One of the best investments you can make for comfort and safety as well as enhanced resale value is additional lighting. From the factory, most boats are inadequately lit for normal living. For very little money, you can make your cruising much more enjoyable.
For those who like to service their own engine, you will find factory lighting totally unacceptable. To adequately inspect your engine and other equipment in the engine room, you must have adequate lighting. You will find a couple of weather-tight flourescent fixtures provide enough lighting to see in all the nooks and crannies.
The galley and head area will require different lighting than found in cabins. A good 12V flourescent fixture should suffice in both areas. Power consumption is low and the light diffuses better than normal “spot” type reading fixtures.
The general consensus is that halogen lighting is best for reading lamps. More light with less power and a brighter white. If you are adding lamps, this is the time to switch. You can also buy adaptors to convert your current reading lamps to accept halogen bulbs for a fraction of the cost of replacing your lamps. The most important step is to plan your lighting wisely. Where do you need reading lamps? Are there reading lamps when an overhead recessed light would work better?
Floor Level Lighting
For night time use, inset courtesy lamps on steps provide an extra level of safety. Available in low-level white or red, they make midnight trips to galley or head possible without overheads.
The one place almost every boat falls short on is lighting for lockers and cabinets. It is very easy to add lighting to these areas and even incorporate a pushbutton switch that activates the lighting when the door is open, shutting it off when closed.
Most Grand Banks have teak valences which make a perfect place to place indirect lighting for mood settings. Also placing lights in book cases, etc. will create very nice effects.
We are currently replacing bulbs as needed with LED equivalents which dramatically increases the time between bulb changes and decreases power consumption.