Spreader Lights

Published date: December 9, 2011
  • Boat Type: Boat Type

Again I'll state I'm not a sailor that will skimp on products when it comes to my boat, HOWEVER, I like to think I'm no fool either! I mean $170-210 USD each for an LED Spreader light? Sure, looks cool, but I'm not laying out ~$400 to light the deck! There has to be a better way. I think there is, and I believe I found it.

The criteria are: 12V LED Technology, Waterproof, EASY and inexpensive bulb replacement, and should look decent. I think I scored a 10 in each category but looks, I'll be honest and call it a 5, but they rather grown on me so I do like them. What's important is how well the work! The solution was found by thinking outside the box, like how many of our fellow Mac owners already do. I did a search in Google for 12V Landscape spotlights and came across SoCal Lighting. It's there that I spotted these cast aluminum spot lights.
Now NOT knowing what 5W 60 deg LED spots were going to do for me, I figured @ ~$35 for the housing, and ~$35 for the bulb, At least I'm not almost triple that cost if I don't like it!

Mounting was easy enough. The most difficult portion of the whole process was installing the electrical runs as this is actually part of a group of Mods to my mast, which included these Spreader Lights, a Flag Spotlight (using the same housing/bulb), the Anchor Light, Masthead Light, all of which is incorporated in the same 5 conductor electrical harness. I also ran the coax for the 3db Masthead Antenna, and the wiring for the PA Hailer Horn.

One of the benefits of choosing an aluminum housing is it's resistance to saltwater corrosion, provided you take the proper precautions regarding use of the stainless steel mounting hardware such as liberal use of an Anti-Seize Thread Lubricant, is it's ease to work with, like drilling. I purchased a couple of rail mount Johnston Roller Furling Bail's and removed the Eye Straps themselves (putting them aside for future use) from the rail mount portion and I mounted the aluminum housing to the rail mount . The rail mount easily mounts to the spreader with a neat and about as clean an installation one can ask for. The wires enter the spreader via a grommet installed in a hole I drilled, where they're spliced to the mast harness. I use grommets as well where the wires pass into the mast proper itself.
I like these; they really light up the cabin top at night. Very useful in a dark anchorage, or at the boat ramp at the end of the day if you came in when it's dark.

ALWAYS check the documentation that comes with the equipment you purchase for installations, minimum wire Gauges, etc. Following any advice here is done entirely at your own risk, with no liability to this site, the site owner, or to the poster of that information.
Suggested Sources.

Spot Light: 12v LED MR16 Mariner Style Cast Aluminum Spot/Flood Uplight (5W 60 deg), P/N: SR-WE135LED, MFR: SoCal Lights

Mounting Hardware: Roller Furling Bail, P/N: 40-505, MFR: C.S. Johnson, Vendor: Defender # 614089

Published by: Laika 26X

Model Year: 2002
Photo Caption: Panel and Schematic

Spreader Lights in Day light

Spreader Lights at night


Useful information

  • Perform modifications at your own risk
  • Fully research modifications before performing yourself
  • All mods are listed as is with no waranty
  • This site does not make any claims about the validity or safety of modifications posted.

Related Mods

  • Anchor Light and Windvane
    Anchor Light and Windvane
    Lighting - - December 1, 2019

    This picture shows the mount for the anchor light and windvane. We didn't have a mast cap, so I used a piece of plexiglass (B) that I mounted on the brackets that the backstay attaches to. I picked plexiglass because it was handy, and it doesn't stan...

  • Light In Head
    Light In Head
    Lighting - - December 1, 2019

    Here is a picture of the light we put in the head. We put a similar one over the rear berth. In both we use a light with a white AND red light bulb with a dual position switch. By turning on the red light, you reduce the reduction of your night visio...

  • Light in the headroom
    Light in the headroom
    Lighting - - December 1, 2019

    I placed it over the hole closed by the plate hiding the winch bolts. The main problem here was to route the wiring to the panel. Just now there is no separat switch besides that at the light itself. Published by: MS Classifieds