pop up lights

Discussion in 'Electrical Systems' started by hardcoreducknut, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. hardcoreducknut
    Joined: Aug 2011
    Posts: 47
    Likes: 1, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 27
    Location: USA

    hardcoreducknut Junior Member

    I'm planning to use LED light bars as headlights for my marsh style duckboat that I'm building. I wanted to really pimp this thing out and use a hatch lid for pop-up lights like the old Opels, Vettes, etc. My goal is to have this remote electric actuated.

    I've been looking for an actuator to open it similar to gas springs. Closest I've found is the electric hatch lift by Lenco...and it's VERY expensive. Anyone out there have an idea for a less expensive part or a better suggestion?
  2. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
    Posts: 15,126
    Likes: 899, Points: 123, Legacy Rep: 2031
    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    I think that you need to buy something that can operate in wet conditions. If you are in a salty marsh, then the environment is even more corrosive. Can you post some drawings? The size of the lights and the available space will make suggestions more applicable to your boat.
  3. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
    Posts: 19,133
    Likes: 479, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 3967
    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Making a trap door or popup headlight bucket shelf is a fairly simple engineering problem. A actuator is a costly and convoluted way of doing this. A small DC motor, a cam and a few gears is all you need. The Opel GT headlights operated on the bucket assembly rotating on it's longitudinal axis, while the Vette, which also used the bucket concept, pivoted at the lower aft edge of the assembly. The Opel GT's was a purely mechanical system, involving a lever and a bell crank, while the Vette was vacuum operated. The trap door style requires the light be in position and are simply uncovered, while the bucket contains the whole headlight assembly, adjusters, bezel, bracketry and all, typically pivoting in one or more planes. Remote control is a given and can be handled several ways as well. As far as an assembly you can just drop in, you're pretty much out of luck, but again, this isn't a very difficult set of engineering issues to over come.

    It sounds like you'll use a bucket assembly and rotate the bars from a concealed location, into their up and uncovered position. This can be as complex or as simple as you like, but you'd be best advised to keep it simple, as complex things tend to break or require higher maintenance. I would use an electric motor, driving a gear, which in turn drives a shaft, mounted along the back edge of the light bar assembly. This would offer rotation from a concealed to an exposed position, pretty easily, with the top/back side of the light bar also serving as the door in the closed position. Of course you'd need limit switches and a reversing switch or motor.

    Without a clue about you light bar, how it's hidden, the type of movement you want, budget and engineering skills, anything more is just a guess.

  4. CDK
    Joined: Aug 2007
    Posts: 3,324
    Likes: 148, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1819
    Location: Adriatic sea

    CDK retired engineer

    Look at firgelliauto.com for reasonably priced linear actuators. Use a cell phone and a couple of small relays for a remote control.
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.