The Shadow-Caster® engineering and design team did not rest on their early success of creating the industry leading SCM-10 underwater light. Customers were happy with the single-color underwater lights but demanded a light that would deliver multiple colors from the same unit. This posed an interesting challenge. This challenge was not in making the light change colors, but how to communicate with the light. Certainly, “toggling the power”, or using an inexpensive RF remote, was the easy answer, but these types of solutions, would never be able to pave the way for control integration, which was and is still the trend in the marine manufacturing industry. The obvious answer was the CAN (Control Area Network) bus. The CAN bus is the core of communications in the marine electronics industry, and widely adopted by all marine manufacturers. Thus, the first CAN bus controlled LED light was created for the marine industry.
This innovation and design choice led Shadow-Caster® down the path of being more than just a lighting company, but a “marine lighting and controls” company. The process has continued with the development of standalone lighting controls and development of Shadow-Caster’s® own standard for CAN bus lighting controls, appropriately labeled “Shadow-NET®”. Through Shadow-NET®, total integration of all of the lighting in a vessel was made possible. The Shadow-NET® protocol along with lighting controllers that support it have gained an industry following and have been implemented by numerous manufacturers for lighting control in their boats.
As Shadow-NET® continued to gain industry wide adoption the need became apparent for a lighting protocol as a standard that all other lighting manufacturers could follow. In 2016 Shadow-Caster’s® president was asked by the NMEA (National Marine Electronics association) to lead the charge of creating and implementing this industry wide standard for lighting control commands for the NMEA2000. In September of 2020 the final release of the standardized lighting control functions for the marine industry were released. Along with Shadow-Caster® releasing the first NMEA2000 lighting controller based on this standar