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Old 09-17-2018, 08:11 AM   #1
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Remote Light Switches

We have lots of overhead lights in the cabin. I've switched them all over to LED, and it's great. The big annoyance now is you have to reach up to turn them each on or off. I'd much rather have light switches mounted on bulkheads, or better yet, wireless remote switches.

But I don't want a parasitic draw from 10 different receivers while anchored.

One thought was to put some sort of remote control module after the built-in switch (only powered when the switch on the fixture is "on".)

I can't run any new wires in the overhead because the wiring was factory installed between the double shell construction. All lighting in the boat is powered from two breakers ("cabin lights fwd" and "cabin lights aft") so there's not much granularity there, either.

I'm wondering if anyone has hit on a good solution I haven't thought of yet.
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Old 09-17-2018, 10:16 AM   #2
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We have lots of overhead lights in the cabin. I've switched them all over to LED, and it's great. The big annoyance now is you have to reach up to turn them each on or off. I'd much rather have light switches mounted on bulkheads, or better yet, wireless remote switches.



But I don't want a parasitic draw from 10 different receivers while anchored.



One thought was to put some sort of remote control module after the built-in switch (only powered when the switch on the fixture is "on".)



I can't run any new wires in the overhead because the wiring was factory installed between the double shell construction. All lighting in the boat is powered from two breakers ("cabin lights fwd" and "cabin lights aft") so there's not much granularity there, either.



I'm wondering if anyone has hit on a good solution I haven't thought of yet.

Iím a little confused. Is this current 1st world problem something that you didnít have before you switched the bulbs out to LED?

It seems to me your solution is to retire them. If all the light in that area are on the same circuit, which I imagine they are, then I would also bet they have a + or - that supplies them all. Just put a switch in that, mount it in a reasonably convenient spot, and then leave each individual light on and control them with the switch?
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Old 09-17-2018, 11:07 AM   #3
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Old 09-17-2018, 12:59 PM   #4
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I can't run any new wires in the overhead because the wiring was factory installed between the double shell construction. All lighting in the boat is powered from two breakers ("cabin lights fwd" and "cabin lights aft") so there's not much granularity there, either.
So there's no actual light switch? They're (ab)using a breaker to control just regular lighting?

And there's no cavity where the lights are running to accommodate any sort of regular wire for a light switch?

I'd think one approach would be to find a place you want a light switch and then splice in-between the breaker and the lighting circuit. Run wire to/from the switch location back to the breaker panel. Since you're using LED the amount of load is going to be a lot less, so you won't need to exceed whatever existing wire gauge is in there already. That'd at least get you switch control instead flipping breakers all the time. With luck there will be some points in the wiring where you might be able to find how the lights branch. Likewise connecting switches to those branching points.
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Old 09-17-2018, 12:59 PM   #5
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In my salon I have a series of overhead lights on the same switch. Each has a mini switch mounted in a tiny hole in the light cover. So I can walk down the line of lights and quickly switch some on or off.
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Old 09-19-2018, 04:57 AM   #6
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Some of / on switches are small and hard to locate in the dark.

Simple solution is a pull switch .Your guests can find them easily too.

Many early TT had SS overhead dome lights that use a switch with the same sized hole as the pull switch.

A real EZ swop.
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Old 09-19-2018, 10:18 AM   #7
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What about using a motion detection sensor?
I have no idea what type battery drain that uses.
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Old 09-19-2018, 11:13 AM   #8
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The Corvette guys use simple 12V wireless switches all the time to control their exhausts if you want to wire it into the Main light Pwr supply. Search wireless 12 switch on Amazon. Most come with 2 remotes and are under $20
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Old 09-20-2018, 07:27 AM   #9
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This idea of going to LED lights in the cabin led me to do something to retrofit my existing lights with teak trim that use b15d incandescent bulbs Each light base has its own toggle switch.

G4 led seem to be the cheapest way to go, and adapters exist to let them fit in other sockets. You dont need swiveling adapters if the bulbs are 360* light output. (Some G4 bulbs are flat discs where they send the light only down, so a swiveling adapter, expensive, might be needed)

I bought ba15d to g4 adapters, 10 of them, the barely stick out from the original socket, enough to twist them in.
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/10pc...ceBeautifyAB=0

I got 10 G4 led dimmable led bulbs comparable to 50 watt halogens, they put out 540 lumens. Lumens, you have to be careful to get enough lumens. And these are short enough to fit my bases.
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/G4-L...4cba3c00EEhPrh

I got a LED PWM dimmer with a remote to turn on and off and select light level. Get LED bulbs advertised as dimmable, or the dimmers may not dim them.
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/DC12...cea2e5d9&tpp=1

the dimmer is put inline with the power wire running to the lights.
I know where the junction is, on my boat inside the helm station where all the other wires are.

If parasitic power drain is a concern, then put a switch in front of the remote. The remote does turn on and off the lights, but it must use a small amount of power checking to see if you push the on button.
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Old 09-20-2018, 09:51 AM   #10
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Mine are the same, though I have not made the switch to LED.
I find that even my shortish (5'4") wife has no trouble reaching up to the fixture to get or eliminate light. Years ago I changed out the flourescent circle fixtures to halogen spots, and I mounted new push button switches at each of them. Not tired of reaching up just yet.
In the heads, galley and aft cabin I have renewed with small dome lights that likely are exactly what my boat was originally equipped with.
The V berth never had a ceiling light, but I was able to put a halogen spot through the wall that separates that space from the back of the fridge, so now have that, with a wall switch accessible both from the doorway and the bed. Otherwise, with the wiring in the ceiling space, there is no way to conveniently put in remote switches.
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Old 09-20-2018, 10:16 AM   #11
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I am going with LED mostly because they draw a lot less power. And they don't heat up as much. I burned my arm on the AC vanity bulbs. and when a curtain sat on those, it charred the fabric. All the AC powered LED bulbs are real bright. I have been in the past disappointed with the lumens from DC powered LED I bought, so I hope these new ones are bright like they say. LED seems to be getting a lot better.

In the engine room, I had 12vdc incandescent bulbs in heavy glass caged fixtures, and I hated them. They were poor light output and burned out fast. I switched the wiring to AC power, and put in LED 60 watts each and they are very bright and last. I will always have AC power on the boat. I have 2 inverters and a gen, and the light are GFCI protected circuit.
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