The Dark Problem

Each year, thousands of marine accidents occur. Many of these accidents are caused by watercraft hitting obstructions (docks, pilings, etc) that are not properly lit. Unfortunately, there are many people with boater’s licenses that may not have safety as their first priority. The typical boat will have many different lights on it. There are several navigation lights that ensure the boat can be seen by others.

If different marine vessels have different safety lighting, why shouldn’t your dock?

Get Seen With Dock Lights

The best way to prevent your dock from becoming a target, it must be visible. Someone is less likely to hit something while driving, if they can see it. This may seem obvious, but it’s sometimes the obvious things that seem to slip our minds. When it comes to dock lights, there are many different types to choose from. You can illuminate your pilings, boat lifts, and even the water surrounding your dock.

Solar Piling Caps

These solar piling caps will automatically come on from dusk to dawn. They require no maintenance, and last for years. They will ensure your piling caps will be seen from far away, to help keep your dock safe.

Boat Lift Lights

The GuideLite Boat Lift Lights not only protect your boat lift by making it visible to other people. They also help you center your boat properly on the lift while you are parking it after the sun goes down.

Guide Post Light

Underwater Lights

Underwater lights not only illuminate the water under your waterway, but also reflect some light onto your dock. This, in turn, makes your dock more visible and protected from any passersby. Underwater lights will also attract fish like snook, tarpon, redfish, and more! They will create a beautiful and entertaining backyard aquarium, while keeping your dock safer!


While fish lights seem to magically attract fish to your dock, it is actually a simple, scientific process. Any light under the water, no matter what the color, will attract fish. When lights are placed under the water, they reflect off particles in the water. These tiny little particles enhance a natural food source for bait fish. These bait fish are then attracted to the light. Once the bait fish are attracted, they bring in bigger game fish like snook, tarpon, and bass.

Some lights attract fish within minutes of installation, while others can take up to a few weeks. Fish attendance depends on your location. Even though you might not have fish the first night, the process is still the same. It just takes a little longer for the fish to find your light and become accustom to the feeding cycle. Once the fish find the light, they will be back every night. Therefore, it is important for the fish light to run on a photocell. The photocell will ensure the light comes on every night, and off every morning. After a few weeks, you will have built a feeding cycle with the fish in your area and will see them coming back. It is similar to that of a dog. If you feed him every day at 5:15, he will be waiting for his food at 5:10.

As time goes on, more fish will appear at the light. Most of them will be bigger than the ones that preceded them. These lights do more than just attract fish, they create a natural aquarium in your backyard! The best part about these lights is that they do not harm the fish or any other marine life. They enhance a natural food source for the animals as well as provide countless hours of entertainment for anyone that sees them.


To answer this question, we have to go back to the fundamental functioning of a fish light. While we would like to think these lights are magic, there is a simple scientific basis to them. When a light is placed under the water, it reflects off particles in the water that attract bait fish. These bait fish attract the predator fish in the area. The predator fish, or game fish, you might see are snook, tarpon, redfish, lady fish, and many more. These lights work the exact same way in fresh water as well, where you might see bass, crappy and carp.

When thinking about the brightness of a fish light, there are many things to consider. You must first consider the type of light you will be using. Some fish light companies use LED lights for their dock systems. While LED lights are relatively bright compared to typical lights we, as consumers, are used to, they are not always bright enough to light up a large area by your dock. LED lights also do not generate heat; therefore, they are unable to clean themselves. This will lead to excessive aquatic growth, like barnacles and algae, to build up on the light in the water, and eventually render the light useless. To recap, LED lights struggle in two ways; they are not very bright, and they cannot clean themselves.

The best type of light for permanent dock installation are HID lights. These bulbs are not only over 300% brighter than LED lights, they are also self-cleaning. These bulbs generate enough heat to burn off any aquatic growth that tries to grow on the bulbs. Because of this, high-quality fish lights run on a photocell, which turns it on each night and off each morning. This ensures the light will turn on all night, every night, to it can remain clean and barnacle/algae free. The photocell also builds a feeding cycle for the fish, teaching them that each night they can find food by your dock, so they will keep coming back.

Once establishing the type of light you will need for your dock (which is always HID!), you will need to decide what wattage of bulb you will need. This will depend on the clarity of your water, as well as your personal preference to the amount of light you want. There are two levels to choose from. The 175-watt Natural Green light is the entry-level bulb size that gives, on average, a circle with a diameter of 10 feet. This light works great for customers with crystal clear to mid-clarity water. Obviously, there are many customers that do not have clear water. Because of this, 250-watt bulbs are available. These bulbs are 50% brighter than the 175-watt lights and over 400% brighter than LED lights. The 250-watt Vibrant Green light gives, on average, a circle with a 15-foot diameter.

There is one fact that is incredibly important to know; there is not set standard for every dock. For some customers, the 175-Watt Natural Green light gives a substantial amount of light and brings in hundreds of fish, but for others that might have dark water, the Vibrant Green is the only way to go. That being said, you obviously do not need to have dark water to warrant a Vibrant Green 250-watt light. Many customers want to cover the most amount of water possible. Because of that, they purchase the 250-watt Vibrant Green bulb and are extremely happy with the results.

Choosing the right Underwater Fish Light is not am exact science. It all comes down to what you, the customer, is looking for, and which light can fill that need. There are two things to ask yourself; “What is my water clarity?” and “How much light do I want?”