Thursday, September 5, 2013

Cheap Light

As any boat owner can confirm, any product that is designed/marketed for boats costs at least four times as much as you'd think it should.  In some cases, the cost may be justifiable, such as for a highly specialized product for a small market, where development costs cannot be spread out across as many units sold.  In other cases, the high prices are the product of nothing more than price discrimination--charging higher prices to those who can pay more (in general, boaters) for the same product.  For the latter category of products, we like to try to find or repurpose household or automobile items to save some money (and generally increase the selection).

A recent example is our new solar-powered dock light.  The end of our pier can be dark at night, and to illuminate our way (without using the spreader lights, which we don't want to have to change frequently), we installed an ordinary garden-style solar light

Solar Light
It cost $12 at the big-box hardware store, it is bright enough, and it turns on automatically at night. 

Illumination 
And the solar dock lights sold at marine stores?  Between $75 and $122 dollars, depending on the model.  Although there is certainly a need for specialized marine products (rigging, electronics, sails, safety equipment, etc.), there is just as certainly no need for ordinary products being marked up 1000% and sold to boaters. 

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