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Old 05-15-2017, 07:42 AM   #1
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Driving Lights

Was asked today buy my daughter why boats dont have driving lights thought it was a good question but I didnt have a answer



So ?
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Old 05-15-2017, 08:12 AM   #2
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You absolutely do not want bright lights at night. You need pitch black. You need night vision.

That being said, most boats are fitted with spotlights which do come in handy at times. I found when sailing downwind in heavy seas that I needed to see the seas coming up behind me so I could react correctly.

However, in this part of the world the local culture for the fishermen and boaters is extremely bright "headlights" when cruising at night. Just a cultural thing.

Does that help?
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Old 05-15-2017, 08:18 AM   #3
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Was asked today buy my daughter why boats dont have driving lights thought it was a good question but I didnt have a answer



So ?
Seriously!? Would you really want a bunch of boats running around with bright lights pointed at each other?!

Then there is the whole what lights are legally allowed to be displayed thing.
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Old 05-15-2017, 11:21 AM   #4
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While I can see certain situations where they would help, the balance is blinding other traffic, or reducing your night vision.

As CaptBill pointed out, I have seen regulations prohibiting just driving around with them on all the time....not sure where, believe it was in some state regs.

Then again...dont be opposing tug and barge traffic on the ICW approaching a bridge or lock, you might get your eyeballs melted.

I have found night vision to be a hit or mis requirement.

In areas with a lot of ambient light, and driving behind glass, in ordet to see obstacles, exterior lighting is almost a must without FLIR or NVGs.

Thats after 40 years of profesionally flying low over the water at night and or diving vessels.....and managing not to hit anything.
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Old 05-15-2017, 11:32 AM   #5
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Old 05-15-2017, 11:32 AM   #6
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Although for a ridged mount lighting system just for picking out markers momentarily or illuminating a marina/slip, this is what I've been looking at.

Adapt Series |Rigid Industries LED Lighting, Leader in Off road...

I like the way you can change from flood to spot or have a combination of the two.
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Old 05-15-2017, 11:43 AM   #7
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Although for a ridged mount lighting system just for picking out markers momentarily or illuminating a marina/slip, this is what I've been looking at.

Adapt Series |Rigid Industries LED Lighting, Leader in Off road...

I like the way you can change from flood to spot or have a combination of the two.
Carlisle Finch is using LED in what they call a "hybrid" situation. They add the LED modules to their search lights to have the wider beams of LED's complementing the narrower beams of Xenon or Halogen.

LED Searchlight Technology | Carlisle & Finch
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Old 05-15-2017, 11:47 AM   #8
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I think of wet roads and foggy conditions and the issues with visibility with automobile lights in those conditions. On the water, the road is always wet and at night generally some fog at least coming right off the road. Car lights would not help the one having them very much, in addition to the issues for others. The combinations of boat lights and spotlights on boats has worked well and night vision, which is now quite affordable, makes the situation even better. For anyone boating regularly at night, I highly recommend night vision.
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Old 05-15-2017, 11:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt.Bill11 View Post
Although for a ridged mount lighting system just for picking out markers momentarily or illuminating a marina/slip, this is what I've been looking at.

Adapt Series |Rigid Industries LED Lighting, Leader in Off road...

I like the way you can change from flood to spot or have a combination of the two.
I use a Rigid Spot/Flood combo for running waters at night that have ice and floating debris, also hook it up when making entry to some of the small bays I often anchor in at night. Some of those entrances are only a couple of boat lengths wide with strong currents running in them.

There is no other vessel traffic at night where I am operating, and night vision is fine for running in the dark but won't spot logs or ice like lights will. There are also no navigation lights to confuse anyone, and the commercial boats up here often run huge banks of lights even while running, not just when working.
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Old 05-15-2017, 12:30 PM   #10
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Super bright LED's good place to look--- small and bright
On the main boat we have 4- 4 bulb LED on the mast about 6 feet higher that pilot house 2 pointed forward lighting the bow and 100 feet out on water, two aft that light up the outside deck and a good 100 feet if water behind. in the aft cockpit we have two to light that light up the swim grid
Normally these are only on when at dock
Never used them when running but have used them on after dark docking.
On the dingy I have 2 -6 bulb LED on roll bar that we use mainly for late nights coming or leaving or a beach but not during normal running .
We also have under water lights on the dingy which are great when leaving a beach late at night to see the rocks or steel .
I say steel because once in Ladysmith I was leaving the beach only to find all the old machinery that had been dumped just under the water.
I don't think anyone needs that light units that are being talked about on this page a little over kill.
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Old 05-15-2017, 06:27 PM   #11
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Apart from everything else, a boat pitches and rolls. In a bit of a swell you would be lighting the clouds one moment, and dazzling yourself with reflections from the waves the next.
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Old 05-15-2017, 06:36 PM   #12
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We had a spotlight on the last boat- sometimes effective, but nothing I'd want to have running for normal ops.

We went the FLIR camera route instead, and have much better peace of mind running at night.
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Old 05-15-2017, 06:46 PM   #13
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We're in an area where all the fishermen use super-bright lights when running. It's no big deal when you're running a 60-foot steel fishing boat. Those guys rarely look out the window anyway. No guarantee there's even anyone the pilothouse at any given time.

It seems the little guys all want to imitate them. They end up going around in a "bubble" of light that floods the immediate vicinity of the boat. They can't see anything outside the bubble, and have really no concept of how to use night vision.

I'd say 90% of the time, you can see much farther, and see what's in the water much better, without "headlights." Once your eyes adjust, it's amazing how easily you'll pick out a log or lobster buoy in the water. I carry a couple of spotlights for the other 10% of the time, and use them sparingly, just to briefly light up a buoy or small section of water ahead of me. You have to be careful not to light up the deck and ruin your night vision.
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Old 05-15-2017, 06:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gaston View Post
Was asked today buy my daughter why boats dont have driving lights thought it was a good question but I didnt have a answer



So ?
My biggest pet peeve night driving on the west coast with commercial boats increasingly driving with high intensity forward facing lights on was that it not only spoiled my night vision but made it impossible to get visual cues as to their "aspect" from their side nav lights to determine whether or not we were in a crossing situation or not in near end on, close quarters situations. The high intensity light totally made their nav lights indistinguishable.
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Old 05-15-2017, 07:12 PM   #15
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Just north of Antarctica in the southern Atlantic....especially on overcast night..it's pretty dark.

Even night adapted, out on deck I could reach up and touch my nose and never see my finger coming.

If you can see logs and dark pot buoys in that kind of dark....or even a lot brighter.... your night vision is better than any USCG pilot I ever flew with.

I don't recommend running with lights all the time, but in some situations the only thing close/better is FLIR/NVGs.
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Old 05-15-2017, 07:35 PM   #16
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Carlisle Finch is using LED in what they call a "hybrid" situation. They add the LED modules to their search lights to have the wider beams of LED's complementing the narrower beams of Xenon or Halogen.

LED Searchlight Technology | Carlisle & Finch
I wonder why Carlisle Finch put the LED bank above the spotlight and not underneath. Above, you get lots of heat off their spotlight, if you have are are using it, which is the worst thing you want on LEDs.

LED's only run for a long time if you keep them cool. Getting rid of heat is one of their weaknesses.
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Old 05-15-2017, 07:53 PM   #17
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I wonder why Carlisle Finch put the LED bank above the spotlight and not underneath. Above, you get lots of heat off their spotlight, if you have are are using it, which is the worst thing you want on LEDs.

LED's only run for a long time if you keep them cool. Getting rid of heat is one of their weaknesses.
I'm not sure why, but on their Xenon searchlights, the cases are so strong that there isn't the type heat you might expect. One reason why may be that they offer their Nightfinder Thermal Camera as an option as well and it is placed under the search light. Why the thermal camera you might ask? It turns the light into a "covert targeting device." Understand Carlisle Finch does a lot of armed forces boats and provides security systems for many.
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Old 05-15-2017, 08:17 PM   #18
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Shine a spotlight into the eyes of a towboat captain at night, and you will find out fast not to do it again!
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Old 05-15-2017, 08:31 PM   #19
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Was asked today buy my daughter why boats dont have driving lights thought it was a good question but I didnt have a answer



So ?
Show her one episode of Deadliest Catch.
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Old 05-16-2017, 02:14 AM   #20
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Shine a spotlight into the eyes of a towboat captain at night, and you will find out fast not to do it again!
Or into the eyes of the deckhand trying to talk the tow into a lock. Although his weapons are more in the line of harsh language and perhaps forcing you to sign fraudulent home-repair contracts.
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