When it comes to boat docks, underwater lighting adds a unique and rich touch while providing value. In coastal or freshwater Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina, the addition of underwater dock lighting creates an oasis of fish and other sea life when the sunsets. Here is what you need to know about dock lighting that illuminates from below the water’s surface. 

Do Underwater Dock Lights Attract Fish

Underwater mounted lights attract fish of all sizes. Tiny microorganisms are the beginning of the cycle. After microorganisms gather, baitfish accumulate. The final step of the chain is the predators which are most attractive to anglers.


Switch the light to the on position after the sun has set. At this point, microorganisms and plankton gather. The number of lumens determines the range in which the underwater light can shine. The higher the lumens, the greater the radius. When powerful lights are installed, microorganisms are drawn from a farther distance.

Baitfish And Shrimp

Bait-sized shrimp and fish follow suit once the microorganismisms have begun to cluster in the illuminated water beneath the dock. Fish and shrimp dine on the tiny organisms and plankton that initially ventured to the dock light. As a result of their size, baitfish and shrimp are visible from the dock’s surface when peering into the water. 

While the baitfish are gathered, throw a cast net for the opportunity to collect bait. Live bait is highly effective when placed on a hook and fished in the lumination of the light. Store the fish or shrimp in a bucket with circulating water or an air pump. 

Predator Fish

The third and final part of the food chain is the arrival of predator fish. Like the baitfish and shrimp-eating microorganisms, the predators gather and consume the shrimp and baitfish. 

In Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina, the varieties of fish that gather in the light to feed include redfish, sea trout, flounder, sharks, in saltwater and bass, walleye, bluegill, and more in freshwater. Predators lurk lower in the water column and, therefore and not frequently seen. However, it is not uncommon to catch a glimpse of baitfish being devoured. 

Are Dock Lights Bad For Fish

The light emitted from underwater lighting systems pose no danger to fish. Fish, shrimp, and tiny organisms flock to the illumination despite the brightness or variations in colors. 

While the light does not present dangers to marine life, anti-fouling coatings are different. Underwater dock lights coated in anti-fouling paint emit neurotoxins to reduce the growth of plant life and barnacles in saltwater environments. A light that is not treated and placed in saltwater will quickly become covered in marine life, thus reducing the amount of light emitted. 

Neurotoxins are harmful to marine life and, therefore, present risks to the fish, shrimp, and microorganisms swimming in the vicinity. Rather than applying anti-fouling paint, consider eco-friendly products capable of lasting 12 months when used. Eco-friendly products help to prevent harming marine life. 

Besides Fishing Why Waterfront Home Owners Should Install Underwater Dock Lights

While anglers benefit significantly from underwater lighting, the installation is ascetically pleasing to the eye. Whether you are sitting in the yard, house, or dock, enjoy the glow emitted from the water.

In addition to the beauty that homeowners have the opportunity to enjoy, the dock becomes easy to navigate when leaving or returning by boat. The light below the surface illuminates the dock, allowing the driver to have a clear line of sight rather than approaching in the pitch dark. 

Lastly, you will not need to own and dock a boat at the backyard dock to enjoy the lighting. Venture out in the evening hours and take a seat. Crack a beer, light a cigar, and watch the aquarium beneath swimming in the lights. 

What Color Light Works Best Underwater 

The best color underwater light is green. A green underwater light is most effective for attracting shrimp, baitfish, and predators. 

Green lights have been proven to attract the most fish and allow the person viewing down from the dock the best visibility into the water. Green-colored dock lights are readily available online or at marine brick and mortar stores. 

Are You Ready To Install Underwater Dock Lights

Whether you own or are purchasing a waterfront home in Georgia, South Carolina, or North Carolina, install underwater lights. Underwater lights create an unmatched illumination of the waterway, which projects to the house and yard above. We recommend hiring a professional installer to ensure the wiring is completed correctly and the light shines bright. Check out illumisea for your underwater dock lights installation.