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Old 01-19-2018, 08:36 AM   #1
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Help sourcing 12V LED cabin lights?

Good morning from the North Country. I am at my wits’ end trying to find a source for 4” round LED cabin lighting to run off my 12v system. I can find plenty of small (2”) round 12v lights, but these produce a more directed beam than I want. I can also find plenty of 4” round LED lights, with the wider beam angle I need, but these are all in 120/220 AC. Anyone know where I can find a low-profile 4” round LED flood light that operates off 12v?

Thanks!!!
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Old 01-19-2018, 08:40 AM   #2
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Good morning from the North Country. I am at my wits’ end trying to find a source for 4” round LED cabin lighting to run off my 12v system. I can find plenty of small (2”) round 12v lights, but these produce a more directed beam than I want. I can also find plenty of 4” round LED lights, with the wider beam angle I need, but these are all in 120/220 AC. Anyone know where I can find a low-profile 4” round LED flood light that operates off 12v?

Thanks!!!

Buy the 120V ones and use a 12V replacement bulb?
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Old 01-19-2018, 08:47 AM   #3
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Except the ones I’m looking at don’t have bulbs. They’re sealed units, essentially round LED panel lights, and they’re very thin. I need the thin profile as I have very little room between my ceiling and the insulation panels stuck to the underside of the top deck.
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Old 01-19-2018, 08:50 AM   #4
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Except the ones I’m looking at don’t have bulbs. They’re sealed units, essentially round LED panel lights, and they’re very thin. I need the thin profile as I have very little room between my ceiling and the insulation panels stuck to the underside of the top deck.
Oh. That's different.

Do you have ready access to one of them? LED's don't care (too much) about voltage, they operate on current. It is entirely likely that they'll light up with a 12V supply depending on the driver circuit (if any). Might have a different brightness than at 120V (higher or lower), but might be acceptable.

Might be worth trying one just for grins.
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Old 01-19-2018, 08:59 AM   #5
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I did try that; I bought a couple of the AC ones off Amazon for about $12 each, thinking I’d just give them 12V and see what happens. The ones that operate on AC come with little transformers that produce DC current to the light itself, but these seem to require minimum 16V, up to 36V. I put 12.8V to them and they just sit there.
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Old 01-19-2018, 09:00 AM   #6
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Why not just replace the blubs?

Marine LED Bulbs & Boat LED light fixtures
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Old 01-19-2018, 09:02 AM   #7
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There are thousands of different LED light assemblies sold on eBay as well as from more conventional vendors.

I disagree with the statement about LEDs not caring about voltage. Supply them with too high a voltage, even for a millisecond and they will fail. Too little voltage and they won't be as bright as they should be or won't light at all.

The best LED lamps will have a constant current driver that will keep the current at the most efficient level even as the voltage varies but the range will be something like 9 to 28 volts.

If you absolutely cannot find what you want in 12 volts but can find them in 120 volts, you could use a small inverter. The problem with this method is, you would have to upgrade the wiring and fixtures to 120 volt standards and that's probably more trouble than it's worth. I probably shouldn't even have mentioned it.
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Old 01-19-2018, 09:03 AM   #8
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I did try that; I bought a couple of the AC ones off Amazon for about $12 each, thinking I’d just give them 12V and see what happens. The ones that operate on AC come with little transformers that produce DC current to the light itself, but these seem to require minimum 16V, up to 36V. I put 12.8V to them and they just sit there.
Are they single, individual fixtures, or a string of many? 16+ volts seems odd for a single LED - are you sure the output is DC from the transformer (it should be on the label)? 16V AC might make more sense if it is converted to DC inside the fixture.....

Any way to open one up (by force) and get a picture of what's inside?
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Old 01-19-2018, 09:28 AM   #9
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I disagree with the statement about LEDs not caring about voltage. Supply them with too high a voltage, even for a millisecond and they will fail. Too little voltage and they won't be as bright as they should be or won't light at all.
That's why I said "(too much)". Going from 120V (now 16V) to 12V is not going to be too high a voltage, and might provide enough light (depending on current).

Then there is PWM......
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Old 01-19-2018, 09:36 AM   #10
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I have used these with great results...

HOLLYWOOD

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 01-19-2018, 09:46 AM   #11
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I have used these with great results...

HOLLYWOOD

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Those are nice. Hard to believe the OP needs less than 0.4" profile.
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Old 01-19-2018, 10:11 AM   #12
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Might try reversing the polarity on the new LED's. Many of them, and we've relamped the entire interior with LED's, only work one way. Switch em around and bingo.
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Old 01-19-2018, 10:19 AM   #13
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Well, it’s true that these are very low profile (although I’m 6’7” and need all the headroom I can get). The problem I saw with these is they can’t be run off a common switch. Not insurmountable I suppose, but not optimal either.
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Old 01-19-2018, 10:21 AM   #14
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Well, it’s true that these are very low profile (although I’m 6’7” and need all the headroom I can get). The problem I saw with these is they can’t be run off a common switch. Not insurmountable I suppose, but not optimal either.
Why can't they be run off a common switch?
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Old 01-19-2018, 10:22 AM   #15
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Well, it’s true that these are very low profile (although I’m 6’7” and need all the headroom I can get). The problem I saw with these is they can’t be run off a common switch. Not insurmountable I suppose, but not optimal either.
Of course they can! You just have to leave all the individual switches in the ON position. Or go inside and bypass the switch yourself.
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Old 01-19-2018, 10:28 AM   #16
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The description of the light on EBay indicates that the switch in the light resets to the “off” position when power is cut to them, i.e., when a central switch is turned off. It’s true that I might be able to “go inside” and route around the switch, but I have few technical skills. It’s what I will try to do if I can’t find a similar light without a switch, though, since these seem to fit the bill in every other way. I’m to the point in my boat-build that I need to install the wiring.
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Old 01-19-2018, 10:32 AM   #17
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The description of the light on EBay indicates that the switch in the light resets to the “off” position when power is cut to them, i.e., when a central switch is turned off. It’s true that I might be able to “go inside” and route around the switch, but I have few technical skills. It’s what I will try to do if I can’t find a similar light without a switch, though, since these seem to fit the bill in every other way. I’m to the point in my boat-build that I need to install the wiring.
Good catch!!! This (old) Amazon Q&A comment indicates there might be another version with a mechanical switch:

Question: When main power is removed from this light, and the light was on at the time, does it stay in the on position?
Answer: No. It is a gated switch held closed by power. If you want such a feature, they offer a light fixture with a center mounted mechanical switch recessed in the dome.
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Old 01-19-2018, 10:49 AM   #18
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Greetings,
Mr. OT. Give these guys a call/e-mail. No connection other than satisfied customer... Apollo Lighting - boat lighting in Fort Lauderdale
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Old 01-19-2018, 11:20 AM   #19
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Thank you, RTF, for giving me the opportunity to surf lighting-porn at work. Clearly Apollo Lighting has exactly what I need, and equally clearly I should buy all my lighting from them. Here’s the conversation I would need to have with my wife; see if you can spot the problem:

“Honey, remember that trip to Australia we’ve been saving for? Well, I spent the ticket money on cabin lighting for the boat! But it’s really high quality stuff, and it’s exactly what we need! Yes! I knew you’d agree that having super-cool cabin lighting is WAY more important than going to Brisbane to visit our daughter! You’re the best!!”
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Old 01-19-2018, 11:23 AM   #20
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Thank you, RTF, for giving me the opportunity to surf lighting-porn at work. Clearly Apollo Lighting has exactly what I need, and equally clearly I should buy all my lighting from them. Here’s the conversation I would need to have with my wife; see if you can spot the problem:

“Honey, remember that trip to Australia we’ve been saving for? Well, I spent the ticket money on cabin lighting for the boat! But it’s really high quality stuff, and it’s exactly what we need! Yes! I knew you’d agree that having super-cool cabin lighting is WAY more important than going to Brisbane to visit our daughter! You’re the best!!”
LOL!

".....and next year we can buy the second fixture!"

Them's pricey!
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