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Lighting Conversion Help

Discussion in 'LEDs and Optoelectronics' started by mcdonca, Dec 5, 2014.

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  1. mcdonca


    Dec 5, 2014

    I want to know if what I am planning on doing will work or direction as to how to make it work.

    I just purchased three sets of the RGB light strips below. I purchased them because I'm an avid fisherman and many times my fishing trips goes past sun down on my boat and I have limited lighting. So, I figured that the best way to light up my boat would be with LED Strips. When I looked into ones that I could buy at a boat or sporting goods store; they were ridiculously priced even though all I had to do was connect them to a Rocker Switch. Therefore I went to trusted EBay and got what I "needed" for a quarter of the price.

    As you will see, the lights comes with a 12v 5a power supply which powers them. Originally I was going to just use the cigarette lighter plug with a DC to AC converter; plugging in the lights when I needed them at night. But the type of person I am, I would like to make them a more clean permanent fixture using a Rocket Switch to turn them off and on; plus the cigarette light runs off my smaller trolling and accessories batteries. I would like to utilize my main batteries which are recharged every time I'm underway from the engine alternator allowing me to have lights all night long if I want without fear of killing the batteries.

    My idea was to just cut the plugs from the power supplies to the port and starboard lights and running the wires to one Rocker Switch and the wires from the power supply to the bow light to the other Rocker Switch and connecting them both to my main batteries. But the more I think about the setup I am wondering if in the long or short run would I burn out the lights and/or the power supplies.

    Will my idea work the way I am thinking, should I bypass the power supplies all together running direct wires from the lights before the power supplies or what should I do to make all three (possibly more smaller lights for my hatches) work off my main engine batteries?

    Thank you any and everyone for your answers and/or directions to make my boat a brighter platform to fish at night.

    Willlight 16.4ft 5050 300leds Waterproof Ip67 Rgbw LED Strip Lights Kit , RGB LED Flexible Lighting + 40key Ir Remote Controller + 12v 5a Power Supply (5050RGB-5M-300Led+44Key+IRC+DC Cable)

    Last edited: Dec 5, 2014
  2. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    The problem may be that your 12v may be somewhat inexact or it may be noisy.

    I have no idea how a boat compares to a car in this case, but in a car the voltage can vary over enough of a range that the LEDs might get upset. In addition to this noise from the ignition and from loads being turned on and off can cause voltage spikes.

    Cheap led strips like this can be both overly sensitive to higher voltages and use lower spec devices which can fail quite rapidly.

    If the cost was reasonably small I would try one string out and see how it goes. If you can limit your use to when the battery is not on charge (I.e. Motor not running) our when heavy loads are turned off and on you should be safer.

    Alternatively you could use an inverted to get mains voltage and use the power supply that comes with these. This will not be so efficient though.
  3. oz93666


    Dec 7, 2014
    Not sure if your using these inside the boat, or outside to declare your presence to others , if inside you might want to buy some white strips too, which will be brighter.
    So to be clear you've bought three lots at 5meters, consuming total of 180w. which will need 3power supplies if run from mains.
    The life of these lights is dependent on voltage, if driven at 10v they will last a lot longer, consume about a quarter of the power and give almost the same intensity of light.
    the dimmer and remote have complicated the set up and are very vulnerable to damp and sea water.
    I would put the whole lot away for another project, and buy some single color strips and wire them to the battery with a resistor or voltage regulator.
  4. sktan


    Feb 27, 2015
    Have you taken a try with your own methold? Did it work?
  5. BobK


    Jan 5, 2010
    It sounds like you bought much more than you needed, unless you need to run it off AC line voltage and change the colors.

    If you just want them for lighting, get strips of white LEDs designed to run off an auto electric system.

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