch so that we would still have white lights in our lower courtesy lights.
Having blue lights in the arch and white lights near the floor gives us the option of having the blue glowing lights while relaxing on deck, or using the white lights when we need better visibility in the cockpit.
We picked our lights up at SuperBrightLED.com looking up the type of original bulb we had on our boat to determine the right type of bulb.
Why LED lights? Well, low voltage LED lights save energy on a boat… which has its advantages if you spend a lot of time on the hook. We got the idea from one of our slip neighbors that spends many nights out on the hook. They decided to replace all of their exterior lights on their Silverton Sport Bridge (including the lights along the stairs going up to the bridge).
Their boat looks very dramatic at night with the LED courtesy lights , and they save energy while on their batteries for extended hours. In fact, they are so convinced of the energy savings that they are talking about replacing all of their interior cabin lights with LED light bulbs too.
Another advantage of LED lights is that they emit less heat than regular halogen or incandescent light bulbs. I have been told that the LED lights attract less bugs at night. So far the jury is out on that one.
Replace LED lights in Boat Cabin
Replacing all your interior boat cabin lights with LED lights is an easy cost-effective upgrade! Check out this option:
Blue LED Rope Lights for a Boat
Rope lights have been a popular addition to boat cockpits and decks for years. They are easy to install on boats because they are flexible and can be nicely fitted around the curves and bends of a radar arch or interior sides of a boat cockpit.
Today’s LED rope lights are especially useful for boats because they emit high intensity light while drawing less current. Buying marine grade or outdoor rope lighting will last longer in a harsh boating environment.
Installing LED rope lights that have a power cord but are also 12V compatible are most convenient for boaters. Then, you can have the boat lit up whether you are tied up at the dock with shore power or if you are anchored out overnight on the water.
When choosing LED rope lights, keep in mind that you’ll probably need a lot more feet of rope than a standard 10 feet if the roping is going to be wrapped around the interior of a boat. You’ll either need to purchase a longer line of LED lighting or group together several sets to create the right length of lighting.
With that much lighting surrounding you in the cockpit, choosing blue LED rope lighting is the way to go. The calming blue illumination will be better on the eyes because it won’t be as bright as white lights.
Blue Underwater LED Lights for Boats
For the ultimate night time cool glowing effect, blue underwater LED lights are sure to make heads turn on the dock.
The latest underwater LED lights are made of specially formulated polymer so they are corrosion proof and resistant to chemicals. This means they will require little maintenance after installed – no zinc anodes are even needed. But obviously, this is one upgrade that is easier to accomplish when the boat is out of the water in the spring or fall.
How do you choose underwater LED lights? Depends on how much light you want and what size boat you have.
Here’s a simple guide:
Adding low-voltage LED lights to your boat is an easy upgrade that makes a dramatic impact for minimal effort. Now if only all boat upgrade projects were that simple, right?
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I just bought a 39′ 2005 Searay aft cabin. I want to find blue light bulbs for the cockpit lights. I just sold a 37′ Searay Aft Cabin and I had someone change out those light bulbs for blue ones, but he’s no longer around. Where can I find the light bulbs I need? Thank You
Not sure of your size/type offhand, but you can try a search on Amazon here:
Or check out Shoreline Marine’s store on Amazon:
I also know a lot of people who get their bulbs at super bright LEDs:
Voltage spikes can cause cheap LED lights, that are wired into your boats electrical system, to burn out quickly. Make sure the LED lights you buy use internal digital switching also known as constant-current protection.
so true… there is a HUGE market for LED lighting in the boating industry… I know we’ll be seeing a lot more on our dock!
Your article shows me another usage for LED lighting – for your boat. I work with Sharp and have been doing research on LED lighting. I am discovering that they are great for homes, inside and outside, businesses, art, aquariums, toys, bicycles…the list just goes on. Creating better, cooler, beautiful light seems to be limited only by one’s own imagination. I think they are the lighting of the future.
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