New guy here....Green LED fishing light...Long Post...

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by NorCal2500HD, Sep 28, 2008.

  1. NorCal2500HD

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 28, 2008
    EDIT: After finally finishing this post, its probably the longest I have ever posted on a forum. If any of you fall asleep during my reading, Sorry!!

    First of all I want to say this place . Ive spent the last 2 hours reading and reading. I live in California and do lots of fishing. About a month ago we were night fishing for cats off one of the local docks and were talking to a guy about green fishing lights. He said they are great for catching bait (minnows) and for bringing in some fish as well. I started doing some research and found a few companies that make them. After seeing how much these things cost, I figured I would try and see if I could make one cheaper. They want to charge like $175 for a 24" inch light and about $250 for a 48" light....theres even a guy selling plans for $30 that tells you where to buy everything...If I were to build a 24" light, it would cost about $113,a 48" about $137. Also add in the cost of a deep cycle battery as well....they arent cheap and heavy to lug fishing. Heres what they are.....a green flor bulb, some sched 40 pvc and a 12v dc converter......not much to them.

    So Im sitting here on the web trying to find some more info on these and go to take some notes and the pen lights up Green......hmm, wonder if i can use some LEDs...longer life, possibly brighter, might be able to use a small battery...Im starting to like this idea more and more. Ill also let it be known Im not well educated in electrical and circutry so bear with me here.

    I think the first light Im going to build is going to be about 24" long. Im going to be using 3" clear sched 40 for the housing ( impact resistant) and white sched 40 for endcaps. This should give me plenty of room on the inside to make some sort of light bar. Heres where the fun begins

    1. Ive been looking at different sites and have found lots of info on Green leds. Im debating on what size and style. I think I have narrowed it down to these...
    The 100° 5mm flat top in pure green OR
    40° Pure green.
    Can anyone recommend any other bulb options I might want to look into? What about drivers? They needed with this many LED's?

    3. Ive seen some of these LEDs are diffused. I would like the light to travel as far out from the housing as possible, but at the same time I want the light to be even. Should I Leave everything crystal clear or should I scotch brite the inside of the pvc? Heres what the green 12v flor tube looks like submerged. Will it be anything like this??

    I was browsing another post on here and found a light saber by hyperdynelabs. This looks exactly what I would like to accomplish.

    Powering this thing:
    One of my buddies used to own a battery company. Well I ended up with about 200 Laptop and drill batteries when everything shut down. I have everything from 18v cordless drill batteries to 9v laptop batteries..Li-Ion and Ni-MH.....

    Whats the easiest way to wire all of these together. Series/Parallel with resistors? Found this on a forum.
    How accurate is it? It would only let me use a max of 32 LEDs?

    So lets say I made a light with 32 of the 100° 5mm flat top LEDs. Voltage is from 3.5 to 4v and FWD current is 20mA. To light this thing up, Lets say I would be using 2 18v drill batteries wired in parallel with a total of 6000mah. The calculator says it draws current of 160ma from the do I find out how long the 2 batteries will power the light for?

    Now say I wanted to power this with 2 11 volt laptop batteries? Is it still going to be as bright? Or do I have to stick with the 2 18 volt drill batteries. I can go down in power w/o messing anything up, just cant go up in power to say 22v batteries???

    3. With 24" of clear schedule 40 Im probably going to Use 11 of these per column @ 2" spacing. 5 columns for a total of 55 LEDs. Is this overdoing it? How much heat is going to be possibly generated? Sched 40 is good up to 140°, but this is going to be submergered in cool water so some of the heat should be dissapated.....hopefully. How do I even attach these too the center light bar in the housing itself.....

    Im all ears at this point. thanks guys

  2. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
    If fish are preferentially attracted to green light, then a lot of intensity might not matter. You might also want to check with Fish and Wildlife to be sure a light rig is legal.

    One easy way out is to use a headlamp in a plastic container with a green filter. Even green plastic film (got a roll from a hobby store years ago) would probably do the trick.

    If it's just light in the water, then a plain headlamp would do fine. Most night fishing gets done with something like a Coleman lantern. They do give off a bit of green in the light, so maybe there is something to the green attracting fish. But I doubt if the fish will be impressed by the money spent on the rig.
  3. Lux et veritas

    New Member

    Sep 28, 2008
  4. NorCal2500HD

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 28, 2008
    Just need it to be bright enough to throw out light in a 10' diameter. Ive checked with the local dept of fish and game and these lights are 100% legal in our area. Definitely dont want to be doing anything illegal here, the state has enough problems as it is.

    Tried the headlamp, wasnt that great. Also tried one of those white floating fishing lights with some green plastic from the plastic store on the bottom...Although somewhat brighter then the headlamp, having to lug a deep cycle marine battery out to the dock was not fun. We always have a lantern with us when we fish, the only downside is it attracts lots of unwanted bugs..not fun when you are trying to enjoy a nice summer night on the lake with some friends. The green light ( along with blue) travel the furthest in the water out of any colors in the spectrum. The light attracts the plankton ----> then the bait fish-----> then the game fish. If we were fishing for panfish/trout the light would be submerged. Stripers and bass we would be using the light mounted on the side of the boat strictly for bait fish. I would love to go out and buy the $250 dollar 48" light but Im Sure I could Make 2 of these lights for Under 60, being I have the power source and pvc already.

    I have one of those mounted on my ATV whip for when we go to the little light but the throw on the light isnt that far. thanks. ;)
  5. jpanhalt


    Jan 18, 2008
    I would divide the question into two parts: 1) the light; and 2) the battery.

    First the battery: Fluorescent lamps are pretty efficient, as are leds. So for a rough estimate, what is the wattage of a 24" fluorescent lamp? How long does it need to operate? From that calculate watt-hours that you need. You might double that to take care of inefficiencies. For example, 15W for 4 hours is 60 watt-hours. A 9-volt battery supplying 2 amps is producing 18 watts. Can that battery provide 2 amps for 4 hours? That's 8 amp-hours or 8000 mAH. Some modern battery packs of NiMH or Li provide up to 3000 to 4000 mAH. So, it is entirely feasible to use lighter rechargeable batteries in that example. The reason for the deep discharge lead-acid battery is that regular lead acid batteries don't respond well to repeated deep discharge.

    The light: A fluorescent light will require an inverter. LEDs will not, but will require more wiring connections and design. LEDs are used commonly in traffic signals today. I suspect you can get the brightness you need with either source. Fluorescent lights probably don't work well in very cold water --I suspect that is not a problem for you. As for diffuse LEDs or not, I suspect for the largest illuminated area a diffuse LED would be better.

    Conclusion: Since you have lots of "free" modern batteries, I would go that direction to minimize weight. For the lamp, I would consider it pretty much a toss up, depending mostly on cost. Low cost inverters are pretty efficient and inexpensive.

  6. Metalfan1185

    Senior Member

    Sep 12, 2008
    If you do decide on the LED's, I would look into "Superflux" Green LED's. I know it was mentioned that the brightness may or may not be an issue, but with a bunch of leds, you can use a Variable resistor and an MOSFET to dim them down to where you need them (this would save battery life as well)

    the superflux LED's are hella bright and have a wide angle lens, which means you dont need to be looking directly into it to see it brightest.

    Good luck!
  7. crookedhook

    New Member

    May 1, 2009
    I have built an 48" long led true green fishing light that works off of 3 c batteries. Floats or sinks with added weight and out glows the fluorescent lights. Lights up the area without dimming for about 9-10 hours. It is great for boat fishing and even better for dock fishing. Push the on button tie it off and throw it in! It sure does beat hauling around a car battery! I am currently making more of them.
  8. flat5

    Active Member

    Nov 13, 2008
    You mention that you have a variety of batteries. It is not a good idea to mix them. If you can, only use one battery pack. If you can't, use packs that are supposed to be the same and keep the same level of charge in them.
    Good luck!
  9. longfisher

    New Member

    May 23, 2009
    So, did you end up making the lights and do they work? Are you intersted in selling any of them?

  10. Rocknemo

    New Member

    Oct 10, 2009
    Crookedhook, Can you give us anymore details on your design, sounds exactly what everyone is looking for here. Thanks