Tuesday, November 23, 2021

LED Nav Table Lighting

Replacing the original Navigation Table Lighting

I'm pretty sure that is the Original Nav Lamp (it's the flexible lamp in the corner of the Nav Table)

It's Red, that's good for use at night but not good for reading charts at night as it basically makes any red markings on the chart invisible.

It's not very flexible and doesn't reach far enough from the corner.

It gets very hot! It's an incandescent lamp, so it draws a comparatively high current compared to a modern LED light fixture and that's 0.5 Amps! A LED should be a lot less.


I found this one on Amazon.
"AnTom 12V LED Dimmable Reading Light, RV Boat Bedside Map Chart Light for Camper,Van,Sailboat,Caravan"

It's advantages are:- Dimmable and it is supposed to remember it's last setting. That should mean that if it's turned off when dimmed, then it should return to the same settings when turned back on ( and, apparently, it's the same when the power is turned off and turned back on, unlike other brands found on Amazon)




The instructions are confusing "Loosen the button and turn the knob to adjust brightness" Not sure how to "Loosen the button"

Looking at this image it appears that color is set by Pressing the Button and then turning it:- Left towards warm white and Right towards Bright Red.

I figured it out! When it reads 'Loosen' it really means - Don't press while turning! 






Mounting is a slight issue. I'm pretty sure that the space to which the existing lamp is affixed is not 2.6" wide and the screws being on the sides would prevent securing it in that spot. So it will have to be mounted elsewhere. That's not a bad thing as the corner location is not ideal primarily because not reach most of the Nav Table.

I'm hoping to be able to mount it close to the center of the instrument bulkhead so that it's not in the way when opening the Nav Table Lid.


I'll use an inline fuse holder for now, it will eventually be wired to a fuse block that is protected by a Voltage Regulator. 

Oh! and it has a USB charger: 5V/1.5A output, always welcome. However that does affect the size of fuse required. The USB output is 1.5Amps, the lamp is probably less than 0.2 amps. The total run both ways from the Fuse Block will be about 3'. Using the BoatHowTo wire size calculator (it's better than looking up the tables) I figure that correct size is 18AWG, however, the ABYC recommend not using an 18AWG cable. Hmmmm. I have over 100' of 18 AWG twin tinned Stranded Copper wire. The Ampacity of the cables is not an issue and the ABYC recommendation has the exception of a length less than 18" outside of the jacket, so I'm confident that it's ok to use the 18AWG cable pair.

On the Boat, I confirmed that this lamp will not fit where the base of the old lamp is located. But the good news is that if I mount it on the decorative rail above the storage over the Nav Table, not only will the lamp fit neatly, but it will also allow the lamp to illuminate the inside of the Nav Table when the lid is open. So I have two locations where it will fit.

I also confirmed that the existing lamp only draws 0.3Amps.

Decision made. I'll mount it to the decorative rail just aft of the Fan that's mounted on the same rail.

(The white battery lamp unit is long gone) With the new lamp mounted there, the light can illuminate the Nav Table, all of the Switch Panel, it can even light up the shelf behind the plastic sliding shelf doors.

The USB connection can still be accessed and the lamp base side securing screws can both be accessed for installation. That last point limits where the lamp base can be located, it has to be secured in place.

The wiring can easily be ran into the shelf area and down to the fuse block that will be located behind the area above the switch panel.

Great, we have a plan. All of the parts arrived from Amazon today (Tuesday 11/23/2021) .

Looks like we can visit the boat tomorrow and get that installed.

More later :)

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