View Full Version : Homemade Drain Plug LED

04-26-2014, 06:31 PM
So I decided I wanted to add some underwater lights over the winter. I did not want to have to cut holes into the hull or spend the amount of money those LEDs cost. Because of this I looked into buying a drain plug LED. Although after research I found the drain plug LEDs available had very little light output and were not worth the money. Therefore I decided to make my own drain plug LED.

20 watt high powered green LED
LED driver
bronze nipple and hex bushing
High temp wire and lamp cord
2 metal discs

Here are pictures of the progress so far, when I complete it I will post some pics of it lit up. It has actually been a very fun project and it should end up being a pretty good light for a very small cost.


04-26-2014, 07:15 PM
This is looking very interesting.

04-26-2014, 07:25 PM
What he said^^^^!!!!!!

04-26-2014, 07:30 PM
It has been an interesting project, definitely ran into several issue along the way though. I am ordering the LED lens this week then all I have left to do is high temp silicone everything and put the lens in place.

john jones
04-26-2014, 07:59 PM
If it works out good, prepare yourself for some orders! We have the same boat, I would like to see the results.

04-26-2014, 08:03 PM
I am excited to see how it turns out. Obviously it won't be as bright as the transom mounted ones, but all I am looking for is some glow at a reasonable price. Hopefully this does the trick. I should have it done in a weekish.

04-27-2014, 08:29 AM
great idea. I always enjoy fabricating my own stuff. For the boat it has mainly been heater systems and ballast manifolds, I quite fancy something similar to yours. Interested if you have a list of parts, where purchased etc.

04-27-2014, 09:57 AM
Yes looks like a fun project, x2 on where to pick the parts up.

04-27-2014, 10:00 AM

04-27-2014, 12:07 PM

04-27-2014, 03:31 PM
Parts List:
Bronze Hex Bushing (Downwind marine mfg#83110-2012)
Bronze Nipple (Wholesale Marine GRO-PN-750)
Green 20 watt LED (SatisLed LED-20W1315x)
Driver (looking for paperwork)
High Temp Wire (Ebay, #14 AWG High Temperature Heater Hookup Wire TGGT Appliance Grade)
Lamp Cord (local hardware store)
Metal discs (Ebay, 1 1/4" Dia. Stainless Steel Round Disc .063 1/16" Thick, Lot of 10)
High Temp Silicone (local hardware store)
Lens (Luxeon Star LEDs, Carclo 180 20mm Surface Mounted Hemispherical Bubble Optic)

The hex bushing was re-tapped so the nipple would thread all the way to the wrench flats and the bushing was machined basically all over to reduce weight and create a smooth cylinder.

05-03-2014, 07:42 PM
Lens just arrived

I will be adding some silicone tonight, and finish with the silicone tomorrow. Should have air/water pictures sometime this week.

Table Rocker
05-03-2014, 10:19 PM
Something tells me you know what you are doing. Looking good!

05-08-2014, 09:50 PM
Finally installed it on the boat. I was gonna take a pic of it turned on but seeing it in the air wouldnt really mean much. I will post a water picture as soon as I put it in, hopefully soon....
(again dont say anything about the hull discoloration, working on that this weekend since we will finally have a warm weekend day)

05-09-2014, 09:13 AM
Very cool. Are you hooking it into the acc switch? Where are you mounting the control board?

05-09-2014, 09:57 AM
Mastercraft presents Real men of Genius

Real me of Genius
Today we salute you Mr "You dont have to drill a hole in your boat for LEDs"
Mr new LED option guuuy
Now those of us that are to whimpy to take a drill bit to our perfectly polished gel coat have a way of attracting fish and/or ladies"
no drilling hooooles

This will be on the list of things for this summer if you end up selling them...

And for those that don't recognize the joke above...


05-09-2014, 10:34 AM
Yeah I will be hooking it up to one of my Acc switches, I have a couple that are not being used.

As far as the control board, the circuit board is pretty small so I ran the wire from the back of the boat and put the board inline up under the steering wheel. Once I use the LED when I put the boat in the water I will see if the board heats up at all. Depending on that I will put it in either a hard plastic case or simple ziploc bag and zip tie it to some existing wires under the dash.

I will keep you guys updated if i decided to make some more and sell them

05-09-2014, 12:54 PM
another option for not drilling into the hull. Had it out last night and seems to work pretty well

05-09-2014, 02:01 PM
Mastercraft presents Real men of Genius

Real me of Genius
Today we salute you Mr "You dont have to drill a hole in your boat for LEDs"
Mr new LED option guuuy
Now those of us that are to whimpy to take a drill bit to our perfectly polished gel coat have a way of attracting fish and/or ladies"
no drilling hooooles

High five. That was good stuff.

05-09-2014, 03:06 PM
JamesL, are they drilled into the swim deck? If so do you need to uninstall them any time you want to remove the deck?

05-09-2014, 04:28 PM
...and what are you using for power, James??

05-10-2014, 06:33 AM
yes they are attached to the swim deck then ran to a terminal block for quick disconnect. I ran wires through drain plug as well and then to another terminal block next to ballast pumps, this way if I ever want to add more I can. From there I ran the wire to the heat seat which was a blank switch for my boat. I can get pictures if anyone is interested.

05-10-2014, 08:54 AM
Very cool idea. I would never drill holes for underwater lights, but this is darn near brilliant!

05-10-2014, 10:01 AM
Great work. Another option for those who aren't as handy.....


06-28-2014, 08:25 PM
Finally! I have gotten some photos of the LED in action. My phones camera decided to break so this is from the front facing camera and the quality is terrible...I am going to get better quality photos as soon as I can