What kind of lights are you guys using in your portables after dark?
Like a lot of guys, I started out with gas lanterns (hot, fumes, mantels, broken globes, etc.) and then went on to various 12 Volt and less incandescent style lights (battery eaters, broken bulbs, busted fixtures, etc) before settling on the new style LED lights and fixtures.
I really liked the concept of 12 Volt LED "rope" lights when they first came out, and I went out and bought a set and strapped them to the frame of my tent - fail -they were terrible, and didn't put out any meaningful amount of light. I pulled them off and discarded them after one frustrating trip.
For the last couple of years I've been using various "UFO" style circular lights hanging off the tent frame in my Otters. They work well, especially the ones with either lots of LED's or larger LED's in them. The only disadvantage I could see in this style was the light had to be taken down after every use, and I had to be careful how I stored them in my Otter so they didn't rattle apart when I pulled my sled across the ice. Although I've been happy with this style of light, it was another set of batteries that I had to remember to either replace or recharge.
My buddy went to the Ice Show in St. Paul this year and one of the neat things he saw there was a new style of encapsulated and flexible Super "BRIGHT" LED light strips. He said they looked like the real deal, so I ordered a set and installed them in my new insulated Otter tent. WOW! SUPER Bright! You can easily tie a lure on, and I really like how the light is distributed evenly across the tent vs. being focused in an area like my UFO's were. I power the lights off the charging ports on the back of my graph so now I only have to charge one battery. Easy. I ran the wire in a loom for extra protection, and rigged up a switch so I can turn the lights on when I need them. On my next Otter project, I'll figure out a way to run the wires inside the poles safely, I've got some ideas on how to do it.
I'm really enjoying these lights. They are made by Northern "Bright" Lights.
I'm using the 12 Volt DELUXE Pro Guide Series Portable Fish House Light Kit in my Otter Cottage. Best lights I've ever had in a portable!
Pro Fisherman on tour
Pro Staff: Northern "BRIGHT" Lights
Installation of 12 Volt LED Portable Fish House Light Kits:
Simply hold the 12 Volt LED Portable Fish House Light Kit up to your fish house poles,(facing the bulbs in a downward direction) evenly spacing and centering the 12 Volt Light Kit. Use the cable ties supplied with the 12 Volt LED Portable Fish House Light Kit along with any velcro tabs you may have already in your fish house to secure the lights and lead wire.
Wrap the cable ties and or velcro around your poles snugging them, trim with a line clippers if you wish, be careful not to cut into lights. Run the lead line down your side choice. Note: Do not go past the poles that slide together as this will pinch the lead line. Hook the red to the positive(+) & black to the negative(-) on your depth finder/sonar battery post.
Our LED Lights last a very LONG TIME on your fresh 7-9amp battery used with your sonar.
12 Volt LED Portable Fish House Light Kit will illuminate a even "BRIGHT" Light throughout your portable fish house at anytime with a 12 Volt power source. (see our new 12 Volt Lith-Ion "Super Capacity" Rechargeable Battery Packs with Chargers at a retailer near you or click on our Online Store above).
Ease of tying knots and see your fishing poles, lines, bobbers and equipment in the dark.