Whether for fishing or exploring, boating is an exciting and engaging activity, to say the least. And doing it at night adds an extra level of depth and excitement to it. However, this brings a new challenge, lighting. A quality boating spotlight is essential for a quality experience. So, to aid you in this, here are some of the best spotlight for boat that you absolutely need.
Boat spotlights, also known as searchlights, are a particular type of spotlights that specializes in usage with boats or other watercraft. Spotlight is available in both boat mounted form and handheld form. Some spotlights run on the boat’s battery, while others run on battery. But you can also charge the battery-powered ones from the boat’s battery as well.
Boat spotlights need to be more sturdy and reliable than an average handheld spotlight. Because it’s more problematic to be stranded in the middle of the water, it is the exact reason you shouldn’t go out without a backup light. Always keep a backup; you never know when you’ll need it.
The best spotlight for boat: Our top Eight
Following are our top picks for the best spotlight for boat. Boat mounted spotlights are the easiest to work with because they offer hands-free operation. Although, they are a bit trickier to install initially. The other popular form of boat spotlight is the handheld spotlight. They offer more flexibility and freedom of movement. You can bring the light right where you need it.
Of course, both of them come with their advantages and disadvantages. So ultimately, you will have to be the one to take the decision. You can find both types from the list below. Feel free to choose the one that fits your bill the best. If you’d ask me, I’d say buy one of each. This way, you will have the best of both worlds. Plus, you will have a backup ready at hand in case of any emergency.
|Nilight||1,260 lumen||12V DC Power Cord||1,500 feet|
|Jabsco||100,000 Candela||12V DC power cord||1,500 feet|
|Lightronic||8,000 lumens||10 - 30V DC||1,600 feet|
|Suparee||5,000 lumens||12 - 24V DC||650 feet|
|YIERBLUE||2,000 lumens||10,000mAh||1,600 feet|
|ZOHI||1,500 lumen||4,400 mAh||1,500 feet|
|Cyclops||18 Million Candlepower||9,000 mAh + DC Power Cord||5,280 feet|
|BIGSUN||6,000 lumens||10,800 mAh||2,600 feet|
Best boat mounted spotlight:
If you are looking for boat mounted spotlights, this section is for you. While handheld spotlights are more flexible, boat mounted spotlights come with their own sets of advantages. Like for fishing. It’s not always practical to occupy one hand for holding the light, especially for a long period. Hence, you might want to invest in a boat mounted spotlight instead.
1. Nilight – 60001F-B
Nilight – 60001F-B is an impressive option for those who want a boat mounted, Super bright spotlight on their boat. This LED spotlight shines at an impressive 1260 lumens and is powered by 12 volts. Therefore, it is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a reliable and powerful boat spotlight.
Nilight’s 10pcs Cooling fans provide fast heat-dissipation for your devices, ensuring that they stay cool and perform at their best for a longer period. In addition, with its high-quality heat conductive silicone gel, these fans are a must-have for anyone looking to keep their devices running at peak performance.
The best part of this spotlight is its waterproof rating. The Nilight 60001F-B is IP67 rated. This means it can withstand being submerged in up to 1 meter of water for 30 minutes. It’s also dustproof, making it the perfect light for any outdoor adventure.
Apart from the rustproof and anti-corrosive properties, the Nilight – 60001F-B also has an adjustable mounting bracket that makes it possible to use the light in different positions.
The only disadvantage is it does not support batteries. So it must be plugged into the boat’s battery to be functional. But it is a common feature of boat mounted spotlight anyway.
|Battery:||12V DC power cord|
|Brightness:||Up to 1,260 lumens|
|Range:||Up to 1,500 feet|
- Superb IP rating
- Run directly from the boat’s battery
- Good range
- Boat mounted, hands-free operation
- Completely water-submersible, up to 30 minute
- Limited mobility due to power reliance
- Comparatively weaker light output
2. Jabsco 135SL Marine
The Jabsco 135SL Marine Spotlight is a powerful and durable spotlight that is perfect for boating. With 100,000 candelas of power, this spotlight can easily light up the night.
The light also has a range of 1500 feet, making it perfect for long-distance lighting. It pairs well with most boats and is perfect for even the challenging nights such as rain, fog, and mist.
The Jabsco 135SL Marine Spotlight is waterproof and shockproof, making it ideal for use in all weather conditions. The Jabsco 135SL Marine Spotlight is also IPX7 waterproof and has a durable aluminum body.
The best part of this spotlight is that it is remote controlled, thus you only need to worry about supplying power to it. The mechanized light has a horizontal movement angle of 320-degree and a vertical movement angle of 75-degree.
This spotlight also comes with a 12V DC power cord. It comes with a 15-feet cable, but you can extend the cable as you need.
The Jabsco 135SL Marine Spotlight is the perfect addition to any boat. With its powerful light and long range, it is sure to light up the night.
|Power Supply:||12V DC power cord|
|Brightness:||Up to 100,000 candela|
|Range:||Up to 1,500 feet|
- Excellent brightness
- Operated by the boat’s battery
- Long cable for connection
- Hands-free operation
- Tough, weatherproof, corrosion-resistant construction
- Battery Drainage is on the higher end
- Produces a decent amount of heat, it could be problematic over extensive usage
3. Lightronic Remote Control Spotlight
The Lightronic remote control spotlight is a super bright and long-range light that is perfect for any boating adventure. With 80W of power and 8000-lumen brightness, this spotlight is sure to light up the way ahead in any situation.
This spotlight comes with a magnetic mount, making it quick and easy to attach to your boat. The super-strong magnetic mount also ensures that the spotlight stays securely in place, even in rough waters. But if you’d want a more secure installation, you can screw it down as you normally do.
The most unique feature of this spotlight is its 360-degree horizontal rotation and 110-degree vertical rotation. And thanks to its remote control method, you can shine it exactly where you need it, whether it is the fishing net or the rod you are pulling in, or the way ahead.
The 3 long and 2 short flashes SOS signal of this spotlight is the most recognized SOS signal and can be incredibly useful in any emergency situation.
Another neat feature of this light is that it can be operated with any remote controller. By default, it accepts any compatible remote signal, but you can pair it with a particular one if you want. It only takes one minute max. From then, it only accepts signals from that one remote. But you can unpair any time as well.
This device is IP67 waterproof and can protect against heavy rain, and wave splashes very effectively.
|Power Supply:||10 - 30V DC|
|Brightness:||Up to 8,000 lumens|
|Range:||Up to 1,600 feet|
- Easy installation with magnetic base
- Super bright light beam
- Variable voltage compatibility
- Pairable remote controller access
- Full 360-degree horizontal rotation and 110-degree vertical rotation
- You’ll need to buy the remote battery separately
- Remote only accepts 12V 23A alkaline battery, so you will need to keep extra in hand in case of emergency
4. Suparee remote controlled spotlight
The suparee remote control spotlight is another bright and long-range light. This spotlight will light up even the darkest night with its 60W of power and 5000-lumen brightness.
This spotlight features two mounting options, the heavy-duty magnetic base for quick and easy installation and screws for permanent and secure installation. The light has an effective range of 650 feet and the remote also has a range of over 160 feet for ease of access.
The most unique feature of this spotlight is its full 360-degree horizontal and vertical rotation. This means you can turn it anywhere you want. The light won’t spot you.
The light comes with a 2.5m power cord with a cigarette plug at the end. But you can easily replace the plug and add additional cord length for your needs.
This device is IP65 waterproof and can protect against heavy rain, and wave splashes very effectively.
|Power Supply:||12 - 24V DC|
|Brightness:||Up to 5,000 lumens|
|Range:||Up to 650 feet|
- Magnetic base and Screw installation mounting
- Excellent brightness
- Adjustable voltage compatibility
- Long-range remote controller access
- Full 360-degree horizontal and vertical rotation
- Max range may feel short compared to other options
- The power cord plug might need to be adjusted
Best handheld boat spotlight:
Following are some of the best handheld spotlights for boat. These lights are mainly useful for using the boat’s deck for traversing and locating something, and for general usage. These lights give you the flexibility that the main light can’t.
5. YIERBLUE Rechargeable Spotlight
Looking for a powerful and bright spotlight that you can take on your boat? Look no further than the YIERBLUE Rechargeable Spotlight, which is incredibly bright, with a whopping 2000 lumens of power.
With up to 1600 feet range, this spotlight will light up your way, whether you’re out there for fishing or looking for a lost item overboard, or trying to find your way back to the dock.
With the large rechargeable 10,000mAh battery, The YIERBLUE Boat Spotlight gives you the power you need to stay out on the water all night long.
The YIERBLUE rechargeable spotlight is an excellent choice for boaters who need reliable and long-lasting light. Additionally, this spotlight has three lighting modes – High, Low, and Flash – and can run for up to 20 hours on a single charge. So whether you’re navigating in the dark or signaling for help, the YIERBLUE spotlight will help you get the job done.
The YIERBLUE Rechargeable Spotlight is water-resistant and dustproof, making it tough enough to withstand even the most challenging outdoor conditions. It’s also waterproof up to 3ft deep, so you can take it on your boat wherever your adventures take you. You can undoubtedly rely on it as it is IP67 rated.
Overall, the Yierblue is an excellent handheld spotlight to use with boat.
|Range:||Up to 1,600 feet|
|Maximum Runtime:||Up to 20h|
- Excellent battery capacity
- Remarkable runtime
- Completely waterproof and submersible for up to 30 min
- Cordless and handheld, free movement on deck
- Lightweight, slim and simplistic profile
- Not mountable on the boat, so stationing securely is challenging
- If battery runs out, charging onboard can be an issue
6. ZOHI 15L
If you’re looking for a powerful handheld spotlight to take out on your boat, the ZOHI 15L handheld LED Spotlight is a great option for your boat. With 1500 lumens of brightness, it’s perfect for illuminating the boat’s deck or shoreline.
With the 1500-feet range, you’ll be able to see plenty fine. Additionally, LED bulbs are energy-efficient and have a long lifespan.
This Boat Spotlight is perfect for lighting up the night, and with a 4400mAh battery, you’ll be prepared for any situation. So whether you’re fishing, camping, or just out for a nighttime swim, the ZOHI 15L LED Spotlight can back you up for a long time.
The most interesting part is that it has built-in USB portable charging functionality if you need to charge your mobile devices while kayaking. With that, this handheld spotlight can make your boat expedition that much better.
|Maximum Runtime:||Up to 20h|
- Excellent IP rating, temporarily submersible
- Appreciable Run time
- USB charge input/output capability
- Handheld and portable, you can carry it around the deck
- Slim and sleek design
- Comparatively lower lumen and narrow beam
- On high brightness setting, battery won’t last whole night
7. Cyclops Colossus C18
The Cyclops Colossus C18 is a behemoth of a spotlight. It’s large, it’s heavy, but it’s got the power when you need it.
The strength of this light is its light output. When put to max output, this behemoth will output a mind-blowing 18-million candela. The central beam will easily reach over a mile distance.
And the light beam is not super-condensed, so it will act as both floodlight and spotlight at the same time. But the bulb is halogen, not LED. So, the power consumption rate is higher.
The light has an internal 12V 9,000mAh battery. But the light is not intended to be used on the battery. Therefore, we highly recommend you run it from your boat’s battery.
A downside to this light is its size. It is bulky and heavy. But to assist with this, the light has a comfortable carrying handle and built-in stand to leave it on the deck.
The light is rated IPX4 standard, meaning it will do just fine in rain and snow. But you shouldn’t drop it in water. This boat spotlight is large, but it’s handheld.
|Battery:||9,000mAh lithum-ion + DC power cord|
|Brightness:||Up to 18 million candela|
|Range:||Up to 5280 feet, or over a mile|
|Runtime(on high setting):||Up to 2h|
|Runtime(on low setting):||Up to 50h|
- Unbelievable 18million candela
- Extreme range
- cable support for powering
- carrying handle and standing stand
- Automatic floodlight functionality
- Fairly heavy and bulky
- Battery backup is short
8. BIGSUN LED Spotlight
BIGSUN LED Spotlight is both handheld and powerful. It can produce 1400-2200 lumens of central light intensity depending on brightness mode. Additionally, it offers an impressive 2600 feet of range, making it perfect for lighting up your boat on those darkest nights.
If you’re looking for a spotlight with some serious runtime, the BIGSUN is the one for you. Because with three high-energy lithium-ion batteries in total 10,800mAh, it can run for up to 24 hours on a single charge. That’s plenty of juice to keep you going through even the longest nights.
BIGSUN LED Spotlight comes with a few extra features, including a built-in Side/Floodlight and Tripod attachment.
The sidelight is not as bright as the main one, but 400-800 lumens are enough to illuminate a typical campsite or boat’s deck. And the tripod jack is also adjustable at any angle, making it even more versatile.
This spotlight is IP45 rated and resistant to splashing, making it ideal for use on boats.
So whether you’re looking for a handheld and engaging spotlight on your boat trip or hands-free operation, the BIGSUN LED Spotlight is perfect.
|Range:||Up to 2,600 feet|
|Runtime(on high setting):||Up to 10h|
|Runtime(on low setting):||Up to 24 - 32h|
- Excellent runtime
- Enormous light output
- Side panel for floodlight compatibility for usage on deck
- Compatible with direct power input from the boat’s battery
- Emergency USB functionality
- Rain-proof and splash-proof, but will get damaged if submerged
- Won’t function when on USB power output mode.
Buying guide for the best boat spotlight
When shopping for the best spotlight for boat, there are a few things you should watch out for. This one will be a short and compact guide for a quick reminder. If can also read our complete and comprehensive Buying Guide for in-depth analysis. With that out of the way, here are what you should look carefully-
Required brightness for boat spotlight:
Brightness is perhaps the single most influential factor to consider when buying a new spotlight for boat. Making sure to have enough brightness is the key. It can make the difference between a smooth, enjoyable experience and a painful, agitating one.
Generally speaking, 1000 lumen or more is ideal. But you can make do with less. Even 100 lumen will get the job done. But for a better experience, aim for four digits. The rules apply for both boat mounted spotlight and handheld boat spotlight.
Necessary run time for spotlight for boat:
If you opt for a handheld, battery-operated spotlight, run time is a crucial factor to consider. Although you can charge most handheld spotlights from the boat’s battery, many lights don’t operate while charging. So, a longer run time is essential.
Having a handheld battery-powered spotlight onboard is pretty useful. It gives you the freedom and flexibility to move around onboard and shine wherever you want to, in a moment. But it should not be your primary light source. Instead, it should be a secondary light, a boat mounted spotlight should be the primary light source.
Your best bet will be to use a LED boat spotlight, as they tend to offer the highest run time for the most part.
Minimum water resistance for boat spotlight:
It goes without saying that water resistance is vital for a light that’s going on a voyage. Water resistance is usually rated in IPXX rating. What you should look at is the last digit. The last digit indicates how protected it is from water. The higher the number, the better.
The very least you can go for is “4” as the last digit for boat-mounted spotlight. IPX4 means it will be safe from rain and wave splashes. And for handheld, go for IPX7 or 8. With 7 or 8 as the last digit, the light will be fine even if you drop it in water accidentally.
That said, most lights will sink in water, so if you drop it, it’s pretty much gone unless you are in very shallow water.
The last factor to consider is the overall build of the light. It should be sturdy, compact, and relatively lightweight. Because a heavy, bulky light has a higher chance of breaking or cracking if dropped, allowing water or moisture to enter the encasement.
A relatively light spotlight with a polycarbonate or metal body will be safe from impact for the most part. And you should only buy a larger or heavier spotlight if you intend to mount it on the boat.
Care and maintenance for a spotlight for boat
Frequent inspection is the key to keeping the light in tip-top shape. So be sure to inspect the light as frequently as possible, Ideally before every trip. Things you should check include:
- Quality Inspection:
Look for any visible damage or stains on the light. Any crack or gap in the structure will allow water and moisture. Additionally, check the cord for damage as well, if possible. Finally, test and ensure the spotlight works perfectly.
- Waterproof inspection:
Check for any openings on the casing of the light. Inspect the joints and connection points. Then if you notice any potential openings cover them with some silicone putty to block the gap.
An unattended opening on a boating spotlight can easily significantly more problematic than other types of tools.
- Salt Accumulation:
Salt accumulation is a major sign of a potential hazard. Therefore, you should open the casing of your boating spotlight every once in a while if the light model allows it. If you notice any sign of salt accumulation, You should apply a layer of silicone putty on the joints. Because salt accumulation indicates that the casing is not waterproof, and water is making its way inside.
At this rate, the light is at a high risk of short-circuiting and potentially dying. While it is dangerous for any and all lights, it is more so for the halogen lights. Because LED boat spotlight works on less power in general, the risk is lower naturally.
Frequently asked questions
What is a spotlight on a boat?
A boat spotlight or a searchlight is a light for a boat that helps illuminate and visualize objects in front of the boat(and/or on the boat’s deck).
A boating spotlight tend to be more powerful and have narrower beams with a higher range. This specialized light helps the captain see objects such as a landmass, landmark, or other boats/ships from a long distance and detect smaller details ahead of time.
Generally, the most popular boat spotlight is LED spotlight.
How do you install spotlight on a boat?
First step is to mount the bracket/strap of the spotlight. Then secure the cable. Lastly, attach the light fixture. Be sure to test the light afterward.
You can follow this guide for a comprehensive walkthrough. Mr. Corey Petersen has an impressive guide covering the details of installing a boating spotlight.
How many lumens do you need for a boat spotlight?
For navigation and fishing, you will need 1,000 lumens or up—the more, the merrier. And for onboard usage, a handheld spotlight with 100-150/200 lumen.
Besides lumen, the range is also an essential factor. For the main spotlight of the boat, aim for 350 yards of range or more. It is crucial not to go below this number for the range. Additionally, if you can find a boating spotlight of over 500 yards range within your budget, that’s even better.
Is LED boat spotlight better or halogen?
In general, LED spotlight is better. LED spotlights don’t produce heat and use much less energy to generate the same brightness as a halogen spotlight.
If you are planning on using the same spotlight for long distance shinning and deck lighting, halogen will be the better boating spotlight, otherwise, LED will be the better option.
Do LED boat spotlight float?
Some boat spotlight are designed to float in water. But it depends on the model; not all boat spotlights do. So be sure to check your manual first.
That said, manufacturers surely do consider the possibility, so many modern boating spotlight are designed with this accident in mind, and they do float in water. It has nothing to do with LED, what matters is it is a boat spotlight.
Can I mount a portable spotlight on my boat?
Yes, you can mount a portable/handheld spotlight on your boat. But will need some know-how. Regardless, it will have a higher chance of getting water-damaged.
But if done correctly, a regular spotlight will connect to the boat and function and if you are trying it, use a LED, it’s the safest. However, it is not recommended to use a regular spotlight for boating, as it may come off and potentially maroon you in danger.
A boating spotlight is a crucial tool and a must-have for any nighttime marine adventure, whether fishing or simply adventure. And having a quality spotlight on the boat can draw the line between a pleasant expedition and being stranded in the middle of nowhere, engulfed in darkness.
We presented the best spotlight for boating, in our opinion, and we hope you found the light you needed. And we included both LED and halogen boat spotlight for your taste. Be sure to follow the product’s manual for installation, and We hope you have a wonderful trip next time.
Be sure to let us know about your next trip in the comment section, and also, you can reach out to us if you have any questions.