Perhaps you have looked at a bowfishing light bar, and you don’t know if you should use it or not. Let’s have a look at everything related to this subject to help you decide for yourself if it will work good or not. For some, this might be a great choice, but for a lot of other people, it may not.
Where Does the LED Light Bar Work Best?
In 99 percent of cases, you will get the most value from the LED light bar when you go bowfishing on clear waters. Muddy and unclear waters make this lighting less effective. For muddy water, you will usually want HPS lighting like the RAB Lighting FF150 (Amazon link here) to illuminate the water.
The LED light bar works well for clear water, but the problem with using them for muddy water comes from the fact that they don’t penetrate the water as well. That means that you have to use the LED light bar for the right circumstances with bowfishing.
How to Get around It with Murky Water
One of the ways that you can still use the LED light bar on murky water is to put a yellow or green lens on it. This helps you to pierce the water better. Even when you put this up against halogen lighting, the LED still outperforms it and makes for a better purchase. You could also get a warm LED light to help with penetrating murky water.
The problem comes from how it puts out too much light, and it tends to get reflected off the murky water, which renders it rather useless.
Why I Don’t Use Them
I’ve never used the LED light bar because in my experiences with my bowfishing buddies who have used them, it puts out too much light, and it causes a glare that spooks the fish. That’s one of the reasons that I chose the RAB Lighting FF150 instead. It puts out a clearer penetration, and I can see more on the water.
I’ve heard stories of bowfishermen who dropped $4,000 on bowfishing LED light bars, and they weren’t any good. At the end of the day, it didn’t accomplish much. That said, while I don’t use them, I’m here to help. Some people do like this form of lighting for bowfishing, and if you’re one of those people, I want to give you the best information possible. Understanding the disadvantages can help you to decide if this is a good choice for you.
Finding the Sweetspot
One of the things that you have to do with an LED light bar is to find that sweet spot with it. You have to learn how to adjust it to fill in the dark spots. For example, if you decide to go this route, you may find it useful to add flood lights because of how it will fill in the dark spots. The lights by themselves won’t do enough to sufficiently light the water unless you doublestack them. That can and has been done.
What Light Bar Do I Recommend?
If I had to a bowfishing light bar, I’d say to pick the Nilight LED light bar. You get a clear PC lens with this one, and you will see ahead clearly with it. You also have IP67 waterproofing on your light bar, which protects your lighting while out on the water.
In general, you should get as much as 50,000 hours out of the Nilight LED light bar before you have to retire it. Also, for the price, you get a bright light.
Let’s say that you want a higher end product. If that’s the case, then I’d recommend that you go with the Rigid Industries 120312. You get a product great for lighting distances, and you have a variety of mounting options available. Meanwhile, it doesn’t consume much power at only 110 watts. The light gets sent to exactly where you want it. Rigid Industries has a reputation for quality, and they have made much for technological advancement with LED lighting. You simply can’t go wrong with it.
Choose the Brand Carefully
When it comes to bowfishing LED light bars, you want to make sure that you carefully select the brand. A lot of people didn’t have any problems with the glare off the water because of how they picked the right brand for it. In addition, you may have to tweak it a bit to get the most from it. This cuts out the reflective light, and it will help to penetrate the waters.
Having an LED light bar for boat could prove advantage to some people if they live near a lot of clear water. This type of lighting shines under circumstances like that. Before you do that, however, you want to make sure that it is the right decision for you. You don’t want to jump into this blindly. If you have a buddy who uses it, you might ask him what brand he uses and if he’s happy with it.
LED Chips for Boat Lighting
LEDs have become the heart and soul of your LED lighting and because of that, you can’t underestimate the value of this component. The durability and the principles of quality matter because this will help your light to do better in bowfishing. Don’t underestimate efficiency either because this will have a big impact on the brightness of your LED.
Waterproofing with LED Light Bars
The IP rating or waterproof rating for LED light bars for bowfishing should at a minimum be placed at IP67. That’s the bare minimum. If you do anything less than IP67, condensation will build behind the LEDs, which will cause damage and eventual ruin of your lights. Eventually, they will burn out and not function.
How Bright Do You Want Your Lighting
Here’s a chart that can help you to determine the brightness with each LED light bar:
- 6 inches — 5,136 lumens
- 10 inches — 8,560 lumens
- 20 inches — 17,120 lumens
- 30 inches — 25,680 lumens
- 40 inches — 34,240 lumens
- 50 inches — 42,800 lumens
Having an LED light bar for boat could prove advantage to some people if they live near a lot of clear water. This type of lighting shines in circumstances like that. However, you have to first make sure that it makes sense for you to go that route through understanding the advantages and disadvantages.