During the winter months, particularly in areas where snow and freezing temperatures are commonplace, most boaters leave the craft covered and trailered until the warmer months. With the coming of April and spring however, Led area light
thoughts begin turning towards preparing for the coming boating season, and as well as performing the usual freshening and basic maintenance needed to prepare for putting to water, early spring represents a great time to perform upgrades as well.
One area where almost any boat can benefit from upgrades and improvements is found with the lighting systems. Unless your craft is a newer model outfitted with the latest in high efficiency marine lighting, the chances are very good that your current systems provide adequate performance at best, and operate far less efficiently that they could. Most boats manufactured prior to 2010 are outfitted with traditional incandescent lamps. Whether it is the halogen’s typically installed in cabins, the small indicators and area lamps in cockpits and storage areas, or the halogen spreader and deck lamps, the incandescent design of these fixtures means standard light output, short average bulb life, and very poor energy efficiency.
Energy efficiency in particular is a major area of concern for boaters, and many simply don’t realize just how much power they are losing when running their lights. Sure, they may notice the heavy amp draw a pair of spreaders creates, and even ration the use of lighting to keep power usage down, but if one takes the time to add up all the power consumed by various onboard lighting, the total amp draw can be surprising to say the least. Before undertaking any upgrade operation, it is a good idea to take the time to identify and list all of the lighting onboard and the various wattages and amperage draw of each. Once this is done, it becomes far easier to not only get a better idea of just how much overall power is required to run your current lighting, but how much power you actually save after an upgrade.