Transom lights.

Discussion in 'Electrical Stuff' started by LClifton, Sep 14, 2021.

  1. ttmott

    ttmott PhD in OCD TECHNICAL Contributor GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 3, 2012
    Space Coast Florida
    2006 52 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins QSM11
    What else is on that circuit breaker?
    To add at 12 volts each lamp draws 5 amps right? As your boat is 12 volt systems then you are drawing a total of 15 amps just with the lighting.....
     
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  2. LClifton

    LClifton Member

    55
    Aug 19, 2020
    Phoenix, AZ
    2006 340 Sundancer
    Twin 8.1 Mercuiser
    Ok. This is part of my question list to the installer.

    As I read the Amps it says 2.5 on 24 amps. I believe my boat is wired to run 24 amps based on the battery set up.
    (But I don't know that for certain) As such, I was using the 2.5 amp number and rounding to 3 and said to myself that's still only 9 amps and the breaker should be fine. Obviously not. I think this may indeed be the issue as you've stated.

    Could it be that I have two house batteries wired in series (or is it parallel?) that would mean I still only have 12 volts but two batteries? In other words I don't necessarily have a 24 volt set up. (I'm learning).

    The wire,,, the new wire is a white jacketed wire that I believe is 10ga. Again, I will check when we revisit the boat.

    From there, I'm lost with the rest of your set up. Not because of your description but because of my lack of understanding. I'm anxious to get back out to the boat and get this issue resolved. Many thanks for you help with what you've provided here Skybolt.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2021
  3. LClifton

    LClifton Member

    55
    Aug 19, 2020
    Phoenix, AZ
    2006 340 Sundancer
    Twin 8.1 Mercuiser
    I don't think anything. The switch at the helm and the breaker are labeled "AFT Accessory".
    Prior to having the lights installed this switch operated nothing.

    On second thought, just because that switch didn't operate anything....still means that there could be something else on that circuit? Or could that breaker be dedicated to that switch solely?
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2021
  4. LClifton

    LClifton Member

    55
    Aug 19, 2020
    Phoenix, AZ
    2006 340 Sundancer
    Twin 8.1 Mercuiser
    Skybolt, is this similar to your sub panel set up?
     

    Attached Files:

  5. JHornsby3

    JHornsby3 Well-Known Member

    968
    Nov 10, 2020
    Sheridan Oregon
    "Steele'y Tutz"
    1992 300 Sundancer
    Twin 4.3L W/Alpha One Gen II
    Ok, it seems you are confusing amps and volts. Your boat should be 12 volt direct current. 12vDC
     
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  6. redlightning

    redlightning Active Member

    102
    Dec 26, 2016
    Beaver Lake Arkansas
    2012 390EC
    8.2l
    You are pulling 15 amps. The boat is a 12v system. If you had those professionally installed the tech should have known this. You will need to move one to another breaker.
     
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  7. Spark600

    Spark600 Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    387
    Dec 28, 2013
    South Shore Long Island NY
    2015 Sundancer 410
    Onan Generator
    Mercury dinghy
    Cummins QSB HO 380 HP
    Zeus Pods
    If you want to check the wiring for a short, Just disconnect all the lights at the lights ( Remove the light from the circuit ) then turn on the light switch if it trips the breaker then there is a short in the wiring if it stays on then it is in the lights or a over load circuit.
    Does it stay on for a while or does it trip the breaker right away.
     
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  8. techmitch

    techmitch Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    May 1, 2008
    Chesapeake Bay, Middle River/Frog Mortar Creek MD.
    1999 270 DA
    Twin 4.3s W/Alpa I Gen II's
    The OP states in the first post that they stay on for 4 mins then trip breaker.
     
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  9. ttmott

    ttmott PhD in OCD TECHNICAL Contributor GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 3, 2012
    Space Coast Florida
    2006 52 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins QSM11
    The lights are tripping the circuit breaker. Your installer placed too much demand on the circuit breaker.
    • Your boat operates on 12 volts.
    • The circuit breaker he/they connected the lighting to is 15 Amp rated (the ACC circuit breaker)
    • Each light requires 5 amps at 12 volts or 2.5 amps at 24 volts. As your boat is 12 volts the lights each require 5 amps.
    • You have three lights so 3X5=15 amps.
    • 15 amps demand on a 15 amp circuit breaker will trip the circuit breaker in a short amount of time.

    As it appears the installer errored on the circuit current rating I would also question the wire gauge installed.
    Also, the installer should have installed and labeled a dedicated circuit breaker for the underwater lighting.

    Just so you know typical circuit breakers do not instantly trip - there is a overcurrent curve.
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. SKybolt

    SKybolt Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Nov 11, 2014
    Kent Narrows, MD
    1988 460 EC
    Detroit 6v92TA
    (Low profile's)
    Alison Gears
    Westerbeke
    12.5kw Genset
    I used two of these bus bars in a water tight box mounted above the lights and steering on the back transom in the bilge.

    These lights draw 5 amps each @ 12v dc. As mentioned your boat is 12v dc. I connected these in the three wire configuration with the 25amp breaker (previous post) on the red 12v feed wire and ran the orange wire back to the helm. It is the diagram labeled 3 wire connection in Lumitec's instructions.

    The sub panel you posted is not really made to be switched or bilge mounted. Some installer's do not read the instructions or understand them properly.

    This is from their instructions:
    "Due to the high lumen output of the SeaBlazeX2 light, sufficiently rated wiring and electrical
    components must be used to minimize voltage drop to the lights. When connecting multiple
    SeaBlazeX2 lights to a common switch this becomes even more critical. THE TYPICAL
    RECOMMENDATION IS TO SELECT WIRING SYSTEM COMPONENTS TO ENSURE THAT VOLTAGE DROP
    FROM POWER SOURCE TO THE LIGHTS DOES NOT EXCEED 3%. To simplify the installation on vessels
    with multiple lights Lumitec has introduced a remote switch internal to the SBX2 light, allowing for
    less expensive low current wire and components to be used during the installation."

    If you use the 25A breaker as I did, I would recommend using 10 gauge wire to feed the bus bars. You can use 14/16 gauge to extend each light if needed. I used 14 gauge to extend the lights and back to the helm. The wire back to the helm is very low current and could be 16ga. ABYC ratting's don't allow less then 16ga wire to be used.

    My boat neighbor had had his installer re-wire three times for these light because he thought I was crazy about how to wire these, just before Labor day he asked me what he needed to order and how to connect the lights properly. Because my three lights were brighter then his five.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2021
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  11. LClifton

    LClifton Member

    55
    Aug 19, 2020
    Phoenix, AZ
    2006 340 Sundancer
    Twin 8.1 Mercuiser
    Yup. This is the ultimate conclusion. I can’t thank you all enough. I’m going to fix it on our next trip. I’ll keep you all informed and perhaps someone else will benefit from this.
     
  12. LClifton

    LClifton Member

    55
    Aug 19, 2020
    Phoenix, AZ
    2006 340 Sundancer
    Twin 8.1 Mercuiser
    This situation has been a great opportunity to learn. I’m not happy with the guy that installed them but with all this good help—-I’m gonna get it fixed.
     
    SKybolt likes this.
  13. pyro

    pyro Active Member

    278
    Dec 4, 2018
    CT, Long Island Sound
    2008 Sundancer 290
    Twin 5.0L MPI Bravo III
    Kohler 5ecd
    Part of the problem is Lumitec lies on their data sheets. The X2s pull more than 5 amps, more like 6 amps from my testimg so you are asking 18 amps through a 15 amp breaker which is about right you'll get a few minutes before it overheats and trips. Normally manufacturers list max current. One if the few times I see they underestimate current, but I guess their marketeers needed better battery, lumen and effeciency numbers.
     
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  14. LClifton

    LClifton Member

    55
    Aug 19, 2020
    Phoenix, AZ
    2006 340 Sundancer
    Twin 8.1 Mercuiser
    When I wrote this I used amps where I meant volts. I meant volts on the battery description and amps for the draw of the lights.
     
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  15. SKybolt

    SKybolt Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Nov 11, 2014
    Kent Narrows, MD
    1988 460 EC
    Detroit 6v92TA
    (Low profile's)
    Alison Gears
    Westerbeke
    12.5kw Genset
    Actually their data sheet is correct. It lists 5 amp draw in the upper right and on the 3 wire connect it states 6 amps. I agree that is confusing. But I believe who ever designed their web site is to blame for the bad information. Saying they lie is a bit steep, don't you think?

    https://www.lumiteclighting.com/amfile/file/download/file/41/product/52357/
     
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  16. LClifton

    LClifton Member

    55
    Aug 19, 2020
    Phoenix, AZ
    2006 340 Sundancer
    Twin 8.1 Mercuiser
    Yes, 5 and 6 amp are both listed. For the record I called them and they reached out twice explaining there was an error on the site regarding a specific model. (The model I purchased). The error was that the lights were listed as a 2.5 amp draw. (On both 12 and 24 volt). The model that was nearly identical was listed at 5 amps (12V) and 2.5 (24V), which is what threw me.
    When I say it threw me...believe me it doesn't take much when it come to electrical. :)
    They claimed they were going to correct it.
    Pretty certain they didn't mean any harm by it.

    Question, the way this picture shows the wiring,, is this called wiring in parallel?
     

    Attached Files:

  17. SKybolt

    SKybolt Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Nov 11, 2014
    Kent Narrows, MD
    1988 460 EC
    Detroit 6v92TA
    (Low profile's)
    Alison Gears
    Westerbeke
    12.5kw Genset
    Yes, the red and black are to each other and the orange is separately. Although that drawing makes it look like they all are because of the battery.
     
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  18. ttmott

    ttmott PhD in OCD TECHNICAL Contributor GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 3, 2012
    Space Coast Florida
    2006 52 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins QSM11
    The red and black need to be of a gauge to carry the anticipated current which should be 25 amps (the circuit breaker size).
    The orange is a low current switch leg and can be 16 Gauge routed to the on and off switch. The switch leg would probably use a 5 amp circuit breaker or whatever suitable for the wire gauge and length.
     
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  19. LClifton

    LClifton Member

    55
    Aug 19, 2020
    Phoenix, AZ
    2006 340 Sundancer
    Twin 8.1 Mercuiser
    This is true. This is why I asked. The drawing does not depict what I have in my mind for wiring to the buss.
     
  20. LClifton

    LClifton Member

    55
    Aug 19, 2020
    Phoenix, AZ
    2006 340 Sundancer
    Twin 8.1 Mercuiser
    This is exactly what SKybolt shared with me via email. You guys are incredible. I realize this is plain easy for you guys but for me it’s like —- I don’t wanna mess up.
    anyway there are two wires from the switch and only one wire left over — the orange wire. Do I attach one side of the switch (with two wires that run inside the bilge from a previous accessory) to the red buss to power the switch?
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2021

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