adding interior lights

ash

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We just bought a 2012 20 sli and love it. We are often out at night and it is way too dark on the boat. The anchor light does very little to illuminate the seating area. I end up bringing a lantern just so people can see where the cooler is. My question is what options do I have for adding LED lights? I have a live well rocker switch that lights up but no live well installed. I also saw a few four pin square connections that are empty under the helm. Any chance of being able to tap into these?
 

Geoffrey & Brenda

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Hi Ash, welcome to the Club! Happy to hear you are pleased with your new toy :) We have a 20SLi as well, and really love it too. I used the livewell switch to power up my depth sounder, but you can use it for whatever you want. I got a wiring diagram in the info packet that came with the boat and used that to find the wiring i needed to add the depth sounder. There are a lot of options out there for additional lighting, floor lights mounted in the seat bases, bimini lights, lighted cupholders, etc. Ask your dealer to show you what is available from Bennington, then look at aftermarket options from boat accy manufacturers. Have fun customizing your toon :D
 

ChuckP

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The LED "mood" lights are one of the main features I like better on the R than the G, but that and the armrests are hard to justify for an additional $4000. My dealer has a stereo shop they deal with who is putting a system in my boat when it comes in they have also done custom LED installs and I'm going to see about doing that as well when my G comes in. You should ask your dealer if they have a stereo guy they could put you in touch, or maybe a local car customizing shop.
 

ericscher

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Some folks buy 12v LED rope lights that they attach to their bimini hoops.
 

ash

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Thank you all for your replies! I did look at the wiring diagram and now understand how I can tap into the Live Well switch. The next challenge is how to run the wire for the LED's. The ideal placement would be on the seat bases. The only way I could see doing that is running the wire underneath the deck. Of course that involves penetrating the plywood. Does anyone have experience doing that? Any warranty issues to contend with?

Thanks again to everyone!
 

seven twenty

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The lights in the bimini rail work well. Suttle but bright enough to see what you need. It was an option so i don't know if you could order a kit or if you have to get the whole "rail".
 

acehiggy

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I have a 2010 20SLI and I was wanting to do the same thing. However, I will be waiting until I pull it out of the water this fall. I was thinking about the LED lighing on the seat pods as well as some type of blue LED lighing on the bimimi top. I will use the LiveWell switch also. I have looked at many different types of LED lighting (from round to square, white to chrome) and haven't decided yet what I will use. When I get around to doing it, I will post some pictures. I have even found a battery operated bimimi LED light so you don't even have to worry about wiring.
 

Clark

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I added led lights to the seat bases and they look and work great. I did have to drill through the deck to wire them. It is important to cut a small hole in the carpet before drilling into the deck wood, I used a hollow circle punch to do it. If you don't the drill will pull a fiber in the carpet and it happens fast, you can pull 6" before you can stop drilling.
 

ash

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I added led lights to the seat bases and they look and work great. I did have to drill through the deck to wire them. It is important to cut a small hole in the carpet before drilling into the deck wood, I used a hollow circle punch to do it. If you don't the drill will pull a fiber in the carpet and it happens fast, you can pull 6" before you can stop drilling.
Clark, did you use the live well switch? If so, can you walk me through which wires you tapped?
 

Mattie K

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I added led lights to the seat bases and they look and work great. I did have to drill through the deck to wire them. It is important to cut a small hole in the carpet before drilling into the deck wood, I used a hollow circle punch to do it. If you don't the drill will pull a fiber in the carpet and it happens fast, you can pull 6" before you can stop drilling.
Hey Clark....

Would love to see some pictures...also, how about a resource of the brand and where you purchased the light kit. Also the approximate cost. Forums are great for sharing original ideas.....MK
 

Clark

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Yes I did use the live well switch, but it says AUX on my boat. The live well switch was defective and I asked for a replacement that said AUX. The positve is the switched tab on the switch and I used the negative that is used to light the switches. I did it a some time ago so I don't remember the brand, but I will look into it. The boat is put away for the winter but I should take a picture and post it in the gallery in the spring.
 

qapd

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qapd

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I read each light post with much interest. We enjoy night fishing to beat the heat of the day. Recently purchased a low hour 2010 SFI and not able to launch due to low water levels. Night time lighting is nice to be able to see what you are doing.

I am starting a rope light in the bimini project. I received the rope light and wiring last week and purchased the rocker switch from my Bennington Dealer. I plan to make the bimini frame look like the Bennington lighting option but with rope lighting. I have to make a trip to the lake next weekend to remove my bimini top and bring to the house. I plan on documenting with photo this project and will post pictures as I go. I am not sure how to posts pictures in a new topic but will give it a try.

Next project will be lighting the live wells.

Anyone know of a supplier for a strainer for the livewell drain tubes? We normally use minnows and they will flush down the tube if we don't install some type of strainer. I am looking for something in PVC I can glue or wedge on the overflow tubes. I have found some replacement tubes with the strainer already installed and prepared to go that way if needed.
 

ericscher

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It is important to cut a small hole in the carpet before drilling into the deck wood, I used a hollow circle punch to do it. If you don't the drill will pull a fiber in the carpet and it happens fast, you can pull 6" before you can stop drilling.
Let me let you in on a simple "Cable Guy" trick I learned many, many moons ago when I first got into the technology business.

You put your drill into your drill motor's chuck, you put the tip of the bit against the spot you want to drill through and then you start drilling. In REVERSE. You do that until you can see that you've pushed the carpet out of the way and are cleanly biting into wood, then you put the drill motor into FWD and you make your hole.
 

StevL

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You put your drill into your drill motor's chuck, you put the tip of the bit against the spot you want to drill through and then you start drilling. In REVERSE. You do that until you can see that you've pushed the carpet out of the way and are cleanly biting into wood, then you put the drill motor into FWD and you make your hole.
Great info!

I have been hunting LED lights and I have found several Hella Marine "stair lights" that I like. Just search for "interior lights".

Steve
 
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