Perhaps you’re thinking of installing lights on your boat. Or maybe your boat already has lights, and you’re thinking about adding a power source so you can make use of those lights.
Many boats have complex lighting systems powered by a marine deep cycle battery. These batteries will often power the lights for hours on end, but to have this kind of output, it’s important to choose a quality battery that will handle the load of your light system.
So, how do you do that?
What are some of the best marine batteries for lights, and how do you determine which battery will work best for your boat?
This article will answer those questions and more, as we review the 5 best marine batteries for lights.
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Table of Contents
- Best Marine Batteries for Lights Reviews
- Marine Battery Buyer’s Guide
- How to Choose the Best Marine Battery for Boat Lights?
Best Marine Batteries for Lights Reviews
1. Ampere Time LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Battery
- 【Automotive Grade Lithium Battery】Ampere Time lithium iron batteries have exceptional quality since they are manufactured by Automotive Grade LiFePO4 Cells with higher energy density, more stable...
- 【10 Years lifetime】Ampere Time LiFePO4 battery provides 4000+ cycles (10 times longer) & a 10-year lifetime compared to 200~500 cycles & a 3-year lifetime in lead acid battery.
This battery comes from the well-known brand Ampere Time, and it is one of the top batteries you can buy for various marine applications, including powering light systems. A quality lithium battery, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more long-lasting battery for the price.
This is a 12V, 100 Ah battery. A true deep cycle battery will hold a voltage of above 12 for up to 95 percent of its total capacity, meaning that you can use up 95 percent of its charge before performance will begin to suffer.
This battery is rated for more than 4,000 cycles, meaning it not only lasts a long time between charges but has a much longer lifespan than the average boat battery. Ampere Time backs up this claim by offering a 10-year warranty.
This is the perfect battery for anyone who uses their boat lights frequently or for long periods. This battery is sure to last not only throughout many hours on the water, but it will continue to perform well year after year.
Some key features include its built-in battery management system, which keeps it from over or under-charging and over-discharging; its lightweight construction, which makes it a third of the weight of comparable marine batteries; and its wide temperature range.
Some users have claimed that the company is difficult to contact and doesn’t always return messages. This is one way in which the company could improve.
What We Like
- This battery comes with a 10-year warranty.
- It’s an exceptionally lightweight battery.
- It provides good quality for the price.
What We Don’t Like
- The manufacturer can be difficult to contact.
2. Optima Deep Cycle Marine Battery
- 12-Volt, 750 Cold Cranking Amps, Size: 10 inches x 6 7/8 inches x 7 13/16 inches tall, Weight: 43.5 pounds, Dual SAE & 5/16 inches Stainless Steel Stud Posts. 55 Ah C20 capacity
- Optimal starting power even in bad weather
This AGM battery comes from Optima, another top name in batteries. It is a deep-cycle battery rated for use in particularly harsh conditions, including boats and camp settings.
This battery boasts an impressive 15 times vibration resistance over other batteries. It can be mounted in nearly any position, so it’s great for boats with limited battery storage space. It requires no maintenance and is spill-proof, so you don’t have to worry about it leaking.
This is the perfect battery for anyone who wants consistent, dependable performance but is looking for a smaller price tag than lithium.
This battery’s key features include an exceptional reserve capacity, which allows it to maintain its charge; and its unique spiral-wound plate design, which gives it a higher performance quality over comparable batteries.
Some users have experienced problems with the battery’s charging abilities, claiming it arrives undercharged and will not fully charge.
What We Like
- This battery is highly shock-resistant.
- The battery is maintenance-free and spill-proof.
- It has an impressive reserve capacity.
What We Don’t Like
- The battery sometimes arrives undercharged and fails to take a complete charge.
3. Renogy Deep Cycle AGM Battery
- Maintenance Free: Manufactured with thick absorbent glass mat (AGM) separators and advanced valve regulated technology, Renogy Deep Cycle AGM Batteries save you from acid leakage and frequent...
- Excellent Discharge Performance: Proprietary quinary alloy plates and specially treated plate grids enable low internal resistance and high discharge currents of up to 10 times the battery rated...
This battery is also an AGM battery, and it comes from the Renogy brand. It is a quality, heavy-duty battery with impressive shelf life and performance.
This 12V, 100 Ah battery is made with quinary alloy plates that provide especially low resistance, allowing exceptional discharge rates. It can be used in a wide range of temperatures and weather conditions.
This battery has a long shelf life, as it will lose less than three percent of its discharge over a month at an ideal temperature of 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
This is a great battery for anyone who doesn’t use their lights very often, but who needs a dependable battery to operate them from time to time.
Some of its key features include built-in valve regulated technology. This helps protect against leakage and reduces necessary maintenance and high-quality materials and construction that improve performance and lifespan.
It is worth noting that this battery doesn’t come with a warranty, and some customers have experienced difficulties when attempting to contact customer support.
What We Like
- This battery has an impressive shelf life.
- The battery can be used in a wide range of temperatures.
- The battery is made of quality materials.
What We Don’t Like
- This battery doesn’t come with a warranty.
- Customer service can be difficult to contact.
4. VMAX Deep Cycle AGM Battery
This offering from VMAX is another quality AGM battery known for its quick recharging ability and consistent performance.
This battery offers a smaller amp hour rating than the ones above, meaning it will not power your lights for as long. It is rated for 35 amp hours instead of 100, so it may not work for many lights or for a long time.
That said, it will still get the job done when you’re out on the water, especially if you only have a few lights to power. It is known for its high performance and is frequently used for trolling motors.
This is a great battery for anyone who only has a few boat lights, who don’t use them often or only leaves them on for short periods.
Its key features include an exceptionally light weight of 25 pounds; a quick recharge rate; and dependability and durability, especially for such a small battery.
Some users claim that the screws that come with the battery do not fit the holes very well, so it may be difficult to install.
What We Like
- This battery recharges quickly.
- This battery is lightweight compared with other AGM batteries.
- This battery provides consistent power for a small number of lights.
What We Don’t Like
- The battery may be difficult to install due to small screw holes.
5. Mighty Max Deep Cycle Battery
- ML18-12 SLA is a 12V 18AH Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) rechargeable maintenance free battery - UL Certified
- Dimensions: 7.17 inches x 3.03 inches x 6.57 inches. Terminal: Nut and Bolt. Listing is for the Battery and Screws only. No wire harness or mounting accessories included.
This battery from Mighty Max is one of the smallest, cheapest options available. This 12V battery has an amp hour rating of just 18, so it is perfect for use as a backup or for a very small number of lights.
This is a sealed lead-acid battery, which will require some regular maintenance and upkeep. But for boaters on a budget, this is an excellent battery that comes with a 1-year warranty to back it up.
The battery is small–roughly 7 by 3 by 7 inches, and just under 12 pounds–so it will fit comfortably into almost any boat. It is spillproof, resists a great number of vibrations, and can handle a wide temperature range.
This battery is an excellent choice for anyone with just a few lights, especially if you don’t use those lights for long periods. It’s also an excellent choice if you’re hoping to find the best battery for the lowest price.
Some of its key features include high-quality construction so the battery will last, and valve regulated technology so the battery won’t leak.
The battery’s main drawback is that, at this price, you can’t expect it to last long. Many customers have claimed that it doesn’t last for more than a year or a season.
What We Like
- The battery is small and lightweight.
- It is inexpensive.
- It is good for a small number of lights or providing a short duration of power.
What We Don’t Like
- The battery has a relatively short lifespan.
Marine Battery Buyer’s Guide
Now that we’ve explored some of the top marine batteries for lights on the market, let’s take a look at why they are some of the best. In this section, we’ll explore what qualities to look for in any battery that you are considering to power your boat lights.
Most marine batteries come in either 12 or 24 volts. All of the batteries reviewed above are 12V batteries, making them smaller and more lightweight so they are both easier to lift and to find space for on your boat.
You most likely won’t need anything greater than 12V to power your lights. But if you have an extra large amount of lights or a light system that draws an exceptional amount of power, you should consider investing in a 24V battery or wiring two 12V batteries in series.
Amp Hour Rating
The amp hour rating is one of the most important considerations when determining how long your battery will power your light system. Generally, the higher the rating, the longer the battery will last between charges.
Batteries with a 100 Ah rating will provide long hours of power to most light systems, and sometimes you can get away with a much lower rating, especially if you don’t plan to use your lights for hours on end.
The appropriate amp hour rating largely depends on how much and how long you plan to use your lights, but we’ll talk more about that later in this article.
When choosing any battery for your boat, it’s important to choose one that’s marine grade. Marine batteries are made to handle an extra amount of shocks and vibrations over other types of batteries, and they are more durable when exposed to humidity and sea spray.
Type of Battery
Deep cycle marine batteries tend to last the longest between charges because they can be the most deeply discharged. This means that they can have between 70 and 95 percent of their total capacity used before needing to be recharged, as opposed to the usual 50 or 60 percent.
There are various types of marine deep cycle batteries. Some are lead acid, while others are AGM, gel, and lithium. AGM and lithium are usually considered some of the best for marine usage.
How to Choose the Best Marine Battery for Boat Lights?
So, we’ve looked at some of the most popular marine batteries for lights. We’ve considered the qualities that make them all exceptional choices for boat lights. But how can you determine which battery is best for you?
Above, we presented five separate battery options. Now, in this section, we’ll talk about how to narrow it down even further–how to determine which battery, out of the five, is the best choice for your boat and your lighting setup.
When deciding which battery to choose, it helps to ask yourself a few questions:
How Long are the Lights On?
How much do you use your boat lights? Do you like to go fishing near dawn or dusk, when some types of fish are the most active? If so, you may have to depend on your boat’s lighting system for a few hours as you fish and while you approach or leave your fishing site.
If you enjoy taking friends out for an evening on the water, you may have a lot of extra lights to power or may need to power them for several hours–perhaps even overnight.
In both of these cases, you will need to choose a battery with a deeper discharge capability and a higher amp hour rating–one that will last a maximum amount of time between charges.
If you don’t go out as often, or if you rarely use your lights, you will want to choose a battery that will hold a charge well even during periods of inactivity. You may even determine that you don’t need a battery for your lights if you rarely use them.
If, on the other hand, you decide you would still like to have a battery for your lights, you may want to choose a budget option–that way, you have a battery for the lights in case you need it, but you don’t have to spend a lot of money for something you may never use.
How Many Amps Do They Draw?
Think about how much power your lights are drawing when they are in use. This can be a bit of a challenge to calculate, especially if you have a lot of lights, but it is important for helping you determine the right size battery to purchase.
Take a look at your various light systems. Try to figure out the approximate power draw of each. If you are figuring in watts, you will want to convert watts to amps using a calculator like this one.
Once you’ve determined the power draw of each light system, add them all up. You will then divide this number into the prospective battery’s amp-hour rating to determine how long that battery would last when powering all of your lights at once.
For example, if you determine that your lights draw 20 amps of power, then a 100 amp-hour battery would power those lights for about 5 hours.
Keep in mind, these are strict mathematical calculations that don’t account for variables such as temperature, weather, or battery condition. But they can give you a good general idea of what you have to work with when considering a given battery.
What Else is the Battery Powering?
Think about what else you may want to hook up to your battery. Will it be powering the lights alone, or do you also plan to use the same battery to power your trolling motor, fishfinder, radio, or other on-board electronics?
Even if you determine your battery could power your lights for 5 hours, it will discharge much sooner than that if you are also using it for other devices.
Our top pick for the best marine battery for lights is the Ampere Time LiFePO4 deep cycle battery because of its long lifespan, 10-year warranty, and impressively light weight. For those on more of a budget though, the Mighty Max SLA battery is an excellent choice.
Hopefully, after reading this review, you’ll have a better idea of what boat batteries work well for lights and which battery, in particular, will work best for you.