View Full Version : boat dock

Mark B
02-18-2008, 06:56 PM
Hope this comes out right.

I'm wanting to light the underside of a boat dock. The dock has a 2x4 say (skirt) around the entire dock. There are 5 2x4s down the side. The last 2x4 is right at the waters edge.

I think it would look cool IF there was some light behind that (skirt). The fixture would be mounted on the underside of the decking on the dock, pointing to the water.

I'm having a hard time trying to figure out what fixture to use. Has anyone done this before? If so do you have any pictures?

The other wild thought is has anyone took an underwater light and mounted it to the post of a dock? Say 2-3ft below the water.

02-18-2008, 07:23 PM
My guess is some kind of halogen pond lighting. Good luck!

Tommy Marshall
02-18-2008, 07:55 PM
Not sure where in NC you're from.. I'm guessing Inland , but could be coastal and Salt water.
Fresh water, Any flooding possibilities, fixtures being submerged at some point or will always be out of water.
Any views from other angles, remember lights under dock lighting the water beneath will reflect light back at you looking at the source from another side viewing.
Water clear enough to mount one on post a few feet down to have an effect?

I would for sure try and use some sort of recessed lamp fixture, so as to keep the side glare down, Not sure who your Manu. of choice is.


A little more info...

Tommy Marshall
Light Creations

Mark B
02-18-2008, 08:34 PM
It is freshwater. As stupid as this sounds, I'm not sure about the flooding part. It is a hydro power lake. So i'm sure they would not let the water level get up to much. But I guess there is always a chance.

As far what brand I have no idea really. I'm not married to any of them.

The water clarity might be some issues after rains and boat traffic/waves around/in the cove.

I like the idea of installing a light under the water about 2-3ft to uplight the post and under the dock some. Or even turned on the side pointing out from under the dock. So the kids could see the fish at night.

Tommy Marshall
02-18-2008, 08:54 PM
Not sure you are going to get enough light to uplight the post or dock from 2-3 feet depth to be effective, and you're looking right in the light when you look down if it is clear enough and or shallow enough to try and get the effect.
Shinning down for night fishing would be OK, I think I would install some switch's to control some of the lights as you wnat them. Recreation, leave on, Enjoyimg an evening on the dock with a cocktail, turn some off that are offensive, leave the other ambient complimenting lights on.
Under the Dock can be a very nice illuninating or glowing illusion, if done so that you don't get reflecting lamps back at you from a different angle. I think you need to consider lighting the dock itself weather with some sort of post lites, Nightscaping has a nice light for Docklighting..The Integraliter GD-0402 BR ,in Brass or can get it in Cast. Non Glaring, low profile...
Too much light below and none at top I think will create a very dark surface above and be unbalanced.

Tommy Marshall
Light Creations

02-18-2008, 11:27 PM
I did see a dock that had a rope light under the edge like you are speaking about. Real nice. I would assume you could do this with fiber optics and hide the source someplace and make it dimmable

Tommy is right about it being unbalanced if you light it under the dock but not on top. Pictures would help. Paul has been doing underwater dock lighting for fish lights. You can see them on his website I think but as tommy stated I dont think you will have much effect at the depth your speaking about unless clarity is good.

Please also pay close attention to NEC codes pertaining to water lighting

02-19-2008, 03:13 AM
Our lights would work well for that.

mowin at the lake
02-19-2008, 03:27 AM
we make up a stainless enclosure. and use a inground pool light 500-800 watt.
put that 5-8 feet under water (under the dock) and light it up at night. A three well dock usually uses two lights. It great for fishing because it daws the fish in.


INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
02-19-2008, 09:13 AM
Yes it is good for fishing.... and here it is illegal to install underwater lights and then fish. It is also illegal to install lights aimed down into the water for the purpose of attracting fish. Check your local and state laws.

Also, think of one thing that loves light and heat..... Yep, its Algae. Be prepared for a lot of maintenance (weekly) if you are going to be putting any type of light source underwater in anything less then a very cold, fast moving current. (Not sure about salt water environments.... we only have 250,000+ freshwater lakes here in Ontario)

If you are planning to light under the dock, behind the dock fascia boards etc, then you had better be prepared to light the top of the dock for safety. The Nightscaping INTEGRALiter (GD-0402-BR) was designed specifically for this task. It is still the only Dark Sky Friendly dock fixture I know of.

Remember that light travels very far over open water. A single, un-shielded 25W A-lamp is visible to 10 miles across open water. So keep the overall effect functional but very soft. Doing this properly will eat fixtures, so make sure you client is ready for the bill.


Mike M
02-21-2008, 08:59 AM
Interesting post, I just put some Unique Brass hockey pucks on a deep water dock, aimed down (attached to face). I will take pics if it looks good (hehe).

I was studying light source effects on water recently. Did you ever notice that light sources don't just reflect, like a subject would with a mirror effect? Light sources make long sparkling columns across the water.

We'll see. Oops, the owner has his boat tied up. won't be able to see it. He wanted something cool to see when he comes in at night, marking his dock. Dang, I was gonna ask permission across the channel to take pics.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
02-21-2008, 09:30 AM
Here are some examples of glare and light trespass that is caused by unshielded fixtures mounted on waterfront properties as viewed from the neighbours perspective across the water. For the most part this is caused by using unshielded "glare bombs" with simple A-lamps installed. You can also see a "moonrays" type system causing the same problem. Unshielded fixtures are a real issue when used on waterfront properties.

Generally I solve the glare bomb problem by installing 35W PAR20 WFL lamps into the existing fixtures. This provides a directional source rather then an omnidirectional source, then if necessary I will have a dimmer installed in place of the switch to lower the intensity of the lamps. This is a very effective and efficient means to reduce the amount of glare and light trespass that emanates from waterfront properties. It also looks amazing and the clients love it. I have even been called over to neighbours simply to change out all of their A-lamps to PAR20s


02-21-2008, 09:51 AM
Here Mercury vapor is VERY popular thanks to 2 multistate firms.

Sometimes they go as high as 100ft. The fixtures are only partially shielved and unlouvered of course. While the effects can be mildly pleasing on the ground it looks rather rediculous from any sort of distance and extremly un natural. Usually it is MUCH brighter than moonlight.

There is also a firm installing merc vapor uplights in tall pines uplighting the tops of the trees. Looks like a hot spot then a blue green cloud floating around.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
02-21-2008, 11:59 AM
Billy, working with municipal governments, developing and implementing outdoor lighting guidelines and regulations can work very much in your favour. Not only do you get the benefit of being the guy that drastically improves the area, but you are also uniquely positioned to be the guy who provides all of the proper lighting systems.

This isn't a completely novel idea. It has worked very well for at least one other contractor in N. America. Call it a strategic niche development initiative.


Mark B
02-22-2008, 01:31 AM
Thanks for the info. I will try to get a few pics of the dock this weekend. Thanks