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WakeWorld Discussion Board » >> Boats, Accessories & Tow Vehicles Archive » Archive through April 21, 2006 » Light bars, for looks or practical? (PICS) « Previous Next »
By Craig Strait (yosquire) on Thursday, March 16, 2006 - 8:30 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Do to work schedules, my buddies and I usually board from the evening into the dark. Do light bars actually work for wakeboarding in the dusk-to-dark range? Or do they blind the skier?

I may build a light bar... And am deciding between the following:

Skylon uses these:
Upload
I believe they have a 25 degree beam.. Anybody with Skylon light bars, is that two wide of a beam, or just right....thoughts?

Or I may uses these:
Upload
I believe these have an 18 degree beam.

I personally like the looks of the first set, though they're about twice as expensive. I'm pretty much looking for peoples experience and thoughts here..

 
By Walt (walt) on Thursday, March 16, 2006 - 8:53 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I know it's not a answer to your question but I always figured your admitting that it dark if you have your lights on.

Instant ticket,

 
By Sparky Jay (wake_upppp) on Thursday, March 16, 2006 - 9:07 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I love mine. Mainly because we arrive after dark alot and they are great for light while carrying your camp gear to primative sites, and anchoring/docking. Now as far as riding, it's illegal here in Cali after dark, but I will admit that we've done it and it's a blast. Mine do not blind you at all and the wake is lit nicely to about ten feet outside the transition. One thing you will find is the glare off the dash. I sewed up a half-bimini that snaps on to block the glare on the dash, works great. I built mine for under a hundred bucks. I'll try and post a pic later...
 
By adam Curtis (acurtis_ttu) on Thursday, March 16, 2006 - 9:15 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
your better off riding to moon light, lights reflect to bad off the water to be any good. Having an amber lens helps reduce the glare. Liek everyone has already metnioned they are great for nite docking and unloading/ loading
 
By ridehype4life (wakeslife) on Thursday, March 16, 2006 - 9:30 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
What about surfing? It seems as if that would work out well at dusk and later... But riding legally is another issue..?
 
By Mike O'Callaghan (greenpinky) on Friday, March 17, 2006 - 6:02 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Surfing is the only circumstance where my light bar would produce enough light. There's no way I could ride at night with them on. I've got the Liquid Audio light bar.

Great for parking, and carrying crap up the dock, but forget riding.

 
By Scott Taylor (taylormade) on Friday, March 17, 2006 - 6:44 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Perfect for surfing. It's all I use mine for... well, that and navigating through my canal late at night.
 
By Craig Strait (yosquire) on Friday, March 17, 2006 - 7:02 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Yep, I'm aware of the legality issues.

So basically, what I'm hearing is that light bars really don't work for this application?


 
By adam Curtis (acurtis_ttu) on Friday, March 17, 2006 - 7:09 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
and yes mine works great for surfing. here's a 3 light bar that I made.Upload
 
By Craig Strait (yosquire) on Friday, March 17, 2006 - 7:40 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Hey Adam,

Couple questions,
Is that 1 1/2" tube?
What did you use for end-caps on the tube?
Where did you get the mooring/running light?

 
By adam Curtis (acurtis_ttu) on Friday, March 17, 2006 - 8:26 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
The bar is proabbly 1.5 inch tubing...it's actually a boss knight rider bar I found on ebay for $40 and the lights came from Auto zone (exact lights titan uses) I go the ones with the amber lens...they don't reflect as bad. I htink I have a manual on how to build a light bar somewhere , shoot me an email. I'll try and find it and send it to you.
 
By Marty McFly (mcfly) on Friday, March 17, 2006 - 8:39 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
If you get enough lights up there, you can have a lot of fun wakeboarding! But typically, anything less than 8 lights facing backwards will not cut it.

McFly
Upload
Upload

 
By Brad Spooner (spoonman) on Friday, March 17, 2006 - 8:48 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
You can replace the 55watt bulbs with 100watters and 4 lights is the same as 8. the 100watt bulbs seem to be very sensative to burning out due to vibration/ shock I go through about 6 per year
 
By adam Curtis (acurtis_ttu) on Friday, March 17, 2006 - 9:12 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
IF your running that many light don't forget to factor in the amperage draw...you could easily pull 50 or so amps with that many on a 12 volt system. Just something to factor in.
 
By Craig Strait (yosquire) on Friday, March 17, 2006 - 10:51 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
That's quite a light bar.

What are the 4 chrome cans hanging down from the light bar?
Upload
^^ Those...

So minimum of 8 (55w) lights to wakeboard behind?

Brad,
How much do those 100watt bulbs run?




 
By B Tingey (tings00) on Friday, March 17, 2006 - 11:36 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
wow mcfly what a light bar, we use ours for night surfing, and also loading. this way u dont have to worry about getting back so u have day light to load, u can board till its dark and be able to load no worries. i found are lights at a industrial light place, these lights are typically used on the back of big rigs and dump trucks for reverse lights.
Upload
Upload

 
By Marty McFly (mcfly) on Friday, March 17, 2006 - 12:13 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
The 4 Chrome Bell Housings are LED pods. They shine down into the cockpit.

McFly

 
By B Tingey (tings00) on Friday, March 17, 2006 - 12:16 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
so mclfy how many batteries do u have and what have u done to manage the power
 
By Brad Spooner (spoonman) on Friday, March 17, 2006 - 12:32 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
100w bulbs are 6$ from auto parts store. I have seen them at wal-mart also but don't recall the price.
 
By Peter Chandler (peter_c) on Friday, March 17, 2006 - 1:03 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I had a seven light set-up that worked well. I had it setup with relays that controlled the front lights and the rear lights seperately. As mentioned above with the front lights on, the glare is too much. A better way for the front lights is to have them mounted under the bow like car headlights. Riding at night is a blast, and it is not that hard to see as a rider. The wake is well lit up, but cutting out from the wake is another story.
 
By Marty McFly (mcfly) on Friday, March 17, 2006 - 1:09 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I only run 2 batteries in my boats. On this particular light bar, there are 8 lights on one circuit and 4 lights on the other. I only would have all 12 on at once when the rider was riding. As soon as he fell, I would typically turn them all off. But if needed, I could run only 4 lights at a time, and not drain the batteries.

Even the promo boat that is featured on our site is ran off of 2 batteries (www.waterskiboatsdallas.com). I have never upgraded the alternator, or ran more than 2 batteries in any of my boats.

McFly

 
By Migitty Matt (migitty) on Friday, March 17, 2006 - 1:12 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
On dark nights, I hear it is a real good idea to attach a glow stick to your rider's vest so you can quickly find him when he falls. Underscore the "I hear" part. I would never advocate breaking the law. Right Kimmy?
 
By Craig Strait (yosquire) on Friday, March 17, 2006 - 6:53 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Hey Marty, Where did you score those LED light pods?
 
By matt Winans (liquidmx) on Friday, March 17, 2006 - 8:35 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Migitty matt, I had "heard" one of the handheld spot lights (1+ mil. candlewatt) work pretty well when used by the spotter, but I agree a glow stick might help if the spotter cant find him. Then again you may get some fish swimming around you when you are in the water.


 
By Mikeski (mikeski) on Saturday, March 18, 2006 - 10:13 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Looks only, not practical.
 
By Sparky Jay (wake_upppp) on Saturday, March 18, 2006 - 10:27 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Yeah Mikeski' right. Everyone here that posted how much they use them, just disregard those posts and listen to this guy...NOT!
 
By Marty McFly (mcfly) on Saturday, March 18, 2006 - 10:52 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
I would have to agree. I use mine quite often. I don't blaze all lights on at once very often (typically only when someone is behind it), but I run a few lights at a time quite often (loading/unloading the boat, surfing, boat cleaning/wiping down, needed light when digging thru compartments, signals to let other boaters know we are sitting still in a certain area, etc).

The bell housings are built by Mako.

McFly
www.waterskiboatsdallas.com

 
By supralaunch21v (supralaunch21v) on Saturday, March 18, 2006 - 3:18 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
mcfly,

i have a 21v with the roswell light bar. one of the lens on the lights cracked. I think i have to replace the whole light unit. Do you know where I can get a replacement? Is is difficult to replace? Any tips?

 
By Mikeski (mikeski) on Saturday, March 18, 2006 - 4:59 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Sparky give it a rest...

Craig,

Think of boarding toward a car with it's headlights pointing at your, just worse because it's reflecting off the water. Tower lights make good cargo lights as others have said. We used to ski on a private lake after dark. All dark under moonlight works well once your eyes adjust, glow sticks are a must for safety. We never had any luck with tower lights.

 
By Craig Strait (yosquire) on Saturday, March 18, 2006 - 6:01 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Yes, I've wakeboarded by handheld spot light before. That's why I'm considering a narrower beam and more directional light.. Before I make a large investment in lights, I'm bouncing it off the group to see if I should just build the light bar for looks, or actually try to build it such that we can wakeboard behind it.

I appreciate everyone’s input!

 
By Sparky Jay (wake_upppp) on Saturday, March 18, 2006 - 6:19 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Mikeski, what am I giving a rest? You're the one with the ill-thought out post. you throw out a broad based short opinion with no explanation? You're telling me how my lights work and you've never even been on my boat? I gave good, accurate info to the poster, how bout' you?
 
By Nick J (humboldtboarder) on Sunday, March 19, 2006 - 10:16 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
I've boarded after dark behind Sparky's boat and had a blast. The wake is lit up pretty good, and the lights in your eyes did not bother me at all. It's not like your looking at the back of the boat, your looking into the wake. I would say the sun is worse when it on the horizon, than the lights from the boat. The freaky part is when you cut out of the lighted area, it like closing your eye's, you cannot see anything.
 
By Marty McFly (mcfly) on Sunday, March 19, 2006 - 11:51 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
I don't have the blinding light problem either. I make sure the main beam of each light is pointed at the wake (as close to the riders feet as I can get it). Sure, you get some floodlight in the eyes, but it is not bad at all.

I do agree that the sun on the horizon is the worst! The lights on the boat are not nearly that bad.

McFly

 
By Marty McFly (mcfly) on Friday, March 24, 2006 - 12:57 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Just got it back from the stereo shop..here is my latest light bar set up.

McFly
www.waterskiboatsdallas.com
Upload

 
By GD (greatdane) on Friday, March 24, 2006 - 2:02 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I have a boss three light bar on my current boat. They are useful for shutting down the boat at dark. Otherwise, they are useless.

Perhaps a massive light bar starts to have merit for night riding. Still, neither of these uses are of great priority to me.

On my next boat, I will definitely omit the light bar. IMO, the money is better spent in another direction.

 
By Bert Melchner (boarder33) on Friday, March 24, 2006 - 2:25 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Last year at the Pleasanton boat show there was a company displaying flush mount lights. They would actually wrap around the tower and they looked really clean. Anyone seen them?
 
By Ron (dcranium) on Saturday, March 25, 2006 - 12:52 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Agree GD- money better spent on gas and beer...
 
By Ron (dcranium) on Saturday, March 25, 2006 - 12:56 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Agree GD- money better spent on gas and beer...
 
By Chad Davis (garman) on Saturday, March 25, 2006 - 6:39 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
B Tingey, What kind of bracket are you using to attach your light bar to your tower?
 
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