How to Install LED Lights on a Pontoon Boat?
The way you customize your boat has a lot to say about who you are; if you're someone that loves to party, especially at night. Investing in a set of LED lights is just the thing for you helping your boat stand out from everyone else's.
Why Invest in LED Lights?
The basic idea of installing LED lights on your pontoon is to improve visibility during night time. If your pontoon doesn’t come with interior lighting, it can cause an unpleasant experience for your passengers.
Moreover, you’ll also be able to install mood lighting. As a way to make those special moments even more special. Take your companion out on a date in the middle of the lake. And set lights to a dim yellow for that romantic little setting.
But if you feel like partying at night, call in your friends, get some drinks, and set the lights to blue to set the mood, making you the most talked-about figure of that night.
All in all, LED lights are a great investment. They're also extremely affordable and super easy to install, and you should be covered within $50.
What You’ll Need?
There are some materials that you'll need to help you install LED lights. Make sure you get all these before you start, so you don't have to go to hardware stores to buy equipment constantly.
First and foremost, you'll need a few rolls of LED light strips. The number of rolls you'll need will depend on the area you have to cover according to the pontoon boat brands. These LEDs come in various forms.
If you want one that changes colors that is available too, however, those come at a premium price. But if you're looking for something cheap, then go for single-colored lights, these will also do a great job.
Find a roll of wire that matches those added with the LED lights; these will be necessary for you to pull a connection to your control panel.
And to connect all these wires, you'll need a soldering iron and some high-grade waterproof electric tape.
Installing the Lights
Once you have everything on hand, start with cleaning your boat since you’ll be dealing with nooks and corners. Also, a cleaner boat will make it easier for you to move around. After you're done cleaning, follow these few steps to get a well-lit boat.
Finding a Spot
The most important part of installing your lights. This is because you want to find that perfect spot where the LEDs don’t just show, but also a spot that doesn’t obstruct its brightness. Additionally, the area you find must also not have much contact with the water.
We’d suggest attaching the strips under your seats, this is a tried and tested area and provides great mood lighting.
Attaching the Strips
Once you find the perfect spot, attach your strips to it. Break away the paper on the back to expose the adhesive and stick it onto the surface. Since these strips can be connected from both sides, you can cut the roll-up according to the amount you need.
We recommend that you maintain a straight line to make it look more professional. However, if you feel the adhesive isn’t enough, drill two holes on each side and secure each section using a zip tie.
Like this, cover the entire boat. This will ensure there is enough lighting and also make sure the lighting doesn’t look uneven.
Connecting the Strips
With strips secure in place, break out the roll of wire. Carefully connect each wire to the strips, do this using a set of pliers and the soldering iron. Give a tug at both ends to see that the wire is securely attached. If not, repeat the process till you get it right. You don't want the connection to be cut out due to a small tug.
Make sure you wrap each connection using a high-grade electric tape, avoiding any frays. Once you've got the wiring done, run the cables from the side or from under the mat. So, they don't get in anyone's way and cause people to trip. Run all the cables from the main control panel of the pontoon.
Connecting the Battery
This is where it gets a bit tricky, if you aren’t familiar with connecting electrical components, consider taking some help. Most boats come with a control panel that allows for additional customization.
Collect all your wires and securely connect the positive and negative end to the right sides of the switch. Use a wire nut to connect all the wires into one; this will make the process much more organized and cleaner. You'll also be able to control all lights at once.
If you want to light up different sections of the boat, you can get that done as well. Simply connect each section to different switches.
For color changing LEDs, they come with their controller or a sensor that can be controlled using a remote. Make sure you attach those to the switches as well, place the sensor in a location that can easily get the remotes signal. Put the control panel back together and test out your new lights.
Since you’re dealing with so many electrical components, consider investing in a pontoon boat cover with snaps. Thus, not only keeping the lights safe from rain, while the boat is docked but also protecting the entire boat as a whole.
With working lights, you’ll now be able to enjoy night rides with your friends, family, and special ones. Just make sure the lights on your boat are also strong enough to support night rides.