Generic filters
Exact matches only

Lighting up the Seas

If you’re lucky enough to be stepping on board a yacht — or its behemoth relative, the superyacht — the first thing you notice likely won’t be its lighting features. But the right lighting can make a big difference in highlighting a vessel’s various rooms and decks, as well as setting the tone for late-night entertaining and fishing. 

Kristin Schaedel from Yachtlite, based in Germany, believes light should function as a “mood creator” on a boat in the same way that lighting can transform buildings or monuments, like the Eiffel Tower in Paris. 

“Whether illuminated furniture (counters, bars, walls) or contours, ceilings, steps, pool floors, dance floors or just floor inlays, custom-made products are required everywhere,” Ms. Schaedel said,  “[Lighting the] contours of the ship’s structure or other effect lights are extremely en vogue, directed by intelligent lighting controls that allow the ship to be completely immersed in light or just [lit] per deck.” 

On a yacht’s exterior, underwater LED lights can also set the scene for an evening on the water or for nighttime fishing. Recent advances in LED technology mean that the lights last longer and are more cost-effective than in the past, according to iMarine LED, which provides LED lights and parts for boats, yachts and dinghies. 

“Green and white combinations are excellent for [submerging] into the water for fishing,” iMarine wrote on its blog. “These two colors offer short wavelengths in order to allow for better visibility and will attract fish to your boat.”


And the earlier a light designer can be involved in the planning process of a ship’s architecture, the better.

“To implement lights and light controls later can be a real issue, as often you can only adapt to the given circumstances and just make the best of it,” Ms. Schaedel said.

Interior Design

But any well-lit vessel is incomplete without the right decor. The Italy-based company Cantalupi Light Engineering, for one, offers a wide range of interior design tips for boats on its blog. 

For sailboats, the name of the game is old-school nautical, which includes any accent pieces that look like they could have been plucked directly from the sea: ropes, weathered steering wheels or maps and charts. 

“The main feature of the nautical furnishing style called “old nautical” is the use of colours and materials that are typical of ancient boats,” Cantalupi suggests. “So, green light to dark wood types, brass finishes, lamps that recall lanterns and oil lamps, and nautical-themed items.”

As for yachts, interior design should take more cues from the 21st century. Think bright, monochrome decor, but with accents of blue or red. Inevitably, it’s a hard line to walk; the boat’s interior should reflect the maritime environment it’s in without going over the top.

“The main colours are the ones that are typical of the nautical style, namely white and blue, but clean shapes for the furniture, clean surfaces and large spaces in which light prevails,” Cantalupi offers.


Amanda Ulrich

Amanda Ulrich

Amanda is a news and features reporter based on Tortola. Since Hurricane Irma in 2017, many of her articles have focused on the territory’s recovery process.
Amanda Ulrich

Latest posts by Amanda Ulrich (see all)

Like this article? Sign up to our newsletter!