How do you make boat lights dance to music? With a light controller that syncs your lighting system with the music playing through your sound system.
It’s not something you want to do all the time of course. But when the party’s on you want your boat lighting to impress. And lights that pulse and change color to the beat of the music is very impressive.
How to Make LED Boat Lights Dance to Music
The system starts with a good sound system and quality RGB (red, green, blue) LED lights. The LED lights are controlled through either a Shadow-Caster SCM-ZC 4 zone light controller or through a Shadow-Caster SCM-MFD-Kit connected to a multifunction display.
The light controller connects to the back of the marine stereo systems through a 3.5mm plug connector. These connectors are usually used to connect the stereo unit to an amplifier. But instead of sending the audio signal to the amp, they send it to the light controller.
LED Boat Lights
The system starts with high-quality RGB LED lighting. Because this is for a marine environment the lights also have to be waterproof.
LED lighting has revolutionized how we light our boats. They are easy to install and use only a fraction of the power other lights use. They are also smaller and thinner than other lighting options. This allows you to mount them in places where other lights won’t fit.
Under gunnels, the lips of seats, and inside cubbies are popular places to hide LED lights. In fact, they are so small and thin that even when they are left in plain view they blend in and are hard to see.
Not just any LED lights
High-quality waterproof RGB (red,green,blue), or RGBW (red, green, blue, white) lights.
RGB lights give you a full spectrum of color options. With the right light controller, they can be set to almost any color you want. However, the one color they have trouble re-creating faithfully is white. The color rendering of RGB lights isn’t perfect so white light comes out slightly pink. Because of this, you should opt for RGBW lights in areas where a true white light is needed. This would mostly include overhead lights used for reading or rigging fishing tackle
Shadow-Caster has an impressive line of quality waterproof RGB boat lights.
At the heart of a killer sound and lighting system is the LED light controller. This is where the magic happens.
The average light controller allows you to turn your lights on and off, change colors, dim the lights and maybe even flash them. Then there is the SCM-ZC, co-developed by Shadow-Caster and Wet Sounds, and the Shadow-Caster SCM-MFD-Kit.
SCM-ZC: 4 Zone Light Controler
The SCM-ZC lets you control four separate lighting zones on a boat or RV. Each zone can be controlled individually and in sync with the other zones. It allows you to easily set the color and brightness of the lights or even set them to dance to music.
SCM-MFD-Kit: Multifunction Display Light Controler
Shadow-Caster’s MFD light controller controls up to six zones of RGB, RGBW, and all Shadow-Caster lights. In a zone, you control the color, brightness, and mode of the lights. Control each zone by itself or in sync with other zones.
In addition to Zones, there are a number of pre-set Scenes that can be displayed. A Scene sets all of your zones to a pre-determined color, brightness, and mode. Customize any scene, create your own custom scene, save scenes, or remove scenes. You are in control.
The Shadow-Caster SCM-ZC and SCM-MFD-Kit are Shadow-Net Enabled. Shadow-Net allows you to interact and control Shadow-Net-enabled underwater lights, deck lights, along with Wet Sounds LED Speaker Lights. The IP65-rated controller is built using corrosion-protected aluminum housing, polycarbonate faceplate, and stainless steel bezel. It fits into a standard 3″ gauge opening, operates at 10 – 30 Volts DC, and will handle up to 500 Watts of LED lights. It comes with a one-year warranty and is Made in the USA.