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LED Boat Spot Light run off of a trolling motor plug?

Discussion in 'Boats, Blinds, & Gadgets Forum' started by LA in ATL, Sep 8, 2019.

  1. LA in ATL

    LA in ATL Refuge Member

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    I want to add a spot light to the front of my G3 boat to compliment two flood lights, without drilling more holes, etc.
    I'm outrunning my flood lights at 15-20 mph and had a close call with a loose dock float in midchannel last year.
    I keep my trolling motor on the boat year round, and it is wired to a separate battery that never gets used during waterfowl season. Any recommendations on how to mount a LED spotlight for running before dawn, that I can remove when I put up the blind, that would use a two prong standard 12v trolling motor plug. Seems like a waste of a good power source and I need more light.
    I would appreciate your ideas, photos, and any special products, cheap mounting ideas, lumens recommended, etc.?
    Should I just convert a standard spotlight with a 12 v cigarette lighter plug to the trolling motor plug?
     
  2. ducksinthekayak

    ducksinthekayak Senior Refuge Member

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    Not the cheapest route but I like the ease of the ram mounts and if your G3 has the track system in the gunnel there are ram balls with a t-bolt that fits the tracks. Had problems with glare and ended up getting the ram mount clamp for attaching to the trolling motor shaft helped.
    For wiring I ran a separate set of wires from the 24volt setup for the trolling motor through the inside of the gunnel with a toggle switch at my throttle so I can quickly turn the light off with boat traffic. Quick connect plugs on the light and wire so I can stow the light away while hunting or heading back in daylight.
     
    Frenchy in AK and LA in ATL like this.
  3. dogditcher

    dogditcher Senior Refuge Member

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    I made a wire harness with trolling motor plug and a wireless control that i got of amazon that came with2 key fob remotes -Just clip remote to my jacket and I can turn it on and off as needed. Mounted LED bar to a second quick release trolling motor bracket and just take it off when hunting-and in spring just put trolling motor back in place
    IMG_6296.JPG IMG_8303.JPG
    IMG_E6298.JPG IMG_6297.JPG IMG_E6301.JPG
     
    LA in ATL likes this.
  4. LA in ATL

    LA in ATL Refuge Member

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    Thanks! Appreciate that you went out and photographed your rig to show me your cool solution. Well done. Lou
     
  5. perfmarine

    perfmarine Elite Refuge Member

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    You may want to just slow down so you don't out run your lights. Any big lights on the front of a duck boat just scares the ducks! When ever possible we run with no lights.
     
  6. callinfowl

    callinfowl MEGA. Moderator

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    I never understood how guys are outrunning their lights.
    How fast are your boats and how crappy are your lights?
    Do you outrun the headlights on your truck as well?:doh:l:l:l
     
  7. calling4life

    calling4life Elite Refuge Member

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    Sure, haven't you ever seen desert racers and the like, there's a reason they have high dollar aftermarket lights on the front... There's also a reason there are different beams, flood, drive, spot, hyperspot and so on...

    It's a calculation, if, say, you're driving your car at 100 mph and realistically you take .45/second to react to something you know is danger, and in that .45/second your vehicle travels 66 feet at that 100 mph speed, then your headlights better be able to allow you to spot and recognize a danger at 66 feet. That is, see and know it is dangerous and will be in your way. Now if it takes you one second to react, that's 146.667 feet you'll have traveled.

    And so on, you get it, it's a timing thing. Flood lights are meant to light up a lot, meaning a bigger area, at close range, so determining a danger out far enough before you reach the point of no return may be difficult or impossible, especially given that the danger may be anything from a water logged barely floating log, to a boulder, to a deer swimming across the water with varying levels of itself out of the water.

    So, while on the road it may take you 1/2 a second to determine a danger, out on the water it may take you 3, so while you're only going 20mph, meaning 29.3 feet a second, it takes you 3 seconds to really see and note a danger. That's 88 feet you will have traveled.

    Now these are theoretical numbers for the response time pulled out of nowhere, I don't know the stats on avg human response time, it may be 10 seconds for all I know, but the point is, it's numbers and can be figured out with relative accuracy. (also, tired, still hungover, etc...)

    So, sure, you can slow down, you can also stay at home on the couch, or, you can plan to have the lights required given your potential speed. And again, it's not only being able to catch a glimpse of something, but rather needing the ability to assess what it is to determine the action needed to compensate. Maybe it's a shadow, maybe it's a black bear, one would require very different action then the other.
     
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  8. callinfowl

    callinfowl MEGA. Moderator

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    You've got 180' to react at 40 mph.
    In a boat you normally don't need to stop, you just have to avoid.

    If your going 40 mph in the dark in a boat you're a moron and you need to slow down. Out running your lights at 25 mph, you need better lights.
     
  9. calling4life

    calling4life Elite Refuge Member

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    Who has 180' at 40mph, someone with 20/20 vision that has an IQ of 120 and is alert, how about the disabled vet in a wheelchair that maybe isn't "cat on carpet" fast.

    Next, your boat will run shallower at speed on plane, this can be drastically shallower depending upon the design of the boat. But 20mph+ or so should get you here, I think, for most designs.
    Further, "you just have to avoid," depending upon where and what you're running, that may mean stop, but perhaps it doesn't, how many feet do you think you'd need to steer around a 20 foot log floating at you? At speed of course, because if you come of plane you'll smash everything into the ground.

    When you think of counting to 3 and then you're on that log, do you think that's enough time, or did you need to see it sooner, again, this isn't day time where you've seen it while rolling up to it. Pretend it's dark and 3am, for one, do you even see the log, for two, do you need 6 seconds now...

    Now, does your boat slide vs "turn on rails?" So, someone like me who likes short and wide and has no motor in the water, the boat may slide, think of it like drifting your truck around in snow, or, because you're in Cali, like drifting your Mercedes around on the $h!t slicked roads of San Fran. Now how much time do you need to avoid the deer, bear, guy in a 12' long layout boat, guy setting decoys, maybe throwing decoys, boulder, now newly exposed rock point, or whatever it is.

    It isn't always so cut and dry, I guess my point was to simply note that there are reasons for running light beams like the hyperspots and the spots that shine out far vs wide.

    But, since we're discussing it, a quick search, using vehicle defensive driving style info, I'm guessing boat defensive would be a little longer on avg. But let's get at some reality maybe.

    "Reaction times vary greatly with situation and from person to person between about 0.7 to 3 seconds (sec or s) or more. Some accident reconstruction specialists use 1.5 seconds. A controlled study in 2000 (IEA2000_ABS51.pdf) found average driver reaction brake time to be 2.3 seconds." (study was done in controlled circumstances)

    Let's use the 2.3, Californias standard is actually 2.5 by the way, before we get into 2.3 being unfair.

    2.3 seconds would be; 40mph x 5280ft/mile = 211200 feet/hour divided by 60min in hour = 3520 feet/min divided by 60 seconds in a min = 58.67 ft/sec times 2.3 = 117.34 feet traveled
    25mph x 5280 ft/mile = 132000 feet/hr divided by 60min in hour = 2200 feet/minute divided by 60 seconds in a minute = 36.67 ft/second times 2.3 = 73.34 feet traveled.

    So, given avg emergency/defensive road driving times, at 40mph you're traveling 117.34 feet by the time you've reacted, at 25mph, 73.34 feet by the time you've reacted.

    That's how far you've gone by the time you react, now, react and get around the boat, log, person, elephant, whatever. So if your light doesn't outshine the distance it takes you to make corrective action, you outrun the light.

    So, look at your lights. The Rigid dually lights in flood have a 55 lux rating at 10 meters or 32.8 feet. 100 lux is what it is like on a "very dark overcast day." 1000 lux is a "typical overcast day or studio TV lighting" for some reference.

    The Rigid dually in spot has 646 lux at the same 10 meters or 32.8 feet. Rigids 20" radiance plus series light bar with green backlight has 1295.36 lux at that 10 meters.

    I'm not a light guy, mind you, and the lights may shine a good long ways, but how much of that distance is useable enough to spot an object, determine a course of action based on this, and then react is the issue and is usually drastically shorter.

    I feel like I'm arguing this and that wasn't my intent, I'm sure no one will get this far anyway. I don't know that it would be difficult to feel under lighted and thus, that you're over running your lights, especially if you're not interested in a big bar or spending several hundred dollars on lights. But again, tight river running, running timber, running the ocean etc..., many obstacles, few, obstacles, the type of obstacles so on and so forth all play a major role in this.

    I use a handheld spotlight and a headlamp, and even though I run bouldery rivers, I still move around without lights at all too. Can't say any of that is smart or truly safe...
     
  10. callinfowl

    callinfowl MEGA. Moderator

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    WOW!!!
    Crunch all the numbers you want, I've been running all sorts of boats in some pretty treacherous area's of the CA delta most likely longer than you've been alive. I've never once out ran my lights, why? Because I drive within my limitations. Even back when I ran close to 1000 hp Vee drives and 70 mph bass boats I never out ran my lights, because I don't drive like an idiot. Actually I do drive like an idiot (I like to go fast) but not when I can't see things to make evasive maneuvers when need be.
    I run cheap 4'' Cree floodlights and a hardhat light that has an aircraft landing light bulb on the mud boat, it throws a 10 to 15' wide beam of light well over 100 yards. I've never needed anything more because I won't drive my boat like a fool at night whether, I'm running timber, flats, tight ditches, canals, lakes, ripping tidal rivers or in the ocean. Drive like a fool, die like a tool is what the guy I used to race for would always say to me before each race. That was in a 1975 Sanger flat bottom vee drive that had a 577 CI blown Kieth Black engine that was very close to 1000 HP and well over a 100 mph boat, 122 mph to be exact. About 95 mph average around a 1 mile circle track. I've been around boats for a long time and never ran one into anything except the mud boat which slides like its on ice while trimmed out and in a tight turn.
    So if you're out running your lights you either need to slow the hell down or buy better lights its very simple, even my unejumacated @$$ can figure that one out. I like your numbers though, that was quite impressive.:yes:l:doh
    I'll stick with my real world experiences though.:yes:yes:yes:tu
     

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