Navigating at night on the water is never easy and when you add the challenges of a moonless night, or drizzling rain, the prospect becomes even more daunting. But one solution is to utilise a good quality search or docking light to aid you in your night navigation adventures.
In the past, these units would have consisted of either a 55 or 100-watt Halogen bulb and reflector mounted in a housing that was designed to be either permanently mounted to the bow or cabin with some form of remote control, or utilised as a plug in hand held that came standard with all the discomfort or sticking your hand out in the elements on a cold windy night.
But technology has certainly improved in recent years and the introduction of highly functional remote controlled LED search lamps like Narva’s 12 volt 72808 and 24 volt 72809 5000 lumens models have added a whole new dimension to night Navigation.
They offer the advantage of a compact overall size, excellent light penetration with low current requirements and the ability to quickly aim the unit remotely, which is a definite advantage during inclement weather.
The ASA Plastic Resin construction of these units makes them robust and the head is fully sealed against water intrusion to a very high ingress rating of IP68. More than adequate heat dissipation is assured by the inclusion of a cast aluminium heatsink. The total weight of the unit is a humble 1.9 kg.
The head will fluidly move through 360 degrees of continuous rotation while offering a vertical tilt range of some 120 degrees. They come standard with a hardwired joystick remote control as well as the added advantage of a very convenient weatherproof wireless remote control with a range of 65 meters.
The 10 LED’s (with a combined output of 50 watts) produce a brilliant white light and the convenient vertical tilt range gives the trailer boat operator the ability to angle down the lamp and “light up” the trailer, making night launch and retrieval applications much safer and enjoyable.
Permanent installation is not difficult for the DIY enthusiast and depending on the length of the craft, a 10metre extension lead is available for the hardwired remote.
For the operator who doesn’t want a permanent installation, the 72802 30 watt LED Remote Control Search Lamp might be a good alternative. Its 6 LEDs combined produce 3000 Lumens of light output which means it is no slouch in terms of power and penetration.
This unit can be permanently mounted or is available with the option of a magnetic base. To utilise the ‘snap on’ – ‘snap off’ features of the magnet base it is necessary to have a ferrous metal surface to adhere to, so for Marine applications it may require the temporary mounting of a galvanised (or other suitably treated against corrosion) ferrous metal base to the craft in order for the unit to utilise the magnetic feature.
This unit is powered by a 4 meter 12 Volt electrical cable fitted with a lighter plug, offers a 360-degree rotation with 90 degrees of tilt and is also supplied with a water proof remote control.
Whichever of the above units is selected, it will provide much more enjoyable night boating.