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Old 02-12-2012, 13:07   #1
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LED refrigerator box lighting

I wasn't sure where to post this thread, so I chose the most general forum on the subject. I am building my refrigerator box (and will then do same for the freezer) and I would like interior LED lighting to make it easier to find stuff inside. I plan to use a normally closed (N.C.) magnetic switch, available from West Marine (Model # 11114998, under $4) that will turn the lights on when the RParts hatch is opened. I have been reading the tech stuff on these lamps and found they are actually more efficient when subjected to cold. Has anyone actually done this modification? I've seen systems where the lights were on all of the time, but that offends my sense of what's right in the world.
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Old 02-12-2012, 13:44   #2
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Re: LED refrigerator box lighting

I put a short strip in my homemade box with a microswitch in the upper corner next to the hinge.
Works great.
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Old 02-12-2012, 14:37   #3
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Re: LED refrigerator box lighting

Sounds like a good plan. The cold will only help the LEDs as you say.
Make sure the magnetic switch is far enough away from any compass, including the auto helm.
I would not leave them on all the time. Even 0.1 A adds up 24/7. The simplest solution is an ordinary switch. KISS is often the best answer.
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Old 02-12-2012, 14:51   #4
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Re: LED refrigerator box lighting

Quote:
Originally Posted by senormechanico View Post
I put a short strip in my homemade box with a microswitch in the upper corner next to the hinge.
Works great.
Me too. And just used a pp3 9v rechargeable battery instead of running power in there.
Works fine.
Found some very old bits of carrot.....
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Old 02-12-2012, 15:07   #5
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Re: LED refrigerator box lighting

The idea of a magnetic or contact switch, a 9V battery and a single LED pointed down into the fridge, locker or cabinet is a great one I will be installing.

We have a switched blue LED for the reefer already. The PO did that one.
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Old 02-12-2012, 15:17   #6
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Re: LED refrigerator box lighting

the blue lighting is a good idea. I really like the new West Marine house brand lights, they are inexpensive well made and bright. and they make a waterproof one for baitwells that might work well.

WEST MARINE Platinum Series LED Livewell Lights at West Marine

WEST MARINE Stainless Steel LED Step Light, Blue at West Marine
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Old 02-12-2012, 15:18   #7
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I used a Coleman cooler light. No wiring, velcroed to the side. Lights up when you open the box.
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Old 02-12-2012, 15:19   #8
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Re: LED refrigerator box lighting

Quote:
Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
The idea of a magnetic or contact switch, a 9V battery and a single LED pointed down into the fridge, locker or cabinet is a great one I will be installing.
To clarify, I presume you mean one of the 1w or even 3w LEDs? . A single 5mm led would not be much light
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Old 02-12-2012, 15:36   #9
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Re: LED refrigerator box lighting

As an aside, they dont miss you on those doors at $500 a pop.

RParts - Molded ABS Hatches - www.rparts.com
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:39   #10
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Re: LED refrigerator box lighting

Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
To clarify, I presume you mean one of the 1w or even 3w LEDs? . A single 5mm led would not be much light
I estimate it's a 1w, yes, as it's "bright enough" without destroying one's night vision. It's wired into the boat's 12 VDC feeds and is switched externally to the fridge. Making it stand-alone would be even better.
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:49   #11
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Re: LED refrigerator box lighting

Quote:
Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
The idea of a magnetic or contact switch, a 9V battery and a single LED pointed down into the fridge, locker or cabinet is a great one I will be installing.

We have a switched blue LED for the reefer already. The PO did that one.
I find the waterproof led strip works well, already has adhesive, just add a battery and switch. The rechargeable batts seem to run down quick though, one of these days I might experiment we with a resistor.
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Old 28-12-2012, 22:14   #12
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Re: LED refrigerator box lighting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy M View Post
I wasn't sure where to post this thread, so I chose the most general forum on the subject. I am building my refrigerator box (and will then do same for the freezer) and I would like interior LED lighting to make it easier to find stuff inside. I plan to use a normally closed (N.C.) magnetic switch, available from West Marine (Model # 11114998, under $4) that will turn the lights on when the RParts hatch is opened. I have been reading the tech stuff on these lamps and found they are actually more efficient when subjected to cold. Has anyone actually done this modification? I've seen systems where the lights were on all of the time, but that offends my sense of what's right in the world.
Yes I have used led lights on several ocassions and they are most efficient in terms of power saving.
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Old 29-12-2012, 00:04   #13
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Re: LED refrigerator box lighting

Now I am trying to replace all my home tubes with led lights.
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Old 29-12-2012, 14:11   #14
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Re: LED refrigerator box lighting

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Originally Posted by conachair View Post
I find the waterproof led strip works well, already has adhesive, just add a battery and switch. The rechargeable batts seem to run down quick though, one of these days I might experiment we with a resistor.
While it's cheap to experiment, I would just use alkaline 9 volt batts bought in bulk, with the contacts sprayed with conformal spray or T-9 or something similar.

The point would be to fab up a dozen of these in an afternoon and install them in the primary lockers the following day. All I want is enough light to show me the contents, not really to read the fine print. I have a xenon head lamp for that!
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