LED Lighting 70% Panel 1 0f 3

Published date: September 29, 2012
  • Boat Type: Boat Type

LED Lighting Electrical Panel

I am doing an interim LED light install for my 26x. The Lights won't be interim but I plan to eventually relocate the control panel. For now I figured the smartest move would be to locate a new panel in the current forward bulkhead location (above the Vee Berth). I know that there are other significantly talented and capable folks on this site and I am borrowing a bit from their great input and showing more of a closeup for those needing projects for their boats. ;)

Photo 1. Kitbashing. I trimmed down this currently available West Marine panel to fit the bulkhead in a similar manner to the original narrower one. If you trim it right at the contour changes, you can lightly sand the ABS plastic to appear as the new contour and still have adequate space for new mounting holes and clearances. I wanted a red/white overall light switch and overall dimmer functionality in the panel. I don't care for the look of slide switches but here is an actually practical application of one that works well with the black ABS cover. On/off, RED/WHITE and dim, all in a row.

Photo 2. Making it neat. I chose to go DPST with the slide switch and run three wires to the LED's. I could also have instead used DPDT functionality and two wires reversed for RED or WHITE, but I decided I could leverage greater future functionality with three wires. So: a. A DPST slide switch mounted with 4-40 screws, a $5 ebay dimmer disassembled to its inner parts and mounted with standoffs, the potentiometer mounted separately. I finished with aircraft Tefzel wires I have handy and wax ties for neatness. I prefer the 'old school' special aircraft waxed string ties over plastic 'zip ties'. The wax string holds up well in the heat where zip ties eventually fail. The aircraft industry even now still uses wax string ties for wire control in commercial and military birds. look it up, it is cheap and plentiful as you tie your own knots.

Photo 3. Switch closeup.

West Marine power panel, Standard solder crimping and wire nipping and stripping tools, A power supply is useful for testing. Wax string. Some 16 guage wire. Crimp on connectors. Dimmer, DPDT or SPDT slide switch and, 3/4" standoffs and a host of 4-40 screws. Total time so far, 5 hours

I will have a detail of a converted landscape LED Lighting fixture in my next installment

Published by: windypatrick


Model Year: 1998
Photo Caption: Photo 1-Electrical Lighting Panel

Photo 2 - Backside electrics

Photo 3 - Dimmer and slide closeup

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