Tuesday, 4 July 2017

LED interior lighting on a Budget

Original fixture
Have been grappling with the replacement of the OEM square fixtures in Windstar, and was having trouble finding LED replacements that are:

  • similar in footprint
  • have a switch on board
  • have a night lighting option
  • are affordable.
  • not more cheap/cheesy than the originals.
  • Have space in the housing for the bulky butt splices used to connect OEM fixture to the boat's wiring.
 The fixture below was suggested by a fellow C&C mailing list member, he installed these as direct replacements.  His wife was made happy.  Meets all my criteria except for red night lighting.  So, I decided to purchase a bulk bag of red LEDs and see if I couldn't modify the fixture.


Princess Auto, C$14.99

 The LEDs were mounted in snug fitting holes arranged around the perimeter of the light source, and the micro switch was installed at the same and as the supplied switch.  The leads were taped over when done.  It is not necessary to glue in the LEDs.

It works fine.  The SPDT switch supplied with the fixture permits wiring the LED toggle switch so that it is powered only when the fixture is off.   In other words you can't use both at the same time.   The orange/white wire is +12vdc, the black is to ground.

Modified fixture with LEDs, micro toggle switch, and resistors.
Mediocre Photos requiring no explanation, other than the hazy lens which was wet sanded to reduce glare.


The following website wizard simplifies the LED circuit design.  You input your parameters, it outputs a schematic.   http://led.linear1.org/led.wiz

All done for around C$20 per fixture!


  1. Dave

    I used the same ones on my C&C 36 in the galley and head. The galley was a double so I could have alot of light for cooking. They have been installed for 3 years and work perfectly. We put other ligjrs in ither areas as they were so bright.

    1. So, did you find those fixtures too bright for other areas? I already did the galley with lee valley linear LED strips (tape in an aluminum extrusion). Really happy with those as the light is evenly distributed and bright but not harsh. Dave.