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Some basic questions re: 12v Electric installing new sockets / Lights, cable etc


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Hello All,


So having recently bought my first canal boat I am slowly adapting to canal life, and following lots of helpful advice from this forum I am having some new electrics installed (solar panels, inverter, batteries etc.)


And taking some advice from other forum member I am now going to address my lighting and plug socket (more USB ports and LED lighting !!)


So what I would like to know can anyone recommend some LED ceiling lights, are these straight forward to change from what I currently have, they look like a small flourecent tube. Is it just a case of changing the wires? Would I need to put a fuse in the cable line?


Also what cables do people recommend for their 12v electrics and any tips on where to purchase these would be really apreciated. I would also like to install car lighter type plugs or usb plugs and wondered if anyone could recommend a good one of these and is it simple to just 'insert' these into an existing cable ring. Do I need to be careful how much I run off one ring, should I install a fuse as well? If so what type is good?


Any advice greatly apreciated.


Thanks for reading



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If you have florescent lights at present then you can fit the LED tubes in place of the existing ones but you need to remove all the electronic gubbins as well. Only keep the switch.


The existing cables for the lights and the existing fuses/MCBs will be fine.


Use multi-strand automotive type cable. Really for marine use you should get cable with the strands tinned but for inland use the ordinary automotive stuff lasts for years.


The thickness depends upon how long the total cable run is (pos and neg legs) and the maximum current that will be flowing. As you do not give this information we can not give a cable size. Any amps capacity on the cable drum or catalogue must be taken with a pinch of salt unless the runs is less than a meter or two.


You may have a cable ring but it is much more likely that the wiring is in start formation with single cable pairs running from the fuse/MCB panel out to individual or small group of appliances. If the cable has been oversized when first installed you could connect to it as long as the total current flow never exceeds the cable capacity, the fuse/MCB size, or creates excess voltdrop.


Try looking on the Vehicle Wiring Products website. A google for 12V cables should give you lost of suppliers.

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