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Old    Nick Tomsyck (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       06-17-2014, 8:25 AM Reply   
Just a quick, and probably stupid question ....

I have a handful of these types of LED strips around our condo for accent lighting... but all of them I have are running via our wall sockets. My question is that with a package like this:
http://www.amazon.com/SUPERNIGHT-Wat...roof+LED+strip

Where would I "open up" the wires to be able to run directly of a 12v DC (boat battery) for power? I don't have my home ones in front of me to see how those are setup and I was hoping to order these in time to have them by the weekend so I can wire up lights for my mom's new pontoon boat.

.... the plan would be to daisy chain / solder 3/4 sets of these lights together and then have the controller / remote at the driver's seat and then ultimately tied into the Nav lights, but want to make sure this light package would work.

Thanks!


EDIT - or am I better off just buying this + lights without a controller and have the lights powered from this unit?
http://www.hitlights.com/ls-music144...0bNJOK_3nw_wcB

Last edited by sidekicknicholas; 06-17-2014 at 8:29 AM.
Old    Jeff Garvey (garveyj)      Join Date: Sep 2009       06-17-2014, 10:29 AM Reply   
I would do the latter - I bought a long strip of LED's, and soldered them together then wired the lines to the controller and used the power from the existing lights for the power of the controller.
Old    Nick Tomsyck (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       06-17-2014, 11:24 AM Reply   
Quote:
I bought a long strip of LED's, and soldered them together then wired the lines to the controller and used the power from the existing lights for the power of the controller.
I figured use the existing nav lights switch or tap into the power for them... I think I'll probably go than latter then, seems like that controller is better built as well.

Unless anyone else has a recommendation for a good controller that is reasonably priced
Old    TigeMike (chpthril)      Join Date: Oct 2007       06-17-2014, 3:27 PM Reply   
I would not want to have these tied to any required navigational lights. I would also run each individual LED section in parallel or home run to the controller, as opposed to series. The brightness will deminish
Old    Nick Tomsyck (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       06-17-2014, 3:32 PM Reply   
Quote:
I would not want to have these tied to any required navigational lights.
I would just "T" off the wiring to the switch for those lights, I would have a second switch for the LEDs, but use existing wiring to get to to the helm
Old    Ryan (ryanw209)      Join Date: Jan 2010       06-18-2014, 9:34 AM Reply   
I would also get the hitlights controller but connecting 4 strands together will max out the controller while they are on the white color. Like TigeMike said the brightness will diminish the longer the run so either run a separate wire to each strand or power the strip from both ends making a circle.
Old    Nick Tomsyck (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       06-18-2014, 10:46 AM Reply   
So last night I ordered the hitlights controller, ~60ft. of 5050 RGB waterproof lights, and another 60ft. of RGB+ wiring to span gaps.

My plan is to have the hitlights mounted by the captin chair's knees (or in the cubby there), then a switch on the dash near the other nav lights.... 1 output would run the exterior LED strips - wiring feeding one on each side, then both sides feeding the front strip .... so essentially like you said, a loop.

Then for the interior use the other output and run to the front two bench seats working up the right side of the boat, then back down on the left side to hit the rear wrapped seating, and finishing back at the drivers chair / helm area.


... should work well, the only thing I have left up to decide is whether I want two switches, one for interior and one for exterior, or all on / all off.
Old    Ryan (ryanw209)      Join Date: Jan 2010       06-18-2014, 12:48 PM Reply   
What gauge wire did you get?

Sounds like you have a good plan going. Just for reference for anyone else that comes across this thread here is what the difference looks like between the beginning(top) of a 45ft run of 5050 RGB's and the end(bottom) when only powering from 1 side. Very noticeable dimming

Old    TigeMike (chpthril)      Join Date: Oct 2007       06-18-2014, 1:00 PM Reply   
Thats exactly why I like to run each individual light section, in parallel.
Old    Nick Tomsyck (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       06-18-2014, 1:09 PM Reply   
For the connecting / splicing wire I ordered 20 meters of this:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

... didn't list gauge, so probably pretty dang thin.... looked like a idiot proof way to be able to solder sections together and/or repair later because of the color coding remaining consistent.

The interior should really only be ~15-20ft. worth of actual lighting... ideally for layout sake this would be powered from one end.

The exterior would be
22 ft on each side and then 50% of the front so ~4 ft... so figure 30 ft to be safe but would get power from both sides.
... I'll mock it all up first and see what kind of results I'm getting before I go attaching everything, but hopefully not having anything more than 30 ft will keep it from being too noticeable... and the interior I think I'll be golden.

Did you guys solder your connections? If so what did you use to seal them up?... is it as simple as a glob of silicon?
Old    Ryan (ryanw209)      Join Date: Jan 2010       06-18-2014, 6:49 PM Reply   
A reviewer says the wire is 22awg and took a month to get to him from china. Hope you don't want to do it anytime soon haha. 22awg is paper thin and the absolute bare minimum. I used it in my boat because it's all I had at the time and I only put in about 12ft of LED's total. I put up 95ft of LED's around the eves of my house to substitute for Xmas lights and went with 18awg wire for that application. The 22awg is a heck of a lot easier to work with and solder but seems like it will just break off if it gets pulled on at all. The 22awg in my boat has been in for a year and held up fine though. The 18awg is a beotch to solder beacasue the wire is almost as big as the contact your trying to solder it to but it's the most ideal wire for big jobs. I just used shrink wrap over all the solder points
Old    Ryan (ryanw209)      Join Date: Jan 2010       06-18-2014, 6:52 PM Reply   
Actually a more important question that I don't think you have mentioned yet is if you got 150's or 300's. I hope just 150's because that will be more than enough light and I don't think your controller will support 60ft of 300's.
Old    Nick Tomsyck (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       06-19-2014, 7:13 AM Reply   
Quote:
A reviewer says the wire is 22awg and took a month to get to him from china. Hope you don't want to do it anytime soon haha
Everything I ordered said it was coming via Amazon Prime (reason I went with them).... so lets hope they weren't bluffing.

Quote:
I just used shrink wrap over all the solder points
Thats a good idea, you don't run into any condensation issues with that?

Quote:
I hope just 150's because that will be more than enough light and I don't think your controller will support 60ft of 300's.
****.
I ordered 300's
this was the LED strip(s) I had ordered - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Old    Jeff Garvey (garveyj)      Join Date: Sep 2009       06-19-2014, 7:56 AM Reply   
I used liquid electric tape over the solder joints....I think it sealed everything up better than heat shrink.
Old    Raymond Foster (burban89)      Join Date: Nov 2006       06-19-2014, 8:08 AM Reply   
Question, how are you all attaching the LEDs to the boat? I tried to put some on my SN2001 when I had it and I could not get anything to stick on the underside fiberglass. Thinking about doing something like this on my SS.

Thanks
Old    Nick Tomsyck (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       06-19-2014, 8:11 AM Reply   
Quote:
how are you all attaching the LEDs to the boat?
It will be going on a pontoon, so I'll be attaching to the aluminum on the underside of the deck. There is a "lip" on the deck I will go behind and attach with a silicone based adhesive... then probably also zip tie between lights ever 12"-18" for good measure.

Quote:
I used liquid electric tape over the solder joints
I like that, should look much better than gobs of silicone - Thanks!
Old    Ryan (ryanw209)      Join Date: Jan 2010       06-19-2014, 10:13 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by sidekicknicholas View Post
I ordered 300's
hmm.. I think you have a problem here. I tried to do a lot of research before I did a big LED project and this is what I came up with:

On 5050 LED's each individual LED pod has 3 LED's inside it: a red, green and blue. They refer to each color as a channel so there are 3 channels in each strip.
A meter(3ft) of 150 5050 RGB's uses 0.2a per channel(color) so a full 5m roll will use 1a (0.2a X 5m) per color.
Now to get white, all the channels in the strip light up using a total of 3amps(1a/color X 3colors) per 16ft roll.


So for the 300's you got just double those numbers. If you ran all 4 rolls(60ft) on white they would be trying to suck 24a from your 12a controller.


If someone else knows better than me please correct my math.
Old    Nick Tomsyck (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       06-19-2014, 10:40 AM Reply   
Quote:
So for the 300's you got just double those numbers. If you ran all 4 rolls(60ft) on white they would be trying to suck 24a from your 12a controller.
I believe as long as the strands of LEDs are in parallel the draw will be significantly less. In series is R1 + R2 + R3 + Rn = Rtotal, Parallel its 1 / Rtotal = 1 / R1 + 1 / R2 + 1 / R3 + 1 / Rn
Old    Ryan (ryanw209)      Join Date: Jan 2010       06-19-2014, 11:05 AM Reply   
I don't think series or parallel matters. 60ft of LEDs uses the same amount of power no matter how you slice it. They all come back to the power source and draw from it. The only difference in running them in series or parallel would be power drop from the length of run.
Old    Ryan (ryanw209)      Join Date: Jan 2010       06-19-2014, 11:08 AM Reply   
I'm not saying it won't work either. I'm sure you'll get light out of every LED. It would just be like trying to make a 400w amp sound like an 800w amp.

Last edited by ryanw209; 06-19-2014 at 11:11 AM.
Old    Nick Tomsyck (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       06-19-2014, 11:09 AM Reply   
Well you got me scared enough to just buy a second controller.

I'll have one for the interior and one for the exterior lights, either on their own switch, this hopefully should keep there from being any problems... worst case scenario, I find somewhere else to use it.
Old    Ryan (ryanw209)      Join Date: Jan 2010       06-19-2014, 11:23 AM Reply   
That should suffice. Post up some pics when you get it done.
Old    Nick Tomsyck (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       07-23-2014, 7:26 AM Reply   
I have one controller and the exterior lights all up and running (add photos tonight)

I just did one 5m LED strip on either side .... the boat is a 22ft desk, but with "passenger" are was almost exact to the 16.XX ft of the strip, so just ran it under there to match up with where people would sit.

.... controller is mounted in the drivers seat helm area, then to a switch on the "dash", seems to work great so far, lights are REALLY bright once the sun goes down, and the music function of the controller works pretty well too.

For 60 ft of lights, 2 controllers, wiring, and switches I was in like $110 through amazon, well worth it.

I still have to do the interior lights, but ran out of steam this past weekend.

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