Monday, December 3, 2012

December 3, 2012 - finally, I found a good light

I've been looking and looking for a good, affordable, reliable solution for a forward facing light to turn night into day when we need that.  The best light I had found so far is one of the major lights used by commercial fisherman.  It's a Metal Halide (HID) light.  It's big.  It's expensive.  It uses lots of electricity.  And it has one big drawback; if you turn it off it takes about 10 minutes before it has cooled down enough to be turned back on.  And even then it takes a few minutes to reach full brightness.

The other day I was talking to my friend Earl, who is in the Sea of Cortez with his wife Louise on their Nordhavn 43.  He's been looking at some of the new LED lights.  He sent me a few links but nothing really grabbed me.  That is until he sent one link and a note that simply said "check out these lights!".  I did, and they looked great.  I did some research and found out the company is a pioneer in LED lighting, and their lights are used for all sorts of purposes.  They even have a marine version that is waterproof, salt resistant, stainless steel hardware, etc.  So, I check my wholesale supplier and they carry these lights.  I called my sales rep.  He had just one thing to say about them and that was "they are the best lights ever!"  He said that the fishing fleet in Westport is moving over to these lights, and he's sold a lot to Alaska and Canada fisherman.  Even WA state has installed some on their buoy repair boat and they are very happy with them.  Tom said he only knows of one light that has failed, in the hundreds they have sold.  Well, Tom isn't one to blow smoke, so based on his comments, and the reviews on the web, I bought one today.

As soon as I got home I tried it out on our deck.  I put a car battery on the deck and wired up the light.  But first I tested a 12 volt, 100 watt Hella automotive driving light I have.  It was OK.  It managed to light up a few boats in the marina but was a very narrow beam.  Then I tried the new light.  WOW!!!!!   I could seen 50+ boats, and I could see almost all the way across the marina.  Plus, it throws a nice wide beam, in addition the long distance.  In short, this light ROCKS!

What is is you must be asking?  It's a Rigid industries LED light bar, 20" wide.  It's extremely well made, from what I can tell.  But man, this thing is BRIGHT.  It is truly mind boggling.  And it only draws about 10 amps, which is about what that one Hella light draws.  Same power draw but 50 times more light.

View of the marina with no lighting, other than our X-mas lights.

The marina with one 100 watt Hella halogen driving light.

The marina, our lawn, the road, with the Rigid 20" LED light bar.
Here's a link to the new light.  I can't wait to get this installed on our boat.  It's going to be amazing.

Rigid 20" marine LED light

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