If you are a boat owner and your property has a private dock or pier, you know the importance of safely-lighting that area. During the day, there is plenty of sunlight for swimmers and sunbathers, and safely docking watercraft is a piece of cake. However, all of this changes when the sun goes down.
In order for the dock to remain safe for night use, it should be well-lit. In fact, it should be fully illuminated from sunset to sunrise. This allows people to walk safely along the pier, offers boaters enough light to dock and secure their watercraft, and alerts other boaters to the presence of a dock so they don’t accidentally crash into it.
Typically, dock lights are available in two types: flat, close-to-the-ground marker lights or motion-activated safety lights that can be mounted to a tall post or wall. Marker lights cast a soft glow upwards, and are usually affixed directly to the dock flooring. They provide enough light for people to walk safely along the deck without tripping or falling into the water. They may also provide enough illumination help boaters tie their craft up for the night.
Safety lights are mounted high above the dock and cast their beams downward. They are easily seen at night by other boaters, and serve as a guide and a warning to prevent collisions. They can be drilled into posts above the dock or onto a boathouse wall. All dock fixtures, whether marker or safety, should be bright enough to promote security, but not so bright that they pollute the sky with light.
While it is always an option to run an electrical line to the shore, a better and safer option is to use solar lights or glow lights. These charge during the day, even when it’s cloudy, so they will always be ready for night activities. They don’t require cords or electricity, so there’s no danger of electrocution. Their bulbs can be exchanged for different colors to create fun patterns and dock designs, or for practical reasons like marking an individual’s side of a shared dock. (It is important to note that colored bulbs should only be used for marker lights. If they’re used in safety lights, certain patterns and colors may mimic the configuration required for boats, which could cause confusion in the water and increase the potential for accidents.)
Marker lights are an important part of dock safety, and should never be overlooked. Keep them flush against the dock, keep the illumination low, and keep the replaceable batteries fresh. In turn, they will keep you from taking an accidental moonlight swim. Contact Touchstone for marker light installation or replacement.