12v Marine Spotlight Recommendations / Ideas

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Grigs68
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12v Marine Spotlight Recommendations / Ideas

I have been looking for a handheld, 12 volt LED spotlight to replace my old Q-Beam but so far I have had no luck.

I want a spotlight that uses power from my boat’s 12 volt receptacle rather than battery powered.

I need throw…..lots of throw….cannot be too much throw! I use the light for finding channel markers and reefs while coming back after dark.

For this same reason….I would like spill to be minimal. If you have ever used a powerful light at night in a boat with a white floor you will know why. If the light has too much spill you will lose your night vision quickly.

I would bet this light exists but I have yet to find it. Most lights are either rechargeable/battery powered rather than using the boat’s 12v power or they are cheapo lights with very little throw. Something with maybe a XHP35 HI with a very large and deep reflector would be perfect.

If you know of such a light please let me know.

Thanks

RobertB
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I have a Boston Whaler and my C8’s, and Maxtoch 2x don’t spill too much light on the white decks, at least nothing that bothers me. Standing at the console I hold the light up over my head when shining straight ahead, and waist level shining to port or starboard. I like having a little spill since not all channel markers are a mile away. You could have one next to you and not see it if all you had was a pencil beam.

With the nice GPS units out there now, you can see all the channel markers right on the screen.

West Marine carries all the 12v stuff that you probably aren’t looking for, including stanchion and cabin mounted remote controlled spot lights

Probably wouldn’t be too difficult mod something to 12v.

Grigs68
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RobertB, I also use a couple C8s in the boat and they do work well. I was just looking for something with a little more throw distance. I do use a GPS with mapping as my main means of navigation at night but there are a few points on my path back in that I really prefer to visually see so I know exactly where I am due to the many reefs I have to navigate. It is also nice to spot the crab trap buoys before you run over them. I trust my electronics to a point but there is nothing like actually seeing a marker or landmark. It seems that battery powered flashlights have moved light years forward over the past decade but 12 volt spotlights are no better than they were years ago.

Not sure what Boston Whaler you have but I am a big fan. I have had four over the years. Two mid 80s Montauks, a 1984 18 Outrage and a somewhat rare 1991 Walkaround.

RobertB
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Grigs68 wrote:
RobertB, I also use a couple C8s in the boat and they do work well. I was just looking for something with a little more throw distance. I do use a GPS with mapping as my main means of navigation at night but there are a few points on my path back in that I really prefer to visually see so I know exactly where I am due to the many reefs I have to navigate. It is also nice to spot the crab trap buoys before you run over them. I trust my electronics to a point but there is nothing like actually seeing a marker or landmark. It seems that battery powered flashlights have moved light years forward over the past decade but 12 volt spotlights are no better than they were years ago.

Not sure what Boston Whaler you have but I am a big fan. I have had four over the years. Two mid 80s Montauks, a 1984 18 Outrage and a somewhat rare 1991 Walkaround.

I know what you mean by the crab pots. They aren’t on the charts. Used to live in VA and boat in the Chesapeake. Unless you can mod something to use 12v boat power, I would look into the Maxtoch 2x Shooter. Takes two 18650’s. I take it with me every time I go out in the evening (in the boat). Also carry a spare C8 in case the other stops working or goes over board.

Here’s the Maxtoch 2x Shooter shining a beam 1/2 mile across the lake, and it’s not dark outside yet.

Bonus Pict… Proud Son with a fresh water Drum

Bonus Pict 2. Early 90’s Montauk. Wife wants a new 19’. Almost 60k, worse fuel mileage, can’t fit it in the garage for storage, would need a new boat lift for it. The 17’ is easy to trailer, runs most of the day on 25 gal. of gas, goes 45mph if I want it to, fits in the garage for the winter storage, etc…

Lightbringer
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If you want all throw and no spill, unfortunately you’ll be wanting a zoomie.

Forgot who made the big’uns, maybe Brynite? Else there’re some folx here that’ll sell you the Eye Of Ra or other Goa’uld-sounding lights. Think of them as Überzoomies.

Just defocus it slightly so you’re not throwing the Bat Signal with a pic of the LED chip in question.

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Lightbringer
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Ooh, take the Q-Beam (think I got one of those around here somewhere…) and turn it into a recoil reflector light.

A sort of EnderFire Jr™.

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Grigs68
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RobertB
I have not looked at the Maxtoch 2x but I will. I was just really trying to find something corded to use the boats battery. I know there are a lot of great throwing flashlights out there but they pretty much all use lithium ion batteries in one form or the other. I have a few decent throwers but it would be nice to have something I could just keep in the boat and not have to worry about always making sure the batteries are fully charged. My old Q-Beams still work fine and do a good job but I would have thought somebody would have came up with a newer version of those lights with a modern LED. I think mine is around 100 watts and I would bet a good LED setup could way beat the performance at a fraction of that wattage.

Don’t let your wife talk you into getting a new Whaler! Maybe I am just old and like old things but for me the modern Brunswick Whalers are just not the same as the older designs by Bob Dougherty and Dick Fisher. You could always get an 18 Outrage if you need something a little bigger. I had mine for about 10 years. It was very safe and dry and rode decent for what it was. We would go 40 miles out on the right days. I even took my Montauk out 25 miles (I had the 27 gal tank under the seat). Since offshore is more of a young man’s game I now mainly fish the bay and only run offshore a few times a year.

Grigs68
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Lightbringer
I just looked at the Storm of Ra and the Lance of Ra lights. They remind me of a science project. They are super bright and have throw but I would bet they would not enjoy the salt spray that my lights have to endure……or beating around in the boat either. Nonetheless, really interesting lights.

I wished I was knowledgeable enough about modding to transform one of my Q-Beams into an LED thrower but I would probably just end up with one less Q-Beam.

Lightbringer
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Okay, so a Convoy L2, and much the way you’d friction-fit a diffuser on the end to act as a traffic-wand, you can take a black shroud to eliminate any/all spill if it’d be too much.

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RobertB
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Grigs68 wrote:
RobertB
I have not looked at the Maxtoch 2x but I will. I was just really trying to find something corded to use the boats battery. I know there are a lot of great throwing flashlights out there but they pretty much all use lithium ion batteries in one form or the other. I have a few decent throwers but it would be nice to have something I could just keep in the boat and not have to worry about always making sure the batteries are fully charged. My old Q-Beams still work fine and do a good job but I would have thought somebody would have came up with a newer version of those lights with a modern LED. I think mine is around 100 watts and I would bet a good LED setup could way beat the performance at a fraction of that wattage.

Don’t let your wife talk you into getting a new Whaler! Maybe I am just old and like old things but for me the modern Brunswick Whalers are just not the same as the older designs by Bob Dougherty and Dick Fisher. You could always get an 18 Outrage if you need something a little bigger. I had mine for about 10 years. It was very safe and dry and rode decent for what it was. We would go 40 miles out on the right days. I even took my Montauk out 25 miles (I had the 27 gal tank under the seat). Since offshore is more of a young man’s game I now mainly fish the bay and only run offshore a few times a year.

Well, it was like you said earlier. flashlights have come a long ways, where those spotlight things are still basically the same stuff as 25 or so years ago. You have such a huge choice with lithium ion powered lights.

We have a place on a lake that is directly connected to Lake Michigan. The Montauk is a little small for the big lake, especially if the weather gets even close to bad. I enjoy it in the flat water, and will go out close to shore on the Big Lake fishing at night.

southland
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Whats wrong with the Q beam, that’s what I use boating. Have probably 350 to 400 led lights and still use the Q beam boating. Cheap enough to throw down in the bottom of the boat and not worry about damaging.

Grigs68
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Nothing wrong with the Q-Beam and that is what I still have in the boat. I was just thinking that after so many years there would be a brighter, longer throwing LED alternative.

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I’m thinking the same light as Lightbringer. I just bought a Convoy L2 and was finally able to run it in wide-open areas. It has great throw, way more than my stock Xintd C8 and not a lot of spill.
I’m thinking you could drill a hole in body tube, near switch end, to mount a female power tip receptacle, solder wires to its terminals and the other ends to 1” copper end caps at two ends of a 3/4” electrical PVC conduit, inserted in body. Verify polarity. Seal hole with silicone and wrap electrical tape around copper end caps. You could use a resistor to drop the voltage to 4.2V (or 8.4V) within the body tube or replace the driver with one that can handle 12V. You’ll need to figure out what size mount/gimbal will secure the light.

The L2 is cheap enough as well as the parts I mentioned.

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