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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Engine Room LED Lighting

One thing I want is a well lit engine room. Well lit such that one does not have to take a flashlight and stick it in corners to generally inspect things. My first attempt at a solution involves LED strip lighting. The LED strips used here are waterproof, flexible, with an adhesive backing. They can be daisy-chained end to end to make a longer strip. There are 32 LEDs per strip and are of the RGB type (red,green,blue) which means the strip can be programmed to whatever color you want.
LED lighting in "white" mode

The home-made controller has a couple push button switches for on/off and color selection (for now colors are white and red). There is also a knob to dim the LEDs to desired intensity.

I have started with four LED strips (128 LEDs total) and have installed them around the engine room worksurface. This is very much a prototype to see how well it functions. Initial results show these LED strips provide nice ambient light, but they are not sufficient as a "work light" when you want something bright and focused.
LED lighting in "red" mode

I have some more ideas for expanding the strip lighting functions, using the engine room as the test application. Depending on how things go, I may use more throughout the boat. More on this later.

6 comments:

The Incredible Hull said...

Jasus, wheres the disco ball?, lol.

Robert Sutton said...

Be patient, I am working on that...

Dani said...

Funny you should post about RGB LED lights, Tate and I were just talking about the waterproof strips last night. Where did you get yours? They look great, and I love the changing color.
Dani

Robert Sutton said...

Dani, the LED strips I am using come from here http://bit.ly/zsgFig . There are cheaper ones available on the same site and eBay. And, if you are not into building your own controller, there are a number of pre-made LED control modules out there too.

Dani said...

Thanks Robert! Its so funny that we are working on the electrical and lighting..Just like you.

Small world.

Jesse said...

Great idea on the lights, we did the same on all the toe-kicks throughout our 42, with a rocker for red/white. glows out the floor nicely. We used the 12V LED ropelight from Imtra, but there are cheaper options out there for sure