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Author Topic:   Installing Courtesy Lights
islander posted 03-19-2004 06:49 PM ET (US)   Profile for islander   Send Email to islander  
I plan to use my Montauk at night and realize it is hard to see (lack of dock lights) when getting in the boat or when walking around.

I am thinking of installing small lights that shine down on the floor below the steering wheel somewhere, one on each side of the console. These will be low enough not to wreck your night vision.

Has anyone installed small utility lights (like in the movie theater isles) on their console? Did you wire to seperate switch or to Nav lights? What lights did you use?

Any suggestions or opinions are appreciated.

jimp posted 03-19-2004 07:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimp  Send Email to jimp     
islander -

Years ago I wanted lighting on the foredeck of my '82 Montauk, so I mounted a flush mount stern light (West Marine) on the forward portion of the console. I cut the round hole and wired it to a spare switch I had on the console. Worked very well. If you want the lighting aft, you may want to mount something like a white stern light under the RPS, facing down. Just an idea.


Ferdinando posted 03-19-2004 07:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ferdinando  Send Email to Ferdinando     

Funny you should mention, I do a lot of camping on my Montauk and about 4 months ago I installed 3 small LED lights, one on each side of my console(about 5" off the floor) and one on top towards the front.

These LED's are about 3 to 4" long and are totally sealed and waterproof. They were about 14 bucks a piece. I installed one switch that has two functions, lower console lights only and top only.

I bought them at Boaters World, current draw is almost nil and they really light up the floor nicly. I love em.


Chuck Tribolet posted 03-19-2004 08:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
If you use red LEDs they won't screw up your night vision
at all. The LED lights Ferdinando talked about come in
various colors.

I presume his switch has a off position in the center.

Does turning on the anchor light help? It does on my


islander posted 03-19-2004 09:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for islander  Send Email to islander     
Jimp -

Thanks for the stern light idea. That sounds like it would work well in casting a small amount of light down and to the side. Maybe a one red side mount on each side of the console except the bow.

Fernando - LED's ? Oh I forgot about those. What type? Guess I will do a search for those.

Chuck - Like the red color. That is very smart. While the stern light helps aft of the RPS, I was thinking mostly between the RPS and console and each side up to the cooler. Figure lighting on the sides of the console since it will be easy to install and the battery is there.

If you have suggested fixtures, let me know make/model/store.

I figure I will wire up the lights using long lengths of wire and test locations/brightness prior to permanent installation.

Thanks very much.

Chuck Tribolet posted 03-19-2004 11:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
I was surpised how much light the anchor light at the stern
put in FRONT of the console where we gear for a night dive.

There are several LED lights in the West Marine Catalog.
I'm getting ready to install an inside-the-console light
that will remain on for a few minutes after I touch a button.
That way it won't run my battery down if I forget to turn it
off. My first stab used the Aquasignal LED Handylights, but
the connection between the wire and the light was fragile
and the wire disconnected itself before I got much design
work done. Plan B is the Innovative LED Step Lights, which
seem a LITTLE tougher. Both are on page 678 of the new
(2004) West catalog, along with some other LED lights.

It doesn't matter that the battery is in the console, it
matters that there's a fused circuit to pick up power from.
Battery could be in the stern. I've decided to power mine
from the Accessory circuit as part of the need to light the
inside of the console is during the day. But if it's just
night time lights, you could pick up power from the anchor
light, or from the line that feeds power into the anchor
light switch.


John O posted 03-19-2004 11:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for John O    
Try searching under "courtesy lights Tom Clark"

There is some good info on the light options and mounting.

I can not figure out how tom attach previous threads to replys.

simonmeridew posted 03-20-2004 07:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for simonmeridew  Send Email to simonmeridew     
I too planned on installing some type of deck lights on my Montauk this spring; I have bought two types of LED light fixtures:
From West Marine: LED HANDY LIGHT by Aqua Signal, series 16, White. This is a small(1 inch x 11/16 inch x 7/16 inch) base, two LEDs, two wires out the back, and the LEDs point downward at about a 45 degree angle. They're surface mount, and look like they'll work perfectly.

From Cabela's: a surface mount strip LED with a plastic fresnel type lens to focus and concentrate the light, but with a certain amount of diffusion. CAbela's number AE-01-5545. The packaging calls them Unified Marine LED Interior Lights Utility Strip Light. About 2 inches long, 2 wires, surface mount, probably 7 LEDs, so brighter than the West Marine lights.

I haven't installed either type yet; waiting for warmer weather and the snow to leave. I bought two of each, and will probably install a combination of each in various places, I also interested in where others have installed lights on a montauk. Just temporarily wiring to 12v makes me think the smaller angled ones from West Marine will be better as the light can be easily directed where you want it, but time will tell. Previouly I used the anchor lighting but found it ruined night vision and left shadows where I needed light so I wanted something better.
Hope this helps

Ferdinando posted 03-20-2004 09:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ferdinando  Send Email to Ferdinando     

Chuck is right they do come in various colors and the pull switch I installed has the first click with the lower console lights and the 2nd just the top of the console light.

As I mentioned they were from Boaters World, I think they have a row of about 4 to 5 LED's which are totaly sealed
in epoxy. I don't remember the brand but as I said they look great and are just the right amt of light needed.

Good Luck,


Ferdinando posted 03-20-2004 09:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ferdinando  Send Email to Ferdinando     

The lights are SeaSense LED Utility Lights. Catalog # 196790588 in Boaters World, $14.99.


Jim Bennett posted 03-21-2004 11:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jim Bennett  Send Email to Jim Bennett     
In restoring my 73 OR 21 I used LED's from West Marine underneath gunwales behind the RPS and up front under the forward deck. They provide a very low level but adequate in those positions. I also installed round courtesy lights (not LED) as you mention on sides of center console; they were identical to one's on an Aquasport 175 which I also own. They serve dual purpose as they also light up insides of consoles very nicely - obyained them from Aquasport dealer.
islander posted 04-22-2004 12:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for islander  Send Email to islander     
Well, the work is complete. After trying several brands (thanks for all the suggestions) I went with the ICM Courtesy light from Boaters World (part #197410152)

The trick to this install is to wire them to the switch or battery and at NIGHT play with the postion. I noted that with the stern light on, the new lights could be moved forward more that I expected.

Here are photos of the lights (and other April project items)
Note the lights are low so as not to shine above the gunnel and angled a bit forward.

Thanks again guys. I am really pleased.

where2 posted 04-22-2004 05:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
Speaking of inexpensive LED lights to use for deck lighting. Wal-Mart's boating section has SeaSense LED trailer side and rear marker lights (Amber and red respectively). They run about $8... I think I also saw them at Kmart for around the same $.

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