What’s a boat dock without lighting? Dangerous and accident-prone. Lighting serves a very basic and necessary purpose to boat docks. It guides men in boats so they won’t be prone to collisions and accidents. There are a few important things to consider when choosing boat dock lighting. Let the following tips serve as your guide and checklist.
- Know what kind of lights to choose from. There are many different kinds of lighting you can install for your boat dock. Electrical-powered lights have been the norm. Choose from accent lights, fish lights, floodlights, hanging lights, pathway lights, underwater lights, and wharf pole lights.
- Consider based on your dock’s purpose. Is your dock located on private property and is exclusive, or is it used by and accessible to the general public? As the owner of a small, private and exclusive dock, you can afford to choose lights that not only serve their practical purpose, but also double as a beautifying, ornamental element in your dock. This is especially useful when you’re the kind who hosts parties and gatherings, and welcomes visitors often. Large, government and public docks must stick to their original purpose—to serve as guides for boats to prevent accidents. Therefore, more practical and long-lasting lighting should be the priority.
- Consider alternative kinds of lighting. Solar-powered, transom lights, and fiber-optics are other options you can choose from. Transom lights work by using either halogen or LED technology (light emitting diodes). Fiber-optics makes use of a side-emitting optic cable that can provide enough light along the whole cable line. Solar-powered lighting is a practical and wise choice because it’s economical, energy efficient and environment friendly all at the same time. They’re very ideal for outdoor lighting use. As long as the sun is still up, the solar cells soak in the energy, and come sunset, the lights automatically turn on. They will also turn off automatically during sunrise. You don’t need to remember to turn the switch on and off, and there’s no need to install a wire connection, which makes it easier for you to install. Just make sure to position the solar cells in a spot where it can get direct sunlight.
- Choose the style you want. You can choose lights that can complete that look or atmosphere that you want to create, or something that can match or complement your dock’s surroundings. For example, if you’re looking for that vintage vibe, consider bronze lights or something with an antique-looking hood. For a festive party atmosphere, bright and even colorful lights will amp up the energy. And for a more romantic ambiance, soft lights will definitely do the trick.
- Choose water-resistant, salt-resistant, and weatherproof housing. Your dock lights will always be exposed to the elements—water, salt, minerals, dust, wind, plus weather and temperature extremes. That’s why it’s equally important to choose one with a durable housing that can stand the wear and tear for a long time. Housing made of durable plastics is reliable since they can repel water and minerals. Some metal-made ones are prone to corrode easily.
- Consider your budget. Surprisingly, solar lights are gradually catching up to become the best choice of outdoor lighting. They may have been expensive before, but gradually, their prices are also becoming affordable for most people. Electrical and battery-operated lights may cost a bit more, but they’re also reliable and can last for a long time. Underwater lights and lights that double for beautifying and ornamental purposes are definitely on the expensive side. Prices also differ depending on the materials they’re made of. Naturally, the more expensive and sturdy the materials are, the higher the cost. So when scouting around for dock lighting, don’t just look at the cheaper options. In the long run, it’s more practical to invest in lighting that can give you value for your money.
Although there are many kinds, styles, and materials of dock lighting to choose from, don’t take it lightly. Always stick to the main purpose of using dock lighting. Safety and practicality must be your top priorities.