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  #1  
Old 08-03-2011
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Interior Lighting Plan

I am planning to update my boat's (CS27) cabin lighting while I have the headliner and side panels out. It had circa 1970 fluorescent and incandescent fixtures. While they all worked, they are (really!) showing their age and not what I want going forward.

I don't use a lot of lighting, and when I do it tends to be for short times. I'm mostly a day sailor, and don't stay up late. With that in mind, I'm not fixated on using LEDs. Since I have a whole boat to outfit, the up-front price difference is significant. I know the long term benefits, and would like to use them, but it's not a pure requirement.

What I'm wondering is, given the cabin of a typical 27 footer, how should I figure out how much lighting I need? Is there a watts or lumens per square foot sort of rule?

Currently my eating area (u-shaped settee) has a double-flourescent tube, and the opposite settee has a single. I was thinking about putting something like a Dr. LED saturn ring (recessed puck) over the nav and gelley areas, and maybe another over each settee? Or would I need something bigger to fill a sette area with light?

I would appreciate any advice with respect to planning the updates...

Thanks in advance,
Chris
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Old 08-03-2011
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Be carefully with LEDs. Some of them put out a very harsh light.

Sensibulbs are about the best you can get but are also very expensive.

As for brightness, it all really depends on what you use the boat for. You do not need much for daysailing. Living aboard will require a lot more. Find some fixtures you like with decent LEDs and install them. You can always add more.
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  #3  
Old 08-03-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by treilley View Post
Be carefully with LEDs. Some of them put out a very harsh light.

Sensibulbs are about the best you can get but are also very expensive.

As for brightness, it all really depends on what you use the boat for. You do not need much for daysailing. Living aboard will require a lot more. Find some fixtures you like with decent LEDs and install them. You can always add more.
Given how disruptive, and what a pain in the butt, it is to remove and reinstall the panels, I'm trying to get this as close to "right" as possible the first time. Also, given the cost of LED fixtures, I want to avoid "winging it" as much as possible.

I'm not, and will not be in the foreseeable future, a live-aboard. Here on the Great Lakes it's pretty much impossible to live aboard. So, my intention is to be able to light cabin when we return at night in the dark and find all the stuff that has rolled around the cabin sole.

I'd also like to be able to eat, cook, and read in the boat at night on weekend trips. My intent is to go to bed early on those trips, and get up early so I'm not blowing through amp hours. I don't need to perform surgery under the lights, just don't want to require a flashlight for any common activities when it gets dark.

The biggest thing I'm looking for is some kind of a guideline for lumens or watts per square foot I can use to make sure I'm within some margin of error on the lighting plan.
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Old 08-03-2011
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Chris

I don't think you can really go by lumens. I think you are better off looking at the fixtures in a good marine store or catalog. You will want some dome types for over the table and galley and the reading type for the bulkheads above the settees. LED lights are expensive and I tried a few and didn't like them - they were too cold - actually made a fluorescent look warm. My reading lights are halogen and my dome lights are halogen or xenon. When I find nice LED bulbs I can change the bulbs. The brightness can be controlled with different size bulbs - 10 or 20 watt.

I have 2 5" dome lights, 1 above the table and 1 over galley stove. A 3" dome above the chart table/icebox. Small halogen above the head with the choice of red or white small LED beside it. The LEDs are actually designed for outdoor/bait tank use and are about 1" in diameter - they cost about $10 each. I have more above the galley and chart table, also both red and white on separate switches. Against the bulkhead back in the galley and chart table area I have LED strip lights, 8 bulbs each and a small LEd centered above the stove where the cabinet meets the cabin side. These 3 come on together and are bright enough to get a coffee by themselves.

Reading lights are above the settee on each side of the main bulkhead and aft on the bulkhead of the hanging locker. I replaced the 2 lights in the V-berth as well.
I also installed 2 of the 1" red LEDs in the starboard settee front low down and 1 on the cockpit foot well. I can light the whole boat in red except the V-berth for minimal draw and total cost was about $60.

I also have a blue/white adjustable chart light on a curly cord above the chart table.

It sounds like a lot of lights but I can turn on only the ones I wish at any time.

There are a few lights to go in lockers - probably inexpensive LEDs.

The only old fixture I kept was a fluorescent - I installed it above the engine.
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Last edited by mitiempo; 08-03-2011 at 03:27 PM.
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Here are the types I used. They are all either stainless or chrome.
Attached Thumbnails
Interior Lighting Plan-1.jpg   Interior Lighting Plan-2.jpg   Interior Lighting Plan-4.jpg  
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Old 08-03-2011
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I recently redid my galley lighting with ikea led lights: INREDA Spotlight - IKEA

It is not very expensive, puts out a nice, warm, bright but not disturbing light, works on 12V. I will definitely use these for further cabin lighting. Planning to do cabin top around the mast next.
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Old 08-03-2011
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Chris,
I have a 5 led flashlight that uses two AA batteries and have used it for hours and it is still going strong on original batteries. I have a 3 led forehead light that uses three AAA batteries and those batteries have lasted over three years of accasional use. So I'm thinking that instead of investing in pretty expensive marine led units I will use individual battery powered units placed where ever I need them.

Since you are not using the lights very often or for very long, you might find that some stick on units with internal batteries will provide the lighting you need over the settee area and keep what you have over the bunks for night reading. It would save a lot of money for other projects,
John
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Old 08-03-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
Chris

I don't think you can really go by lumens. I think you are better off looking at the fixtures in a good marine store or catalog. You will want some dome types for over the table and galley and the reading type for the bulkheads above the settees. LED lights are expensive and I tried a few and didn't like them - they were too cold - actually made a fluorescent look warm. My reading lights are halogen and my dome lights are halogen or xenon. When I find nice LED bulbs I can change the bulbs. The brightness can be controlled with different size bulbs - 10 or 20 watt.

I have 2 5" dome lights, 1 above the table and 1 over galley stove. A 3" dome above the chart table/icebox. Small halogen above the head with the choice of red or white small LED beside it. The LEDs are actually designed for outdoor/bait tank use and are about 1" in diameter - they cost about $10 each. I have more above the galley and chart table, also both red and white on separate switches. Against the bulkhead back in the galley and chart table area I have LED strip lights, 8 bulbs each and a small LEd centered above the stove where the cabinet meets the cabin side. These 3 come on together and are bright enough to get a coffee by themselves.

Reading lights are above the settee on each side of the main bulkhead and aft on the bulkhead of the hanging locker. I replaced the 2 lights in the V-berth as well.
I also installed 2 of the 1" red LEDs in the starboard settee front low down and 1 on the cockpit foot well. I can light the whole boat in red except the V-berth for minimal draw and total cost was about $60.

I also have a blue/white adjustable chart light on a curly cord above the chart table.

It sounds like a lot of lights but I can turn on only the ones I wish at any time.

There are a few lights to go in lockers - probably inexpensive LEDs.

The only old fixture I kept was a fluorescent - I installed it above the engine.

Thanks Brian, as usual your work is very thorough and well thought out. Wish we were in the same marina - would love to compare CS27 projects in-person over a few beers!

I had been leaning towards halogen / xenon in my gut, and your email just pushed me farther in that direction. Also really like the idea of a small red LED circuit of courtesy lights for night time use - have already had a few trips where that would have been handy.

I'm going to try to see what I can find for halogen pucks and set up a lighting plan.

Do you happen to have a source for those 8-bulb LED strip lights you used? I like the idea of using them under the cabinets, but haven't seen them in my catalog.

-Chris
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Old 08-03-2011
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I thought about that myself. I decided on the permanent LED lights because they do not require batteries, use very little power, and at $10 each for the small round ones and $12 each for the 8 led strip lights were not expensive.

I do have to invest in a forehead type light someday though. A lot nicer than a flashlight in my mouth.
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Old 08-03-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
I do have to invest in a forehead type light someday though. A lot nicer than a flashlight in my mouth.
I spent about 2 hours last night on the docks with a flashlight in my mouth rewiring the bow bicolor. My jaws are still sore! That was my motivation to start putting together the lighting plan - can't take many more nights like that and nights are the only time I have to work on the boat.
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