Articles By Our Members
LED Dome Lights for Boat Interiors and Mast Lights
by Brian Clarke, April 2006
Recently, white LEDs have dropped in price, and because of their long
life and low power consumption, are being considered for interior and accent
lighting on model boats.
Unfortunately, most are shaped so the light beam is focused out the top
and not out the side, as in a regular grain-of-wheat incandescent bulb. By
machining a cone-shaped depression in the end of the LED, the light tends to
reflect out the sides and so may be used on the cabin ceiling to illuminate
cabin interiors or in brass fixtures on mast lights.
This is simple with a lathe and may be done with a Dremel tool if you are
careful. You cannot cut too deeply or you will damage the light producing
surface and small bond-wires connected to it.
The most common white LEDs is a Gallium Nitride blue LED coated with a
phosphor that, when excited by the blue LED light, emits a broad range
spectrum with a blue cast. They may be given a "warmer" tint by lightly
painting with Tamiya Clear Orange paint.
Light patterns of normal and modified LEDs.
Modified LED in machined brass fixture for mast lamp.
The same technique may be used with red and green LEDs for port and