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Author Topic:   Interior Lighting for Night Operation
contender posted 01-29-2012 08:50 PM ET (US)   Profile for contender   Send Email to contender  
What interior lighting under the gunnels for night use have you used? What company? [Were the lamps using] LEDs or regular [incandescent] bulbs? How far apart [were the lamps] spaced? How many [lamps were used]? Thanks
anthonylisske posted 01-29-2012 09:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for anthonylisske  Send Email to anthonylisske     
I know this sounds like hillbilly engineering, but I took a string of 12-Volt green outside LED string lights and ran them up around the gunnels of my 1972 Smoothside OUTRAGE. They worked awesome. I set them up on my running light circuit breaker. Helene awesome and cheap to boot.
jimh posted 01-29-2012 09:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I'd like to install some under-gunwale lighting, too, using the interior bulwark of the gunwale as a valance. I have looked at some LED string lights shown at a few boat shows, put the price seems a bit high. If someone has a good recommendation on an LED string light that is set up for 12-Volts and can survive in a marine environment, let us know.
contender posted 01-29-2012 10:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for contender  Send Email to contender     
Miami Beach Boat Show in a couple of weeks, (Feb 16-20) this will be one of my
anthonylisske posted 01-29-2012 10:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for anthonylisske  Send Email to anthonylisske     
I picked up my string lights from Kmart. It has been 4 years and they still work great. Get green or red to helpmwith nightvision. I will look next time imam
At the "mart"
an86carrera posted 01-31-2012 05:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for an86carrera  Send Email to an86carrera     
I know someone that can get 12v LEDs for $10/meter if anyone is interested.--Len
Robert V posted 02-02-2012 08:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for Robert V  Send Email to Robert V     
I have been thinking about installing some LED strip lights as well. I found a site,, that have 1' strips for $8.00 each. You can string 10 strips per run with connectors. I think I may install 2 strips under my helm station, mainly because it will be the easiest location for wiring.

The seller is a sponsor on another boating site and has good feedback from forum members. Seems like a good deal and a reputable retailer. Let me know what you think.


contender posted 02-02-2012 12:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for contender  Send Email to contender     
I did some searching at the local marine stores and looked a little on line for some interior lights. I settled on these from TACO, F38-2060. They are about 2 feet long (120 leds) and have 3 rows of leds lites, 2 rows of white and the center row is red. There is a switch at the end of the fixture to change colors. They come with mounts that makes the light removable and they will do me well for placing them under the gunnel, I also will put a ten foot led on the ones that I mount on the right side to use by hand if needed. I purchased 4 of them to place them around my boat In BOW they were $55. each, found them on line for $37.80( no tax no shipping, just waiting.
crabby posted 02-03-2012 01:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for crabby  Send Email to crabby     
Several guys over on sell LED lights. Generally they are the 3528 style, come in various colors, and can be had in rolls up to 5 meters in length. Typical selling price is around $100 for a full roll but at times you can get nice discounts from the normal selling price. These LED strips have 18 LEDs per foot and can be cut every 3 LEDs (in other words, you can have sections as short as 3 LEDs). The strips can be dimmed with an appropriate dimmer, and can be had in an RGB configuration that works in conjunction with a remote control keyfob for various effects.

If you are proficient with a soldering iron it is pretty easy to make up sections and install them yourself (using some adhesive lined heat shrink tubing and silicone to seal the ends and connections). Sometimes the strips are sold with an adhesive backing, other times you need to use some 3M VHB tape. I've also found some plastic clips that work very well as additional mounts. I've made replacement lamps for dome lights, backlighting for photographs, and a few other projects besides gunnel lights.

I've dealt with a guy who uses the handle "bumster" on THT, but there are several respected vendors who will stand behind the product and help you out over there. The strips are available on ebay but as always it's buyer beware. At least the guys on THT have some followers.

Bulldog posted 02-04-2012 05:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bulldog  Send Email to Bulldog     
On my first Whaler,a Newport, I installed a couple LED lights under the gunnels. They were $12 at a large outdoor store in Hamburg, Pa. There are pictures of both my Whalers in my profile, with the Newport at night with lights on, I really liked the lighting and it wasn't distracting.....Jack
bluewaterpirate posted 02-04-2012 08:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
My Ventura came from Whaler with two under gunnel lights plus two more on in the head (has an on/off switch) and one under the helm area that turns on with the under gunnel lights, I changed all of them out to Attwood Red LEDs. They've been running strong 7 years.


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