Courtesy Lighting Switch Selection

Electrical and electronic topics for small boats
Beerspitnight
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Location: Beijing, PRC & Lavallette, NJ
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Courtesy Lighting Switch Selection

Postby Beerspitnight » Thu May 05, 2016 11:12 pm

Hello. I purchased two HELLA MARINE Easy Fit step lamps with stainless steel caps that I will use for courtesy lighting on my Montauk 17.

Aside: I spent a considerable amount of time finding these lamps as there was not an option to purchase them on-line. I contacted Hella Marine and was put in touch with their rep in Asia. He then put me in contact with a distributor in Shenzhen, China. One of the ladies in my office was able to contact the distributor, and they sent the two lamps up to Beijing, minus the screws (stainless steel 4G x 5/8 pan head Pozi-drive self-tapping). I will need to buy the screws upon my arrival back in the USA.

I plan to install the lights on each side of the console. I have read up on best practices for drilling (relatively) small holes in the console, and I will follow that advice.

In regard tp the type of switch I should use to operate the lights: my dash is a bit of a mismatch at the moment, with a combination of OEM switches and newer plastic switches. I would like to restore the dash at some point, but not this summer.

With that being said, I do like the COLE HERSEE two-position push-pull switch M-530 http://www.littelfuse.com/products/switches/push-pull-switches/marine-push-pull-switches/m_530.aspx

But perhaps I should use a simple toggle switch instead? Or, should I look to use a different style switch?

Thanks in advance for your insight and thoughts.

Brian
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1989 MONTAUK 17

Oldslowandugly
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Re: Courtesy Lights - Switch Selection

Postby Oldslowandugly » Fri May 06, 2016 10:16 am

I like Cole Hersee as well as Blue Seas for anything electrical. That particular switch you posted is normally "ON" so that would not be a good choice. I use that same pull switch for my navigation lights but it's the model that is "OFF-one ON- both ON". It is normally off, then just anchor light, then both anchor and bow lights. Assuming you are going to tap into an already fused lighting circuit then the switch choice is dependent on what you desire. Both on at the same time? Only one at a time? Just about any configuration you desire is available except maybe "OFF-only #1 ON- only #2 ON- both ON" but I could be wrong. In not then for that you would probably need two separate switches.

jimh
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Re: Courtesy Lighting Switch Selection

Postby jimh » Fri May 06, 2016 12:30 pm

It was typical that on a classic Boston Whaler boat there would be three Cole-Hersee pull switches provided. Usually only one was pre-wired, and that was to control the navigation lighting. On my classic Boston Whaler the second switch controlled COMPASS LIGHTING. If your existing center console dashboard does not have those three switches already installed, I would be surprised. What year is your MONTAUK?

The Cole-Hersee pull switches have a classic look, and they seem to be quite durable. That they are still made is perhaps a testament to their enduring design and utility.

I will confess that on my own helm console I have both the classic Cole-Hersee pull switches and one lone bat-handle toggle switch. There was a pre-existing hole in the aluminum panel that I wanted to fill, and I filled that hole with a toggle switch. I wanted an illuminated switch because the circuit that was being controlled was not a lighting circuit, that is, I couldn't easy see that the circuit was energized by the lamps being illuminated. And it was easier and faster to find a toggle switch on the shelf at my local marine dealer than to order a Cole-Hersee switch.

By the way, I have been planning to add some courtesy lighting to the cockpit of my boat, but I never seem to get it accomplished. One of the reasons for that is difficulty in finding just the right lamps. Your narrative of how you came to buy the lamps you will be using is quite complicated. Aren't there any decent lamps available off-the-shelf?

OldKenT
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Re: Courtesy Lighting Switch Selection

Postby OldKenT » Sat May 07, 2016 7:45 am

If you search for "hella marine easy fit", you will find these available online.
[Like this: http://www.hellamarine.com/en/products/courtesy-lamps/step/--jimh]

[The Hella Marine Easy Fit LED courtesy lamps] appear to be very nicely matched to your purpose. As you would normally be using these at night, consider the red led version which might help to avoid night blindness if everything else around you is pitch black. However, the red won't provide as much illumination as white light, especially if there is other general lighting in the area, but it might be enough to guide the way. It all depends on your needs and likely use. I second the comments on switch selection - you want generally off, pull for on.

Beerspitnight
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Re: Courtesy Lighting Switch Selection

Postby Beerspitnight » Sun May 08, 2016 10:19 pm

jimh wrote: What year is your MONTAUK?

1989

jimh wrote:By the way, I have been planning to add some courtesy lighting to the cockpit of my boat, but I never seem to get it accomplished. One of the reasons for that is difficulty in finding just the right lamps. Your narrative of how you came to buy the lamps you will be using is quite complicated. Aren't there any decent lamps available off-the-shelf?


I searched for a long time to find the type of lamp that I wanted. The HELLA MARINE EASY FIT with the stainless steel cap fit the bill. I was looking for an online retailer, but was not able to find one. I did find a few of the Hella Marine Easy Fit lamps on Amazon, but not with the stainless steel cap. HELLA MARINE does not sell items via their website. I could have used a local retailer in NJ to purchase the lights, but I wanted to have the lamps prior to heading home to NJ.

A quick search on hellamarine.com shows two retailers in Michigan that sell HELLA MARINE products.

They are very nice lamps and I am very happy that I selected them.

Thanks for the primer on the Cole-Hersee pull switches, Jimh.

Perhaps the Cole-Hersee M531 switch would be a good choice for this application. I have been thinking about installing LED strip lighting (RBG/W) at some point. I would like to raise my console and was thinking about installing a strip on the underside of the console raiser. That switch may allow me to turn on the courtesy lights and the LED strip lights separately. That project, however, is for the future.

Oldslowandugly - thanks for picking on on the fact that the first switch I mentioned was normally "ON".

OldKenT - I did think about getting the lamp with a red LED, but I like the warm white LED.
1989 MONTAUK 17