Monday, June 13, 2011

Upgrade to less power

Paul on s/v Solace instructs us on replacing fluorescents with LEDs.
Original non working light

We have had a fluorescent light inverter/ballast fail on us and had a number of options to choose from. My first thought was to change the whole light structure to a more modern fitting, but was eventually convinced by my wife that to do so, was taking from the character of the boat. A new light could have been procured from the USA, but I was still looking for a better light that uses less power. Here's what I did to keep both the original light fixture, but upgrade the light that consumes less power.

I removed the light fixture and purchased a LED strip light that would fit the light fitting. 
New LED lights ready to be fitted.

I removed the the two ends for the florescent tube to make way for the new LED strip. I applied double sided tape used to attach mirrors to walls etc, to secure the LED strip and the switch, to the old light fitting. It was important to keep the original switch as it contained the electronics which helps with the LED strip to function efficiently.

Removal of the florescent ends needed

New LED light fitted.

The refitted unit was wired so that the original switch on the side was the main means of turning the unit on . The inline switch supplied with the LED strip was left on and fitted inside the light fixture. My wife has  declared the light very good, and now wants me to convert another light so she can do fine needle work.
Finished light.
Time to complete was about 40 minutes and the LED strip procured locally in New Zealand for about $37USD
Nicely done! And it does retain the original character - an important consideration for boats.

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