Benefits of Low Voltage Boat Lights

Are there any benefits to Low Voltage Boat Lights? Many boaters and operators rely on low voltage units on their vessels. By definition, low voltage equipment are tools and systems that run on 30 volts, or less, typically 12V DC or 24V DC for marine luminaries.

In some cases, the lights leverage a transformer to step down or convert voltage from mainstream line voltages, including 120V AC or 240V AC (for example), to low voltage DC. This configuration is more common in land-based lighting systems, such as low voltage landscape lighting for residential homes.

At this range of operation, individuals can power lights using a standard cigarette plug or a battery. Most small or medium-sized boats don’t offer mainstream AC power, making low voltage DC units more compatible with vessels that use batteries to power their equipment.

Safety and Heat

Perhaps the main reason low voltage lighting matters in marine environments is due to safety. To prevent electrical-related accidents, most LED boat lights come with waterproof ratings and water tight builds. This is because water is a forceful electrical conductor; and boats are surrounded by it 24/7. In the event these protective features fail, the units pose less risks of electrocution. Furthermore, this level of protection is ideal for boats that conduct repair work or utilize a wide range of sharp tools on the vessel. Accidentally striking a low voltage light or cutting a connected wire with a metal object will most likely not result in lethal damage.

Low voltage also equates to lower levels of heat emission during operation. As you might already know, abnormal levels of heat can cause luminaries to malfunction or fail prematurely. Hence, low voltage features may help preserve LED boat lights, allowing operators to use the luminaries for its entire intended lifespan.

Compact Builds and Portability

Low voltage boat lights usually come with smaller, more compact builds. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing for boats, since the vessels need to be able to maximize their limited space. Direct compatibility with batteries also lets the lights become more portable and mobile. They don’t always have to be plugged into a power source during operation (for lights that offer portable, wireless features).

To conclude, low voltage luminaries are great options for boaters who are serious about fully functional, reliable lighting systems. The combination of low voltage and LEDs can ensure huge energy savings, as the US Department of Energy highlights that low voltage LEDs consume up to 90 percent less power than halogen units.

 

LED Boat Strip Lights Chip Considerations and Applications

LED boat strip lights offer increased safety and enhanced mood. They are capable of providing consistent illumination in areas with high activity. When installed outside of the vessel, the compact luminaries improve detection from nearby boats, greatly decreasing the chances of collision.

Purchasing LED boat strip lights for your vessel requires understanding its uses and configurations. Read on to learn about how these factors can affect illumination on your watercraft. To purchase waterproof strip lights, please visit – LarsonElectronics.com

LED Boat Strip Lights

LED Chip Size: 3528 and 5050

The first thing one must understand when choosing LED boat strip lights is chip size. These products are usually offered in 5050 or 3528 chip configurations. The values associated with the components refer to the size or dimensions of the chips in millimeters (mm). With this in mind, 5050 LEDs measure 5 mm x 5 mm, while 3528 LEDs measure 3.5 mm x 2.8 mm.

5050 LEDs are considered to be much stronger than 3528 LEDs. The luminaries house three diodes per single housing, resulting in brighter illumination. By comparison, 3528 LEDs only carry one diode per housing. Due to 5050 LED boat strip lights forcing more diodes on the board, heat can become an issue. Though when paired against outdated lighting technologies, LEDs run noticeably cooler.

Applications and Considerations

3528 LED boat lights are very useful for single color installations that require only one light color (for example, white). This is due to their single-diode configuration. To produce colors, LEDs need three diodes: red, green and blue (RGB). 5050 LED boat strip lights can accommodate this requirement, as they can hold multiple didoes. Other configurations and sizes include the following: 3020 LEDs, 3014 LEDs and 2835 LEDs. 2835 LEDs can be found inside airplanes and are the most compact from the set of examples. 3014 LEDs are typically installed in and around commercial buildings.

Going back to lighting systems for marine vessels and based on the information above, it would be possible to narrow down the exact type of LED boat strip light you need. Most boats use single-diode configurations for strip lighting to avoid mixing with navigation lights. Hence, it would make sense to use 3528 LEDs for exterior installations. However, to enhance the mood inside cabins on a boat, 5050 RGB LEDs may be used.

Lastly, LED strip lights for boats must be waterproof and corrosion resistant to prevent premature failure. Low voltage models that operate on 12V DC or 24V DC are useful for compliance with lighting regulations for marine applications.