LED Boat Lighting for Commercial Fishing Boats

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New evidence suggests that the annual profits in the fishing industry are well into billions of dollars, it has gone beyond just being a sport or a past time event. While the risk and the rewards of the fishing industry are equally high (there is a huge demand for fresh fish), the field is dangerous and very demanding.

Fishermen are in urgent need for lights to their boats

Since they work continuously for almost throughout the day often in the face of very abusive environments, commercial fishermen have the need for dependable and durable equipment. Most fishing operations usually take place by night, thus, it is important to choose equipment with the best illumination that can enhance their safety and productivity.

Hid lighting systems with high pressure sodium fixtures are usually installed on the working decks of most commercial fishing vessels. These lighting systems have been the standard for many years since they are powerful and efficient. The why HPS system has been the most commonly used type of lighting for far offshore vessels since it utilizes self-contained sources of power for extended periods.

Inconveniences of HPS bulbs in boats

However, sensitivity to moisture and poor light quality are the top two disadvantages of using the HPS lighting on commercial fishing vessels. Despite having a unique orange/reddish color, the color contrast and color reproduction of the light produced by an HPS lamp is very poor. Hence, those on the deck are unable to have a sharp view.

In addition to running very hot, HPS bulbs can shatter or explode violently when exposed to water during operation. These happen often since vessels are typically exposed to large volumes of water.

However, the long lifespan of HPS bulbs and their high luminous efficiency (at least 120 lumens per hour) makes them the most popularly used led lights for boats. Since lighting consumes less energy, the operations also consume less fuel. Thus, a vessel can spend more time at sea to pull in catches.

Advantage of new modern lighting technologies

However, most commercial fishing operators are already taking advantage of improved modern lighting technologies such as led lighting systems. Since these marine led lights are more durable and more efficient, a fishing vessel can perform better than the previous HPS systems.

Here’s a comparison between these two types of lighting;



Lumens per watt 120 60 to 100
Color temperature (Kelvin) 200 6000
Average lamp life (hours) 40,000 60,000 – 100,000


It is clear from the table that led lighting is more efficient and has higher light quality than HPS systems.

When complex tasks are being performed, this light improves the sharpness of vision since it is white, more intense and has better color reproduction and contrast. Even when LEDs are handled roughly (which happens a lot), they won’t fail compared to HPS that fail prematurely under rough handling.

Without the need to compromise their lighting efficiency, commercial fishing operators can perform better and safely on their decks. Led boat lights are better in reliability, performance, and durability; they are an improvement over the HPS system.