FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- When it comes to new technology, the OceanLED exhibit at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show is full of bright ideas.
The Fort Lauderdale company will have several new models of its LED underwater lights at its booth in the Yachting Tent at the Bahia Mar Yachting Center at the 54th boat show, which is Thursday through Nov. 4. The lights feature factory sealed polycarbonate bodies and more LED bulbs, which makes them tougher and more powerful, and they also come in several different colors.
Unlike most underwater light manufacturers, OceanLED makes lights for everything from skiffs to cruise ships. The lights are extremely popular with superyacht builders, whose boats are 100 or more feet long.
The company's newest Amphibian model lights are ideal for center consoles and runabouts, especially those that fish at night or visit waterfront hangouts at night.
Older Amphibian models had a glass lens, which was used to retard sea growth. The glass could crack, which did not affect the performance of the light, but some boat owners did find a cracked light to be unsightly.
The new lights, which are built in England, have a fully polycarbonate body, which U.S. general manager Don DeMott said is "an important change for us."
The polycarbonate won't crack or break, it's lighter in weight and it allows the lights to have a slimmer profile. Marine growth is easily wiped off the lights without scratching them and the lights also have thicker, better wiring that connects to the boat's power source and requires only a tiny hole to be made in the hull.
The OceanLED Amphibian Xtreme and Amphibian Pro Xtreme series of lights also come with more LEDs than their predecessors. The three-LED light has been replaced by the four-LED A4 model, the eight-LED A8 replaced the six-LED model and the 12-LED light has been replaced by the 16-LED A16. The light colors are white, blue or green.
According to OceanLED, the newer lights are 21/2 times brighter than the original Amphibian lights and the bulbs will last for more than 40,000 hours. The lights can run on 12- or 24-volt power, can be used above or below the water and are controlled by a switch at the helm as well as by an optional remote.
Suggested uses include putting the lights on the boat's transom and hull so they light up the water around the boat at night. The lights also can be used in the baitwell for night fishing and under the boat's gunwales.
OceanLED recommends the A4 for boats up to 30 feet long, the A8 for boats up to 33 feet and the A16 for boats up to 50 feet. Suggested retail prices are $179 for the A4, $359 for the A8 and $499 for the A16.
Recommended boat sizes for the Pro Xtreme series of those lights, which are brighter than the Xtreme lights, are up to 30 feet for the A4, up to 50 feet for the A8 and up to 65 feet for the A16. Suggested retail prices are $249, $449 and $989, respectively.
The A8 and A16 Pro Xtremes also are available in Color Change models that allow boaters to toggle between eight different colors to display the one they want, strobe the colors or cycle through different color combinations. Costs for those models are $699 for the A8 and $1,249 for the A16. All of the newest Amphibians will be shipping as of Dec. 1.
The sizes and styles of lights can be mixed and matched for every boat. The Pro Xtremes also have a strobe feature, which some anglers say is good to use during the day because the flashing light looks like a school of baitfish and attracts gamefish.
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