Lighting on your boat docks is extremely useful not just for keeping your boat secure, but also for ensuring the safety of all your passengers and visitors. If you have a dock, you need the proper lighting to make it safe to use in the nighttime and early morning hours.
However, not all dock lighting solutions are created equal. Here are a few common mistakes to avoid with your dock lighting which we frequently see in our work as electricians in Forsyth County, GA:
- Using lights that are too tall and bright: You don’t need your lights to be overly tall or bright. For dock lighting purposes, we generally recommend the use of bollards, which are smaller fixtures that get mounted on a pillar between two and three feet off the ground, putting it between most people’s knee and hip level. This type of dock lighting is sufficient for entering and leaving boats at night and will help you prevent collisions with other boats, while also not creating too much light pollution or being a distraction in any way.
- Failure to properly protect the lighting: Because your lighting is out on a dock, it will have much greater exposure to water and the elements than lighting elsewhere on your property. Many people fail to properly protect this lighting, causing it to be damaged and need replacement far quicker than necessary. Therefore, make sure you select housing for your lights that resists water and salt—this housing should not be metal, because it will quickly corrode.
- Not consulting with neighbors: While not absolutely necessary, talking with your neighbors about your choice of dock lighting can help prevent arguments and disagreements, because they’ll have an idea of what to expect out of the lighting you install. This is mostly important for properties with shared docks. By talking with your neighbor ahead of time, you can also potentially split the cost of the lighting.
- Not personalizing your lighting: When it’s dark out, it can be difficult for you to figure out exactly which dock is yours. Lighting is one of the ways you can set your dock apart from others in the area. Therefore, it might be a good idea to add a colored light at the end of your dock, or have a specific pattern or grouping of lights to help you identify which dock is yours when it’s dark and otherwise difficult to see.
- Not lighting the actual dock: The entire purpose of having lighting on your dock is to increase the safety of your boat passengers. Your lighting is not doing its job if it’s not lighting the dock itself. Therefore, you should have lighting that is directed downward toward the dock itself, not general lighting cast out in all directions that may or may not properly illuminate the dock and walkways.
For more information about how you can get the most out of your dock lighting, contact an electrician in Forsyth County, GA at Duke Electric Co. today.
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