LED lights for boats, yachts and other vessels are bright, cool and efficient. There are long-lived making them impossible not to like. 12v LED yacht lights can make navigation more than three times easier than conventional halogen lights. 12 volt LED lights are here to stay and although they cost more than conventional lights, they are certainly worth the purchase.
Here are some installation tips for LED boat lights.
Match the Old Lights
There are several LED light brands for boats. Find the right size match for your old incandescent light fixture, which will save you the patch job. If you can’t find the right match, get a larger footprint. Green and red navigation lights should meet coast-guard illumination requirements. See more at our Boat Lighting YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDXl6X0c1eBWMOnlz_Tbp1w
Remove Old Lights
Remove all old fixtures; cut your negative and positive wires and inspect the remaining wires for chafing, corrosion and other damages. Replace any suspects with marine-grade wires for the entire run. Scuff off any gasket residue or old sealant on the mounting surface, being careful enough not to gouge out the finishing. Patch any holes that you can’t use and clean the mounting surface with acetone.
Wire the Fixture
Electrical wires for 12 volt LED boat lights often run through hard-to-reach areas in the bow, so it is very important to seal wires against corrosion and moisture. Coat stripped end of the wires with dielectric grease. Splice the pigtails of your LEDs to the power leads with crimp-on butt connectors that have heat-shrink collars. Use heat shrink tubing to cover the connection before using a heat seal gun to tightly seal it.
Position the Light
Using a single bicolor light, place your fixture on the bow pointing directly ahead and make sure the 12v LED lighting pattern is correct. Curving bows, bulwarks and separate sidelights can make a bit tricky to position. separate lights don’t need to be in the bow as long as they meet visibility requirements.
Mark and Drill Holes
Once your fixture is positioned properly, mark and drill the mounting holes. Try pre-fitting each mounting screw gently then removing it to ensure the hole remains of the right size.
Install the fixture
Most 12v LED boat and marine lights come as solid water-proof units. Gently install your LED lights using stainless steel, plastic or chrome-brass screws to complete installation.
If you don’t ensure adequate shielding, the LED switching circuitry may cause electromagnetic interferences which can result in static on VHF stereos and radios as well as “hash” on displays. Make sure that you LED lights clearly state that they shielded to satisfy EMI.
With easy to follow DIY tips you can successfully install 12 volt boat LED lights. Red, green, white and blue are recommended color lights for boat as they have an effect on attracting bait fish as well as meeting coast-guard requirements.