The Guide to MAINTENANCE FREE Green Fishing Lights

Above Water Green Fishing Lights, Dock Fishing Lights, Green Fishing Lights, Maintenance Free Fishing Lights, Pier Fishing Lights, Underwater Green Fishing Lights -

The Guide to MAINTENANCE FREE Green Fishing Lights

The number one struggle with underwater green fishing lights is the everlasting battle with continuous barnacle and marine growth. Some of the best quality underwater green fishing lights will burn off the growth, but if the dusk to dawn sensor fails, a circuit breaker trips or you simply forget to leave the light plugged in; before you know it there's a bunch of barnacles that have covered the lens and no amount of heat will break them free of their cement-like hardened super glue. We put together a guide to maintenance-free green fishing lights, but it looks like the only tried-and-true removal method is a jar of elbow grease and a good chisel to clean them off. Read on to find out the truth.

Coastal Neighborhood Experiment: Green Fishing Light Maintenance

We conducted an interesting experiment where we polled people from a coastal neighborhood that were using green fishing lights at their home - to find out what some common problems were. There were 32 people polled as a part of this experiment and there were 15 different brands/types of fishing lights. 

Here's what we found:

  • There was an even split of mercury vapor and LED green fishing light users.
  • There were 4 people with above water green fishing lights that have not had any issues at all.
  • Every single person with underwater green fishing light(s) has replaced at least one of their lights at least once since owning their house. Note: this was an older subdivision, I would guess most people have lived here at least several years.

Common Problems

  • Barnacle growth was a common problem with all of the underwater green fishing lights. Even if the lights were working properly, barnacles were present on the light housing when checked. They were not always present on the light lens though. When run dusk to dawn, the lenses stayed clean.
  • mercury vapor bulbs reportedly break very easily and had to be replaced several times per year (some had to replace several times per month).
  • Don't trust the "Amazon Special" cheap fishing lights when leaving underwater permanently. 7 people tried these - one person's lasted two weeks and all the others lasted a couple days.  

Less Common Problems 

  • Crabs and/or fish gnawed at the power cord causing a short in one persons light; the cord had to be repaired.
  • A boat prop shattered the glass cover in an underwater green fishing light; the light had to be replaced.
  • 6 people had problems with their ballast going out, we discovered 4 people left their ballast mounted on an open dock and it was not under any sort of weather cover. The ballast was inside the underwater light on the other 2. For all 6, once ballast was replaced they did not appear to have further issues.
  • Fishing line, lures, and hooks were caught on the power cord of several underwater fishing lights. 
  • One person installed their light on the same circuit as their boat lift. They flip the boat lift breaker when they leave to prevent someone from stealing their boat. When they came back, they discovered their light obviously never turned on and was covered in barnacles. 

This experiment opened our eyes to one thing - underwater green fishing lights are not maintenance or "problem" free. There were 15 different brands of lights used across all of these houses and while some brands held up better than others, the underlying maintenance issues did not go away. 

The Guide to Maintenance-Free Green Fishing Lights

After talking to 32 different home owners running various brands of underwater green fishing lights; as well as having a lot of personal experience with the lights, we came up with a list of things to do to make your setup as maintenance free as possible. 


1. Consider an Above Water Green Fishing Light instead of an underwater green fishing light. After all, the 4 people running these were the only ones who experienced zero problems. 

2. If running power cord underwater, run inside PVC conduit. This will eliminate hooks from snagging the cord as well as crabs and fish from gnawing at it.

3. If your light has an external ballast or power supply (the majority of high brightness lights require these), mount it in a covered area such as under a fish cleaning station roof that keeps it out of the sun and limits weather exposure. These are electrical boxes that ensure the fishing light receives clean and steady voltage. 

4. If sticking with an Underwater Green Fishing Light rather than an overhead green fishing light, spend the money on a quality green fishing light that has a durable housing.
      • Mount on top of a concrete block to keep the light raised off the bottom or attach to pier or dock post. Underwater lights need to be in the water column to prevent from overheating, if they sink into the mud they come out of the water column and will overheat. This also helps minimize barnacle growth.
5. Do not use openly exposed mercury vapor bulbs.
      • When they are turned off, the glass can break if a barnacle latches onto it.
      • Passing boats and fishermen hooking the power cord are the leading reasons these bulbs break and have to be replaced several times per year (sometimes per month).
6. Barnacle resistant paints and coatings that are used on ship hulls can be installed on light housings but DO NOT install on the lens of the light, even if the coating is transparent. These coatings can damage polycarbonate and glass lenses. 

7. If installing on same electrical circuit as boat lift, be sure to remove underwater light from water before shutting off breaker to boat lift. Shutting off breaker to boat lift is a great security measure. This problem is not an issue with an above water fishing light, only with an underwater fishing light due to the light needing to be turned on to burn off barnacles. 


Our Conclusion: The Best and Most Maintenance-Free Fishing Light

Our conclusion in looking for a completely maintenance free light is to do what seems so simple - install an Above Water Green Fishing Light. You can even get a protective cover to keep the light looking new when it's not in use. If you're in deeper water (over 8 ft deep) and want a spot beam to penetrate deep into the water column, the Above Water Green Spot Light is a great option to consider as well. Here's a great article comparing the above water green spot light to the flood light for fishing


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