SO YOU OWN A SMALLER VESSEL BUT WANT THE TOUGHNESS AND RESILIENCE OF A BIG-BOAT, FULL-FEATURED, THROUGH-HULL UNDERWATER LIGHT? LUMISHORE’S GOT THE GOODS. BY CAPT. BILL PIKE
Generally speaking, there are two varieties of underwater lights on the market these days. On the low end, you’ve got the surface-mount type, which is generally made of plastic, adheres to the exterior of a given hull via adhesive, gets its power from an electrical cable that passes through a small, caulked hole, and appears on smaller vessels. On the high end, you’ve got the through-hull type, which is typically larger and more robust (being made of bronze or some other metal), costs considerably more, gets its power from an electrical cable that remains entirely within the hull, and tends to appear on yachts, often biggies.
But hey, Lumishore’s just nixed this cozy little arrangement. With the introduction of its new TIX402 Color Change light, the company is now making a beefy, albeit relatively small, reasonably priced throughhull unit for folks who own boats within the 25- to 80-foot range. And it’s pulled this magic off without sacrificing many of the features that larger, much pricier and yachtier lights offer.
As with other through-hulls that Lumishore sells, the TIX402 is preprogrammed to sync with an onboard stereo so that colors change or pulse (via the computer-controlled blending of red, green, blue, and white LEDs) in relatively complex, rhythmic, precise ways if desired. “You just hook it up to the audio output on your stereo and you’ve got one color for treble, another color for bass, another color for mid-range, and yet another color for background,” explains Christian Redditt, Technical Operations Manager for Lumishore USA.
Other big-boat, through-hull features? The TIX402 is sealed from the outside (with “hard glass” i.e. a toughened BK7 Borosilicate lens) so you can address the LED module from inside the hull without having to haul out. Moreover, this cool little through-hull (with an outside diameter that’s just 3.5 inches) also offers a raft of preprogrammed or customizable color modes, more than 50,000 hours of LED life, and a highly intuitive controller that can be mounted at the helm or in some other convenient location.
The TIX402 is packaged in pairs as a kit (with a Wi-Fi-capable controller, distribution hub, and wiring) and lists for $5,700. More lights and hubs can be added, of course, depending on how groovy an owner wants to get. lumishore.com
Lumishore says the TIX402’s LED module should last for 50,000-plus hours. Replacement is easy, though—merely unscrew it from inside the vessel.