Best underwater boat lighting for 2020
8/4/2020

Last week we ventured into one aspect of onboard entertainment—high-performing audio systems. This week it’s products that also qualify as entertainment but for many boaters do double duty as fish attractors and safety/security devices as well. We’re talking about underwater LEDs that can do some pretty entertaining tricks—like change colors and sequencing patterns and sync with your music.

Here are five systems that are this year’s pick of the litter. The roundup is part of an exercise we do at Marine Electronics Journal every year—we call it the Best & Brightest Boating Electronics. We ask manufacturers to tell us which model in 19 categories of marine electronics products they consider to be their best—not necessarily the most advanced or latest but the one than delivers the highest marks overall. That could be their most popular model or the one that has passed the test of time. Our product categories range from fishfinders and radars to electronic charts and wireless devices.


Lumishore TIX1603

Lumishore’s EOS thru-hull lighting systems offer high-performance full-spectrum underwater lighting. The interchangeable TIX1603 has an internal driver and can be serviced from inside the hull without hauling the vessel. It features an ultra-wide 110-degree beam angle and a brightness output of 15,500 verified fixture lumens. Boaters can control their TIX1603 lighting system with the intuitive STV 2204-I display and/or directly from their MFD, using the (required) Lumi-Link Command Center. Features include preset and customizable colors, cycles, speeds, sweeps, modes, and brightness adjust; Sound-to-Light integration with onboard sound system; Wi-Fi control via Apple, Android, or any device with web browser; preprogramed synchronized light sequencing (all lights, all colors, all modes); and auto light discovery and set up.

Aqualuma GEN 5–24 RGB

The 24 Series RGB is the latest addition to Aqualuma’s GEN 5 Thru-Hull range. The GEN 5-24 is the largest thru-hull option available from Aqualuma. Designed for large vessels and superyachts, it delivers a huge light output allowing full color and scene control through the use of the Casambi app available for IOS or Android (static blue and white versions also available). The patented, one-piece polymer housing can be serviced and upgraded from inside the vessel. The GEN 5 range is ideal for any type of hull construction, including aluminum, steel, wood and fiberglass.

Lumitec SeaBlazeX2

Building on the success of its SeaBlazeX, Lumitec has pushed even further ahead with the introduction of SeaBlazeX2. Available in dual-color or full-color RGBW spectrum output, SeaBlazeX2 delivers the performance, quality, and value customers expect from the Lumitec brand. Both versions deliver more than 6,000 integrating-sphere-measured lumens, require no external drivers, are surface mountable and deliver reliability recognized the world over. TTP- and PLI-enabled means SeaBlazeX2 will integrate seamlessly with our award-winning Poco Digital Lighting Control system for full-color control over your lights, all at the touch of a button from any compatible MFD or connected smart device.

OceanLED Explore E7

Explore E7 is the first LED underwater light in a XFM/flush-mount style that can be internally angled to counter a hull’s shape, achieving a high-quality and even underwater lighting effect.  The compact form and internal driver allow for a quick and simple installation and, with a low external profile, provide a flush hull finish. The E7 can be angled up to 50 degrees and with our specially designed optics, the light penetrates further in the direction required, giving an even flood of light around the yacht. It comes in DMX color change and dual color, offering a max 11,000 fixture lumens.  With our optics controlling the light’s angle and direction, the lighting is exceptionally bright, which is achieved with reduced power consumption and longer product longevity.

Shadow-Caster SCM-MFD-LC

Control all of your marine lighting through your vessel’s touchscreen interface and Shadow-Caster’s easy-to-use SCM-MFD-LC (Multifunction Display–Lighting Controller). Our unique system provides color, brightness, and multiple fade, strobe and music sync modes for up to six zones. Simply plug into your system’s network interface and step through the on-screen setup. There is no additional software to install or complex configuration. The Shadow-Caster Lighting Controller is compatible with most major MFD manufacturers, including Garmin, Simrad, Lowrance, B&G, Raymarine and Furuno. Our SCM-MFD-LC is also compatible with all standard RGB and RGBW lighting. We offer a two-year warranty on our products.

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