Dock lights not only provide an aesthetic charm but are also an essential safety feature. Suitable lighting can prevent boats from crashing into your dock at night and keep people from falling off of it after dark.  

Never underestimate the power of good lighting. It can make the area more inviting by highlighting beautiful architectural niceties. Soft, muted lighting at your dock can set the mood for an easeful, romantic summer evening. 

So what’s the best way to effectively light up your dock? Here are ten tips and trips to help you transform your dock’s visual appeal.

#1 Choose Solar-Powered Lights

Solar lights are inexpensive and easy to install. They won’t contribute to your electricity bill either! However, they won’t shine as bright if your area doesn’t receive enough sunlight. If you invest in high-quality batteries, you don’t have to replace them often. 

#2 Wired Lighting

Wired lighting is bright, long-lasting, and reliable but requires a professional installation and a transformer. You can light areas that don’t receive sunlight, too. 

Both options have their share of benefits; keep in mind that you can use a combination of wired and solar lighting.

#3 Motion-Activated Lighting

You want dock lighting that helps you see your surroundings clearly. At the same time, you want to avoid over-bright lights that disturb your neighbors after dark. A modern and power-saving compromise is to install motion-activated lights around your dock. A significant downside is the high installation cost. 

#4 Underwater LEDs

An attractive way to light up your dock is to use underwater lights. Low-voltage LEDs (Light-Emitting Diode) are safe to place underwater.  

Most underwater lights attract fish. Installing these lights is a good option if you want to watch gather ‘round your dock at night. 

LEDs provide brilliant illumination without the garishness of standard voltage bulbs to help you steer your boat on the right side. 

Note that you might have to install additional lighting on the dock surface itself to safely walk alongside it if your LED isn’t bright enough. 

#5 Choose Low-Voltage Lighting

The upsides to low-voltage lighting are its safety and hazard resistance. Lights with the standard voltage provide a lot of illumination and don’t require a transformer to convert your home’s 120V electricity into 12V electricity. The removed risk of electrocution makes low-voltage lighting worthwhile. 

#6 Don’t Neglect The End Of The Dock

In an attempt to light up the sides of the dock well meant to aid the passengers exiting a vessel, many end up neglecting the end of their docks. 

Properly illuminating the end of your dock will ensure easy identification after dark, especially if you use a combination of different colored lights while planning your design and decoration. 

#7 Avoid Elevated Lights

Especially if you intend to install boat dock lighting, you’ll want to avoid lights that are tall and bright. Over-bright lights tend to compromise visibility instead of making it easier. Not to mention they often look awkward and unappealing. 

A general rule of thumb is to install lights that would reach the average person’s hip bone. This level of lighting provides good visibility and looks tasteful. 

#8 Avoid Light Bulbs With A Metal Casing

A common mistake while choosing dock lighting is using lights housed in a metal casing. 

Remember that metal chemically reacts when it comes in contact with water. The metal casing will erode and your lights will quickly deteriorate. 

If you want your dock lighting to last you as long as possible, it’s best to choose light bulbs encased in waterproof plastic. 

#9 Make Sure Your Lighting Matches With Local Environmental Regulations 

Avoid excessive lighting that contributes to light pollution and gives your sock an unnatural glow. This is an especially relevant factor if your dock is at the beach. Minimal illumination is the most considerate option for marine life. 

Opt for full-shielded light fixtures that direct light inwards and downward instead of bouncing off outwards and into people’s eyes. 

And before you check for the local environmental regulations, always make sure that you set up high-quality, and safe docks from reputed manufacturers like Hiseadock.  

#10 Choose Colored or LED Lights 

Installing colored lights, natural and muted tones of red and green, provides optimal visibility without being harsh. Colored dock lights would also look pretty fun for parties and celebrations. 

LEDs are the best and most affordable night lights out there. LED lights spread farther and are more damage-resistant.

You can also install different colored lights to indicate various parts of your dock. Do not leave the end and entrance without illumination. 


An unlit or poorly lit dock is hazardous to hang around at night. With a small investment and some effort, you can transform your dock into your family and friends’ favorite place even after dark. 

Otherwise, prefer light bulbs encased in high-quality plastic that repels compound salts found in freshwater and seawater for durability. 

Get creative! You have the opportunity to customize your dock to your taste. String lights! Wharf lights! Underwater lights! Go all in; this is where you’re going to relax with an evening drink under the stars.