You’re not the only one with this question!
We here at Underwater Fish Light have been in business for almost 15 years, and this is one of the most frequent questions we get. When customers initially purchased their dock lights, they are unsure of the ideal depth for the bulbs under the water, but the explanation is quite easy!
The key window for the depth of dock lights
The bulbs on our dock lights range from 175 watts, to 250 watts. No matter the wattage, the ideal depth for these bulbs is about 6 to 12 feet. Now, if you don’t have 6 feet of water off your dock, don’t panic! 6 feet is our ideal depth, but it’s not the minimum! You can put our lights in as little as 3 feet of water at low tide. As long as the bulb remains under the water, you’re in the clear!
Keep the dock light far from the surface
It’s important to not put the bulbs too close to the surface! We relay this warning for two reasons. First, you’ll want to keep your bulb safe. There are an endless amount of things that could damage your dock light if it’s too close to the surface! A boat propeller, kayak paddle, or a cast net can bring unwanted damage to your light if it’s too close to the surface.
Secondly, if the bulb is farther away from the water’s surface, it will cast a larger circle of light. Think of our bulbs as a flash light being aimed towards a wall. If you hold the flash light close to the wall, the circle will be rather small. But, if you pull the flash light farther away, the circle of light will grow bigger. The same principle works with our dock lights! The farther away from the surface, the larger the light will be.
How to set the height of a dock light
To ensure your bulb is set to the ideal depth, you will need to get an accurate depth of your water. We suggest waiting until low tide. This will tell you the absolute lowest the water level will be, and will show you the highest you can mount the dock light. If your depth at low tide is 12 feet or lower, just attach your dive weight about an inch away from your bulb on the wire. If your water is deeper than 12 feet, simply attach the wait the amount of feet away from the bulb so when the bulb floats, it about 12 feet below the surface. The bulbs will float easily. The weight will sink to the ground and the bulb will rise towards the surface.
It may not be rocket science, but many people don’t realize how important the height of dock lights is! These ideas are simple, but they make the will decide whether your fish light lives much longer than the three-year warranty, or if it gets run over by a boat!