If you love to fish at night, having access to the best boat spotlight is critical. There is nothing more relaxing than a nighttime boat ride. Without the proper light, you could become lost. I love taking my boat for a spin at night. It would be difficult to maneuver some waters without a spotlight.
Boat spotlights help you:
- Navigate through dark waters
- Detect rocks and other obstructions
- Check your fishing line
- Pull in a fish
- Find items on your boat
- Signal for help
- Prevent boat collisions
Types of Boat Spotlights
Before I give you details on boat spotlight reviews, let’s talk about the two types.
- Built-In models – These are installed on your boat and are not removable. If you choose this type of spotlight, installation is key. Improper installation can be a light hazard. If the light is mounted in the wrong area, it creates a hazy light force that impedes your vision. I would recommend you temporarily mount a light and use it at night. If the light creates a haze, it needs a new position.
- Hand-held models – There are both wireless and wired hand-held spotlights. If you plan on purchasing this type, I would advise you to purchase a receptacle. A receptacle will lock the male plug in place. This will ensure the light is more secure. Hand-held models range in size and power.
Benefits of Using a Boat Spotlight
As a boat owner, I enjoy going out at night when the waters are quiet. Some of my best fishing takes place at night. If you are like me, you need the best spotlight for boat. Believe me, that big catch will be easier to claim with light.
If you have ever gotten into trouble on your boat, you know stress. Try being stranded at night! A spotlight can assist you in getting help. The light will pinpoint your location for rescuers.
If you have a spotlight on your boat, you will be able to avoid boat damage. Running into a rock or other obstruction can cause damage. I highly advise boat owners to consider the best rated spotlight for boat.
Without a boat spotlight, you are stuck only using your boat in the day. I am an avid catfish fisherman. Catfish become more active at night. I use my boat spotlight to pull them in. Keep the light off while they are biting, for best results. Once you feel that tug, turn on the light. Putting the spotlight on lets you pull that big one in with ease. A find the light also helps me remove the hook and secure my catch.
When I set out to do this review, I decided only the best names would do. A cheap boat spotlight will not cut it! If you are like me, only the best will do.
9 Best Boat Spotlight Reviews 2020
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
I have plenty of Stanley tools in my arsenal so I knew I wanted to test this one. Stanley is a name many people trust. Their products are durable and a good value. This rechargeable boat spotlight is no exception.
This spotlight features a trigger design that makes one-handed operation simple. I found it easy to use right from the start. Like most boat spotlights, this model is water-proof.
It is submersible up to six feet. If you drop it in the water, it will float face up. Don’t ask me how I know this!
If you are looking for a high level of illumination, this is your model. This boat spotlight delivers up to 520 lumens. It offers a bright 5W LED light.
The long-life battery is what really sold me. The longer the battery life, the longer I can stay out on my boat at night.
I also like that you can recharge the light in your vehicle. It comes with adapters for 120-volt AC and 12-volt DC. Overall, this is a solid boat spotlight that will give you good service.
- Bright light from 5W LED
- Can be charged in your vehicle
- Easy to use with a rugged pistol grip
- Water-proof and submersible up to six feet
- Takes up to 6 hours to charge
One of the first things that interested me in this spotlight was the 3 light settings. High offers 1,000 lumens. Medium offers 500 lumens.
Low offers 100 lumens. This light gives you all the options you need for nighttime boating.
Another drawing point is the long life. This light will hold a charge up to twenty hours. When it comes time for a charge, you can charge it in your vehicle or at home.
This sucker is tough! It is impact-resistant and will take on a lot of abuse. Even if you drop it in water, it is water-proof up to three feet deep. Best part-it won’t sink. If it is dropped in the water, it will float to the top so you can retrieve it.
I like the lightweight feel. This best boat spotlight is compact and easy to carry. If you are wrangling in a fish, you will still be able to easily hold this light. The trigger design is spot-on. My hand felt very comfortable holding this spotlight.
This light comes with a filter for both white and red light. This boat spotlight also comes with a handy stand. You can mount it in your boat for ease of use.
- Simple to use
- Powerful 18W LED light
- Can be mounted on a stand
- Water-proof up to three feet
- Three light settings: High, Medium, and Low
- You have to unscrew the back to charge it
Many boat owners are worried about dropping their boat spotlights in the water. Not only does the water cause damage, but some lights can also sink. This GOODSMAN submersible light is made to deliver on water protection.
This light is practically indestructible because it is impact-resistant, submersible, and will not sink. As I have discussed many times before, I am hard on my tools and fishing gear. This light was able to stand up to my abuse and that is saying something!
One of my favorite features about this best boat light is the three different light settings.
This super bright light uses a 30 W LED with 3000 lumens. You can set it on high, low (with flashing SOS), or off. Switching between the different light functions is entirely simple. Another cool thing about this light is you do not need to replace the batteries. The battery charges via USB which makes it much less of a hassle.
To test this baby, I purposely threw it overboard and the thing floated right away! Although it was submerged in the water, it was still working beautifully. As a side note, the blue and white design of this boat spotlight is pretty sweet and matched my boat décor beautifully.
- Is completely waterproof and will not sink
- Three light settings that include an SOS flash warning
- Does not need battery replacements and is easy to charge
- Extremely bright with 3000 lumens so you can see great distances
- High setting greatly reduces battery life
I cannot say enough good things about Dewalt and I own one of their saws. This company is focused on quality so I could not wait to give this light a try and see how it performed out on my boat.
Although this light is not marketed as a boat spotlight, I found it extremely versatile on my boat. I found myself using it for all types of work, including being able to see how to remove hooks from fish and bait my line.
I absolutely love that this light has a belt clip on it because this keeps it in place for hands-free use. Because of the pivoting head, you can attach it to your belt clip and then easily move the head when you need to move the focus of light.
This spotlight has three super-bright LED bulbs and one red LED to offer night vision. This light will allow you to see into the darkness for at least 508 feet. The head pivots 90 degrees, making it a versatile light for use on your boat, on the job site, or around the house.
The over-molded lens cover provides an extreme level of durability. The only problem I discovered with this light is it is not waterproof, but if you keep it on deck, it will bring you a lot of light and illuminate the darkness in the distance.
- Works with any Dewalt 20V battery
- The durable lens cover ensures your bulbs stay protected
- The 90-degree pivotal head shines the light in all directions you need
- Ultra-bright LED lights allow you to see in the distance up to 508 feet
- Although durable, it is not waterproof
Streamlight is a trusted name in lighting products and they do not disappoint with this waypoint spotlight. This light offers a solid 550 lumens, at an affordable price.
This light operates on a 12V DC power cord which is ideal for those who hate purchasing replacement batteries. If you prefer, there is the option of powering this light with 4C batteries.
This light comes with a C4 bulb that is resistant to shock and has a lifespan of around 50,000 hours so you will be able to use it a long time before even needing to think about replacing the bulb.
I really like how light this model feels in your hand and the ease of use. With the high setting, you can expect 550 lumens and the low setting offers 50 lumens. At its high setting, this light is able to pierce the darkness and provide a waypoint that can be vital during nighttime fishing.
This spotlight is clearly built to provide durability. Its polycarbonate housing stands up to all types of abuse and believe me when I say, I put it through it all!
Overall, I was really pleased with this light. I like being able to switch between the power cord and batteries, depending on how I am using the light. You can also use the stand or mount to offer truly hands-free use.
- Two brightness settings with bright LED lights (Highest setting at 550 lumens)
- This light can be used with the power cord or 4C batteries
- Tough and durable polycarbonate housing is impact-resistant and waterproof
- Trigger design makes this light easy to use
- Not as bright as some spotlights on the market
I know this light is not marketed as being a boat spotlight, but hear me out. If you are like me, you spend a lot of time on your boat and camping or RVing so it helps to have a versatile light you can rely on for all types of uses. This is where the LE camping light shines.
This light has five light settings and at its highest level offers an amazing 1000 lumens.
The battery charges via a USB cable so there is no need to constantly purchase replacement batteries or worry about cords getting in the way on the boat.
The five lighting modes include the front spotlight, left side mode, and right side mode red. The front light offers two levels of brightness and is ideal for all types of uses, including on your fishing boat.
While you cannot submerge this light and expect it to survive, it does have water-resistance, meaning it can survive water splashes and mild rain. This is a light you will likely find many uses for, including at the campsite, in your RV, and even for light while working on your truck.
Although this light is extremely durable, you will not find it to be heavy at all! Even children will be able to carry the light which is perfect for those father/child fishing excursions.
- Five powerful light options, including red SOS and two front brightness settings
- Perfect for boating, camping, RVing, and all types of activities
- Easily charged with the included USB cord so no more battery purchases
- Lightweight and easy to carry and use
- Cannot be submerged in the water because it is only water-resistant
Now this is a grand little spotlight that’s perfect for boating in low light or darkness.
First off the brightness is adjustable, which can be a real handy feature. You can set it to high, and it will throw out a whopping 1300 lumens of light, which is not only bright enough to make out shapes of objects, but also identify their color.
There’s also a medium setting, in case you find the 1300 too bright for you, and a low setting, which is a good one to use if you want to preserve your night vision.
But what makes it so good for boating is just how waterproof it is. With an IP rating of an impressive IPX6, not only can it handle drops of rain or a splash, but it will even hold its own if it was dropped in water. It can drop as much as 3 whole feet without getting damaged, and better yet it’s designed to float straight up to the top of the water, so you can just grab it and carry on.
Speaking of being dropped, it’s also impact resistant, which is thanks to its durable Polystyrene and ABS build, so it can handle being dropped inside the boat too.
If you start to get tired of holding it, you can go completely hands free, thanks to the pivoting flip over stand. You can choose exactly what angle you want it to shine at.
And it can keep on working right through the darkest hours of the night, up to about 5 hours to be exact. It’s completely rechargeable, and if you don’t need the light on all through the night, you can also choose to use the light as a powerback for your cell phone (or other mobile device).
Please don’t just look at our view, check out the customer reviews with retailers too.
- Up to 1300 lumens of light
- Adjustable brightness
- High IP rating IPX6
- Long battery life
- Go completely hands free
- Great value for money
- Although it comes with a hands free option, it doesn’t come with a special mount for your boat
This model is completely portable and cordless so it is perfect for boating. It offers up to 1,100 bright lumens. This halogen model offers a bright, continuous light. It comes with a nice LED flashlight for free.
The 12-volt battery is rechargeable and easy to replace once it will no longer hold a charge. You will find this spotlight to be perfect for boating and camping. If I hear a noise in the distance, this light lets me know what it is!
This heavy-duty light is lightweight and portable. It fully charges in 8-10 hours. I love the charging indicator light. It lets me know when this baby is ready.
The trigger design is easy to use and the mode can be locked in place. I found it super-simple to use. I will caution you not to drop this one in water. It is not waterproof which is why I couldn’t put it higher in the list. I recommend using the mounting stand so you can use it hands-free for greater control. This one is really a keeper. You will find you will use it in your car, boat, and home.
- Offers high and low settings
- Charging indicator light for convenience
- Can be charged in your car or at a wall outlet
- Powerful light shines far out into the darkness
- Is not waterproof
This boat spotlight is made from a strong polycarbonate material which is one of the reasons I wanted to check it out. I am always banging up my boat lights and I need something that is tough enough to stand up to the abuse.
I was pleasantly surprised by the durability, given the lightweight feel of the light. The trigger is easy to use and the ergonomic design made it fit comfortably in my hand. This is the type of light you can grab quickly when you see something that needs to be identified in the water.
I really like this model because you can use it hands-free with the stand or a lanyard. The spotlight operates on 4C batteries so there are no pesky cords to get in the way. If you are like me, this is something you want to avoid because I am a klutz!
This light is waterproof and it will float in the water, should you make the mistake of dropping it. On its max setting, it offers 1000 lumens and the low setting is 90. Browning has tested this boat light for an effective reach of up to 725 yards. It gives you a lot of light for a little money.
- Made of a tough polycarbonate material
- Completely waterproof and floats in water
- At its highest level, it offers an amazing 1000 lumens
- Bulb color is white for a bright shine that stands out in the darkness
- Does not have a plug option for those who need one
9 Best Marine Spotlight Reviews 2020 Buying Guide
Before you set out to find the best boat handheld spotlight, what should you consider? I want you to be fully prepared with all the info you need. An informed spotlight buyer is a better buyer!
Wattage and Lumens
Wattage and lumens often get confused. The wattage means the power it takes to burn the bulb. The lumens is the brightness of the bulb. You should consider both when purchasing a boat spotlight. The one you will want to fully focus on is lumens. The higher the lumens, the brighter the light. You will want to make sure the light is as bright as possible. The best lights should have multiple lumen settings.
Size and Weight
One of the next things you need to consider is size and weight. In this case, bigger is not always better. The lighter the weight, the easier to hold. A compact, lightweight design is best. Unless you need extreme brightness, compact design is best. You do not want a heavy model when boating or your hands will wear out.
As with anything, durability matters. I put my spotlights through lots of abuse on my boat, mostly because I'm somewhat (my wife would say more than somewhat) clumsy and drops happen. If they happen to you, durable materials are a must. You want spotlight materials that can take a beating and still keep working. Choose a boat spotlight that is scratch, dent, and break-resistant.
Ergonomics is a big issue in boat spotlights. Trigger designs are best for hand-helds. A proper design should cradle your fingers. If the spotlight is not comfortable, you won’t use it. Choose a design that mimics the curvatures of the hand. The right design will lessen hand fatigue.
WHICH IS BEST SEARCHLIGHT FOR A BOAT: FLOODLIGHT VS SPOTLIGHT?
I get asked this question quite a lot so I would like to address it here. A floodlight floods an area with a broad beam of light. Spotlights project the beam at a more concentrated point. In terms of boating, spotlights are generally preferred.
Spotlights allow you to see greater distances. Spotlights are typically brighter than floodlights. I use spotlights when fishing. They help me see out into the water and avoid obstacles. I use them to prevent boating accidents. If you want to light up your deck for a party, floodlights are great. If you want to see into the distance, get yourself a spotlight. Hand-held spotlights offer many uses over floodlights.
Frequently Asked Questions & Tips
I’ve gotten quite a few questions regarding the best boat spotlights so I thought I’d try to answer some.
Which is better: halogen or LED?
Answer: When it comes to boating, LED light is typically considered superior. They are more expensive than halogen. LED lights do not produce much heat. They also require less power. LED lights burn much longer than halogen.
Can you replace the battery in a boat spotlight?
Answer: This is an option that varies among models. Some models do allow for easy replacement. Some batteries cannot be replaced. It is wise to check out this option before buying. Some batteries last so long it does not matter. Some people prefer the option of replacing the battery so they can have a backup on the boat.
What distance does the average beam offer?
Answer: The spotlights I tested all shined out at least five-hundred feet. Most models were better at around 300 feet. Of course, the longer the beam length, the lesser the light at the end. Choose a high lumens spotlight for the longest shine length.
I would feel comfortable taking any of these spotlights on my boat. If you have never boated at night, try one of these best boat spotlights. These lights give you greater security. You will be amazed at how much you use these lights onboard your boat. I couldn’t boat at night without one.
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