Woot woot! We have light people. No more cockpit darkness at night!
Our boat came equipped with were zero lights in the cockpit. At night you can’t see anything. Not really the brightest (pun intended), if you ask me. 😉
So, one of the items on our never-ending boat project list was to install some form of LED under-lighting to solve this problem.
We originally thought we would need to install two LED lights in the shelf units of the cockpit. However, we quickly realized that would require too much wiring in “hard-to-reach” places. So, we opted to mount one Lumitec LED Rail2 Light (cost $60) directly beneath the traveler in the forward most part of the cockpit. This perfect spot for the light install is only about 12 inches away from our main electrical panel. This was also a cost-savings win-win since we would only need one light, AND way less wiring (12 inches of wiring vs. 12 feet for the original plan).
Now this is where the fun always starts. The install.
Once the new LED light finally arrived, Jereme drilled three holes in the area — two for the screws that would hold the light in place, and one for the wire. The LED light came with roughly 6 inches of wire, clearly not enough to reach the electrical panel. So, Jereme extended it and added 6 inches of wire.
Jereme consulted with our good friend Chris, and used his electrical know-how and great (FREE!) advice on how to properly wire the new light to what appeared at first glance to be a very confusing electrical panel. The previous owner had surprisingly neatly labeled, numbered. and organized the panel, making finding the right slot pretty simple. The harder part was really figuring out how the whole electrical system/layout worked.
Luckily, we recently removed the shower bilge sump pump alltogether, which freed up a switch on our already-full panel. Jereme wired the new LED light to that free switch. All we had to do then is relabel the switch from “shower bilge” to “cockpit light.”
The neat thing about the new light we chose is that it has two colors, red and white…AND a dimmer capability! (The red light looks pretty snazzy if I do say so myself!) All of those features are wired off of the two wires and one switch. Normally, you would need a few switches and a couple dimmers. But on ours you can toggle between colors and level of brightness, all by switching on and off ONE switch.
Our never-ending boat project list lit up in all its glory by our new fancy LED cockpit light!
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