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Old 01-26-2012, 02:57 PM   #1
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Default Underwater lights

I know this subject has been talked about a lot on this Forum, but I was looking for input/suggestions on a project I want to tackle this spring when Endless Summer comes out of storage. Last year someone contributing here found a company selling an 18' LED rope light, 3/8" diameter... and the old sub-conscience mind has been working for months on how I'd get that to work under my platform! Take a look at a picture I "doctored" with Microsoft Paint I'm attaching (kind of crude). This is a picture I took of when we installed the extended swim platform a few summers ago while Endless Summer sat on her trailer. I think I can fasten this rope light with zip-ties sinched-down very tight "up" the support poles (see blue line) if I attach them every six inches or so. But moving between the two outside support poles/rods on the underside/lip of the platform might take some ingenuity on how to attach the rope light there (dashed-blue-line). If my memory serves me correctly, there's ss screws holding that plastic molding on the platform, screwed-down from the back/underside. I won't know for sure until she comes out of winter storage in a month or so, but I'm hoping there's a way to secure the rope light there, too.

What I'm MORE concerned about, is will this rope light stay-put while under way? There's a pile of water being forced right there at the under-side "ledge" of the platform when underway (water swirls up and around the back of the platform bigtime when doing 8-10 mph). I suppose if it comes apart I can just re-mount it elsewhere, but this light company claims this LED rope light is waterproof/immersable. Also, I don't have a problem drilling a hole under the water line and "caulking" it with 5200 or 4200 so it can be wired-up inside the engine compartment as I've already done that to install a water temperature gauge a few years ago.

Here's a link to the company selling the rope light, and also my "doctored" picture... seems like I haven't been as motivated in this off-season to do projects on Endless Summer compared to previous off-seasons, but now I'm gettin' fired-up to do some! I've been at marinas when people turn on their underwater lights and the glow attracts the fish like crazy! And the ambiance of the glow might make the mood more romantic when the Admiral is on-board---nevermind, scratch that---TMI!

http://www.orangetreetrade.com/shop/...kit-p-535.html


Anyway, glad to have some input on this...
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File Type: jpg 18'ropelightprelim.drawing;1-26-12.jpg (54.2 KB, 129 views)
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:24 PM   #2
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from what I can see ...that is probably doable...however..using zip ties might not be the best method of attachment....zip ties will get brittle after time and can snap off...I think I'd use rubber coated/sleeved stainless steel screw clamps every 10" to secure the rope going up the stanchions holding the deck up....then across the back...use the D clamps to hold the rope along the aft edge of the deck...that way it will stay secured with only one screw hole....might not look all that good but at nite it won't be noticable....during the day...well...those stainless "D" clamps will show..but they won't snap off like zip ties do after being exposed to sunlight and water.....


just my thoughts...be sure to have the ends sealed on the rope lights so that water won't enter the tube....
let us know how it works out.....

SP
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:54 PM   #3
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Jeff,

Looks like you've got pleanty of space back there so how about 2 or 3 transom mounted underwater lights? Mount them high enough so they are just below the water line when the boat is at rest. You can get them in different colors, red, green, white, blue, and I think the install will be cleaner over all.

This guy has a fantastic reputation and, as these types of lights go, are fairly inexpensive. http://www.coastalnightlights.com/

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Old 01-26-2012, 04:20 PM   #4
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Good input guys... and thanks ss for the link to Coastal Lights. MY thinking by installing a rope light was I'd have illumination both above AND below the water line, as I've never been able to determine if "underwater" lights really have to be mounted IN the water to provide the best illumination. Sure SEEMS like they'd have to be under water, but I've also been told that they should be slightly ABOVE the water. Then again, the reflection of the light against the water might actually inhibit the "glow" I'm looking for.

I guess if I'm going to drill a hole under the water line to accomodate this rope light idea, I might as well mount this guy's light that's DESIGNED to be underwater.
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Old 02-07-2012, 07:02 PM   #5
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Here is what I am doing later this year. We love to out for mid night swims and it really cool to have the Underwater lights, sooooo simple to install too!

http://www.theliquidlite.com/
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Old 02-07-2012, 07:18 PM   #6
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DAAAAYYUUUMMM.......and I don't have a drain plug in my boat!!.....


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Old 02-07-2012, 11:32 PM   #7
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Very interesting...how long are the Liquid Lite pos/neg cables?
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Old 02-08-2012, 01:31 PM   #8
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A few things to consider. Yes, many underwater lights get hot and actually need to be underwater to be properly operated. Regarding the rope lighting, I would only use an item desiged to be used in the water. Yes, it is under teh swim platform, however the rope lighting will be underwater frequently and constantly wet. I would use something designed to be used in the water, not a damp environment, completely submerged. Also, with rope lighting, if the mounting system lets go, you can potentially have your rope lighting fouled in your prop. I would avoid rope lighting for this application, personally.
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Old 02-08-2012, 06:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MCM View Post
Very interesting...how long are the Liquid Lite pos/neg cables?
Not Sure, but looking at the Vid I would Guess..... 6 to 10 Feet. I am sure you could contact them and they could tell you. Besure to share with the rest of the class..lol

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Old 02-08-2012, 07:01 PM   #10
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Along the same vein as Shrews post - I'd be a little concerned about those screw in bilge drain hole lights.

I have to wonder how the housing would stand up to the rigors of repeated removal and installation in order to drain the bilge. I'd also be a little worried about it getting bumped or knocked off if it got hit by something - especially while underway. If it snapped off at the threads it would leave a hole in the boat because the center is hollow to allow the power wire to pass thru it. Then, during constant install and removal, how well will the power wire connection inside the unit stand up to repeated twisting and untwisting?

Finally, the brightest one they have is 380 lumins which, from what I've read is roughly equal to a 40 or 50 watt incandescent. Might be good enough if the water is nice and clear but probably not if the water is murky.

Though it was fun to watch the...."installers" do the job in record time it's amusing they neglected to address the wiring.
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