High-bright marine LED lights, from Rigid Industries
Want more LED light at less cost to illuminate your deck or the water beyond? Rigid Industries may be new to the marine industry but the company claims patented optic systems that have already made it "the pioneer of forward projecting high intensity LED light bars" for uses like long-distance racing in souped-up dune buggies (on a course that may be booby-trapped). You can glimpse the unusual reflectors (for LED fixtures) in this photo from IBEX and I can tell you that even those small and relatively inexpensive "four bulb" cubes closest to the camera are blindingly bright...
While the specifications for LEDs and other lights can be quite confusing, that little M Series Dually -- essentially a three inch cube -- seems to have impressive numbers. The claim is not just an amazing 1,300 "raw lumens" using just 15 Watts of 9-36v power, but a beam distance of 1,300 feet with a Lux of 395 at about 100 feet for the spot model (as seen in the diagram for all three models below). I'd certainly like to compare a Dually on Gizmo, which may happen, but the numbers strongly suggest that it throws much more light than the Lumitec and OceanLED deck lights I installed in 2009.
I found both those LED fixtures to be fine replacements for traditional 55 Watt halogen spreader lights, but what's now called the OceanLED Amphibian A6 Classic is only rated at 400 "fixture lumens" and the Lumitec Caprera page now includes a real world Lux output graphic that doesn't seem to hold a candle to these Dually claims:
Note too that the Dually at $120 retail costs less than the other two fixtures and it claims a longer lifespan at 50,000 hours plus. Not that any of these lights is apt to wear out during a normal boat life, or even an abnormal one, which is one of the great things about LEDs besides their low power consumption.
And get this: Rigid already has an M-Series Dually D2 with six bulbs and double the Lumens in the same rugged cube casing for an additional $90. Instead of the original Dually's spot and hybrid flood optic configurations -- in addition to the diffuse mode that might be best for spreader light use -- the D2 has "wide" and "driving" modes. The latter particularly interests me as I've been scheming to replace the combination red/green running light mounted on Gizmo's bow pulpit (and redundant to the side lights on the flying bridge) with an LED fixture that might light up lobster traps and other hazzards when running at night. Having such a light way forward where it can't back scatter into my own night vision is important, and I think a D2 could be installed there without replacing the power feed that was somehow threaded through the pulpit, and without looking odd. Crazy idea?
At any rate, I think that many boaters will be interested in Rigid Industries new marine line, and that the overall trend of brighter LED fixtures at less cost is wonderful. In fact, I now think that while the ideal interior marine LED fixture hasn't been developed yet, it's going to be. More on that soon.