LED lighting for boats: key aspects

By: Secom
13 de March, 2023
Reading time: 5 min

LED lighting for boats allows high levels of energy efficiency while also being functional, durable, aesthetically-pleasing and versatile. This technology guarantees savings of over 65% on energy bills compared to conventional systems. Which interior and exterior boat lights are recommended? What are the highest priorities when it comes to making a decision?

In this article we talk about...

  • The importance of boat lighting
  • Interior boat lighting
  • Exterior boat lighting
  • SECOM specialist products

The importance of boat lighting

Boats come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and construction methods and serve many different purposes. Coastal patrol boats, pleasure boats, large cruise ships that use thousands of LED lights to save energy…these are just a few of the endless possibilities. In every case lighting is essential for correct navigation, crew and passenger safety and energy efficiency.

Lighting therefore plays a crucial role, mainly to ensure a safe journey, but in other aspects as well.

Interior boat lighting

Interior boat lighting must help create different spaces for work, rest or play, depending on the purpose of the vessel or each area of it. Therefore, often aesthetic appeal is just as important as function.

Of course, due to the nature of this mode of transport other factors also come into play. One of the most important is salt water or fresh water corrosion resistance, which means waterproof lights with a high IP-rating are recommended. An IP66K, for example, guarantees a high level of durability and resistance. Injection-moulded cable connectors are also advised, made from water- and moisture-proof materials.

Most boats these days use smart lighting, motion sensors and timers which help save energy. Glare must also always be avoided, with downlights being an excellent solution.

The light housing must also be designed with an efficient heat dissipation system since it is switched on for long hours at a stretch.

Barcos iluminación

Light colour and temperature

Light colour should be chosen with the well-being of passengers in mind.

Every vessel has its own individual purpose and aesthetic design. Spaces must be created for rest, downtime or leisure activities, by using warmer tones. Different colours can even be combined, for example RGBW lighting, to create a fun atmosphere. Other areas will be used as workspaces and will require cooler, brighter lighting to increase concentration and productivity.

Exterior boat lighting

Whereas interior boat lighting needs to provide comfort, improve well-being and be aesthetically pleasing, exterior boat lighting tends to be more functional.

Navigation lights alert other boats or ports about our location. They must always be switched on during low visibility conditions. There other types of lights, for example, underwater lights for fishing activities, and anchor lights to warn of the boat’s presence at the dock. Anchor lights must always be switched on while the boat is anchored to ensure safety in berthing areas.

Uso de la iluminación en barcos

Proper deck lighting is also important, with intensity of light and durability at the top of the list when choosing the right lights.

Most modern boats have switched to LED technology for their exterior lighting, or are in the process of doing so. Boat owners are motivated by the high energy savings, between 65% and 90% compared to traditional systems.

Exterior lights must be fully protected against high levels of salt and humidity. Special marine paint is ideal to protect against corrosion and wear and tear.

Prevailing navigation rules and regulations, both domestic and international, must always be fulfilled. When designing an exterior boat lighting project, the boat’s size, purpose for which it is used and desired level of savings must be taken into account.

SECOM specialist products

SECOM has the perfect solutions for both interior and exterior lighting for any type of boat. These are some of our suggestions:

  • AIRCOM SUPRA IP65. It is a recessed exterior light, ideal for leisure boats or when installed at high heights. It has a high IP rating which makes it ideal for this purpose. It is also designed to prevent glare.
  • PROTEK Q1. High-efficiency floodlight with IP66 rating.
  • LARNIK LED. High-efficiency linear floodlight with IP67 rating.

The SECOM catalogue features a wide range of lights that can be combined with automation control systems for greater efficiency. At the moment, LED lighting is the best option for boat lighting to ensure maximum visibility, comfort and energy saving. We have solutions for any type of boat, whatever its size or purpose.

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