Originally Posted by WesK
I would not power 12 volt lamps with120 volts. They may not be insulated for this voltage.
Why not use 12 volt LED bulbs? You should always have 12 volts DC available. I would hate to have to fire up a genset to light a lamp.
I can not find any bright 12 vdc bulbs that compare to the brightness of the 120 vac bulbs.
They certainly will function fine, LED take very little power, so very small amp load on the switches and wires. The wires are all 16 gauge, of course just 2 wire no grounds.
The insulation issue is definitely a problem according to code but nullified by a GFCI.
I am a reasonable minded person I think anyway. On land, if you have a 120vac circuit GFCI protected, the ground according to code in unnecessary.
I have two installed inverters I can use to power lights etc...
I switched my bilge lights to all 120 vac LED bulbs. They have the large screw in edison sockets. For them I did switch out the wires to 3 wire. Did that because it was easy. These other lights though are buried under the headliner.
A b15d socket has no power running thru the metal base, it only runs thru the pins.
So it is better even than the screw in bulbs which have the neutral attached to the bases.
If polarity was reversed on a screw in bulb, the base becomes hot so an electrocution hazard.
The code issue is really that the supply wires are not rated for 120vac seeing they are single
insulated, of course plug in house lamps do the same thing. But see with a GFCI not a problem.
The existing boat wires are just basically 16 gauge grey lamp cord, like you have on all 120 vac house lamps.