The deck is one of the most important parts of any boat. This is where I socialize with my friends and prepare fishing bait. At night, however, it is harder to do things and have fun at the deck because it is too dark. Thankfully, I have the best marine LED spreader lights.
A spreader light is a type of courtesy lighting installed in the spreader mast of a sailboat. It is available in different types, but LED is one of the most popular. From its long-life span to energy efficiency, there are tons of reasons why LED should be an excellent choice for spreader lights.
Choosing boat spreader lights is confusing. I am here to make things easier! Read on and I will help you pick a top-notch light that delivers superb quality and performance.
Table of Contents
- Best Marine LED Spreader Light Reviews
- 1. Lumitec LED Spreader Light
- 2. EXZEIT Waterproof LED Light Bar
- 3. WFPOWER Boat Light
- 4. AMBOTHER LED Light Bar
- 5. EXZEIT Marine Lights
- 6. Jiawill Marine LED Spreader
- 7. Shoreline LED Spreader Light
- 8. Lumitec 101292 Deck Light
- 9. Bunker Indust LED Light Pods
- 10. Shangyuan Boat Docking Light
- 11. Kawell Slim Boat Light
- 12. Wave One Marine LED Spreader Light
- What is a Spreader Light on Boats and How Does It Work
- Types of Marine Spreader Lights
- Benefits and Drawbacks of Using Marine LED Spreader Lights for Boats
- Buyer’s Guide
- Care and Maintenance
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Marine LED Spreader Light Reviews
1. Lumitec LED Spreader Light
Lumitec spreader lights are popular for their durability and performance, so I am confident of recommending the Caprera2. It has 1,000 lumens to deliver maximum brightness! The light features two-color technology, combining white and blue or white and red depending on the application.
More than its incredible brightness, I also love how sturdy it is. With IP67 waterproof construction, the light is submersible up to one meter for 30 minutes. The fully-sealed body keeps the water out, protecting the bulb and other internal components. Plus, it is made in the USA, guaranteeing that it meets the strictest quality control standards.
To ensure the best quality, the light was continuously salt-sprayed for 2,000 hours in a state-of-the-art facility. This test proves the ability to withstand tough marine environments. To add, it has die-cast aluminum housing. It has a powder coating to minimize external damages, such as rust and corrosion.
I like how it features exclusive Deck Sweep technology. It casts wider usable light compared to most of its competitors. The improved pattern directs light where you need it the most for maximum illumination. Even if it creates wide light, some colors are optimized to reduce eye fatigue.
2. EXZEIT Waterproof LED Light Bar
The best marine spreader lights don’t have to be expensive. This product proves that you don’t need to spend a lot to enjoy exceptional quality. While it is one of the most affordable on my list, it is a pack of two lights!
I recommend this to anyone who is looking for an energy-efficient light without compromising performance. It has 12 OSRAM lenses in one light. Each lens has a 1.5-watt power output, which is equal to 36 watts per light. To increase the lifespan, however, the light limits the output to 20 watts. It saves power without dimming.
The durability is also impressive. It has a tough but lightweight aluminum alloy housing. Meanwhile, the spreader light mounting bracket is stainless steel. The light is built to withstand even the harshest environments, so you don’t have to worry even if you install it in open spaces. Rust isn’t a problem!
This 6-inch spreader light has 4,000 lumens to guarantee brightness. It casts light at 120 degrees for wider coverage. What I like is that I can get two lights in one pack, so I can enjoy double power!
It is a versatile light with multiple applications! While I use it as a spreader light for my boat, it is also good for golf carts, motorcycles, and off-road vehicles, among others. The universal fit makes it compatible with different uses.
3. WFPOWER Boat Light
A pack of two LED spreader lights for boats – this is another great budget-friendly alternative. Despite being affordable, it has decent quality. It does not have features as advanced as its more expensive counterparts, but for most users, this is an incredible pick.
Besides, one of the best assets of this spreader light is its bright output. Thanks to its 6 LEDs per unit, it has a light output of 1,440 lumens. This is visible up to 25 feet. Even with an output of 18 watts, it is energy-efficient, which is because of the use of LEDs.
This isn’t one of those dim spreader lights. I love how it comes with reflector cups in each bulb, which are meant to augment the brightness of the LEDs. It has a high transmittance to improve luminous clarity. This allows light to bounce brighter, resulting in a more powerful output.
I am also impressed with the lightweight aluminum alloy housing. It is powder-coated to prevent corrosion and other external damages. I can say that it will withstand the test of time because it is waterproof, rust-proof, and quake-proof. To add, it has built-in thermal fins for efficient heat dissipation. I like how it does not overheat, even when the light is turned on for an extended time.
4. AMBOTHER LED Light Bar
Make nights on the deck brighter with this spreader light! With two LED boat spreader lights in every purchase, you will enjoy exceptional value. The length of each light is seven inches and generates a total light output of 24,000 lumens. It has a triple-row design to pack more bulbs in a compact body.
To add, the spreader light has a 5050 new-generation SMD LED module. According to the manufacturer, the average lifespan is 50,000 hours. With its advanced LED chips, there is no need to frequently change your spreader light.
Aside from its brightness, I am also impressed with its waterproof design. In a test conducted by the manufacturer, the light bar was submerged in one-meter water for seven hours. It showed no signs of damage!
One more reason why I am interested in this product is its versatility. It works both as a floodlight and a spotlight. As a spotlight, it has a narrow 15-degree beam. On the other hand, as a floodlight, it has a 170-degree beam.
The efficient design of the spreader light is also admirable. The back has diversion fins. It allows heat to radiate quicker. Aside from keeping the light cool, it also extends its lifespan.
5. EXZEIT Marine Lights
Equipped with high-quality OSRAM LED chips, this spreader light promises unmatched functionality. It has a 150-degree far-reaching illumination to easily turn night into day. It has clear visibility even at a distance.
With 20 LEDs in one square light, I expect a bright output. It turned out that I was impressed by its performance. It exceeded my expectations. With 2,100 lumens and 90 watts, it has astounding brightness.
A lot of high-performance sailboat spreader lights are power-hungry. This product is worth a shot if you are looking for a more energy-efficient alternative. It does not draw a lot of power from your battery. Plus, the lights remain cool even after hours of use.
As expected in a spreader light, it has waterproof construction. It has been tested for two hours under the water and showed no problem. The manufacturer is confident that the light resists water damage. They are offering a free replacement within two years if you experience any water issue.
Installing the light is easy for everyone, even for a beginner. I did not have any trouble while using it. Wiring is also pretty straightforward. You don’t have to pay a pro to do it!
6. Jiawill Marine LED Spreader
Whether you want a blue or white spreader light in your boat, this is an excellent option! I love its dual-color mode, allowing you to switch from one color to another in an instant. Regardless if you want it bright enough to see things clearly on the deck or you prefer it a little dim to enhance mood, this light changes color as it turns on and off.
As I see, this horizontal bar light comes with six bulbs. The output isn’t as exceptional as most of the products in this list, but if you have a small deck or boat, this is enough. It has six LEDs. The three blue and three white chips each have 3 watts. Meanwhile, the light has a beam of 60-degrees for optimal coverage in a compact body.
The durable housing is also a plus that I like, making it ideal in a marine setting. Like most of the choices for LED flood lights for boats, it has a stainless steel bracket and aluminum alloy housing. The polycarbonate lens is equally impressive.
7. Shoreline LED Spreader Light
If you are searching for spreader lights for T-top, this is another option worth considering. This is specifically an impressive pick for small boats. With its rectangular bar design, it is space-efficient.
Despite being compact, it has terrific light output. It packs 3-watt LEDs for impressive illumination despite its size. I have seen brighter lights but given its dimensions, this is an amazing product. The best thing is that despite the high output, it has a low amperage draw. It is energy-efficient, so it does not drain the battery.
More so, I also commend this product because of the swivel mount design. The light is not fixed in a single direction. Instead, you can rotate the mount and direct the beam exactly where you need illumination.
One of the most important features of spreader lights is their tough construction. Otherwise, it is easily damaged by water and other marine elements. Luckily, this spreader light has an IP67 waterproof rating. The 316 stainless steel hardware and aluminum housing also protect against wear.
8. Lumitec 101292 Deck Light
One of the best features of this light is Deck Sweep technology, which is also present in this model. It increases the coverage of usable light, making it up to two times larger compared to what you will find in most of its competitors!
LED floodlights are constantly exposed to the sun and water. Rust, corrosion, and other damages are visible in the long run. The good thing is that this light has a powder-coated housing, which shields against wear. Plus, it has been through salt spray testing for over 2,000 hours to prove its rigorous construction.
Installing this spreader light won’t require too much time and effort. With basic tools and a bit of patience to spare, I can complete the assembly in no time. I prefer bracket mounts over a flush mount since it is easier to connect.
At first, I was skeptical about this model because it only has three lights. Then, I was surprised at how bright it is at 1,000 lumens. I also like how it is compatible with a dimmer, although you need to purchase the latter separately. This way, you can adjust the brightness depending on what is suitable for a specific situation.
9. Bunker Indust LED Light Pods
A quick look at the technical specifications of this spreader light is already a compelling reason to believe that it delivers top-notch performance. It has three rows of LEDs with a maximum light output of 25,000 lumens and a power of 240 watts. All in all, there are 80 bulbs, including 20 spot LEDs and 60 spot LEDs. It lights at a wide-angle for larger coverage.
Aside from its incredible brightness, one more thing I love in this light is the adjustable mount. I can move it in any direction that I prefer. Whether you need light on the right or left side of the boat, the mount is quick to adjust.
A common problem in high-output spreader lights is that they get extremely hot. In this product, there is an oversized aluminum heat sink for temperature management. It improves ventilation to minimize heat.
The polycarbonate lens is also notable. It enhances light transmission and reduces optical loss. It also protects the LEDs from external damages, extending its lifespan to up to 50,000 hours. The lens and other parts are tightly sealed, providing military-grade waterproofing. It has an IP68 rating, which makes it submersible at up to 1.5 meters for 30 minutes.
10. Shangyuan Boat Docking Light
This set of two-piece T-top spreader lights have a power output of 18 watts and a working voltage of 10 to 35V DC. It fits on both 12V and 24V outlets. Each light has six LEDs equipped with a high-powered chip. The beam angle is 60 degrees for optimal coverage. Looking at its technical specifications, it has a color temperature of 600K. This means that it emits cool white light.
Like many of the top-rated options for marine spreader lights, it has IP67 construction. With a sealed housing, the components are protected from dust, rain, and snow, among other things that can speed up wear. The rubber ring seal shields the LEDs from different damaging factors. Plus, it also has a powder coating, which protects against scratches.
Speaking of its construction, it is remarkable because of its polycarbonate lens, which is virtually unbreakable. This is a resilient material ideal even in the most demanding settings, such as marine environments. With its high-impact resistance, it protects the LEDs against damages.
The advanced heat sink is also worth mentioning. Like many of the lights I reviewed in this article, it dissipates heat. It allows better circulation to minimize overheating. More than staying cool, it also prolongs the lifespan of the LEDs.
11. Kawell Slim Boat Light
The best LED spreader lights produce exceptional brightness without being power-hungry. That is exactly what you can expect from this product. This 6-inch 18-watt LED has six Epistar bulbs that generate up to 1,170 lumens. While it is bright, it is energy-efficient. With its minimal power consumption, your battery will last long!
To maximize the performance of the spreader lights, it has deep reflector cups. I like it as it allows light to amplify as it bounces as a result of reflection. The innovative lens surface is also commendable, which enhances light transmission.
If you are still having doubts about this product, you might have a change of mind after learning about the one-year warranty. Even better, it has a two-month satisfaction warranty. If you are unhappy in any way, let the manufacturer know and they will issue an unconditional refund.
I love that I can enjoy all of its features without spending a lot! It is one of the most economical options on my list. Even on a budget, this spreader light does not fail to impress.
12. Wave One Marine LED Spreader Light
This white and blue spreader light offers dual-color technology, so you can easily choose which one is suitable for a specific situation or application. There is a toggle switch to change solid colors as you prefer.
I also love how it has large cooling fins, which is a common feature I find in high-quality spreader lights. This provides a bigger space for heat dissipation. It keeps the light cool even with extended use, which also prolongs the functional life of the bulbs.
To keep dust, water, and dirt outside of the internal parts, this spreader light has IP68 sealed components. I can submerge it in 1.5-meter water for half an hour without worrying about damages. The housing, lens, and driver are all watertight.
For your peace of mind, it is also good to know that it passed the strictest tests to guarantee quality and performance. It was submerged in water for over 1,000 hours, proving that it survives harsh conditions. The hardware has 100% stainless steel construction, which also ensures its longevity.
Speaking of its construction, I also like the dual-core marine wire, which is thick enough to withstand damages. Even the tinned wire is designed to handle extreme conditions.
What is a Spreader Light on Boats and How Does It Work
A spreader light is a type of marine lighting installed on the spreader of a sailboat. It was originally used as courtesy lighting, installed in the sailboat mast and folding down. It functions very much like a floodlight.
In recent years, however, it is a general term for any type of deck boat lighting. It is not used for navigation. Rather, the main purpose is deck illumination, making it easier to do things when in the dark.
Spreader lights are built to function with almost any type of marine set-up. It provides optimal illumination while consuming minimal power so that you can conserve the battery and use it for other purposes. From radar arches to T-tops, it is a versatile addition to any boat.
Types of Marine Spreader Lights
One of the best ways to differentiate marine spreader lights is based on their bulbs.
- LED Spreader Light: The products I mentioned in this guide all belong to this group. They are powered by LED bulbs, which are known for being energy-efficient and long-lasting. They are not the brightest, but they are known for being eco-friendly.
- Halogen Spreader Light: If you are looking for more powerful marine spreader lights, halogen is a good option. It is cheaper than LED, but it consumes more power. It is also prone to hotspots.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Using Marine LED Spreader Lights for Boats
If you are looking for more convincing reasons to buy marine spreader lights, below are some of its best benefits:
- Versatile: These lights are not just for boats. Many of them are multifunctional, which you can use even in off-road vehicles and gardens, among other applications.
- Energy-Efficiency: LED spreader lights are bright without consuming too much power. It is a great way to save battery while having the illumination that you need.
- Long-lasting: Most of the products I reviewed have a 50,000-hour lifespan. Even though the years, LED lights deliver dependable performance.
- Convenience: It is a lot more convenient to move on the deck when you have a spreader light.
- Safety: Lights illuminate the deck so that you can move safely. It also helps the boat to become more visible.
Nonetheless, it also has several drawbacks, including the following:
- The difficulty of installation: Depending on the brand and model of the spreader lights, installation can be tricky.
- Expensive: One reason why a lot of people do not use spreader lights is the assumption that it is an unnecessary expense. Not to mention, top-notch products are often costly.
- Eye Fatigue: Whether the light is too bright or too dim, it can cause eye fatigue. This is especially true if you directly look at the beam.
Here are some of the most important considerations to help you narrow down the possibilities.
This refers to the light output of the spreader light, which is measured in lumens. The higher the rating, the brighter the light is. Based on the products I listed in this review, it can be anywhere from 1,000 to 25,000 lumens. Also, look at the number of LED bulbs in the light as it is also influential in its brightness.
Some spreader lights are equipped with reflector cups. This is a shiny material that is usually made of aluminum that you will find inside the housing. It allows light to bounce and maximize its brightness.
Brighter isn’t always better. In many instances, being too bright can be a bad thing. The light creates a blinding effect. This can be inconvenient and cause eye fatigue. It also causes excessive heat.
Angle of Illumination
Aside from brightness, another important light output consideration is the angle of illumination. From the lights above, the angle is anywhere from 50 to 170 degrees. If you intend to use it as a spotlight, then it should have a narrow beam. On the other hand, as a floodlight, you will need a wider beam, which also means a larger coverage.
It is good if you can dim the spreader light, making it useful in different situations. Most of these lights will not have a built-in dimmer. Instead, they are compatible with a third-party dimmer, which you must purchase separately. Dimmable lights are good to add ambiance to the deck.
The overall quality of the spreader light depends on the materials used. From the products I listed in this guide, the die-cast aluminum housing is the most common. It is lightweight and dustproof. A rubber seal is also commonly present for protection from external elements. More so, for the hardware, stainless steel is a popular choice. As for the lens, a polycarbonate lens is the usual material.
Considering the design of the spreader light goes beyond aesthetics. Pick one that combines both form and function. One of the most important is to be designed with large fins. This improves air circulation and heat dissipation. As a result, the light stays cool even when it is on for an extended time.
To be versatile, the marine spreader light must be usable beyond a single application. Some are designed to function even in off-road vehicles. Being versatile also means that you will have different options on how and where to mount the light on your boat. This is a great way to enjoy the best bang for the buck.
Another thing that makes a spreader light versatile is its movable design. While the bracket is fixed, the light can be moved up or down depending on where you would like to direct the beam. This makes sure that the beam goes exactly where you want it to be.
The top-rated marine LED spreader lights are waterproof. Since they are meant to be installed on boats, they must withstand the harsh marine environments. Otherwise, the light is easily damaged. Look for IP67 or IP68 rating. A sealed construction is a must to prevent the water from penetrating the internal components.
More than being waterproof, the spreader light needs to be durable. It is a long-term investment, so it should withstand the test of time. It should resist rust, corrosion, and discoloration. A shatterproof lens is also a must, which will protect the bulbs from damage.
To be durable, a lot of the spreader lights go through quality tests. For instance, spreader lights from Lumitec go through salt spray testing for thousands of hours. This proves the ability of the light to withstand the harsh marine environment where saltwater can easily wreak havoc to boat lighting.
Pick a spreader light that guarantees effortless installation. The package must have all the necessary mounting hardware, including brackets and screws. It must also come with detailed instructions from the manufacturer. If possible, there should be a diagram to make everything clearer.
I am talking about the color of the light output and not the color of the housing. White, blue, and red are the most common colors available. Some spreader lights have interchangeable colors, which you can instantly activate with a flick of a switch.
Blue LED spreader lights are good for ambiance. Red, on the other hand, is great if you want a light that does not interfere with your night vision. For the brightest possible output, you can never go wrong with white.
for your peace of mind, consider the warranty coverage the manufacturer offers. At a minimum, the warranty should be one-year. Aside from the warranty, some manufacturers also offer a satisfaction guarantee. Within a specific period, if you are unsatisfied with the light, you can return it and you will receive a full refund.
Care and Maintenance
Over time, marine LED spreader lights attract dirt and dust. Not to mention, the harsh heat of the sun and saltwater make the light prone to damage. To keep the spreader lights in their peak condition, below are some of the best things to do:
- Start by considering the material of the spreader light, especially the housing. Your choice of cleaning materials and methods depend on the material used. For instance, using detergents and commercial cleaners in aluminum housing can cause discoloration.
- Read the manual from the manufacturer and follow the instructions religiously. Pay attention to any warning about the cleaning materials to avoid.
- Regularly clean the spreader light, especially the lens. You can use car headlight restoration kits to clean dirt and debris on the lens. Use a soft-bristled brush and avoid abrasives to prevent scratches on the surface.
- Position the spreader light properly. Do not use it outdoors if it is not waterproof. Aside from rain damage, it can also become a safety hazard.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who makes the best marine LED spreader lights?
Lumitec, AMBOTHER, EXZEIT, Jiawill, and Taco LED spreader lights are some of the most reputable manufacturers. They offer a wide selection of deck lighting products that will make boating safer and more enjoyable!
How to mount?
The design of the spreader light will dictate how it is installed. Generally, here’s what you should do:
- Choose where exactly you like to position the light. Consider the clearance as well, making sure that you won’t bump your head into the light.
- Install the bracket. You need a drill to create a mounting hole. Slide the bolt into the bracket to secure its position.
- Add the spreader light to the bracket. Connect the screw that attaches the light to the mount and tighten it. Wiggle the light, making sure that it is positioned tightly.
- For flush-mount LED spreader lights, there’s no need to install the bracket. Instead, it has a direct installation on the surface.
- Connect the wire to the power source. Run it to the battery or add an extension if the wire is too short. You also need to add a toggle switch to power the light on or off or to change the colors as needed.
What is the difference between a spreader light and a floodlight?
While both are popular types of boat lighting, they are different in terms of installation location. A floodlight is mounted on the console next to the navigation system. A spreader light, on the other hand, is installed on the spreader of the sailboat mast. Although in recent years, it is installed almost anywhere, making it interchangeable with floodlights.
Where can I buy it?
The best place to buy marine LED spreader light is online. Check out websites like Amazon, Walmart, and Home Depot. Visit the websites of the manufacturers if you want to purchase directly. The best thing about buying online is that you can compare more options and read reviews.
The best marine LED spreader lights are must-haves for any boat! It illuminates the deck. Whether you are hosting friends or getting your fishing gear ready, a spreader light provides brighter surroundings!
While there are different types of spreader lights, I prefer LED because it is energy-efficient and long-lasting. Keep an eye on the products I reviewed above, and it is hard to go wrong!