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Old 22-02-2008, 17:15   #1
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My ideal solar cockpit light?

Is there not a small solar light that will mount under my bimini? Either one that you cut a small hole for in the bimini and attach as one unit or a solar light with an extension cord to the solar unit that you place on top the bimini? Not sure if I'm am describing well but seems like a great idea-in my mind! I need a light that will illuminate the cockpit area when dining at anchor, etc. If it had a switch to switch between bright white or low light red that would be better still. And to be able to switch it off completely when no light is wanted.
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Old 22-02-2008, 17:39   #2
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We use cheapo solar garden lights. Probably you could remove and wire the the solar panel for remote mounting. But, we just hang them somewhere in the sun during the day, then re-hang them wherever we want at night. Ours have an on/off switch. You can get 6-8 of them for about $40 at Home Depot, etc.
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Old 22-02-2008, 18:24   #3
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I used the cheapo solar lights but they didn't quite cut the mustard really.

So I build my own. I struggle to even spell 'electrics' and are a self confessed dumber than dumbarse but did it so anyone else can.

Just went to the local electronics shop and brought the bits. A couple of LED's some thingys I'm sure are called 'resistors' (diodes maybe??) and a bit of wire. Sat at kitchen table with soldering iron (burnt a hole in it but Shhh.... she hasn't noticed) a bit of 2mm plywood to fix all the bits too (hot glue gun) and an empty marmite jar. The 1st one did look a bit bodge but worked damn well. Mark2 is the tidy version. Mk3 is tidy and adjustable. Mk4 could be scary

Currently I just plug it into a cigarette lighter socket on the boat but working on swapping to a small solar panel. One version had 8 LEDs and sucked a massive 1.2 volts and would blind you if you look straight at it. I added a variable resister so I can turn it up or down, very cool.

Notes: I think they are 'resistors' you need but it may pay to ask in case I got that wrong. Whatever they are you do need to use them with LEDs. I'm sure the shop blokes will be able to tell you.

All in all I found it very easy to do and a bit of fun really. Well worth the effort and now I have an adjustable LED light that I can easily read by and makes a bloody good anchor light.

I have soooo many LED plans now I'm even frightening myself
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Old 22-02-2008, 20:11   #4
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Cheap garden lights work well. look for ones with a remote panel. mine are chistmass lights ,u can also set them to flash. great to find the boat on a dark night
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Old 23-02-2008, 05:42   #5
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There’s numerous energy-efficient (often LED) Cockpit & Utility Lights now available.

Davis “Mega-Lights” were an old standby product:

Davis “Mega Light™ Utility
Davis - Marine - Mega Light™ Utility
http://www.davisnet.com/product_docu...0_MgUt_ENG.pdf

Davis “Mega-Light™ Ultimate Cockpit
Davis - Marine - Mega Light™ Ultimate Cockpit
http://www.davisnet.com/product_docu...MgCkpt_ENG.pdf
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Old 23-02-2008, 05:48   #6
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I did the same as Mr Gmac...built my own LED everything !! My LED nav lights are wonderful. Bright and no more flat batteries. If I want extra bright in the cab I use a low wattage fluro to supplement my LED house lights (both red and white). They have been installed for five years now...
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Old 23-02-2008, 10:47   #7
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Thanks Gordon! That looks like about as good of a compromise as is available right now. Five minutes on line and the unit is on it's way. Now I can move on to my next project...

Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
There’s numerous energy-efficient (often LED) Cockpit & Utility Lights now available.

Davis “Mega-Lights” were an old standby product:

Davis “Mega Light™ Utility
Davis - Marine - Mega Light™ Utility
http://www.davisnet.com/product_docu...0_MgUt_ENG.pdf

Davis “Mega-Light™ Ultimate Cockpit
Davis - Marine - Mega Light™ Ultimate Cockpit
http://www.davisnet.com/product_docu...MgCkpt_ENG.pdf
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Old 23-02-2008, 10:58   #8
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I use a simple and nifty solar-powered light called a Lightship (Outdoor solar lighting, outdoor and indoor solar powered lights and solar energy lights by SolLight) Hang it in the sun, comes on (red or white) at sunset, goes off at sunrise. I also have one mounted on the glass port in the head - makes a nice "night light" in the head.
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Old 23-02-2008, 11:01   #9
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mine are cheap garden ones from Lowes, but they hang on carabiners and I hook them on whatever is available. They are lanterns and look kinda piratey and romantic, had them for a year no problems hang them out in the sn during the day.
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Old 23-02-2008, 11:07   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMac View Post
I used the cheapo solar lights but they didn't quite cut the mustard really.

So I build my own. I struggle to even spell 'electrics' and are a self confessed dumber than dumbarse but did it so anyone else can.

Just went to the local electronics shop and brought the bits. A couple of LED's some thingys I'm sure are called 'resistors' (diodes maybe??) and a bit of wire. Sat at kitchen table with soldering iron (burnt a hole in it but Shhh.... she hasn't noticed) a bit of 2mm plywood to fix all the bits too (hot glue gun) and an empty marmite jar. The 1st one did look a bit bodge but worked damn well. Mark2 is the tidy version. Mk3 is tidy and adjustable. Mk4 could be scary

Currently I just plug it into a cigarette lighter socket on the boat but working on swapping to a small solar panel. One version had 8 LEDs and sucked a massive 1.2 volts and would blind you if you look straight at it. I added a variable resister so I can turn it up or down, very cool.

Notes: I think they are 'resistors' you need but it may pay to ask in case I got that wrong. Whatever they are you do need to use them with LEDs. I'm sure the shop blokes will be able to tell you.

All in all I found it very easy to do and a bit of fun really. Well worth the effort and now I have an adjustable LED light that I can easily read by and makes a bloody good anchor light.

I have soooo many LED plans now I'm even frightening myself
Ditto here but we used a $.50 basket rather then a jar. Looks nice hanging from the bimini and if I forget to turn it off prior to bed I have a nice pile of bugs under it in the morning.
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Old 23-02-2008, 11:53   #11
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Lots of companies are making solar powered nav lights that just as well could be used for illumination. They are designed to last all night. They are frequently seen on barges. I would Google it.
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Old 14-10-2012, 10:59   #12
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Re: My ideal solar cockpit light?

Just came across this post. Sollight.com has a couple different lights called RailLight that are great. I have 4 of them on my boat for 2 years and they are still going strong with good light. They have a switch so you can turn them off and on.
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