Hella Marine has a new LED spreader light called the Sea Hawk that’ll make your deck as bright as day, in the middle of the night. But spreaders are good for more then just night fishing – they come in handy when loading the boat in the pre-dawn hours, and when washing it down after the sun has set on a full day of fishing. Unfortunately, old-style halogens sucked power out of the batteries at an amazing rate, popped breakers often, and rarely lasted for more then a few seasons before burning out or giving in to water intrusion. Modern LEDs like this Hella, on the other hand don’t draw much juice (0.25 amps, in the case of this specific light) and are completely sealed so they age better and water won’t kill them.
Hella sent me a spotlight and a floodlight version of their new spreader lights to test out, and for deck illumination, the flood is definitely my pick. There’s less glare and a better dispersion of the light across the boat. Otherwise, the lights are more or less identical. They’re also a heck of a lot more compact then old-style bulb lights, at just over five inches long, two inches tall, and two inches deep. Weight is about half a pound. Added bonus: they’ll work on multiple voltages, and are good for both 12-v and 24-v systems.
So, are these little luminaries expensive? Heck no – pricing ranges between $140 and $170 depending on what model you’re looking at. If you want to add deck illumination to your fishboat, check ‘em out (www.hellamarine.com); these new Sea Hawks beat those old halogens hands-down.