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Beezer

Light upgrades

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Beezer
Posted (edited)

Hello Crew,

Just reaching out to the pro's again for some of your thoughts.  I have an 07 VLX that our family absolutely love and I'm thinking of upgrading the interior lights and MAYBE adding a couple underwater transom lights. Question...is there a good replacement for the stock Attwoods inside that I could just use the existing wiring and would brighten it up (possible add couple more but not sure where)  Second question is am I out of mine mind to drill holes in my Malibu for underwater lights??? I love the look but I'm little worried about the install, what's the best bang for my buck, what lights would you recommend to throw some lumens?  Looking forward to you comments.

 

Edited by Beezer
adding info

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store934

You might take a look at these Lifeform 9s.   The have a good discount right now.   I have a set on order so I have not installed them yet.  It looks like a few others are installing based on recent threads...

 

https://lifeformled.com/old-body-style-of-lifeform-9-underwater-led-boat-light/

https://lifeformled.com/lifeform-9-underwater-led-boat-light/

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formulaben
12 minutes ago, Beezer said:

...is there a good replacement for the stock Attwoods inside that I could just use the existing wiring and would brighten it up

Are you wanting to upgrade the bulbs or upgrade/add new socket hardware?  I doubt you have the same sockets as my boat came stock with; they were funky festoon style sockets (like cars from the 80s.)  I was able to source some LED replacements with 21 small LEDs on them.  They really brightened things up!  But regardless you should be able to find a better LED replacement if you pull a bulb and cross-reference it to an LED replacement.  I later changed them out to strip lighting enclosed in aluminum for ease of installation and more uniform light along the entire cup holder "shelf" on both sides of the boat.  Anyway, there's lots of options out there. 

One caveat: be sure you know what light spectrum you prefer.  I definitely can't stand bright white that borders on blue (cool white.)  I instead prefer warm white and even amber if necessary.  I find it is much easier on the eyes in low light conditions and especially in full darkness.

14 minutes ago, Beezer said:

Second question is am I out of mine mind to drill holes in my Malibu for underwater lights???

No, it's really not as big a deal as you'd think.  I will say that drilling under the water line is absolutely on another level, but the same rules apply:

  1. Measure 5 times (be damn sure the hole on the other side of the transom isn't hitting a stringer, topside of bilge, exhaust, etc.)
  2. Drill once (YouTube search "drilling into fiberglass" and don't skimp on new drill bits.)
  3. Chamfer  (ALWAYS chamfer after drilling - before inserting screws!)
  4. Use a proper sealant.
  5. Leak check after initial install; then again later in the season after "break in."

If you're worried about it, here's something that might calm your nerves.  Take a quick guess how many holes are in your boat under the water line right now.  I'm willing to bet you a beer that you can take your initial answer and at least triple it. 

Also, when drilling the hole for the screws, make sure you don't go too small on the hole like you would with wood; if you try to force the screw in you'll get spider cracks.  The hole should be just slightly smaller than the threads...and don't forget to chamfer immediately after drilling the hole.  I generally use a countersink bit on 1/2" and smaller or dremel for larger holes.

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hawaiianstyln
Posted (edited)

i'm about to tackle out 2 lifeform 9's.  As @formulaben has awesomely detailed out, drilling in your hull is really a no brainer if you follow above.  My issue right now is making sure I drill my 1/2" holes in the correct locations so that I don't hit a stringer or an area that I can't access and now have to pull the floor up/remove pumps, etc just to get to the wires that need to come through.  Also, the whole measuring thing...It's easy to measure externally on your transom where you want the lights.  It is NOT easy to get that correct measurement on the inside of your transom making sure you go through to your exact location.  Fiberglass thicknesses/carpet thickness can slightly vary a little on how fast they laid it on the inside from what I can tell.  There are some lumpy areas.  On that note I will be measuring more than 5 times :)

fortunately for me @Chia sent me a pic of his LF9 install on the same year/model as I have and now I have an understanding where they should go and where he told me they would come out on the otherside. (right above the ballast pump located slightly under the floor, but there is an access panel)

2020-04-15_15-38-31.jpg

Edited by hawaiianstyln

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Beezer

Has anyone ever tried the drain plug lights that are out there? are they any good? Seem like a pretty simple option. I've seen a couple video's on them but nothing in the water yet, still looking.

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formulaben
Posted (edited)

I had one for a season and really liked it because it was easier to remove the drain plug, no wrench needed.  But it only lasted one season, so it was one and done.  I'll probably add some proper lights this winter.

Edited by formulaben

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store934
Posted (edited)

I will take some pictures of my mounting location a bit later.  What is the consensus on the need for relay with these?  I know the directions are very clear on using them but the stock wiring does look adequate the current fuse  is a 7.5 amp.   Each light is 2.7 amps.  Not against using one but I also don't like doing things that are not needed and adding another potential failure point.

Edited by store934

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store934

Here is where I am looking at mounting mine.  I pulled the floor covering the rear ballast tanks.  Using the swim platform mounting bolts as a reference inside and out made it pretty easy to find a good location.  I think I came down 3.5“ inches and over 2.5” from the center of the lower swim platform mounting bolt.

F4D63877-AA43-4442-9DC2-6E00D3FA81ED.jpeg

6A417062-9C2D-49BE-8A7B-F93089A332ED.jpeg

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formulaben
Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, store934 said:

What is the consensus on the need for relay with these?

I guess my simple answer is if the circuit can accommodate the current draw of the newly installed lights then you don't need one. 

Edited by formulaben

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RzrbackAV
17 hours ago, Beezer said:

Has anyone ever tried the drain plug lights that are out there? are they any good? Seem like a pretty simple option. I've seen a couple video's on them but nothing in the water yet, still looking.

I did but mine holes wouldn't line up perfectly and the manual wedge bracket backplate would have to have been altered to allow room for the light

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hawaiianstyln
13 hours ago, store934 said:

Here is where I am looking at mounting mine.  I pulled the floor covering the rear ballast tanks.  Using the swim platform mounting bolts as a reference inside and out made it pretty easy to find a good location.  I think I came down 3.5“ inches and over 2.5” from the center of the lower swim platform mounting bolt.

F4D63877-AA43-4442-9DC2-6E00D3FA81ED.jpeg

6A417062-9C2D-49BE-8A7B-F93089A332ED.jpeg

I know my VLX is 10 years older than your LSV, but i'm right there on your mark for drilling and installing at the same location.  Tonight/this weekend I will measure measure measure and probably drill Saturday.  I have a measurement about 3.75" over from the middle bottom bolt to the swim platform bracket.  Your LSV just has a taller transom than mine, but they will/should come through the hull slightly right above that ballast pump

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Beezer

Thanks for the pics, these are great, I was so wrapped up in where to put them I totally forgot about the ballast tanks,(duh)  I'm leaning more and more to this rather than the drain plug light.  Does anyone know what's on the newer boats for transom lighting and the location? are they round or oval?  I guess personal preference but just looking for info. As for the interior I was hoping to find a replacement for the stock light assembly that I could just cut out and splice in.  Thinking about blue perhaps or is there a red/green/blue out there?

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store934
13 hours ago, formulaben said:

I guess my simple answer is if the circuit can accommodate the current draw of the newly installed lights then you don't need one. 

Thanks.  That is what I assumed but after reading more from Lifeform they references Pulse-width modulation (a method of reducing the average power delivered by an electrical signal) as being the reason to a relay.

"However, on some of the newer Ski boats with Touch Screen Panels, caution has to be applied.  The newer boats use PDM (Power distribution modules) that communicate with the boat's touch panel via a communication link.  In order to control the LED lights via the touch panel (or aux switch), an auxiliary relay has to be installed to provide full power to our LIFEFORM LED lights, due to the PWM power output frequency of these PDM modules. Then the relay can safely be controlled from the PDM output. This will allow the lights to draw the full power they need to operate correctly, and operate at 100% light output".

I have no idea if Malibu is using PWM but from a little reading it sounds like PWM is a method to dim LED lights.   Sounds like the risk I run using the factory wiring not getting 100% light output and I suppose if the light it not designed to be dimmed, it could damage the light.

Not sure why the factory lights would not have this problem and Lifeform lights would...

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asnowman
2 hours ago, Beezer said:

Thanks for the pics, these are great, I was so wrapped up in where to put them I totally forgot about the ballast tanks,(duh)  I'm leaning more and more to this rather than the drain plug light.  Does anyone know what's on the newer boats for transom lighting and the location? are they round or oval?  I guess personal preference but just looking for info. As for the interior I was hoping to find a replacement for the stock light assembly that I could just cut out and splice in.  Thinking about blue perhaps or is there a red/green/blue out there?

I just ordered the lights that are on the 2020 models

https://www.covertlights.com/M50-xx12-1/

thanks to @ahopkinsVTX and @Eagleboy99 for helping to figure out what they are. That was the best price i could find. interestingly, they are also coming up under the seachoice brand. they also have them as an RGB model, but i didn't feel the need. I just wanted plug and play.

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hawaiianstyln
2 hours ago, asnowman said:

I just ordered the lights that are on the 2020 models

https://www.covertlights.com/M50-xx12-1/

thanks to @ahopkinsVTX and @Eagleboy99 for helping to figure out what they are. That was the best price i could find. interestingly, they are also coming up under the seachoice brand. they also have them as an RGB model, but i didn't feel the need. I just wanted plug and play.

WOW and I thought I got a good deal on the LF9's for 199 right now.  LF9's are only 2,700 lumens per light with the same amp draw as yours but you get a wopping 5,500 lumens per light :shocked::Doh:

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hawaiianstyln

going to attempt to return my LF9's for these TecNiq 12's.  I have the OEM Malibu underwater lights and just measured if these TecNiq 12's would fit and it appears all I need to do is remove the OEM lights and install the TecNiq 12's.

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asnowman
4 minutes ago, hawaiianstyln said:

going to attempt to return my LF9's for these TecNiq 12's.  I have the OEM Malibu underwater lights and just measured if these TecNiq 12's would fit and it appears all I need to do is remove the OEM lights and install the TecNiq 12's.

Just an FYI, the white are not immediately available, but the blue are.

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hawaiianstyln
5 minutes ago, asnowman said:

Just an FYI, the white are not immediately available, but the blue are.

Good to know, i want white 👍🏻👊🏻

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Eagleboy99

Like Dad used to say "Feed the cat another canary" - buy the more expensive RGB ones.  You will get white and blue.

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ahopkinsVTX

FYI, here’s a picture I snagged off IG if the new lights. Water seems terrible quality and the lights look great - for the water quality! And they make my garage/driveway look insanely blue! Lol

50EA9A05-2855-4E27-87A6-12E05387E7D5.png

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dalt1

Always wondered why the put them behind the wedge?

 

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gregtay
3 hours ago, hawaiianstyln said:

Good to know, i want white 👍🏻👊🏻

I couldn't pass this up... I just ordered a set of blue.  Not sure how much of a difference is between blue and white (as far as brightness) but blue sounded fun:)  

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Eagleboy99

BLue won't be quite as bright, but will look much cooler methinks, depending on your water.  My hot tub has RGB lighting and I almost always use blue.

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asnowman
1 hour ago, ahopkinsVTX said:

FYI, here’s a picture I snagged off IG if the new lights. Water seems terrible quality and the lights look great - for the water quality! And they make my garage/driveway look insanely blue! Lol

50EA9A05-2855-4E27-87A6-12E05387E7D5.png

Looks like the is a front facing one in that picture.....

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