The Secret Of LED Dock Lights That Last

Bright, energy-efficient, long-lasting. Incredible Underwater LED dock lights are everything you should expect from a dock light.

When properly cared for they will bring your family decades of peaceful evenings under the stars and hours of enjoyment watching fish swim in the light.

Yes, they do require periodic cleaning. More in saltwater than freshwater. I will go over that in a future post.

But what I want to talk about today is how to keep your light shining bright for as long as possible.

How LEDs Work

First, let’s talk about what makes LED lights so bright and energy-efficient in the first place.

LEDs produced light by passing electrons between a positive and a negative semiconductor. As the electrons jump from one semiconductor to the other they give off energy in two forms, light and heat. The light we want, the heat we don’t.

Keep LED Dock Lights Cool

The cooler you can keep an LED the brighter it will shine and the longer it will last. This article will teach you more about how heat affects LEDs if you want to learn more.

A heatsink removes excessive heat from the LEDs. The fins on LED light bulbs that you find in your home, move the heat to the air. Touch them when the light is on and you will notice that they are hot. That is the heat being pulled away from the LEDs. This article on explains how that works.

Apolo IRIS
Apolo 40 IRIS

Underwater Lights are Cooled by Water

Incredible Underwater LED lights, on the other hand, have a different way of removing heat. A large hole built into the center of the light moves heat from the heatsink to the water. As water flows through the hole it removes heat from the LEDs.

This works very well when the lights are in the water. It is one of the top reasons the MegaWatt 100 and Apollo 40 shine so bright. However, This design does a poor job of cooling the lights when they are exposed to air.

There are two things you must do to make sure the center cooling port is able to do its job.

  1. The light must be fully submerged in water whenever it is on.
  2. Keep the center cooling port clean.

Never Operater LED Dock Lights Out of the Water

It happens. Your new dock light arrives and the anticipation of seeing it light up your dock for the first time has your whole family excited. You pull it out of the box, take it down to your dock and plug it in.

Then you realize the light is still sitting on your dock!

Anytime your light is turned on it must be fully submerged in water. Running the light out of the water will damage the LEDs reducing their brightness and causing them to fail prematurely.

To stop this from happening to you follow the installation instructions that come with your light. They give you step by step instructions on how to set up and install your light.

Installing Underwater Dock Lights

  1. Choose where to place your light.
  2. Set the depth of the light to between 3 and 6 feet under the water surface.
  3. Secure the plug end of the power cord near a GFCI outlet. Do Not Plugin!
  4. Throw the weight and light into the water.
  5. Make sure the light is at your desired depth. If not, pull it out of the water by the power cord, re-adjust the depth and throw it back in.
  6. Now you can plug it in.

This post will show you exactly how to install LED dock lights.

Congratulations! Your new LED dock lights are safely in the water, plugged in, and making your dock look awesome. However, you still have a few more things to do.

underwater led dock light

Set Lights to Come On at Night

First, you need a way to turn your lights on at sunset and off at sunrise. There are two ways to do this. With a timer or with a photocell.

Outdoor timers are inexpensive and easy to use.
Plug the timer into a power outlet.
Set it to come on at dusk and go off at dawn.
Plug your light into the timer.

All lights draw more current when they first start. To prevent startup problems follow these two rules when using a timer with Incredible Underwater LED lights.

  1. The timer must be rated to at least 15 amps.
  2. Each light needs its own timer.

There is one downside of using a timer. It needs to be reset several times a year to adjust for the number of nighttime hours.

A photocell turns the light off during the day and turns it on at night. You can buy them online or in most hardware stores. They get wired directly to the power outlet.

The downside to using a photocell is that they have to be wired to the outlet. If you are not completely comfortable doing your own wiring please hire an electrician.

Changing Water Levels

As I mentioned earlier, your light must always be completely submerged when it is on. For that reason, you need to make sure that it is set deep enough to stay submerged at the lowest water levels. This is especially important where you have changing tides or on reservoirs with periodic water level drawdowns.

Checking for the Lowest Tides of the Year
The lowest tides of the year happen on the day of the full moon in March and the new moon of September. Check local online tide charts for those days to find the lowest water level in your area.

Lakes and Reservoirs
Lakes and reservoirs often drawdown water levels to control flooding during certain times of the year. Check with your local Water Management District to find when these drawdowns occur and how low the water level will go.

In either case, set your light so that it will stay submerged during the lowest water level.

Boat Traffic

One last thing. A spinning prop can destroy your light in no time. Make sure your light is set deep enough to protect it from passing boats. Even at low tide.

Incredible Underwater LED Dock Lights are the brightest and longest-lasting underwater lights in the water. If you keep them clean, make sure they are always underwater when they are on, and protected from passing boats they will give you decades of enjoyment.

I hope you found this post useful. If you did please share it on your favorite social media website.

When you are ready to transform your dock into your family’s favorite place to unwind visit our dock lighting page.