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Old     (mendo247)      Join Date: Mar 2005       01-12-2010, 10:15 AM Reply   
Looking at adding some tower lights. Mainly for getting back and fourth across the after dark. Usually travel by moonlight or a large handheld spotlight. Anybody recomend a good light bar or lights I could make a custom bar for. I've kinda been waiting for something really cool to come out the last few years with the advancements in lights/lamps in general but nothing has caught my eye. Although I could have very easily missed something.

Old     (detonate69)      Join Date: Apr 2001       01-12-2010, 10:29 AM Reply   
I've been driving at night on the delta for years and unless you get some super high power lights, not the standard light bars most companies offer, then besides docking they don't work well. I think 1 or 2 companies have an HID option which would work well. Don't know that for sure but you could custom mount some.

The problem is the water doesn't reflect the light back and it actually becomes harder to see. so an HID which projects extremely far will work better but most light bars are just fog lights. I only use my tower lights at the dock. Otherwise I've found it easier to see either by moon or complete darkness, unless you can't see well in the dark then maybe you shouldn't drive at night. lol.
Old     (h20king)      Join Date: Dec 2009       01-12-2010, 10:52 AM Reply   
i belive there are hid docking lights out there i think would work better for what you want since they mount lower and dont light the inside of the boat ass well.ive found the bugs to be unbareable with the tower lights on
Old     (dougr)      Join Date: Dec 2009       01-12-2010, 11:00 AM Reply   
go with a set of offroad PIAA, they are cheap, super bight and you can mount them just about anywhere. and they hold up well
Old     (rallyart)      Join Date: Nov 2006       01-12-2010, 11:26 AM Reply   
Water, and wet logs, don't really reflect light like a road so no lights are as effective as you would want. Certainly not a light bar cool look set up. Normally navigation lights and a good moon will work best.
If you're stuck on lights then get PIAA, Hella, or Cibie lights with at least a 5.5" diameter. I'd suggest four driving beams with patterns stacked to work when you are on plane and when the nose is up. At least one fog lamp also. All with at least 100 watt bulbs. (I was always partial to the Cibie Oscar+ lights) If you've got more watts in light than in your stereo you're headed in the right direction. You should be able to comfortably read a book a quarter mile in front of the boat. Mount them as high as possible. They're big and clunky but at least you'll get light in front of you.
Old     (dhcomp)      Join Date: Jun 2003       01-12-2010, 1:34 PM Reply   
Remember, the headlights installed on wake boats are called docking lights for a aren't legally allowed to run them other than docking.

While underway, bright white lights will basically just attract law enforcement attention, as they aren't really legal.
Old     (mendo247)      Join Date: Mar 2005       01-12-2010, 4:21 PM Reply   
When i say going across the lake im talking about 1-2 mph enjoying the ride. Usually about 100 ft offshore. I'm thinking my new LED flashlight may find a home in the boat if I cant find any nice lights... I'm suprised someone hasnt came up with something really cool.
Old     (soundbox)      Join Date: Oct 2007       01-12-2010, 4:51 PM Reply   
Check out for the HID kits

Vision X has the new LED light bars and also offer billet tube frame mounts for towers.

For the big dollar guys go thermal. We just finished up a demo vehicle for US NightVision last week with three of their thermal cameras. These are so much fun to play with.
Old     (mendo247)      Join Date: Mar 2005       01-12-2010, 8:21 PM Reply   
Been looking at the LED light bars today. There are quite a few out there. Seems like they fit the bill of what I would need. Have you installed any Ben?
Old     (soundbox)      Join Date: Oct 2007       01-12-2010, 9:13 PM Reply   
Richard - I have yet to install one or see them in person used on a boat. Most of my blinding experience with them are out on the dunes of Pismo Beach and Sand Mountain. They put off a SERIOUS amount of light with very little current draw.
Old     (acurtis_ttu)      Join Date: May 2004       01-13-2010, 6:33 AM Reply   

I live on a lake...cops leave a few hours before sunset every day. I use my lights all the time. My bimini ( z-5 cargo top) helps with keeping the relfelction off the boat and on the the water. My lights have been invaluable IMO. they have saved me numnerous times from hitting floating logs.

I'm in Houston so bugs are a huge issue for me. I went with amber colored lens lights. Helps on keeping the bugs down.

Someon mentioned going with 100 watt lights...its' too much current draw for tower lights ( based on the guage wire you can run thru the tower).

I took some $60/pilot brand lights - 55 watt ( idnetical to the titan light bar lights) and bought HID replacement bulbs/ballast and made my own 55 watt HID lights. It took a little work , but we'll worth the swap. 55 watt HID are about 4 times as bright as a regular 55 watt halogen light.

All the lights have a spot/pencil pattern. I find this to work best on the water....the driving/fog style beams reflect to much off the water.

I've gone thru a few different setups/combos over the last 6 years on the lake. This is the best by far for me.
Old     (boarditup)      Join Date: Jan 2004       01-13-2010, 7:05 AM Reply   
Former USCG here. Big lights at night don't help much, and can really hurt your ability to react. The reason why they are call docking lights it because that is the only thing they are good for. When using a bright light at night, your night vision is gone. You stare into blackness with spots in your eyes. Everyone else piloting their craft near you will have the same problem - and your fault. Not a good mix.

If you want to use a light for navigation, it should be place low to the water. LEDs do not attract bugs. The really cool ones are cut into the hull just below the rub-rail. You still cannot travel at high speeds - just enough for steerage at night.

Good Luck. Stay Safe.
Old     (bremsen)      Join Date: Aug 2005       01-13-2010, 7:12 AM Reply   
Night vision goggles?
Old     (travisz)      Join Date: Jun 2008       01-13-2010, 10:01 AM Reply 70 watts and they light up the world! cheap too! I have them on my tower and I love them!
Old                01-13-2010, 11:16 AM Reply   
I use FLIR and NVGs every night at work. It’s amazing technology, just not realistic considering cost and your needs. Thermal doesn’t work very well over water because the water disperses and retains heat well. NVG’s work well, but you would need to mount them to a helmet to be useful while driving. NVGs also severely limit your field of vision and depth perception.

I agree with Karl, Your eyes natural night vision is your friend. White light destroys your night vision and it can take up to 30 minutes to regain. Red light is best when maintaining night vision. Green is the most visible color to the human eye.

It would be nice if you could mount lights to the transome just above the swim step. This would illuminate the wake for the rider and allow you to retain your night vision for driving. Give the rider a glow stick or waterproof LED so you don’t run him over.


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