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Old 27 May 2019, 14:50   #1
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Underwater Lights

I thought Iíd share my journey with underwater lights, incase anyone else is interested, due to the limited information out there on this topic. I understand they are a controversial topic. With people not liking them for how they look, the cost and the point of drilling unnecessary holes in your transom.

These were all things I understood which is why I felt you have to be very careful when choosing a company to use. The main brand which stood out was Lumishore as the internet clearly regards them simply as Ďthe best and donít look elsewhere if you can afford themí. This statement and the fact that they donít advertise prices made me look elsewhere as I assumed they would be considerably more than already expensive competitors.

When looking into which lights to go for I encountered many issues, with the main being lack of information available. My main issue was underwater lights are more common overseas and I wanted to ensure they would look good in our less clear waters. Finding honest photos of lights in UK waters was very difficult and resulted in a lot of searching through various forums and company websites. Also, accessibility was a major factor. There are very few brands available in the UK, and I was afraid to order from overseas incase I encountered any issues. I was after surface mounted lights, which require a small hole (13mm in most cases) to be drilled through the transom for the cable. They are the most suitable style of light for most RIB's.

This left me with Bluefin LED and OceanLED as brands which are sold by UK distributors. I leant towards Bluefin due to them being a UK company, and I found a few photos of customers in the UK with various models and they looked like they could be adequate. Also, OceanLED seem to have reliability issues on their Amphibian lights looking on some forums, where Bluefin don't. This is partly because OceaLED are much more common, so there will be people with faults. But this is still something you don't want to risk.

So, I was set on Bluefin LED P12 in Blue/White (not interested in multicoloured) as they were the brightest surface mounted lights which I could physically fit on the transom of my tiny SR4.

I left it a while as I was unsure to pull the trigger. I still wasn't 100% due to Lumishore showing to be brighter and Bluefin don't verify the fixture lumens unlike Lumishore. Lumishore also seem to be very open with their manufacture process and show their thorough testing process using an integrating sphere regularly. This combined with their 2 year warranty makes you confident in their product, as well as their popularity.

So, this made me send an email to a couple of Lumishore dealers local to me enquiring about cost and availability. Upon reply, the quote I received, although very expensive, it was marginally more expensive than their 'lesser regarded' competitors.

Instantly, I'd decided it was worth the extra and I was to buy a pair of SMX (dual colour) surface lights. The question was which model. Price is the main factor and roughly twice the price equates to twice the lumens. As this was to be a one off purchase, I didn't want to be disappointed and feel like upgrading in the future so I felt like the SMX53 with 6100 fixture lumens was the way to go. Although probably overkill for my SR4, lack of photos of these lights (partly why I'm making this thread) and as I'd never seen any Lumishore lights in the flesh made me want the brightest to not be disappointed in the varying UK water clarity, especially as my boat lives on a river .

So, I said to the nearest dealer with immediate stock I'd have a pair of SMX53's and went and collected them. Having them in hand it was clear they were a quality product. The brass housing, cabling, and overall construction felt superb.

Next was fitment, this was potentially my first mistake. Although I'd measured that the 95mm diameter would comfortably fit on my transom (the 110mm Bluefin P6/P12 would have fit) I had overlooked the floor depth . I wanted the cable to run under the floor for tidiness, and ensure the light was under the waterline. The floor was 20mm thick and 140mm raised from the hull at the deepest point. This gave me a very very small margin for error when it came to mounting the lights. Fortunately it was possible, only just . But it did mean the lights had to be mounted slightly closer together than intended (This made me question if I should of bought the 70mm diameter SMX23 as they would have fitted much more easily).

Anyway, the 13mm holes were drilled and Sikaflex was the used to seal the light and countersunk holes to help the sealant bond, and prevent spider cracking. Sealant was also used from the inside and shorter stainless steel screws were used compared to the brass screws provided. This was because some of the screws were positioned above the floor line and the screws provided were longer than my transom.

For anyone interested, my flooding hull on the SR4 has been removed and glassed over at the rear, then a hole was drilled in the floor at the rear for an underfloor bilge pump, with a hatch on the floor at the rear to allow access. This allowed me to run the cabling through the hole, and through some trunking. The 2M of cable provided was just enough to reach into the console where I could begin the wiring in a safe, dryer environment. Each light had a 7.5a inline fuse as guided by the instructions provided. I think wired them to my Blue Sea switch panel and negative terminal. Alternatively, there is a Supra Instillation kit sold by Lumishore for any Supra (Dual colour Blue/White) lights. This kit included a plug and play system with fuses in a junction box included, as well as a purpose made switch. I chose against this due to it's £200 extra cost and the fact a new hole would have to be cut into my dashboard for the switch, when I already have a perfectly adequate switchboard. This kit does add a few extra modes and features for the lights, like individual strobe and fade. But for me, it wasn't worth it.



http://www.rib.net/forum/attachment....1&d=1558986372



http://www.rib.net/forum/attachment....1&d=1558986372



Once wired up I was happy with them working and cycled through the modes. Just with a standard switch set up, momentarily on and off allows you to cycle between White, Blue, Strobe (random of both colours) and Fade (also a preset of both colours). The kit gives you more choice over the latter two features but wasn't important to me.



http://www.rib.net/forum/attachment....1&d=1558986372



24hrs on, for the sealant to do it's thing, it was time to put it in the water and wait for night time. The battery is a Varta LFD75 which is a 75a deep cycle dual purpose battery. It should be more than capable for the needs of a 4M RIB. I haven't trickle charged my battery, and since I hadn't ran it for a huge period of time, I doubt it was fully charged. With the engine running, the lights, plotter, fish finder and radio all ran flawlessly. Only when the engine was switched off it didn't cope. Only the fish finder and lights would run together, which is fine for me.
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Old 27 May 2019, 14:54   #2
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Underwater Lights

The photo's speak for themselves and I was very impresses, even as dusk just approached.



http://www.rib.net/forum/attachment....1&d=1558986777



http://www.rib.net/forum/attachment....1&d=1558986777



White was considerably brighter than blue but both were impressive. Neither the river water or sea water were particularly clear compared to what it can be, so for first impressions they were bright. Due to the small gap under the floor and the SR4 being a small boat I really had no choice over the positioning of the retrospectively large lights. This meant that they were close to the engine leg which I didn't really want, but it hasn't been an issue. They are also fairly deep on the transom (probably normal depth for a boat they should be on) so they penetrate the water well and you can see light deeper than expected, lighting up the seabed in 2m of water. They also still make a very nice halo which is way wider than the little boat and it comes out the sides almost like it has side mounted lights. This is another benefit of Lumishore over its competitors. Because their lights put out more light, their beam angle is greater. So an amazing smooth halo is created and distance isn't compromised.

Once on the plane, the lights rise to the surface. They light up the wake ok, but it is definitely most effective when its properly dark and looks better on camera than in real life, where the still shots do not. The halo at slower speeds definitely look more impressive to me.



Overall I am very happy with the product and they are as bright as I had hoped, even in our SH@T UK waters. I know that the 2500 fixture lumen SMX23 would have been adequate for my SR4 since installing these, even in UK waters they would be impressive. Also their installation would have been much easier. But I don't regret buying these lights at all (Its always more fun to buy something that shouldn't really fit ). I have full confidence in them, the build quality feels so high, and even if the glass does break in an incident they are sealed and water wont make its way into the hull Lumishore assure.
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Old 27 May 2019, 14:56   #3
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More Photo's

Here are some more photo's in white.

http://www.rib.net/forum/attachment....1&d=1558986948

http://www.rib.net/forum/attachment....1&d=1558986948

http://www.rib.net/forum/attachment....1&d=1558986948

http://www.rib.net/forum/attachment....1&d=1558986948

http://www.rib.net/forum/attachment....1&d=1558986948
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Old 27 May 2019, 14:58   #4
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More Photo's

Here are some more photo's in blue.

http://www.rib.net/forum/attachment....1&d=1558987065

http://www.rib.net/forum/attachment....&d=1558987065#

http://www.rib.net/forum/attachment....1&d=1558987065

http://www.rib.net/forum/attachment....1&d=1558987065
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Old 27 May 2019, 15:11   #5
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Gonna have to ask...

WHY?
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Old 27 May 2019, 15:33   #6
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Originally Posted by ShinyShoe View Post
Gonna have to ask...

WHY?


Because it looks cool, obviously
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Old 27 May 2019, 16:13   #7
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Bet they don't work in the Humber
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Old 28 May 2019, 04:11   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShinyShoe View Post
Gonna have to ask...

WHY?
to match the lights under his car, obviously!
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Old 28 May 2019, 04:35   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShinyShoe View Post
Gonna have to ask...

WHY?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pikey Dave View Post
Because it looks cool, obviously
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie Bill View Post
to match the lights under his car, obviously!
Meanies

Isn't life about choice, if we all owned exactly the same boat with the same kit bolted on it'll be a tab boring discussing................nothing!

Whatever 'floats your boat' ( see what I did there ) then that's cool in my book, plenty of crap on my rig that'll make a some boat owners frown, "quod ali cibus est aliis fuat acre venenum"
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Old 28 May 2019, 10:04   #10
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Originally Posted by Fender View Post
Meanies

Isn't life about choice, if we all owned exactly the same boat with the same kit bolted on it'll be a tab boring discussing................nothing!

Whatever 'floats your boat' ( see what I did there ) then that's cool in my book, plenty of crap on my rig that'll make a some boat owners frown, "quod ali cibus est aliis fuat acre venenum"


Mange tout
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