With aluminum docks, it's imperative that you have one or more lights at the end of the structure as well as along its sides. These lights can be valuable if you're ever boating at night, as they'll help you to dock the boat and make it easier to walk along the dock back to the shore, but their chief purpose is to make your dock visible to other boaters. You generally have three different options when it comes to setting up lights on the dock and supplying power to them. Here are the three options and some considerations about each.
A common option for getting power to the lights on your dock is through wires that are connected to your house's power supply. There are pros and cons to this idea. One challenge is that this can be labor-intensive to set up. You'll essentially need a shallow trench to lay the power cables between the residence and the dock, and if the distance between the two is considerable, this project becomes a time-consuming and costly one. The big perk of this setup, however, is that once it's done, it requires very little maintenance.
Powering your dock lights with batteries can be appealing to some people. This setup allows you to get power to the lights on the dock quickly; there's no worrying about long wires connected to your home's power box. A disadvantage of powering your dock lights with batteries, however, is that they'll need to be charged or replaced regularly. There are several different battery options that you can pursue, but you'll generally have to either charge them on the spot or remove and replace them.
3. Solar Power
Using the power of the sun to power your dock lights is appealing for lots of people who live on waterfront property. With this setup, each light will have a small solar panel built into it that will charge an internal battery during the sunny hours of the day. As the sun goes down, a sensor will turn the dock lights on, and they'll turn off against in the morning when the sun comes up. Although you might sometimes run into issues with the solar panels not harnessing enough power on overcast days, using solar power for your lights requires no maintenance and can be cost effective because you aren't paying to supply electricity or to change the batteries.