Who doesn’t like to travel on a boat when the sun goes down and the moon comes up, right? If you’ve got a significant other in your life, this can be a very romantic adventure. However, you won’t be able to enjoy the trip unless you’ve got a proper spotlight to, well, light the way. What do the Best Boat Spotlights look like, though?
How much will you have to pay for a decent unit? Which brands can you trust? I’ve got all the answers right here! First, I want you to check out my list of the finest products on the market. After three weeks of meticulous testing, I chose the following eight lights as my top picks. Next, take a look at the Buyer’s Guide, Alright, let’s get to it!
Best Boat Spotlights Review
1. Nilight – 60001F-B Led Pods
I want to kick the list off with a set of LED lights by Nilight. So, what’s so special about it? Why would you choose the F-B pods over the competition? Well, first of all, you get two lights instead of one, which is always great news. Secondly, this is one of the cheapest offers on the market. That’s right: you can get these lights for very cheap. On top of that, thanks to the universal design, the Nilight pack is compatible with a long list of boats.
You can even mount it on your car, bike, or plane if you’ve got one. And let’s not forget the rather generous two-year warranty. The package also includes all the necessary installation hardware, by the way, and the lights are easily adjustable. As for the downsides, the engineers had to sacrifice the build quality a bit to keep the price to a minimum. Other than that, we’ve got a winner on our hands with the F-B LEDs.
Bright, adjustable, easy-to-mount, and affordable, the Nilight set of LEDs is a safe bet for most boat owners. This isn’t a spotlight per se, but that doesn’t make F-B a bad option. And if something goes wrong, you’ll always be able to take advantage of the standard two-year warranty.
2. DEWALT 20V MAX LED Work Light
Alright, here’s our first proper spotlight, and there’s a lot to like about it. Most importantly, it boasts a superb build quality and won’t break if you accidentally drop it. Plus, it also follows a somewhat universal design. You can either hold it with one hand using the ergonomic handle or mount it with the belt hook – very useful. DEWALT is 1000LM-strong and can be seen from as far as 1500 feet.
It only includes two regular light settings, but there’s also a night-vision mode, which is a big pro. During the test, I really liked the pivoting head (90-degree), as it makes this spotlight a lot more versatile and flexible. What about the cons, though? There’s only one significant disadvantage, and that’s the steep price tag. So, only consider DEWALT if you’re not on a low budget and are ready to pay up for the rigid, reliable construction.
DEWALT’s spotlight isn’t particularly cheap, and that is its biggest turn-off for most folks. However, it justifies the high price with the market-leading build quality, reliability, multi-functional design, and a pivoting head. Should you go for it? Yes, but provided you’ve got the bucks to spare.
3. STANLEY FATMAX SL10LEDS
This company has a long presence on the market of LED lights and offers a wide range of different products. For example, the FATMAX series of spotlights is incredibly popular, and for a good reason. Its standout features include a set of charging adaptors (AC + DC). You’ll be able to recharge the battery both at home, at the office, or right inside your truck, SUV, or sedan.
The battery isn’t very impressive, though, and only lasts for up to 7 hours on the low setting. The light, in contrast, is pretty strong (2.2K lumens), and SL10 casts a wide, all-consuming beam of light. The overall design deserves our praise as well. The handle is rugged and makes the hand feel comfortable for a long period of time. Oh, and you’ll find a USB charger in the back, right next to the adaptors.
Stanley did a marvelous job with this spotlight, and if not for the so-so battery, it could be the best unit on the list. It’s still a very sweet deal for most boat owners, thanks to the AC-DC adapters, decent illumination range, and smart, user-friendly design. A great deal for short-range trips.
4. Super Bright Spotlight 6000 Lumen LED Flashlight
Next up, we’ve got Glandu with its handheld flashlight slash spotlight. As the name suggests (Super Bright) it is, indeed, quite strong and reaches 6000 lumens. That means you’ll be able to see what’s ahead no matter how dark, rainy, snowy, or foggy it is outside. For many boaters, the lack of a strong beam that can properly light up the way is a big problem. Well, that won’t be an issue with Glandu.
This is especially true thanks to the high-charge, long-lasting batteries. They can go on for 24 hours in the Low-light mode – again, a great result. I also want to point out the spotlight’s body. It is crafted from aluminum alloy and has proven to be quite durable. Plus, it is protected against rust. My only complaint: this spotlight is lightweight and might not be perfect for windy, stormy weather.
What are you looking for in the spotlight for your boat? Do you want a bright light, a strong set of batteries, or different working modes? You’ll get all of that with Glandu. The design/body, in turn, is sturdy and stable, but it’s not very heavy. If you need a light that can hold its own, skip this one.
5. AUZKIN 7 Inches LED Light Bar
Not 100% sure a spotlight will be the best investment for your boat? A LED bar might be exactly what the doc ordered. Auzkin knows exactly how to make its lights strong, durable, long-lasting, and bright. With a market-leading life cycle (the LEDs can serve for up to 50,000 hours) and top-of-the-line brightness (24K lumens), this set won’t disappoint you in any way.
And, just like most light bars, the Auzkin pack is equally suitable not only for boats, but also for cars, trucks, planes, and home use. Next, full aluminum housing provides extra protection for the lights. The only thing that I didn’t like about these LED lights is the wire. It’s a bit short (only 8”), but that’s a minor price to pay for all the big pros.
The universal mounting brackets, easy setup, brick-strong aluminum housing, and reasonable price turn Auzkin into one of the finest light bars for a boat. They can make the darkest night feel like a sunny day (24K lumens) and will pretty much last forever (up to 50K hours of expected lifespan). I’d say that’s a perfect combo!
6. BIGSUN Rechargeable Spotlight
What’s the deal with this next spotlight? What does Bigsun have up its sleeve that the competition doesn’t? These are the questions that I’d been asking myself during the test, and this device managed to impress me. One of the biggest standout points is the generous package. With it, you’ll get not only a premium-quality spotlight, but also a tripod (for autonomous use), a shoulder strap, and even a separate wall charger.
And you won’t have to pay a pretty penny for all that! With this product, Bigsun includes a 12-month replacement guarantee. That’s right: if you receive a damaged/faulty unit or the package lacks one of the extras, the company will send a replacement for free. Just keep one thing in mind: the buttons that activate different light modes aren’t labeled. So, be careful not to switch to the flood button and blind yourself!
Bigsun is a sure pick for a wide range of boats. It’s an all-around amazing spotlight with many bonuses. I’m talking about a stand, a strap, and a charger, plus a one-year replacement guarantee. You’ll have to learn your way around the buttons, though, because they come unlabeled.
7. STANLEY FATMAX FL5W10 Rechargeable 520 Lumen Lithium Ion Waterproof LED Spotlight Flashlight
Here, we have another FATMAX series spotlight, but this time around, it’s a more compact and less powerful unit. That makes it easier to carry around and to hold in one hand. Now, for the average folks, 520 lumens should be enough. This spotlight won’t light everything up like it’s the 4th of July, but you won’t be sailing into darkness either. Besides, Stanley made this unit incredibly water-resistant.
The fans of diving will be happy to learn that it easily withstands water. Moreover, when you accidentally drop it while on the boat, the spotlight will float face up, thanks to the clever design. The battery lasts for up to 10 hours on Low, by the way – a decent result for such a small device.
Despite the not-at-all-impressive brightness, the FL5W10 spotlight is still a bargain. It is affordable, lightweight, highly mobile, and isn’t “afraid” of water/moisture. So, I would put it on the must-have list if you’re just getting into boat adventures and are in the market for an entry-level light.
8. Brinkmann Qbeam Max Million III 3 Million Maxpower Spotlight
Last, but not least, take a quick look at the Brinkmann spotlight. It has a very retro design and features a heavy-gauge coil cord. As a bonus, you’ll get a pretty cool carrying bag for easy transportation. Another big pro – the company takes very little time to deliver its products, including this Maxpower series spotlight. The bad news is – it uses outdated halogens, not LED lights.
That’s not a very big con, but LEDs are, indeed, superior to halogens, and last longer. So, keep that in mind. Now, I included this unit as an alternative to the other spotlights and bars on the list, as they all feature LEDs. Besides, it’s backed by a 12-month guarantee and is constructed from premium ABS plastic.
If you’re old-school and put halogens above LEDs, this spotlight is for you. It’s got 1.2K lumens under its belt, comes in a carrying bag, and arrives at your doorstep at short notice. Add a heavy-gauge, top-quality cord and a fortified casing, and you’ll see the appeal in Brinkmann’s light.
What should be your #1 concern when buying a new spotlight? Is brightness the most important factor, or maybe it’s the lifespan? And what about the price, size, and weight? It can be quite confusing, especially if this is your first time shopping for lights. Good news: with the help of this guide, you’ll start to make sense of it all in no time! It will only take three minutes to go through it, but the knowledge will, undoubtedly, help you make a better choice.
Size + Weight
When it comes to the size, you only need to check one thing: compatibility with your boat. Since spotlights are almost always mounted on the front of the sea vessel, you gotta make sure there won’t be any issues with that. True, most leading brands follow certain standards that ensure easy fitment; still, do check the dimensions before making a purchase.
As for the weight, the light needs to be heavy enough to be able to withstand heavy winds and storms. At the same time, look for a spotlight that’s lightweight enough to hold in your hands. That’s right: as we already learned from the detailed reviews, there are lots of hand-held devices out there.
Measured in lumens, brightness is another highly important factor. In most scenarios, 1000 lumens should be more than enough to set sails. Depending on the actual unit, the light will be seen from +/- 500 yards. For a traditional spotlight, 4-6KLM will be incredibly bright. A light bar, in contrast, can reach 24K (that’s twenty-four thousand) lumens, like the Auzkin set from our list. But, again, for most boat owners, 1000LM is the “sweet spot”.
This term is used to describe how long the spotlight will serve you before breaking down. On average, modern-day lights have a decent life cycle of +/- 20K hours, which is quite alright. But, if you want the new lights to last for many years, if not decades, go with 50K hours. And you won’t have to pay big bucks for extended life service, by the way. Just don’t forget to check the official specs.
Build Quality + Resistance
When it comes to spotlights, die-cast aluminum, and premium-grade ABS plastic are the perfect combo. These materials have proven to be equally reliable and durable. That’s not really enough for a spotlight to deserve your attention, though. For that, it needs to be well-protected against natural hazards. I’m talking about resistance to water, dust, the wind, salt, and rust/corrosion.
Otherwise, the lights won’t “stick around” for long, no matter the lifespan or the materials. Speaking of the build quality, it might be wise to look for a spotlight with a universal design that will fit not only a boat, but also a truck, SUV, trailer, or any other means of transportation.
So, we just talked about the importance of a universal design. But what about functionality, though? What’s the most vital thing in this regard? Different brightness settings are important (at least two), along with a pivoting head. Plus, check whether the spotlight covers enough distance or not. This is a critical aspect of a boat’s light, as you need to know what’s going on in front of you. And what about the battery? On average, 7-10 hours of running time is alright.
Pricing + the Package
How much does a top-notch spotlight cost? What’s the average price tag on a proper unit? Well, I’m happy to say that new lights won’t break your bank, even if you’re on a low budget. The entry-level price right now is $20. I wouldn’t recommend buying anything cheaper. Moving up the “ladder”, you’ll find lights that cost 40, 60, 80, and even more bucks. The high price is mostly dictated by generous warranty deals, different modes, lumens, and lifespan.
For the warranty, look for a brand that covers its product with at least a 12-month guarantee. A 2-year deal would be more preferable, of course, along with a free replacement guarantee. Oh, and one more thing: I always check the package for the installation hardware. Sometimes, you only get the spotlight with no mounting hardware, which is bad news.
And that concludes my guide into the world of the best spotlights for your boat! We just checked out eight market-leading products from big brands and I’m confident that you found your perfect pick. If not – go over the list once again and pay extra attention to the pros/cons and the expert recommendations. The list includes light bars, hand-held spotlights, work lights, and more – each unit appeals to a slightly different target audience.
Nilight has one of the most affordable offers to date. Bigsun covers its product with a generous warranty, while Auzkin provides unmatched brightness and precision. Which spotlight will be the perfect choice for you? Only you can answer that question! But if you need a helping hand, I’ll be more than happy to be of aid. Hit me up in the comments!