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View Full Version : Rope lights instead of dome lilghts on party top?



Endurance
04-11-2013, 09:42 AM
I have my boat builder making a party top for my boat. They want to know what kind of lighting I want under it. Their standard would be a half a dozen or so 20w incandescent recessed puck lights. Rather than that, I am wondering about putting LED rope lighting around the perimeter. The top is about 17 feet wide and 24 feet long, so the perimeter would be about 82 feet. I don't plan to read under the party top at night, but I don't want it to feel dark either. Would 82 feet of rope lighting around the perimeter be enough light?

easttnboater
04-11-2013, 01:38 PM
That is the same size as my party top. You will be able to read with that much rope lighting. Make sure they put a dimmer on it.

Bamby
04-12-2013, 05:23 AM
Slightly off topic, but I gotta ask how do you deal with the bugs? Is it just our boating area, but any time we attempt to turn on some lighting we get overran with them and enough of them are small enough they can actually penetrate or get through the screens so we often choose to sit in the dark. On cooler evenings though we light the propane gas light and it is kind of entertaining watching the pests kamikaze themselves into the their afterlife. :rolleyes:

Endurance
04-12-2013, 08:18 AM
Bamby, you're right on topic. I'll admit that my first motivation for rope lights is that I think they look cool. But another consideration is to move the light source from directly overhead to the outside edges of my party top and therefore hopefully move the bugs to the outside edges. Lake Powell is in a desert climate, but we still get tiny flying gnats that have the nickname of "no-see-um" bugs. I was thinking that a blue or cool white color would be bad for bugs and wonder if a warm white or even a yellow would be a better choice. As luck would have it, yellow LEDs use less power than white. Whites use either .76 of a watt per foot for standard or .96 of a watt for foot for extra-bright. This gives between 62 and 79 watts for my 82 feet of perimeter. That's not bad by rope light standards, but the yellows use only .53 of a watt per foot, which translates to 43 watts for 82 feet. If anyone has any experience with using yellow lights to control bugs, maybe they can help us out.

desimulacra
04-12-2013, 10:49 AM
I have yellow lights in a fixture similar to what a house would have. These are mounted on each side of the front doors on my houseboat. They attract very few bugs. I leave the yellows on when I am away and coming back or if guests are showing up later.
I also have white overhead light and when I turn them on we are often overrun with flying critters.
Lastly I have white rope lights around the perimeter which will attract bugs but not as bad as the overheads.
I have heard the Red Rope lights do not attract bugs..dunno fer sure, just heard.

42gibson
04-13-2013, 03:51 AM
we had yellow lights om our docks near the bow and stern, the boat was covered with bugs every morning. we moved the lights to 10 foot above the docks,problem solved. we had a 54ft playcraft on seneca lake in central ohio for a few years.it had a 12x25 party top w/white rope lights on a dimmer switch. no bug problems.

Bamby
04-13-2013, 02:00 PM
Been looking further into the led lighting myself because I would like to do something about lighting on our boat also. I found this post is both informational and typical of what I've been able to grub out of web though slanted towards night fishing, bit I figure night fishermen in general would know about bugs.:)


I will try to cover LED lights in general, color choices, bugs, light types, where to buy, and prices.

LED lights in general: True color, little heat, and very low amp draw. I can run all my lights for hours and not notice a drop in my trolling motor battery. True color is important as it is not a filter that wastes light and still attracts bugs. All of my lights are hooked to my trolling motor battery and have a 3 amp fuse.

Important: Keep all lights out of your line of sight when fishing or driving. It makes a huge difference in your vision. That means you should not be able to see any bulbs directly from normal seated or fishing positions. Inside the boat you want all reflected light. Outside the boat, keep all lights below the outer edge of the boat. The lights are waterproof so they stay on the boat 24/7/365 and I never worry about them.

Fishability: The right lights at night make fishing easier and safer. They may scare some fish, but I definitely attract some fish also. Many fish hit in the area of the lights so it isnít a total turn off to the fish. Other boaters can see you better so it is much safer for avoiding collisions also. Plus the drunks coming home from the marina bars can really see you and they give you some room. Plus it is easier to cast, tie knots, and generally manage the boat.

With all the lights on, I can bass fish just the same as in the daytime. I have no trouble pitching a worm, jig, or spinnerbait to shoreline cover with high accuracy even on the darkest of nights.

Color choices:

Amber (yellow): Bright light with minimal bug attraction. These are best to light the boat interior when you need to see well. They are aimed down from under seats and decks to light the floor.

Red: Will not hurt your night vision. Red lights are not very bright, but great to light the boat interior at all times. Helps avoid stepping on things and seeing the floor. They are aimed down from under seats and decks to light the floor (same as amber, but on different switch). Red lights have the least bug attraction.

Blue (called moonlight by some): aimed out to light the banks while fishing. Works well. Makes it look like fishing on a full moon night. Blue lights will attract bugs.

UV (purple): aimed out to light your fishing line while fishing. UV lights work awesome with fluorescent monofilament line. It really glows bright. UV does not make braid or fluorocarbon line glow. UV lights can really attracts bugs.

Green: aimed into the water to attract bait. Really attracts bugs.

White: only for headlights (like a car) and headlamps (hooked to your hat). White lights attract bugs like crazy. It is the best color to see by when you really need to see something.

Bugs: Big concern in summertime night fishing. You need to be very careful about color choice or the inside of the boat will be filled with bugs in a minute. The outside will have a million around it with almost none inside if done right. When you turn a white headlamp on, you have about 10 seconds until you are covered in bugs. Most of the bugs are not mosquitoes so they donít bite, but it can still be maddening with the huge numbers.

Interesting thing on with the LED lights for bassboats. It seems people are matching the interior color of the lights to the boatís interior color. Crazy idea as you may end up with a super pretty bug attracting machine. It would be totally unfishable at night with the number of bugs in the boats interior. Style over function for some I guess.

A Thermocell bug repellant is a good addition to any night fishing rig.

Source and other posts are shared here (http://www.fishingtn.com/showthread.php?t=4782).


I'm for preserving my night vision also so it's seeming red may be the way to go..

Stmbtwle
04-13-2013, 05:43 PM
Thanks for the info!!!! I totally agree with the rope lights for collision avoidance, I have 75+ feet of multi-colored X-mas lights for the same purpose, but eventually they'll have to be replaced. The info on the other colors for fish and bugs is very interesting. I'll have to try some of them.

Bamby
04-15-2013, 06:14 AM
Thanks for the info!!!! I totally agree with the rope lights for collision avoidance, I have 75+ feet of multi-colored X-mas lights for the same purpose, but eventually they'll have to be replaced. The info on the other colors for fish and bugs is very interesting. I'll have to try some of them.

It appears there are a lot of new options available now for led lighting. It appears that for Endurance's use and probably mine though not sure about this year, they have a pretty good selection of multiple colored units available. I ran into this one (http://store.letsled.com/Waterproof-LED-lighting-strips-IP68-RGB-p/lled-tcrgb68w.htm) for example that offers a pretty broad variety of color choices on one lighting strip. With the right controller choice I'm thinking one could make some pretty good lighting effects if one really wanted too. Color rolling changes with the beat of the party music may even be a possibility though I'm sure it would take a sophisticated controller to pull it off it defiantly would be neat and an real attention getter anywhere. Anyway I'm in no hurry myself but I'm finding the possibilities pretty interesting.

GoVols
04-16-2013, 08:43 AM
The cost of LED rope lighting has dropped like a rock! I remember looking at it 2 years ago and it was stupid expensive. Fast forward to 1 month ago and I bought 50' of warm white for $67 delivered. Check E-Bay.

This last Saturday night, I saw a boat with multicolor LEDs on 2 different levels of the boat; waterline and upper deck. Both strings changed colors at the same time every so often. It was a really cool sight to see. Now, sync that to some music and that would be like a rave on the water!

Endurance
04-16-2013, 09:49 AM
For a lot of practical reasons, red LEDs seem to be a good choice. I just don't know that I can get past connotations I would rather avoid.

http://i1137.photobucket.com/albums/n511/endurance12/the-red-light-district_zps98f06e35.jpg

Frantically Relaxing
04-16-2013, 08:03 PM
I'll bet $1000 that I got bugs worse than anyone here... Our boat came with incandescent rope lights, mounted inside under the valance. Our top is 24 x 12, the lights were attached to a dimmer, but we were never able to use 'em...

This pic was taken in the morning, immediately after giving the top a good smack... THIS IS A LINK to the full size photo-- (http://www.engraver1.com/boat-ing/bugs2.jpg) if you look hard you can almost see where the rope lights USED to be mounted. Almost. ;)

http://www.engraver1.com/boat-ing/bugs2a.jpg

We'd get this many bugs just from the living room light, can't imagine how many would show up for rope lights.

Our front porch, on many many mornings. This is what gets past the fully screened front porch.

http://www.engraver1.com/boat-ing/bugporch.jpg


==============

These bugs are midges, and they live and breed in all the fragmites you can see in front of the boat. Fragmites surrounded the lake, but the last 2 years the state has killed them down. South of us (behind the boat) were gone last year, and so were half the bugs finally. All the rest were killed last fall, and HOPEFULLY once the dead vegetation is gone so too will be these *&^$#!! midges!

And if so, I'M replacing the rope lights! I already have some bought ready to put up!

desimulacra
04-17-2013, 04:42 AM
Man Wow Man ok You got me beat ..... never so glad to be beat!!!! Those are terrible

Dan
04-17-2013, 03:03 PM
Holy Cow! And if there was anything that ate those things you'd have to have a 1000 of them!

GoVols
04-23-2013, 12:31 PM
.......note to self, "don't leave outdoor lights on over night!"

42gibson
04-24-2013, 08:04 AM
I'll bet $1000 that I got bugs worse than anyone here... Our boat came with incandescent rope lights, mounted inside under the valance. Our top is 24 x 12, the lights were attached to a dimmer, but we were never able to use 'em...

This pic was taken in the morning, immediately after giving the top a good smack... THIS IS A LINK to the full size photo-- (http://www.engraver1.com/boat-ing/bugs2.jpg) if you look hard you can almost see where the rope lights USED to be mounted. Almost. ;)

http://www.engraver1.com/boat-ing/bugs2a.jpg

We'd get this many bugs just from the living room light, can't imagine how many would show up for rope lights.

Our front porch, on many many mornings. This is what gets past the fully screened front porch.

http://www.engraver1.com/boat-ing/bugporch.jpg


==============

These bugs are midges, and they live and breed in all the fragmites you can see in front of the boat. Fragmites surrounded the lake, but the last 2 years the state has killed them down. South of us (behind the boat) were gone last year, and so were half the bugs finally. All the rest were killed last fall, and HOPEFULLY once the dead vegetation is gone so too will be these *&^$#!! midges!

And if so, I'M replacing the rope lights! I already have some bought ready to put up!

your money is safe!!! that is beyond bad.