How to Find a Marine LED Light Bar for Your Boat

The Best Choice in Boat Lighting

Marine grade LED light bars are perfect for any boating illumination need. They produce the most light with the least amount of power and possess outstanding reliability. They are lightweight and virtually impervious to moisture and corrosion.

Compatible with Boat Electrical Systems

A typical marine light bar operates with voltages from nine to 30 VDC, which makes them directly compatible with boat electrical systems of 12 or 24 VDC.

Built Specifically for Marine Use

LED light bars are built to withstand off-road use and extreme environmental conditions. The best marine LED light bar has additional corrosion resistance built-in to counteract salt water exposure.

Boat LED Lighting Uses

Marine LED lighting illuminates the course ahead, banks, buoys and docks. It is also used for navigation signals and lighting up decks or compartments. They are available in any size, shape or color, which makes finding the best marine LED light bar for your application a breeze.

Types of Marine LED Light Bars

Spots and Floodlights

LED light bars serve as spot beams, floodlights or a combination beam. The highest quality light bars used computer-designed optics that optimize beam width and. Spots can penetrate the gloom for over a kilometer while floods or combos add side-to-side lighting. Spots on pivot mounts are ideal for search or fishing activities.

Wide Beam Light Bars

For the ultimate navigation illumination, wide, rectangular light bars up to 50 inches long provide the most night-splitting brightness. They are commonly mounted on the stern or the top of the cabin.

Deck and Compartment Lighting

Small, round LED light pods or fixed strip lights mount just about anywhere. They are optimal for illuminating compartments, bunks, cabins or for use as courtesy lights. They are available in low-profile or flush-mount designs that are small and unobtrusive. Weatherproof billet lights are excellent as docking guides.

Flexible Strip Lights

Waterproof, flexible LED strip lighting applications are limited only by your imagination. They can be mounted anywhere to any length. Colors run from white to blue, red, green and yellow. Special RGB light strips can be dimmed and are capable of flashing as well.

What to Look for in Marine LED Light Bars

When it comes to LED light bars in general, you get what you pay for. High quality light bars are distinguished from cheaper copies by these factors:

led featuresThey use top bin, high-efficiency, long-lasting LEDs such as CREE LEDs

led featuresThe LED driver circuitry is designed for super-tight current control that prolongs LED life

led featuresCircuit boards and housings are engineered to wick away excessive heat that damages LEDs

led featuresHousings and lens are made from the most rugged materials

led featuresCustom, waterproof seals are used between the housing and lens

Start with the Best Brands

Start your search for the best marine LED light bar by picking out the best brands such as Rigid, Baja Designs, Vision X, KC HiLites, Cosmoblaze, Lazer Star and so on. Each of these top manufacturers carries products built for marine conditions.

Extra Protection for Marine Conditions

A marine grade LED light bar has extra protection against exposure to marine conditions. The housings receive specialty coatings such as chromate, which resists salt corrosion.

On top of that will be a high-quality UV-resistant finish. All screws and mounting hardware are marine-grade stainless steel. Choose a marine light bar with a minimum ingress rating of IP68 to ensure it is impervious to moisture.

Example High Quality Marine LED Light Bar

Vision-X Solstice Prime Marine Work Lights

Vision X Solstice Prime Marine Work Lights come in square or round housings with either five or seven top bin 10W CREE LEDs. The smaller light draws 4A and the larger one less than 6A of current. They provide up to 7,364 raw lumens of brightness in either 20 or 40 degree beam patterns to fit any application.

Each light has a versatile 105 degree adjustable mounting with stainless steel hardware. The unbreakable polycarbonate lenses are custom sealed to the 6061 rugged aluminum housing. Vision X’s patented Prime Drive control circuitry provides superb temperature and voltage control plus dimming capability.

How to Wire an LED Light Bar on Your Boat?

Your boat’s electrical system, if it exists, is likely 12V or 24V DC. Neither voltage is a problem as most light bars operate normally with 9V to 30V DC.

A similar set of rules as for wiring an LED light bar in a vehicle apply to boats with a couple of additional precautions:

  • Use a gauge of wire appropriate for the amperage draw of the light and the distance from the electrical source to the light or relay.
  • Make sure the switch you use has at least a 10A rating. If the light needs more amperage, run the switch wires to a relay rated for the required amperage.
  • Use an inline fuse on the positive wire close to the battery.
  • Due to the high-humidity environment for boating, seal any exposed connections with silicone or self-fusing rubber tape.

If your boat has no electrical systems, any lead-acid, deep-cycle 12V battery will suffice as a source.

Be sure to consult local regulations about the use of a white light on a waterway as they may reduce the visibility of your port/starboard lights.


Marine lights operate under extreme environmental conditions and reliability requirements, which is why LED light bars are the perfect lighting solution for boats.

Their versatility, efficiency and ruggedness mean they can meet any lighting need with the least power draw and with long-lasting stability.

Due to their lightweight and small size, they can be mounted almost anywhere. When shopping for any kind of boat lighting, they are the obvious best choice.

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