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Old 02-04-2016, 02:49 AM   #1
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Homemade LED Light Fixture

Recently I replaced all the original 1978 light fixtures in my trawler with LED Light fixtures. This has reduced my energy consumption for lighting by 75%. Each fixture consumes ~.3 amps as opposed to the 1.6 amps the old ones required. This is a fairly easy project and requires no special skills.

Material List:
- On/Off Switch (Amazon.com) Cost ~ $.50 each
- Pancake style LED (Amazon.com) Cost ~ $7 each
- Fabricated some round bases from 3/4" thick Mahogany to jazz them up!

I've attached some pictures so you can see the outcome.

Benefits:
- Less Power Consumption
- Brighter (I used the warmer white color of LED)

Downsides
- Less effective at capturing bugs (see attached photo)
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Old 02-04-2016, 06:09 AM   #2
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Good job and very interesting. Thank you!
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Old 02-04-2016, 07:38 AM   #3
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I did the same about 3 years ago...maybe just the pancake lights I bought, but stuck to the metal inside of the fixture, they generated enough heat to melt the adhesive off the backs and fall into the fixture.


Fortunately I have glass, but if you have plastic, my lights would certainly melt through them.


Looking closely at yours, mine were just replacement bulb LEDs and exposed where yours seem enclosed in a shell.


So for any other do it yourselfers, even the straight replacement bulbs can be tricky...I would suggest sticking (no pun) with the bayonet mount versus the stick on and adapter type bulbs or the wholly contained fixture type posted above.
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Old 02-04-2016, 10:45 AM   #4
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Modified all 18 existing fixtures using Cheap LED lights for your Boat From Ikea about ten years ago on my previous boat and just completed the same project on my new(er) boat.
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Old 02-04-2016, 12:45 PM   #5
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Ya betcha - LED is the only way to go. Last year I changed most lights to LED. Bought LED nav lights. We have side-deck lights that are both white/red (looks great when red for Christmas) that I changed to LED. This year after the new panel is installed I'll re-light the engine rm & lower aft area to LED. As a matter of fact, I'm running the new wire for the lower areas today for the new lighting systems.
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Old 02-04-2016, 01:25 PM   #6
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Nice work, Mike! I converted that same square light and my other florescent light to LED about 1 1/2 yrs ago, the same week we met at the Not-So-Secret Cove.



I used LED strips and just gutted the fluorescent parts, keeping the switch.





What a huge difference it makes in power consumption. Hope our wakes cross again this summer!
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Old 02-04-2016, 01:47 PM   #7
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FlyWright's Lights

Al,

Good job on converting those original lights. By doing so, you retained their superior bug collection properties. A feature I dropped in the design I implemented.

It would be great to cross wakes again this year. I'll have more time as I have left the world of 9-5 behind....

Cheers,
Capt. Mike
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Old 02-04-2016, 03:35 PM   #8
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Changed all mine to LED during the last two months.
Took out compact fluorescents, went from 60 watt equivalent
to 100 watt equivalent.
All fixtures using 110 volt DC.

Here are 2 of the fixtures:

Ted
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Old 02-04-2016, 06:36 PM   #9
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More ideas

Fixture conversion
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Old 02-04-2016, 06:43 PM   #10
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My experience has been like ps, the stick ons fall off.
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Old 02-04-2016, 07:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kulas44 View Post
My experience has been like ps, the stick ons fall off.
On my fluorescent tube conversion ones with tape light...I was able to use wire ties to help with the tape to hold.

Even they are no where near as bad as my puck replacements...they get so hot they burn themselves out in a year or so because they lie in the bottom against the glass domes.. When they are all gone I will look for something like boatpoker did.
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Old 02-04-2016, 07:50 PM   #12
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Greetings,
Mr. ps. Not a criticism, an observation...I thought LED's were supposed to run cool. If one is altering the original design of a light fixture AND the LED's run hot, wouldn't that be concern for a source of fire? I was getting quite interested in this potential conversion until...
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Old 02-04-2016, 07:56 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by RT Firefly View Post
Greetings,
Mr. ps. Not a criticism, an observation...I thought LED's were supposed to run cool. If one is altering the original design of a light fixture AND the LED's run hot, wouldn't that be concern for a source of fire? I was getting quite interested in this potential conversion until...
Not a concern for fire..but don't believe all LEDs run cool...concentrate enough together and they produce heat.

As Kulas44 posted too..the wafer ones with the higher ouput LEDs produce enough heat to melt the 3M foam tape they use to stuck to stuff.

Mine are laying in the glass dome...I have IRed them numerous times and checked repeatedly...hot...but not hot enough to crack the glass or heat the entire fixture to combustibility.
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Old 02-05-2016, 08:51 AM   #14
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Nice work! I might add something similar to my project list.

The old plastic overhead light fixtures in my boat were crumbling. These are the standard square fixtures with a strip of wood-look adhesive strip stuck around the outside. I remember having the same model in an old camper I owned many years ago. They were produced for decades. Until just before I tried to buy replacements.

I ended up with an even cheaper-looking replacement:


But at least they covered up the square outlines, and screw holes, in the overhead.

Then I had to buy LED boards with the right bulb base. As above, the adhesive didn't work and they fell down and melted the plastic dome. I solved that problem by making a square of 1/2" wire mesh that fit inside the dome and kept the LEDs above it.
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Old 02-05-2016, 09:12 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RT Firefly View Post
I thought LED's were supposed to run cool. If one is altering the original design of a light fixture AND the LED's run hot, wouldn't that be concern for a source of fire? I was getting quite interested in this potential conversion until...
LED's life depends on them running cool. If you have LEDs that are running hot, you're dissipating too much power through them. In many cases, you have a power supply designed to power a 16' string and you're using it to power 2' string. Cheaper power supplies are not current limiting so it outputs what you need. They are usually set at some generic set point and that can over-drive the LED's and burn them out.

When you say hot LED, they are still nowhere near as hot as halogen lights.

My flashlight outputs 1200 lumens and is an LED light. It heats up if you accidentally click it on in your pocket... So the tail cap becomes a 'safety' so a quarter turn loose will keep the flashlight from lighting. It is also thermally protected. Once it gets hot, it throttles the light output back to protect the LED and circuit.



Same thing with CFL's, LED's need to run fairly cool (under 100 degrees) or they shorten the life of the device.
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Old 02-05-2016, 02:51 PM   #16
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These kind of issues are not uncommon in the el cheapo LEDs out there. Also the ones that do not have constant current circuitry will be shorter lived on a boats 12v system. I learned some of these things the hard way and have found paying up a little for MarineBeam products is cheaper in the long run.

I really like that wood trim rink in the OP, beautiful work.

Ted: did you mean 110 AC ?
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Old 02-05-2016, 02:56 PM   #17
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George,
No, I did mean 110 volt direct current.
It doe's complicate some things, like motors but works with
resistance loads like lights and heaters.

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