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Multiple lights - one switch

Old 02-24-2013, 07:07 PM
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Default Multiple lights - one switch

On a flats boat....

What I have: One on/off switch on dash that controls a small light inside console

What I want to do: Install a courtesy light on each side on console for some lighting at night (nothing crazy, just want something that lights up the deck a little.)

Question: Can I install a courtesy light on each side of the console and hook it to the existing on/off switch? In other words, when I flip the switch both courtesy lights will be light as well as the under console light (even though i won't need). Is it possible to run multiple lights off of one switch?

Thanks!!
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:34 PM
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Yes.
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Old 02-24-2013, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by stiletto View Post
Yes.
Great! Is there anything I need to watch for, or is it pretty straight foward?

Thank you
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Old 02-24-2013, 08:43 PM
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Make sure the round trip wiring is sized, & circuit is fused, correctly to safely protect the wiring for the increased load. If the new lights are small LEDs that won't be much. And the switch is rated to handle the greater total load, which it probably is.
You might consider swapping the existing switch for an On-Off-On switch so you can light either console or courtesy lights, or adding another On-Off switch for independent lighting.
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:43 PM
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Ok, need a little more help here. I am going to purchase 2 of the Lumitec Andros series lights...one for each side of my console. So I am assuming I just take both positive wires and attach them to the switch (positive terminal, where the other light is already attached) and wire the ground to the fuse plane? Also, what size fuse needs to be on the fuse for tow of those lights and one small LED light to light up the inside of my console.

http://www.lumiteclighting.com/produ...artment/andros

Sound right?
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by bayfisher727 View Post
On a flats boat....

What I have: One on/off switch on dash that controls a small light inside console

What I want to do: Install a courtesy light on each side on console for some lighting at night (nothing crazy, just want something that lights up the deck a little.)

Question: Can I install a courtesy light on each side of the console and hook it to the existing on/off switch? In other words, when I flip the switch both courtesy lights will be light as well as the under console light (even though i won't need). Is it possible to run multiple lights off of one switch?

Thanks!!
Originally Posted by bayfisher727 View Post
Great! Is there anything I need to watch for, or is it pretty straight foward?

Thank you
Originally Posted by bayfisher727 View Post
Ok, need a little more help here. I am going to purchase 2 of the Lumitec Andros series lights...one for each side of my console. So I am assuming I just take both positive wires and attach them to the switch (positive terminal, where the other light is already attached) and wire the ground to the fuse plane? Also, what size fuse needs to be on the fuse for tow of those lights and one small LED light to light up the inside of my console.

http://www.lumiteclighting.com/produ...artment/andros

Sound right?
You've covered the basics just fine. But given the extremely elementary questions you're asking, I'm going to assume NOTHING, and attempt to cover EVERYTHING...

First: The lights you've chosen draw next-to-nothing (rated at 30mA each); so fusing is not likely to be an issue: Whatever breaker or fuse the existing light is running from will surely be more than adequate, as the total draw on the circuit is not changing significantly. HOWEVER... That same ultra-low current draw also implies VERY low light output, especially if you use the red version (which you probably should, to help preserve your night vision). They're basically designed to just barely illuminate one stair tread. Are you sure these will meet your "light up the deck" needs?

Second, while you have correctly identified what connects to what, we have not discussed HOW to make those connections. Lumitec does not specify whether they supply these with pigtails or terminals, let alone what type of terminals or the length of the pigtails; but based on their extremely skimpy "Installation Instructions" http://www.lumiteclighting.com/sites...and-inst_0.pdf, I'm betting on pigtails. I'm also betting these pigtails are nowhere near long enough to reach to your existing switch; so you'll need to extend them. To do this, use the same size (AWG) and color wire as they use for each pigtail lead, then connect them in either of two ways: Either directly, using adhesive-lined heat-shrink butt connectors (such as http://www.marinco.com/product/adhes...utt-connectors); or by putting adhesive-lined heat-shrink spade terminals (such as http://www.marinco.com/product/adhes...pade-terminals) on both the pigtails and the "extension" wires, then mount a barrier-type terminal strip (such as http://www.marinco.com/product/terminal-blocks) near the lamp and connect the spade terminals to this. At the other end, you will near-certainly need to use the spade-terminal/barrier-strip approach, so that ONE wire physically connects to the switch. You may also need to do this on the "Negative" side, depending on how many spare lugs you have available on your ground buss bar.

Needless (?) to say, you will need a high-quality crimp tool to make up these connections. If you're going to keep it on the boat (which is probably a good idea, as part of being prepared for emergency electrical repairs), I like this one: http://www.marinco.com/product/stain...tripcrimp-tool, due to its stainless steel construction.

Third, run all wires neatly in a reasonably direct path to their destinations; but do NOT just let them hang in the air, so to speak. Secure everything with either mountable cable ties (such as http://www.marinco.com/product/nylon...ing-cable-ties) or properly sized nylon wire clamps (such as http://www.defender.com/product.jsp?...9257&id=127970). Put these every foot or so on straight runs, and within an inch or two of either side of each butt connector or spade terminal (the idea is to ensure that the wire is fully supported WITHOUT putting any strain on the connections themselves.

Keep the radius of any bend to no less than an inch or two (more for heavier wires; but you're dealing with pretty light stuff)-- NO kinks or sharp bends. Any/all screw connections should be as tight as possible without risking breakage -- and that's usually pretty damn tight.

When you've finished making all the connections, test them; when you're sure all is well, coat EVERYTHING with a liberal application of a good corrosion inhibitor, such as Boeshield T-9, Corrosion-X, or CRC #6026.



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Old 02-26-2013, 10:52 PM
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Not sure just what you meant by "wire the ground to the fuse plane", but the negative wire from the LED lights would attach to the negative bus bar.

Any fusing in the circuit should be near the + source to protect the wiring and incidentally the load(lights) in the circuit.

If fused just near the negative bus or after the load , anything that is before that fuse that possibly gets short- circuited (chafing, water?) to ground could burn right up.
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Itteldoo View Post
You've covered the basics just fine. But given the extremely elementary questions you're asking, I'm going to assume NOTHING, and attempt to cover EVERYTHING...

First: The lights you've chosen draw next-to-nothing (rated at 30mA each); so fusing is not likely to be an issue: Whatever breaker or fuse the existing light is running from will surely be more than adequate, as the total draw on the circuit is not changing significantly. HOWEVER... That same ultra-low current draw also implies VERY low light output, especially if you use the red version (which you probably should, to help preserve your night vision). They're basically designed to just barely illuminate one stair tread. Are you sure these will meet your "light up the deck" needs?

Second, while you have correctly identified what connects to what, we have not discussed HOW to make those connections. Lumitec does not specify whether they supply these with pigtails or terminals, let alone what type of terminals or the length of the pigtails; but based on their extremely skimpy "Installation Instructions" http://www.lumiteclighting.com/sites...and-inst_0.pdf, I'm betting on pigtails. I'm also betting these pigtails are nowhere near long enough to reach to your existing switch; so you'll need to extend them. To do this, use the same size (AWG) and color wire as they use for each pigtail lead, then connect them in either of two ways: Either directly, using adhesive-lined heat-shrink butt connectors (such as http://www.marinco.com/product/adhes...utt-connectors); or by putting adhesive-lined heat-shrink spade terminals (such as http://www.marinco.com/product/adhes...pade-terminals) on both the pigtails and the "extension" wires, then mount a barrier-type terminal strip (such as http://www.marinco.com/product/terminal-blocks) near the lamp and connect the spade terminals to this. At the other end, you will near-certainly need to use the spade-terminal/barrier-strip approach, so that ONE wire physically connects to the switch. You may also need to do this on the "Negative" side, depending on how many spare lugs you have available on your ground buss bar.

Needless (?) to say, you will need a high-quality crimp tool to make up these connections. If you're going to keep it on the boat (which is probably a good idea, as part of being prepared for emergency electrical repairs), I like this one: http://www.marinco.com/product/stain...tripcrimp-tool, due to its stainless steel construction.

Third, run all wires neatly in a reasonably direct path to their destinations; but do NOT just let them hang in the air, so to speak. Secure everything with either mountable cable ties (such as http://www.marinco.com/product/nylon...ing-cable-ties) or properly sized nylon wire clamps (such as http://www.defender.com/product.jsp?...9257&id=127970). Put these every foot or so on straight runs, and within an inch or two of either side of each butt connector or spade terminal (the idea is to ensure that the wire is fully supported WITHOUT putting any strain on the connections themselves.

Keep the radius of any bend to no less than an inch or two (more for heavier wires; but you're dealing with pretty light stuff)-- NO kinks or sharp bends. Any/all screw connections should be as tight as possible without risking breakage -- and that's usually pretty damn tight.

When you've finished making all the connections, test them; when you're sure all is well, coat EVERYTHING with a liberal application of a good corrosion inhibitor, such as Boeshield T-9, Corrosion-X, or CRC #6026.



That's a heck of a detailed response and I greatly appreciated it! Thank you for your help!
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