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LED Cockpit Lighting

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Megabyte

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This is a project I'd been planning for awhile, and I finally got the time to actually install. I wanted cockpit lighting for those early morning, or after dark fishing sorties... In conjunction with my plan to eventually replace (almost) all of my incandescent lights with LED's, I selected "marker, double bulls-eye" truck marker lights from SuperBrightLED's...

http://www.superbrightleds.com/truck_lights.htm

I installed three of the marker lights under each gunwale, and replaced the bulbs in the OEM, Parker installed, Attwood fixtures with LED replacements. This gives me 4 red LED lights under each gunwale which casts a nice red glow throughout the cockpit.





I also replaced the light inside the pilothouse with an LED unit that has a 3 position switch for: Red...Off...White

The only incandescent light left on the boat is the cockpit flood light mounted up behind the rocket launcher, just in case I need a LOT of light. :D



Two other items that were done at the same time...

This coming winter I plan on installing a cockpit driving station (sourced from a 25' C-Hawk). I've had the Icom remote microphone for my Icom 502a on my "parts shelf" for some time, so I decided to go ahead and mount it under the gunwale, in the area where the steering station will eventually be mounted.
Now I don't have to keep going into the cabin to answer the VHF. ;)



Finally, a simple one... I mounted a very sharp folding knife under the stbd gunwale using marine velcro. How many times have we all needed a knife right now while fishing?
Now I have one in the cockpit and another mounted on the helm (also mounted with velcro).



BTW - This is what the lights look like at night.

 

John_Madison CT

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I'm gonna copy that project. Those red lights are great looking and excellent for my night fishing.

BTW, can you please be specific on the bulk replacement for the other Parker installed cockpit lights.
 

Megabyte

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John_Madison CT":1giki6f8 said:
I'm gonna copy that project. Those red lights can you please be specific on the bulk replacement for the other Parker installed cockpit lights.
If you're referring to the Attwood fixtures seen all the way forward in this photo, right over the top of that black 5gal bucket on the far left...



The fixture holds a standard automotive bulb, though I don't recall the number right now (1156 or 1157 maybe?). It is a standard automotive tail light bulb.

I went to the superbrightleds.com web site, and it appears that they have changed their web site since I posted that project. The correct page for those bulbs is now located here:

http://www.superbrightleds.com/tail-brake-turn.html

Hope this answers your question.
 

John_Madison CT

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Kevin: SuperbrightLEDs.com owes you a commission. I just ordered 6 of the lights you used for your cockpit. With the existing cockpit lights Parker has, it should be a relatively easy install.

John
 

SamR

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Did the same to my ride but used the ALS series Accent Light Strings instead. Three strings per side and I kept the existing white lights. Makes those pre-dawn starts much easier. Not a great photo but you get the idea :)
 

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jhill10110

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I just ordered the lights to start this project on my 2100SE. I haven't done any electrical projects on my boat before, what do you recommend for wiring and connections? Should I solder and then use a heat shrink tube or is there a better connector to use?
 

parker25fins

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love the lighting but the command mike mounted under the gunnel (?) is a fabulous idea have one coming from the rebate or command mike deal now I know where to mount it
 

gerg

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Those atwood cockpit lights were a pita. The bulbs kept going out on them. Not blown, just out. There must have been some corrosion on the contacts or something.

I just pitched them and replaced them with perko's. The perko's use festoon bulbs which don't seem to be so prone to flaking out. Anyway, superbrightleds makes led replacements for those as well. I changed mine to red.
 

gerg

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I have indirect red led lighting similar to what megabyte used in his project.

As a result, I ended up having an interesting conversation with one of the new london ferry captains last night.

We were coming back from bartletts reef, and the fog was returning, and it was dark, so visibility was pretty non-existant. It was navigation by radar and chartplotter. It seems I've been doing that a lot lately.

Anyway, as I was heading up the thames river, I managed to time it right at the shift change of the ferries. After almost bumping into the southbound ferry (not really, but it was a surprise to see them pop out of the fog on my side of the river), the northbound ferry came up behind me.

The captain later hailed me and let me know that the red cockpit lighting confused him. While another rec boat wouldn't be able to see it, he is on the bridge of a 200 foot ferry about 50 feet off the water. He said he had to really look closely to make sure I wasn't a different boat heading at him, not one heading away.

He knew which way I was heading because I called him and let him know I was there (these things look like quarters on the radar screen, not hard to miss - but they are so big you can't tell exactly where they are). They monitor channel 13 so it is important to talk to them when you can't see where you are going.

He also related a story of being behind a cc coming through plum gut and almost had to make a drastic course change because he mistook a bright green chartplotter as a nav light.

So anyway, moral of the story is that while they are great for night vision, and look really cool, they are confusing from a navigational sense. Don 't assume nobody can see them because it only lights up the floor of your cockpit. Also be aware of any bright colored electronics in your cockpit and whether someone hehind and above you might think they are running lights.
 

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