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Old 05-24-2008, 10:12 AM
Typical Buck
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Default Lights..

I know this has probably been covered here before, but, What are the best lights to put on a bowfishing rig (boat)..
Brightest that take the least amount of wattage to run...
How many lights do you really need????
How high off the water????
Thanks in advance for the help....
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Old 05-24-2008, 10:45 AM
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Default RE: Lights..

High Pressure Sodium and Metal Hallide are BY FAR better than Halogens. They also dont glare on the water like Halogens do. But they get expensive in a hurry. Its been said that HPS is best for murky water, MH for clear. That could just be speculation though, Im not familiar with MH.

I got 6 150 watt HPS lights from They are the least expensive fixtures I could find. They are really sturdy lights though. They run around 40 dollars per fixture, but you can plan on another $8-10 per fixturefor a capacitor to wire in. If you have the time for a wiring project, these fixtures can save you alot of money versuses the 100 dollar fixtures of other companies.

The 500 watt Halogen bulb puts out up to 10,000 lumens.
The 150 watt HPS bulb puts out up to 15,000 lumens.
The 400 watt HPS bulb puts out up to 50,000 lumens.

How many lights is based on just how bright you want things. If i was running 400 HPS, I would go with three. I went with 6 150 HPS instead because of prices. If you run 500 Halogens, just run as many as you can on your genny, they aren't very efficient.

How high off the water is based on your boat. Put em on the gunnel if you dont have an elevated deck. If you have an elevated deck, hang em underneath it. Angle them based on what gives you the best water coverage. My lights will end up being around 2-3 feet off the water.
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Old 05-24-2008, 10:55 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Default RE: Lights..

50,000 lumens.
Holy carp !
Now I know why they are a favorite.

Most guys that I normally see use the halogens.
Water is real murky by me, so that might help.

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Old 05-24-2008, 08:40 PM
Fork Horn
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Default RE: Lights..

I use 5 150 watt HPS lights. They seem to do a good job for my 16.5 foot boat. They barely load my 3250 genny and they don't get near as hot as the 500 watt halogens. I am very satisfied with them. My genny will run for about 8 hours on 2 gallons. Over time you will get back the extra money you spend, up front,in gas savings. Especially at $4 per gallon.
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Old 05-25-2008, 01:59 PM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Jan 2006
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Default RE: Lights..

i am realy supprised to hear such great reviews about hps and mh. i had some mh on my boat a few years ago. didnt like them. got a chance to shoot with some gator pro mh last weekend. they are a special green/blue tint to supposedly see in water better. I was not impressed at all. that set up was right at $2000.00. deff not worth the expense over halogens to me. we also broke 3-4 bulbs due to them vibrating loose going down the lake in rough water. i had the same problem with mine.
Deff halogens for me!! and i think alex will agree.
I would suggest 225 ultras or 350 ultras. prob needat least 5 lights to get good coverage. 1 in front 2 on the corners and 2 on the sides.

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Old 05-26-2008, 02:10 AM
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Default RE: Lights..

ORIGINAL: slim23

Deff halogens for me!!

I would suggest 225 ultras or 350 ultras.
Me too. There are advantages and draw backs to any set-up. But for me and my buck Halogens win.
They're lighter, cheaper and readily available. Bust a fixture and a replacement is as close as your nearest hardware store.

Like slim said, go with the lower wattage bulbs. The 500 just draw more juice to put out more heat.

I did see something I'm gonna hafta experiment with at Farm and fleet the other day. A flourescent that has a similar housing to a work light. The box said it drew 70 or 90 watts ( I can't recall) and put out as much light as a 350 watt halogen. It was $40 and I had one under my arm when I realized I'd left my wallet in the truck. Whew! dodged a bullet there.
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Old 05-26-2008, 09:35 AM
Fork Horn
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Default RE: Lights..

I used to run all 500 watt halogens. They were really great and I liked the light but I would consistently blow 1 or 2 bulbs per night. I switched to 300 watt bulbs and have never blown one since. I decided the heat from the 500's was just too much for the bulb. The 300's were a little less light, but I quickly got used to it and have no complaints. I'd really like to try the ultra's. And by switching to the 300's I was able to get a smaller generator.
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