How to Wire Bowfishing Lights to Generator? [No Big Bucks!]

Bowfishing can be done either during the daytime or at night. During the day, you don’t require light, but if at night, you would need a source of light. This lighting can be AC or DC, depending on your budget and choice. But to avoid returning with dead batteries in your boat, use DC power—generators.

To wire bowfishing lights to a generator, calculate the total wattage, generator capacity, power converter, then connect both power converter and lights, etc. But complete these steps carefully to prevent injury or electrocution.

This article contains a detailed summary of the steps to wire bowfishing lights to DC safely and effectively. If you’re ready to know about wiring bowfishing lights to a generator, read on!

How to Wire Bowfishing Lights to Generator?

Bowfishing with a generator-powered light is effective if you know how to do the right things. But some individuals wire wrongly, which is very dangerous. So, we’ll break the process down and consider the things you would need to wire your bowfishing lights to a generator.

How to Wire Bowfishing Lights to Generator

What You’ll Need

1. Lighting

To successfully bowfish at night, you need to install bowfish lights successfully. These lights include the AC and the DC bulbs. AC bulbs are much bigger, bulkier, and basically, high-power bulbs that are powered in the 110-240V AC voltage rating. This kind of bulb is usually heavier, can weigh down the boat, and is relatively inefficient compared to the DC bulbs. Their variations comprise halogen, HPS (High-Pressure Sodium), or Metal Halide lights.

bow fishing Lighting

DC bulbs are typically LED bulbs that are more efficient but powered via direct current. Unlike the regular belief that DC bulbs can connect to alternating currents with no intermediary, they can not. DC bulbs, which are much lighter, efficient, and effective, require a power converter to power them through an AC power supply.

2. Power Converter

This is an electrical device comprising a circuit that converts electrical energy from one form to another to meet the electrical load. The power converter is usually used in bowfish boats to change AC energy to DC to power the lighting bulbs.

bow fishing Power Converter

3. Generator

Setting up the generator for bowfish hunting isn’t very difficult. It only requires you to understand how to connect and power it up. Using a generator is, however, noisy but more long-lasting than using batteries.

bow fishing generator

So said, what are the steps to wire bowfishing lights to a generator?

Steps to Wire Bowfishing Lights to Generator

Here are a few steps to wire bowfishing lights to a generator:

First, calculate the Overall Power Wattage

First, evaluate the overall wattage of the bulbs you want to use. Next, figure out what electrical sizing your boat’s system needs. If you don’t know where to see the wattage, you can find out from the store you bought the bulbs from. Once you’ve figured it out, calculate the total wattage by multiplying the number of bulbs in the system by their wattage.

E.g., if you have set up 5 120-Watts light bulbs, the total power wattage is 5 * 120 = 600 Watts.

Determine The Power Converter

To figure out the power converter, check if your bulbs used are 24V DC or 12V DC bulbs. The power converter is measured in Amperes (Amps). If you are using 24V DC bulbs, the power converter will be:

Amperage = Power (in Watts)/ Voltage.

i.e., for a 24V DC bulb in the above example:

600 Watts/ 24 Volts= 25Amps.

For a 12V DC bulb in the above example:

600 Watts/ 12 Volts= 50Amps.

Evaluate The Generator Capacity

After sizing your power converter, you need to size your generation by the voltage and converter amperage. This is done much differently than the regular calculation. For example, you multiply a 24V converter’s amperage by 26 (rather than 24) and a 12V converter’s amperage by 14 (instead of 12).

So, the generator sizing is:

  1. Wattage = Converter Amperage * Voltage (adding the Power Factor)
  2. Generator Wattage = Wattage/ Power Factor (0.80).

So, for a 24V DC bowfishing lighting bulb, the generator wattage is:

  1. 25 Amps (for 5 lights) * 26 volts = 650Watts.
  2. 650 (converter wattage) / 0.80 (Power Factor) = 812.5 watts.

For a 12 V DC bowfishing lighting bulb, the generator wattage is:

  1. 50 Amps (for 5 lights) * 14 volts = 700Watts.
  2. 700 (converter wattage) / 0.80 (Power Factor) = 875 watts.

Theoretically, it is ideal to size up the generator to the closest size above 875. A 900 or 1000 watts generator isn’t a bad idea, as it’s only a few tens above the 875 watts bulbs. Thus, you can use a 900 watts generator without bothering about over-idling the machine and reducing the generator’s lifespan.

We would suggest you get the ideal generator for bowfishing, whether you are a beginner or pro bowfisher. Also, we recommend you go for a 2000W generator, which is compact and small. This kind of generator can effectively shoulder your current loads and make allowances for you to add extra load without straining.

An Explanation For The Change In Voltages For The Power Converters

If you realize, the 24V DC lightings are more efficient than the 12V DC. This depends on the way the converters function and how we size the bowfishing light bulbs. First, the bowfishing light bulbs are stated as 12V DC or even 24V DC but accept more than is stated.

Most 12V DC power converters give out 14 volts, while the 24-volt converters give out 26 volts. Instead of the light bulbs receiving a limited voltage, they receive as much as they can get. Thus, running a bowfish light on a converter becomes brighter than it will while being powered by a battery. In reality, it receives more power running on a converter than on a battery.

A battery can start at 14 volts, then decrease over time as it loses charge and displays a lower power outage. While using a battery, the light bulbs are powered from a limited power, whereas, in a converter, the power is steadier than on a battery.

Connect The Power Converter And Bowfishing Lights

  1. Join all the positive wires in the lightings to a single positive wire (reds are positive) for the overall light amperage. This single positive wire is connected directly to the power converter.
  2. Join all the negative wires in the bowfish lighting together into one single wire for the overall light amperage. This will act as the main negative terminal that is connected to your power converter.
  3. Connect the main positive wire to the positive point of the power converter.
  4. Connect the main negative wire to the negative point of the power converter.

Connect The Power Converter Directly To The Generator

This step is the easiest step in all. The power converter has an outlet where you can connect it directly to your generator at will or elongate it using an extension.


Now that all the hard work is done, time to have fun! You can roll out and fish all night if you wish to without being concerned about your battery draining quickly from light and motor load.

Safety Considerations When Wiring Bowfishing Lights to Generator

While wiring the bowfishing lights to the generator, ensure to get the following things rightly checked before rounding up.

  1. When joining the wires, ensure to properly cover all exposed wires to avoid the dangers of electrocution.
  2. If you can, place the generator on a non-vibrating foam or somewhere safer and padded away from water interference with the generator.
  3. If you can’t insulate any naked wire junction by yourself, contact the store you purchased the generator and have someone insulate it for you.

The Importance of Bowfishing Generators

Bowfishing with generators has some benefits which we can’t ignore if we’re to talk about bowfishing with generators today. They are listed below:


If you are bowfishing with a limited budget, using generators is just a brilliant choice for you. Compared to LED light bulbs, it is by far more affordable to consider.

Great Light Penetration

Also, using generator-powered bulbs gives you better light penetration in the water. This enables you to focus more and get better fishing returns on each trip you make.

Efficient Bulbs

Using bowfishing generators, you can get effective and less expensive light bulbs that last longer than the regular LED bulbs would.


Finally, using generators for bowfishing offers you high-quality at a more affordable cost. You don’t need to spend up to $1,000 to get a generator; even $600 can get you a great generator with less concern.

Final Thoughts

Ever wondered how to wire bowfishing lights to generator? Generator-powered bowfishing lights are very effective, although noisy and loud. Wiring a bowfishing light isn’t rocket science. It’s much simple once you understand what to do. Ensure to get the right system sizing, generator, and power converter sizing, etc.

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