Best Marine Spotlight Review and Buying Guide
Are you into off-shore boating or off-shore fishing? Do you want to push that a notch? Then why not go there after dark? Plan a night trip on your usual route, or fish through the night at your favorite spot. You’ll be surprised how different it is. But, be sure to pack your essentials and a powerful marine spotlight.
Marine spotlights often tend to get overlooked. But it is the single most important tool for night adventures. Obviously, I mean, nights are dark. But besides that, all the potential dangers become potentially more dangerous at nighttime adventures, such as being stranded, getting lost, and sudden bad weather.
Hence, you should never underestimate marine spotlights. Make sure to equip the best possible marine spotlight on your boat, and always check and test it before leaving the shore
Best marine spotlights for boats
Here are Some of our best picks for marine spotlights. Different brands make products for various purposes, therefore all products have their pros and cons. Keep them in mind when choosing the right one for you.
In this article, we only covered marine spotlights for boats. For a handheld marine spotlight, you can follow this guide. Later in the article, we included a guide discussing different aspects of the marine spotlight. With that out of the way,
|Golight 7951GT||225,000 candlepower||3,000+ feet||Wireless remote + Button control|
|DONSU||100W / 2,500 lumen||Not specified||Wire-connected + Button control|
|Marinco||84W / 30,000 - 72,000 candlepower||Not specified||Wire-connected + Joystick control|
|Golight 7901GT||65-watt / 1,300 lumen||700 feet||Wireless remote + Button control|
|Jabsco||50W 135SL halogen bulb||Not specified||Wire-connected + Joystick control|
|225,000 candlepower||100W / 2,500 lumen||84W / 30,000 - 72,000 candlepower|
|3,000+ feet||Not specified||Not specified|
|Wireless remote + Button control||Wire-connected + Button control||Wire-connected + Joystick control|
1. Golight 7951GT Remote-Controlled Spotlight:
The GT series from Golight is one of the best product lines not only from Golight but also in the marine spotlight market. The 7951GT is one of the top halogen marine spotlights.
This spotlight stands out for various reasons. First of all, the light output. It can generate 225,000 candela, which is almost unparalleled. Golight 7951GT is a long-range marine spotlight and the beam is focused. It can easily illuminate over 3,000 feet away.
The marine spotlight is remote-operated, therefore you can control it from anywhere on the boat. The remote has about 80 feet range. You can power the spotlight via the 12V cigarette lighter plug and it draws about 3.7 Amps.
The light comes with a magnetic mounting shoe. Therefore if you need light on another part of the boat, you can simply pick it up and carry it there.
Very few brands produce true remote-controlled marine spotlight and Golight is one of them. The light is almost completely portable. You can carry it, mount it, and dismount it in a matter of a couple of minutes. The only dependency is power, it needs an external power source.
|Controller type||Wireless remote + Button control|
- Generates about 225,000 Candela
- The max range is about 3,113 feet
- Connects with the cigarette lighter plug
- Remote control and works from up to 80 feet away
- Magnetic mount, handheld carry option
- The magnetic mount is relatively less secure than hard mounting
2. DONSU Halogen Marine Spotlight:
Another great marine spotlight option is the DONSU Xenon spotlight. It has decent power output and coverage. The Xenon halogen bulb produces close to daylight beam, which is comfortable for human eyes for long work sessions.
It is a bit on the larger side but will look very classy, thanks to the classy white body. The spotlight falls in the middle of the flood beam and spot beam lights. It has a decent spread and a decent range.
The light and the controller are hard mounted. The controller is also a bit on the larger side though. You might want to prepare for that beforehand.
|Power||100W / 2,500 lumen|
|Controller type||Wire-connected + Button control|
- 100W Xenon bulb, close to natural daylight beam
- Light and controller both are hard mounted
- 360-degree horizontal and 72-degree vertical rotation
- Balanced beam, appreciable spread, and range
- Neither the best as a floodlight nor the best as a spotlight
- Fitting the controller can prove to be a bit of a problem
3. Marinco 22040A Premium Steel Marine Spotlight:
The marinco 2240A is undoubtedly one of the most aesthetically pleasing marine spotlights. It’s small and compact. Besides that, the premium steel body finish will work well with any boat.
You control the spotlight with a joystick, the control panel is very small and compact. But it is permanent, and you will need to mount it permanently.
This spotlight has both flood and spotlight features. You can switch between the two with simply a flick of a switch, the transition is also pleasing.
You will need to hard mount it with the boat. The body and head of the spotlight are made of strong stainless steel and are corrosion-resistant. Thus, if kept clean, will last for a long time.
|Power||84W / 30,000 - 72,000 candlepower|
|Controller type||Wire-connected + Joystick control|
- Floodlight and Spotlight hybrid build
- Joystick controlled, both the controller and the light are hard mounted
- Powerful 72,000 Candlepower on the spotlight and 30,000 Candlepower on the floodlight beam
- Water-resistant and corrosion resistant
- The joystick control is a bit small
- The floodlight spread is not uniform, a bit focused
4. Golight 7901GT Remote-Operated Spotlight:
The Golight 7901GT is another magnificent addition to the Golight GT series. This 65-watt magnetic base marine spotlight is completely water-resistant and meets all the industry requirements for freshwater as well as saltwater standard.
This marine spotlight is controlled by a wireless remote controller. The remote has an effective range of 100 feet and can control the marine spotlight from anywhere within. The spotlight generates about a 1,300-lumen focused beam that can reach up to 700 feet.
It will draw 5.5 Amps from the 12V DV connection. The high-torque DC motor is pleasingly sensitive and has excellent dynamic range.
|Power||65-watt / 1,300 lumen|
|Controller type||Wireless remote + Button control|
- Long-distance focused beam spotlight
- The magnetic mount makes it convenient for fast installation
- Long-range and wireless pocket carry remote control
- Programmable RF wave remote, multiple lights can be controlled synchronously
- Power draw can be overwhelming, especially on small boats
- Although highly unlikely, the magnetic base can unmount accidentally.
5. Jabsco 60020 135SL:
Jabsco is a very reputed brand in the boat spotlight market. The Jabsco 60020 is a solid choice for a marine spotlight. Jabsco produces some of the most robust and bright marine spotlight. The 60020 has a motor protection clutch and is made of corrosion-resistant material.
The patented clutch mechanism of the Jabsco 60020 marine spotlight is a unique feature of it and is a magnificent addition. It protects the motor from damaging itself due to overturning after reaching the turn limit.
The controller type of the Jabsco marine spotlight is a joystick. Both the light and the controller are hard-mounted. The Jabsco marine spotlight comes with a 15 feet cable and it operates on vehicle class 12V batteries.
|Power||50W 135SL halogen bulb|
|Controller type||Wire-connected + Joystick control|
- Robust, corrosion-resistant plastic body
- Joystick controller for comfortable control
- Long-range beam for traversing
- A unique patented clutch mechanism
- Plastic is less impact resistant compared to steel
- The light itself is a bit on the larger side, though the remote is okay
When shopping for marine spotlights for boats, there are a few things you should keep in mind. I’m talking about the different qualities of the marine spotlight. These numbers are your guide for choosing the best marine spotlight for yourself.
Water resistance and durability:
Water resistance is unarguably the most important factor to consider. You don’t want a marine spotlight that will easily corrode by salt water or can potentially get damaged by it.
The best marine spotlight should have great water resistance as well as corrosion resistance.
One of the most important assessments you should make is the brightness of the light. Generally, the brighter it is, the better. However, brighter marine spotlights also draw significantly more power.
At best, it will be redundant, at worst, it will create additional stress on the battery if you already have a few power-hungry gadgets running.
The beam type is another vital aspect of a marine spotlight. Whether you need a focused beam or a flood beam will play a crucial role in your choice. Some marine spotlights are multifunctional and some are hybrid and cover both, but most don’t.
Flood light spreads the light at a wider angle, illuminating a large area. This type of marine spotlight is ideal for close-distance lighting such as fishing, traversing in near-shore rocky water, etc. But the light doesn’t travel far.
Spotlight/searchlight is best for distance lighting. However, they are pretty bad at a close distance.
The ideal marine spotlights for boats should have excellent maneuverability. Being able to turn 360-degree horizontally is ideal. This way, you can use it on the deck, if you really need to. And for vertical movement, the more it turns, the better.
Questions you might have
In this section, we will be answering some of the commonly occurring questions about marine spotlights. If it doesn’t answer your question, feel to reach out to us.
How many lumens do you need for a marine spotlight?
The ideal marine spotlight should have at least 1,000 lumens or more. But the effectiveness also depends on the spread angle. Generally the more, the merrier.
A marine spotlight with higher lumens will cover a longer distance or light up brighter. However, you get diminishing returns from higher lumens. Meaning, a 2,000-lumen spotlight will not be twice as good as a 1000-lumen. It will be less than that. And the effectiveness will keep decreasing the higher you go. Therefore, it’s best to be around the brightness you need.
What’s the best marine spotlight?
We recommend getting the Golight 7951GT marine spotlight. It has great power output and distance coverage. You’ll love it every time you will turn it on.
However, the “best” really depends on your opinion. Golight 7951GT is our recommendation. It is a well-rounded marine spotlight and perfectly suited for saltwater and freshwater usage. And it also has a few other qualities that set it apart from the rest.
How to care for and maintain marine spotlight?
Carefully examine the light, mounting point, cables, etc for signs of water marks or damage. Clean it regularly and keep it in a pristine form both visually and functionally.
Although most marine spotlights have excellent water resistance, it’s not impossible to get damaged and potentially make way for water to enter. Even marine air can be dangerous over extended usage. Therefore it is important to clean it regularly. Be sure to use gentle soap or cleaner along with soft fabric.
How to install a marine spotlight?
Take measures of the screw hole of the spotlight. Mark and drill the hull where you want to install it. Apply some glue, place it, and screw it in position. Apply putty to seal any openings.
Installing a marine spotlight is not a very complicated process and the light should come with a precise manual for installation. It’s usually the best guide. However, you can follow this guide for a step-by-step guide. They are experts in boats and they covered the marine spotlights installation process in great detail.
Marine spotlights are the crucial gear for any nighttime boats adventure, right after having the boats. It’s very important to have one, even if you are not planning for any nighttime journey. If you ever get stranded and it becomes night, you won’t be stuck in the dark and rescuers will have a much easier time finding you.
If you are still unsure of which marine spotlight to pick, we’d recommend going for the Golight 7951GT. It is a well-rounded marine spotlight and will cover a lot of ground. Among marine spotlight brands, Golight, Jabsco, and Marinco are some of the respected and mentionable ones.
Just like humans, no marine spotlight is perfect and a good-for-all situation. Each of them has its pros-cons and you will need to decide the best one for you.