About Boat Dock Lighting

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Boat docks are a very important part of both lake and ocean living. Docks are used as parking spots for boats, as swimming platforms and as a place to relax in the sun and entertain. When the sun goes down, there is a way to get even more use out of a boat dock and that is to add lighting. Dock lights allow docks to be used at any time of day.

Function

  • There are three primary functions of dock lights. First, dock lights illuminate a dock so that people can see where on a dock they are walking when it is dark. Secondly, dock lights mark the location of a dock so that incoming boats are able to find their way in to tie up to the dock. Third, dock lights notify nighttime boaters of the presence of a dock so they do not run into the dock. These three functions have one very important thing in common and that is safety.

Types

  • Dock lighting can be achieved with one of three different types of lights to suit your needs. There are electric, solar and glowing dock lights available at marine specialty stores. Solar or glow lights are the preferred choice, as installing electric lights involves the added step of running an electric line out to the dock. Additionally, because electricity and water do not mix this is not the safest of the three options. Both solar and glow dock lights are charged during daylight hours and receive their charges even on cloudy days. The main difference between solar and glow dock lights is that solar lights require a battery and the battery will eventually need to be replaced.

Size

  • Dock lights also come in different sizes and styles. There are dock lights that look like lanterns and are made specifically to be attached to dock posts, there are flat, low-profile dock lights that are made to be mounted directly on the decking, and there are dock lights on pedestals made so that the pedestal is mounted to the dock. The pedestal dock lights and the dock lights for posts illuminate downwards and out, whereas the flat, deck-mounted dock lights illuminate upwards and out.

Features

  • There is a handy feature that is available on some of the pedestal-style dock lights that is worth consideration and that is a cleat. When it comes to docks and boating, a dock can never have too many cleats and with a cleat right on the pedestal below the light it should be even easier to tie up a boat at night. Additionally, a feature offered in the glow dock lighting category is a glowing cleat that gives off light.

Warning

  • If you are considering solar dock lights, it is important to make sure the lights have a replaceable battery. Some of the more economical solar lights do not have replaceable batteries which means the lights themselves would have to be replaced. It is much easier to replace a battery in a light than to remove a bad light, and buy and mount a new light. On a different note, whichever type of dock light you choose it is important to still use extra care when boating or walking on a dock at night.

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  • Photo Credit www.eveningstarlighting.com, http://www.clevel.com/newcatalog.htm,
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