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boat dock

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Mark B, Feb 18, 2008.

  1. Mark B

    Mark B LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,020

    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.
  2. LedgedaleLawn

    LedgedaleLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 377

    My guess is some kind of halogen pond lighting. Good luck!
  3. Tommy Marshall

    Tommy Marshall LawnSite Member
    from S.C.
    Posts: 21

    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
  4. Mark B

    Mark B LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,020

    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.
  5. Tommy Marshall

    Tommy Marshall LawnSite Member
    from S.C.
    Posts: 21

    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
  6. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,181

    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
  7. ChampionLS

    ChampionLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,066

    Our lights would work well for that.
  8. mowin at the lake

    mowin at the lake LawnSite Member
    Posts: 218

    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.

  9. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    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.

  10. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Posts: 1,943

    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.

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