In an emergency on the water, there’s no room for low-grade safety equipment. In an environment where everything can be exposed to water, you’ll need to make sure that your gear is ready to go should you need it.
This is true for anything on a boat, from the most complicated piece of equipment to the simplest. Even things like your spotlights need to be reinforced so they can put up with the rigors of a nautical environment.
Whether you’re searching for a rock that risks damaging your hull, or even worse, a man overboard, you need a spotlight that will work flawlessly every time.
Along with our product reviews themselves, we’ve also included a buying guide to help you select which of these boat spotlights will work best for you.
Let’s get started with the best boat spotlight, the by EXZEIT.
Best Boat Spotlight
Our Top Pick: EXZEIT Waterproof LED Boat Lights
Key Points at a Glance
- 120-degree range of motion
- 2000 lumens per light (4000 lumens total)
- Aluminum and stainless steel construction
- 6-inch pod size
- 30,000 hours of operational life
- Comes in a pair
Our favorite pick of the bunch is the EXZEIT Waterproof LED Boat Lights Set. While these lights may be a little more expensive than some of the other options on this list, they feature the unique advantage that they come in a pair of two lights.
This results in a more affordable per-unit cost and allows you to light up the water on both sides of your boat.
These lights are also designed specifically for use on a boat, unlike some of the other options on this list. Because of this, they feature a 120-degree field of lighting that allows you to see much more in front of you than something like a spotlight.
While the lighting won’t be directed as intensely as with other spotlights, they still do an admirable job of lighting up an area.
These lights are equipped with an aluminum housing and a stainless steel light bar, ensuring that none of the components are susceptible to corrosion over the course of the light’s lifespan.
Since these lights are LEDs, they’re also far more reliable than most incandescent spotlights, and they’ll last for up to 30,000 hours.
To ensure that you can easily mount these lights on your boat, they also come included with universal mounting brackets. You’ll also get matching stainless steel mounting hardware with these lights, ensuring that you can attach them to your boat with relative ease, even if you’re not the handiest at DIY.
Keep in mind that these lights are reliable enough to keep functioning in a marine environment, though they won’t be pretty, and that’s our only problem with them. Soon after using them, you’ll start to notice the paint flaking off of the exterior housing. While this isn’t a major problem, it may still rub some boaters the wrong way.
This set is the Best Boat Spotlight available.
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Our Runner Up: BUYSIGHT Rechargeable Spotlight
Key Points at a Glance
- Comes in silver and gold colors
- 6000 lumens
- Three brightness modes
- Lifetime guarantee
- 100,000 hours of operational life
- Can be used in handheld or mounted mode
The BUYSIGHT Rechargeable Spotlight is our runner up among the best marine spotlights. It features a similar price point to our top choice, but it has a different design philosophy.
Whereas our top pick is a mountable LED spotlight, this model is handheld. It does come with a folding stand included so that it’s even more versatile.
Even more conveniently, this BUYSIGHT spotlight is designed to be useful in a wide range of situations. It even comes equipped with a side-mounted LED floodlight that you can use as a work light.
Thanks to the LED primary light, you can also expect this model to last for 100,000 hours of operation before the diodes die on you.
There are two triggers on this spotlight, which allows you to control the main light and the side light separately, or at the same time.
The main LEDs also feature three lighting modes: high, low, and SOS flash. These three modes allow you to optimize your light for either brightness or battery life, and it can be used in an emergency situation if the worst comes to pass.
This model comes equipped with a 9000mAh battery. This battery can keep it running for between 8-10 hours on the highest setting and between 20-24 hours on the low setting.
Even better, you can hook up a USB to the BUYSIGHT spotlight and use it as a power bank for any of your mobile devices that may need to be charged while you’re on the waves.
- Super Bright Large Flashlight Spotlight Main...
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Best Budget: Cyclops 1400 Lumen Marine Style Spotlight
Key Points at a Glance
- 100W bulb, 1400 lumens
- Works off a 12V DC lighter outlet cord
- Durable ABS housing
- Ergonomic rubber grip
- Six-foot power cord
The Cyclops 1400 Lumen Spotlight is one of the most affordable options on this list. Despite its low price, it’s a surprisingly durable and effective choice, especially if you’re in the market for a handheld spotlight.
Unlike most spotlights in its price range, this model is equipped with some helpful features like an ergonomic rubber grip so that you won’t drop it when it gets wet.
While many affordable spotlights lack durability, this one is equipped with a tempered glass lens, making it more durable and less dangerous if it ends up breaking on you. Nobody wants broken glass on a boat!
You also won’t have to worry about keeping the batteries charged on this spotlight, as it’s equipped with a 12V car plug as a power source.
The spotlight’s housing is made out of ABS plastic, which ensures that it’s durable enough to last in a marine environment while remaining lightweight. The combination of a plastic housing with an aluminum reflector also ensures that this spotlight won’t end up getting corroded because of water spray.
Also, compared to spotlights with similar price points, this model’s 1400 Lumen bulb allows you to light things up farther than a football field away. The inclusion of a retractable metal bracket along the top of this spotlight also allows you to hang it from or mount it to your boat’s control station.
- 100W high-intensity halogen bulb
- Powered by 12V DC car plug with heavy-gauge...
- 1400LM,450M tested by DC 13.8V as ANSI standard
- Pushing switch on/off on the back
- Durable ABS Poly Carbonate Housing
Best Light with Stand: BIGSUN Q953 10,000mAh Rechargeable LED Spotlight
Key Points at a Glance
- 3 light modes
- 6000 lumens
- Made of military-grade ABS
- The battery offers about 16-24 hours of operation
- 1-year warranty
- Comes with a folding tripod
BIGSUN’s Q953 is an impressive rechargeable LED spotlight that combines a range of useful features into a single product. While it’s more expensive than some of the more traditional boat spotlights, it has a lot of similarities with our runner up, the BUYSIGHT Rechargeable Spotlight.
Like the BUYSIGHT model, this spotlight features three settings, including strong lighting at maximum power, weak lighting at low power, and flashing at max power. To switch between the two main power sources, hold down the main light’s button for two seconds. To activate the SOS flash function, hold down the button for five seconds.
At max power, this spotlight can illuminate targets up to 700 yards away. This makes it ideal for use on a boat. The Q953 also features a lantern-style sidelight that can function as a work light if you need to make sudden repairs while you’re out on the water.
This model also features impressive battery capacity, with a lifespan of between 20 to 40 hours depending on your chosen lighting mode.
The collapsible tripod that comes with this spotlight allows you to alternate between handheld and mounted modes. It connects to a standard tripod thread, so you can attach it to most types of tripods.
Keep in mind that this spotlight is relatively lightweight, but it’s not built as cheaply as the weight would suggest.
- 【SUPER-BRIGHT】- 45 watt front light provides...
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- 【RECHARGEABLE BATTERY】 - Three high-energy...
Best USB Light: STANLEY FATMAX SL10LEDS Rechargeable 2200 Lumen Spotlight
Key Points at a Glance
- 2200 lumens of power
- Max runtime of 7 hours on the low power setting
- Trigger lock allows for hands-free use
- Rubber bezel improves impact resistance
- Includes a red lens for emergencies
Our favorite spotlight with USB functionality is the Stanley FATMAX SL10LEDS. This product features better build quality than most other spotlights, though it’s also one of the more expensive products on this list. For the extra cost, you get a spotlight that is durable, reliable, and equipped with a range of helpful features. And you get the Stanley name, which is always nice.
The 10W LED responsible for this spotlight’s output can produce up to 2200 lumens of light. This allows you to lighten up even the darkest of nights at relatively long range.
While this model may resemble a handheld spotlight, it’s more versatile than, one thanks to the top-mounted collapsible stand.
We were impressed by the inclusion of a rubber ring around this spotlight’s lens and diodes. This helps dissipate any impact forces so that the light itself doesn’t end up getting damaged if you accidentally drop it. The SL10LEDS even comes included with a red lens that you can place over the light in case of emergencies.
This spotlight also comes included with a USB charging port, and it can be used to charge the light, but you can also press a button to turn it into a power bank for your mobile devices.
Despite its relatively high price, this Stanley spotlight is worth the money thanks to its unique combination of special features, performance, and reliability.
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Best Boat Spotlight Buyer’s Guide
Boat spotlights are a sound investment for anyone who regularly goes out on the waves. While they’re primarily intended for people who regularly go boating at night, there are many cases in which a boat spotlight can prove itself useful, even at other times of day.
For example, if you have to deal with a sudden onset of fog early on in the day, a boat spotlight can help you navigate through the mists. A boat spotlight can also prove useful if you’re looking for something in the water; if your anchor is caught, as it will cut through the murk more effectively than the sun can, sometimes even lighting up the bottom, depending on its depth. If your bilge pump is out, you can get some light to fix it. You can even check on your fish finder’s accuracy!
Having a spotlight on your boat will also make it easier to signal other boats, particularly through basic morse code. You can do this by flashing your light on and off at specific intervals.
For example, you can send out an SOS by emulating the code “…—…” with your light. This is possible with three short flashes, followed by three long flashes, and once again followed by three short flashes. If your marine VHF radio is out, you can resort to light.
Finally, a boat spotlight can also help you interact with the shore more effectively. Whether you’re trying to light up something on the shore or if you’re trying to get someone on the shore’s attention, lighting up your spot lamp for a moment might just help.
Important Features to Consider
Mounted vs. Handheld Boat Spotlights
There are two main varieties of boat spotlights, and your preference depends on what you intend to use the spotlight for. If you’re looking to use your spotlight exclusively for navigation, then it may be a good idea to mount them directly to your boat, as this will make for a steadier beam that is easier to keep on target.
On the other hand, a handheld boat spotlight can be more versatile than a similar mounted model, as you’ll be able to take it off the boat and use it onshore, especially if it isn’t wired. This leads us to the next crucial characteristic to account for before you buy your boat spotlight.
Battery-Powered vs. Wired Boat Spotlights
While one would assume that all handheld spotlights would be battery-powered and all mounted spotlights would be wired, this isn’t always the case. There are plenty of handheld marine spotlights that are powered by a cord, and there’s something to be said for them, especially if you don’t relish the thought of constantly maintaining your spotlight’s battery levels.
Wired spotlights will be less likely to fail on you when you need them most, provided your boat is still producing power. However, they sacrifice the portability that you get out of a battery-powered model, as most power cords top out at under ten feet long.
There are two types of battery-powered boat spotlights. The first variety is the rechargeable boat spotlight, which can save you money in the long run on replacement batteries. On the other hand, a boat spotlight with replaceable batteries will be easier to keep running on short notice, provided you have a set of replacement batteries on hand.
Type of Lightbulb
Incandescent spotlights are the more traditional variety, though they’ve become somewhat rare compared to their more modern counterparts. The vast majority of current boat spotlights feature LEDs (Light-Emitting Diodes), which offer brighter light and superior energy efficiency when compared to incandescent bulbs.
This is due to LEDs wasting less energy on producing heat, instead focusing most of their power on creating light. There are also halogen spotlights, which offer many of the same advantages as LEDs, though they produce a slightly different light temperature, and the bulbs are typically a little easier to replace than LEDs.
If you’re going to be using your boat spotlight on the water, then you’ll want it to feature at least a marginal level of waterproofing. At the very least, your boat spotlight should be able to withstand water splashes, but certain models may even be able to withstand full immersion in the water.
Along with ensuring that your lights don’t short out due to water, weather-sealing can also help ensure that condensation doens’t get behind the lens of your lights. This can distort or darken your spotlight’s beam. The level of waterproofing of a boat’s spotlight is typically defined using the IP rating.
Extras and Hardware
Also, consider the extras that come included with your boat spotlight. Some handheld models come with mountings or tripods that will allow you to use them hands-free.
If your spotlight comes included with a mounting bracket and screws to install it, you’ll want to be sure that they’re made of suitable, corrosion-resistant materials. The last thing you want is your spotlight falling into the water because the bolt holding it rusted away.
When looking for the best boat spotlight, you’ll also want to consider how heavy your lights are. This is mainly a concern for handheld spotlights, as you won’t want to get fatigued when using them for a long period of time. More weight can also destabilize a handheld spotlight when it’s attached to a stand or tripod.
Keep in mind that this may also be an issue for a mounted spotlight, particularly if you’re trying to install it in a spot where it doesn’t have too much support. This can result in your spotlight putting undue stress on its mounting bracket or the rail that it’s positioned on.
Different lighting modes can allow you to modulate your beam’s power depending on what you’re using it for. Sometimes, a spotlight on max brightness can make things more difficult to see, especially if it’s extremely dark outside.
As an added bonus, a low-light mode can cut down on your boat spotlight’s power consumption. This is particularly useful when using a battery-powered spotlight, as you’ll be less likely to drain the battery, especially if your spotlight is operating continuously.
Some spotlights even feature an emergency strobe mode that you can use to draw attention to yourself and your vessel in hazardous situations.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use a regular spotlight or flashlight on my boat?
Yes, you can certainly use a spotlight that isn’t tailor-made for nautical use on your boat, but you’ll have to accept that it’s more likely to get water damaged.
Can I mount a portable spotlight on my boat?
If you’re handy enough, you can attach a portable spotlight directly to your boat. Keep in mind that the mounting may be less stable, which can result in your spotlight being less precise.
Can boat spotlights float?
Specifically-made marine spotlights are sometimes designed to float, but this depends on the model itself. Be sure to carefully check whether or not your spotlight can float before you try it out!
What is a Lumen?
A lumen is a unit of measurement that defines how much light is visible to the human eye. Unlike wattage, this gives you a much better idea of how bright you can expect a light to look.
Other Products We Looked At:
The Zmoon LED Light Bar is similar to our top pick in that these lights are designed to be mounted directly to your vessel. The similarities don’t stop there, as these lights also come in a two-pack, and they’re even more affordable than the EXZEIT lights, though they have a key weakness that left them out of our top five.
The major issue with these lights is that they simply don’t feature sufficient build quality to be used on a boat long-term. We also weren’t impressed with the quality of the mounting hardware that came with them. Keep in mind that it’s not all bad if you get your hands on these lights.
These lights are IP67-rated and sealed, ensuring that you won’t have any trouble with water or condensation making it through to the other side of the lens. These lights also feature multiple modes, allowing you to switch between spotlighting and floodlighting on demand.
While these aren’t our top pick for mountable boat lights, they’re still a decent choice.
Key Points at a Glance
- Offers 15-degree spotlight mode and 170-degree floodlight mod
- IP67 waterproof
- 7-inch lightbar
The Brinkmann Qbeam is a high-quality spotlight with a wired power source, making this one of the most reliable options on this list. In spite of its reliability, you can get a much more versatile boat spotlight for this product’s relatively high price, so we had to leave it out of our top five choices.
The 8-foot coiled wire connects to a 12V DC car charger, ensuring that you don’t have to keep track of how well-charged your spotlight is, making it more reliable in emergencies. This model features an ABS plastic housing that is both lightweight and durable, and it’s also reasonably resistant to water damage.
While this spotlight is certainly well made, we were a little let down by its 1200-lumen light output. If you don’t mind exchanging slightly weaker light output for a product with higher build quality, this model may be suitable for you.
Key Points at a Glance
- 1200 lumens
- 8-foot wire
- 1-year warranty
The Eornmor High-Power Portable Spotlight is a compact alternative to some of the other handheld spotlights that we’ve looked at so far. Unlike some of the competition, this one is designed with marine use in mind, as it features an IPX4 waterproof housing, allowing it to resist water splash from all directions.
The USB port on the back of this spotlight allows you to charge it with ease, and you can also use it as a power bank for any devices you’ve brought along. This spotlight is equipped with an impressive 9000 mAh battery, and it’ll need it due to its powerful LED that can output 6000 lumens on the max setting and 2500 lumens on the low setting.
We were also impressed by how small this spotlight is, as Eornmor has done away with some of the unnecessary bells and whistles that make some of the competing models so bulky. If you’re looking for a functional and small spotlight and don’t mind giving up features like a stand or a side-mounted worklight, take a closer look at this model.
Key Points at a Glance
- Comes in black, gold, and silver
- IPX4 waterproofing
- USB charging
The final product on our list is the YIERBLUE Rechargeable Spotlight, and it features a similar design to both the BIGSUN and BUYSIGHT models that we’ve already looked at. Due to its similarities with these earlier spotlights, we’ve excluded it from our top five, but don’t take that to mean that this is a bad light by any means.
This handheld spotlight is relatively versatile since it comes included with a stand that allows you to operate it hands-free. Keep in mind that the small tripod won’t be the most secure mounting point on a rocking deck, so you may not be able to keep your light on a precise point unless you’re holding the light.
This light’s housing is made out of aluminum alloy and ABS, making it resistant to corrosion, which is a common occurrence in a marine environment. We were also impressed with this spotlight’s lifetime warranty, ensuring that you’ll get your money’s worth out of it, even if it dies on you early.
Key Points at a Glance
- Over 20 hours of battery life
- Side floodlight made of 24 LEDs
- ABS and aluminum construction
The best choice of lights for your boat isn’t as much of a cut-and-dry question as it may seem. You’ll need to carefully consider what you want out of your lights, and that will determine which product works best for you.
If you don’t mind a relative lack of portability and you want the lights to be an integral part of your vessel, then you’ll appreciate our top pick, the EXZEIT Waterproof LED Boat Lights. These combine value for money with an excellent build quality, making this two-pack of LED lights a simple and affordable way to outfit your boat.
Buyers who are instead looking for a high-quality portable spotlight that they can use by hand will appreciate the BUYSIGHT Rechargeable Spotlight. This model combines an excellent level of light output with a side-mounted work light and a USB power bank, making it both a versatile and effective choice.
Finally, for buyers who are looking to save some money, the Marine-Style Spotlight from Cyclops is both a simple and elegant solution.
We hope that this guide has proven helpful and that you’ve found at least one spotlight that matches your exact needs. Happy boating!