While underwater lights have been popular in many areas, they can be challenging to keep running for extended periods of time because of the harsh saltwater environment, underwater marine life including barnacles and clams, hooks, lures, and propellers.
Due to the many problems encountered with underwater lights, most electrical contractors and dock builders now discourage the use of underwater lights and try to encourage the use of above water lights on docks and piers. Above water lights require no maintenance and actually attract more fish than underwater lights because shining light on top of the water replicates the sun and moon which is much more natural to a fish.
AlumiGlo Lighting prides itself on making and selling quality lights which will last a long time, unfortunately underwater lights that sit on or are attached to the bottom will not last for long if not properly maintained on a monthly basis. Unfortunately, most people do not take the time to remove the lights and clean them on a monthly basis which allows barnacles and clams to cover the lights in a short amount of time. Therefore, we have discontinued making and selling underwater dock lights that sit on the bottom and encourage our customers to use above water lighting for their docks and piers. Above water lights are maintenance free and will actually attract more fish to your dock and pier.
It’s important to remember that the nicest dock with the nicest looking water may not always be the best dock for attracting fish. Water depth, water temperature, oxygen content, structure, and food sources are all important factors when it comes to attracting fish to your dock. Just because your neighbors dock may have fish, doesn’t always mean your dock will.
Above Water Dock & Pier Lights
Above Water Dock Lights are maintenance free and illuminate the water from the top down instead of the bottom up. Above water light provide more overall water coverage and are more normal to fish. Our DockPro 3500, DockPro 16000 and DockPro 26000 have become the preferred type of light used by dock builders and electrical contractors because they are maintenance free. Note: “Above Water” lights cannot be submerged in water for any length of time, or they will be damaged. The lights should be mounted high enough off the water where they will not be submerged during high tides and storm surges. Above water lights typically mount to the face of the dock or on a pier post and shine downward, illuminating the surface of the water. The depth of penetration into the water will be determined by the clarity of your water, but please keep in mind that “Above Water” lights are designed to illuminate the water’s surface to attract fish and look nice, but they may not penetrate deep into the water. The biggest advantage to above water lights is that they are maintenance free, and they illuminate more surface area around your dock or pier, and light shined on top of the water is completely natural to the fish.
Underwater Dock & Pier Lights
Underwater Dock Lights require regular maintenance, or they will soon be overtaken by algae, barnacles, clams, and other underwater marine life. Underwater lights which sit on the bottom and shine upward are popular because they allow you to see the fish more clearly in deeper water. However, underwater lights that sit on the bottom (regardless of manufacturer) are easily compromised by underwater marine life, acidic saltwater, hooks, and theft. So much so, we recently stopped selling all underwater lights that sit on the bottom and shine up and now only sell submersible lights that are suspended over the side of your dock. If you want to illuminate the water around your dock using an underwater light, you are much better off using a light that hangs over the side of your dock and does not sit on the bottom. These lights allow you to adjust the amount of light you want at any depth by raising or lowering the light vertically and are easily cleaned on a regular basis. Our SuperBrite 4800-D is the preferred light for people who prefer to use an underwater light. Due to the harsh underwater environment, and damage caused by hooks and lures, the typical life span of any underwater that sits on or is suspended from the bottom is much less than any above water light.
We always recommend using a Photocell Timer which turns the light on at dusk and then turns the light off at a predetermined time set by you. Fish become accustomed to knowing when the lights will be on so they can eat. If your light comes on at dusk and shuts off hours later every night, you will have more fish congregating around your dock at one time. If you leave the lights on from dusk to dawn, the fish will come and go at their leisure because they know they have all night to feed. Consistency is important so the fish know when feeding time is.
Swim Safe-Use Low Voltage LED Lights
We’ve all been told mixing electricity with water is something you just never do. But, prior to the development of Low Voltage, High Intensity LED Lights, the only way to make a light bright enough for underwater use was to use halogen, mercury vapor, metal halide or HID bulbs which are all powered by 120VAC.
HID, mercury vapor and metal halide underwater dock lights use 120VAC in the water which can be deadly to you and your loved one’s if there is a malfunction. If the power-cord is cut or damaged or if the light malfunctions in any way, anyone in the water could be seriously hurt or killed. While GFCI outlets do offer a limited amount of protection, GFCI outlets are prone to malfunction when used in outdoor environments.
Fortunately, with the advent of low voltage, high intensity LEDs, underwater lights no longer have to be made using high voltage components. High intensity LEDs produce more lumen’s per watt, are less expensive to operate and are Safe to Operate in the Water.
Before you purchase your next underwater light, remember, AC voltage in the water is a tragedy waiting to happen. Choose an underwater LED light that operates on low voltage and keep everyone safe!