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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Questions RE: Installing Interior 12v LED Light Strips
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Thread: Questions RE: Installing Interior 12v LED Light Strips Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
10-06-2012 12:51 AM
flyingriki
Re: Questions RE: Installing Interior 12v LED Light Strips

Quote:
Originally Posted by svzephyr44 View Post
I use the LED strips available at auto parts stores for cars. They work fine. I wire them directly into the lighting circuits. One issue I have not addressed is their low current draw. The old circuit breakers are much too big - I may go back and add very low tubular low amp fuses to the circuits in front of the lights.
My understanding is circuit protection devices (fuses or circuit breakers) protect the wire, not the device. So changing CBs may not be necessary....

Aha, just saw the post above quoting Maine Sail - same thing.
10-05-2012 07:37 PM
asdf38
Re: Questions RE: Installing Interior 12v LED Light Strips

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
The circuit breaker is to protect the wire not the lights. As long as the wire to the new LED lights is the same size it was then you can keep that breaker. If you stepped down to a smaller gauge wire and the breaker exceeds that wires ampacity then an additional fuse would be necessary to protect the smaller wire..

To do LED's correctly the need current regulation. Good LED's will have this built in, and you'll pay more. In strip or roll form many don't have any current regulation and require and additional circuitry so as not to overdrive them, heat them up and burn them out early.

Good LED's, that will last, use constant current circuitry

Cheaper LED's, that won't last as long, use a buck converter

The cheapest LED's, that can actually catch on fire, use a resistor to try and control current. Don't buy "resistive" controlled LED's..

Be careful what you buy when it comes to LED.
Resistors are a perfectly valid form of current limiting and for cheap LED products, really common. I design boards with LED's all the time and for low power and low cost the resistor is the way to go. The problem is only efficiency and brightness regulation. You're giving up both with tradeoffs between them if you use a resistor.

In this case, something like this strip can use resistors while still not consuming much power so it's not ideal but not something to particularly concern yourself with.

And to the original question if it's labeled as being for 12V...then it's for 12V (if it's a cheap crappy product that's a different problem). Don't add any more regulation - you could even cause a failure depending on how they are managing current (for example you can't have two current sources in series).

Maine, to add, a Buck is a switching DC-DC converter and if current controlled that would be ideal. "Constant Current" is ambiguous because it includes switching regulators (efficient) and linear current regulators (not efficient).
10-05-2012 02:30 PM
Brewgyver
Re: Questions RE: Installing Interior 12v LED Light Strips

That LED tape is fine, just the way it is. An in-line fuse is always a good idea. To calculate fuse ampacity, check the spec from the manufacturer, several of the ones I checked were 24 watts for a 5 meter tape, which would be a 2 amp draw at 12 volts, use at 2.5 or 3.0 amp fuse. White LEDs are usually higher current - saw one on a quick search that was 14.4 watts per meter, or 72 watts for the 5 meter roll. That would warrant a at least a 7.5 amp fuse. I've actually had good luck finding low amperage glass tube fuses at Home Depot.
10-05-2012 01:46 PM
Doc_V
Re: Questions RE: Installing Interior 12v LED Light Strips

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
The cheapest LED's, that can actually catch on fire, use a resistor to try and control current. Don't buy "resistive" controlled LED's..

Be careful what you buy when it comes to LED.
Are these what you mean by "resistive controlled"? They appear to have resistors built in to the strip. Are they the so called "cheap ones that catch fire"?
10-05-2012 10:03 AM
Ritchard
Re: Questions RE: Installing Interior 12v LED Light Strips

I had great luck with that bulk strip lighting. I just tapped into the existing lighting circuit. Warm white strips hidden behind shelf fiddles look fantastic. However, Main Sails comments are worrisome.
10-04-2012 12:36 AM
Bruce_L
Re: Questions RE: Installing Interior 12v LED Light Strips

I hope I am not violating any forum rules here... let me know if I do please, BUT, you can get awesome deals on 12 V led Strip lights at a place I get my radio control airplane parts called Hobbypartz.com They have both warm white and bright white as well as blues, reds, green etc.

I buy the strip of 12 (qty) light set for $2.90 and make my own mount... They work great directly connected to 12volts no problem.

The warm whites simulate a regular incandescent bulbs color spectrum pretty good.

Try a blue strip mounted under a seat or cabinet edge for a pretty look against white gelcoat at night.

The current is really low so you can use very small wire to operate them as well.

I do a lot with LEDs since the power consumption is so low.
10-03-2012 02:39 AM
svzephyr44
Re: Questions RE: Installing Interior 12v LED Light Strips

Thanks Maine Sail - good info
10-02-2012 10:28 PM
Maine Sail
Re: Questions RE: Installing Interior 12v LED Light Strips

Quote:
Originally Posted by svzephyr44 View Post
I use the LED strips available at auto parts stores for cars. They work fine. I wire them directly into the lighting circuits. One issue I have not addressed is their low current draw. The old circuit breakers are much too big - I may go back and add very low tubular low amp fuses to the circuits in front of the lights.
The circuit breaker is to protect the wire not the lights. As long as the wire to the new LED lights is the same size it was then you can keep that breaker. If you stepped down to a smaller gauge wire and the breaker exceeds that wires ampacity then an additional fuse would be necessary to protect the smaller wire..

To do LED's correctly the need current regulation. Good LED's will have this built in, and you'll pay more. In strip or roll form many don't have any current regulation and require and additional circuitry so as not to overdrive them, heat them up and burn them out early.

Good LED's, that will last, use constant current circuitry

Cheaper LED's, that won't last as long, use a buck converter

The cheapest LED's, that can actually catch on fire, use a resistor to try and control current. Don't buy "resistive" controlled LED's..

Be careful what you buy when it comes to LED.
10-02-2012 09:50 PM
paperbird
Re: Questions RE: Installing Interior 12v LED Light Strips

As long as the input voltage on the light strips is 12V, no reason to do anything but wire them to the lighting circuits. I'm sure you remember that LEDs lights care about the polarity. I've been looking at some gooseneck reading lights that are set up for a 4V input voltage. To use them, I'd have to add a resistor. And I hate the idea of drawing more current and converting it to heat. So I'll keep shopping for 12V gooseneck lights. (yeah - they probably have the same resistor internally, but at least I didn't add it...)
10-02-2012 09:20 PM
MikoBee
Re: Questions RE: Installing Interior 12v LED Light Strips

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc_V View Post
So you do have those on your boat and you've run them directly off the battery?
My boat is much too small for those lights. I just run mine from a 12v power supply at home. You don't need any more resistors.
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