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-   -   Strip LED Runway Lights for the Trailer. (http://www.wakeworld.com/forum/showthread.php?t=794995)

jaed 08-10-2012 12:13 AM

Strip LED Runway Lights for the Trailer.
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I have been looking into the runway lights for my trailer since I pull the boat out of the water at night quite often. I could not get the boat off the trailer long enough to get the led runway lights kit installed so I went a little different route. I also installed a waterproof switch to turn on the lights when I am wiping down the boat and pulling into the dark driveway.
I still need to clean up a few things.

They are very bright almost to bright.

Hope you like them.

Links to the items:
Ebay LED's 5050 300's
Amazon Bilge Switch
Waterproof Switch

Mahoney86 08-10-2012 4:28 AM

Looks really good. I have seen a few people do the strip lighting instead of the 10,12,14 bulb kits and to be honest I think the strip looks a hell of a lot cooler. Ill be adding lights to my trailer this winter when the new boat is here.

THanks for the post. How did you attach them to the trailer

jaed 08-10-2012 4:50 AM

There is adhesive on the back of the strips. Peel and stick.

Bumpass1 08-10-2012 5:57 AM

Where did you mount the power switch? I was thinking that you could do the same setup up without the power switch and just have the bilge switch control everything but the. The lights would blink going down the road Everytime you hit a bump and closed the switch.

jaed 08-10-2012 6:33 AM

Next time I am by the boat I will show you where I mounted it.
It is very small you don't really even see it.

The bilge switch is electronic so it does not go on and off down the road. It needs to be underwater for 5 sec before it turns on and stays on for one min after that. It also turns on for 5 sec when the trailer lights turn on.

wakecumberland 08-10-2012 6:50 AM

This should go up in the DIY section. Nice work!

tyler97217 08-10-2012 6:53 AM

Pretty cool. Nice work

hatepain 08-11-2012 12:33 PM

Looks really cool. Grant did something similar a year ago or so but his lights run. I like how simple this set up seems to be.

cadunkle 08-13-2012 12:38 PM

I like this. Got new LED taillights and finally adding marker lights for the fenders (I feel blind without them at night). I've had to load a couple times at night and it can be difficult to see, though the taillights do help a lot. Probably overkill, but would probably be helpful.

My concern would be how durable the tape attaching method is considering boat trailer get wet, dry, hot, cold, and can ride pretty rough down the road. Any way to screw or bolt these on? Or will the tape really last 10+ years? Could be a real pain replacing it.

jaed 08-14-2012 8:12 PM

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Here is the switch I installed on the trailer. You can see how small and clean it is.
I like that I didn't have to drill into the main frame just sheet metal.
It also has a blue light behind it to match =)

They do sell clips online if the tape starts to fail. I could also try to silicon it down but so far it has been good. I will keep this post updated if there are any issues.

Thanks for the kind comments.

mark197 08-15-2012 9:18 AM

Where did you get that push button switch?

jaed 08-15-2012 12:58 PM

See the switch link on the first post.

mnwakerider 08-16-2012 6:47 AM

That looks way awesome. I have some cheap underwater lights that I was thinking of doing this. I never thought of the bildge switch to trigger.

bhyatt_ohp 08-16-2012 8:24 AM

The ebay listing shows that the strips are 5 meters long, so about 16.5ft in length. How many LED strips did you use and how easy is it to splice the strips together? What did you do to address excess overlap?

jaed 08-16-2012 9:18 AM

I ordered 4 - 5 meter strips. I then fished the power wire to the center of the trailer on each side and ran a strips to the front and back. This way I didn't have to splice the run and could use the factory connections. I cut the excess of at ether end and will be using them inside the boat.
Hope that makes sence.

Gnargnar 05-06-2013 8:30 PM

I know it's been a while but how did these hold up? That bilge trigger is genius

jaed 06-24-2013 8:18 AM

They are holding up just fine.
They are getting beat up a little bit from being stored outside.
I have a skirt being made for the boat that should stop the sun from beating them up.

DQ 06-24-2013 8:41 AM

I am actually doing this to my trailer now. I just have to run the wires for the power, ground and the switch. I already mounted the switch. I have all the strips of RGB lights waiting on finishing up other things so I can finish everything up.

trayson 09-03-2013 11:41 AM

Love this. I need to do this project.

Do you have them powered off the running lights circuit of your trailer lights?

grant_west 09-03-2013 2:42 PM

I did this project years back. The LED strip lights in the first few pic's IMO are a quick and easy way of doing it but I would be surprised if they are still working the double sided tape they come backed with is never going to hold up and Im pretty sure the clear gell they are incased in is not UV stable and will cloud and break down. A friend used these same strip lights outdoors around his outdoor BBQ they lasted a year and then they were pretty much junk. If they are protected from the elements like outdoors and covered by a overhang I'm sure they would be fine. But sitting in direct sunlight on a trailer on a 100 degree day I don't think they were made for.
Do a search on w/w for sequencing trailer lights for the build I did also on you tube

grant_west 09-03-2013 2:49 PM


ktm525 09-03-2013 6:24 PM

I use those style of lights for my Christmas Display( http://www.hearthelights.com/ ). When looking into buying these make sure they have a IP rating of 68. Those are the only ones that are water proof. The ones I use are 16 feet long with 50 rgb lights on them. I can change each individual bulb into any color I want. I use 12 strips Horiz. to make up a grid.

501s 09-03-2013 7:35 PM

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I did a similar project on my trailer on my X-30 Turned out pretty good. Here are a few pics. I put all the led's underneath the trailer and lined each side with clear silicone so it wouldn't rip off. The I got carried away and di the ENTIRE interior of my boat too. All storage areas got strips of white and all exposed areas (under the grab rails, rear Air Intake got blue. Fun project actually.

501s 09-03-2013 7:40 PM

4 Attachment(s)
Few more interior pics.

parkerbomar 09-05-2013 8:35 PM

Can I get a close up of the silicone lined parts. I need to know how to do it!

501s 09-05-2013 10:56 PM

All I did was use clear silicone and painters tape. Put a strip of tape maybe 1/8" away from each edge of the LED strip, filled in this gap with clear silicone, pulled the tape off. Finishes with a perfectly straight edge and keeps them from ever peeling.

trayson 09-25-2013 10:57 PM

I just finished my version of your project. The digital bilge pump switch is awesome. I didn't trust the adhesive, so I added black zip ties every 3 to 4 feet.

I only used 5 meters, and it goes far enough up towards the bow to make me satisfied. $26 for the pair of lights. $17 for the bilge switch.

Pic from the front. You can see it goes quite a ways towards the bow.

I chose to run the strip lights down the back of the frame rail and 1 light worth underneath. That way I could wrap the top and bottom with a looped zip tie.
My trailer had flat metal that butted right up against the frame rail, so I just drilled a small hole in the sheet metal for the zip tie. Why not?

Slightly blurry pic from the rear. It goes on the inside of the carpet that pads the fenders. Just on the top, inside of the main frame rails. This is going to be awesome when I'm pulling the boat onto the trailer at night. Plus it will look wicked cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bling, bling!!

501s 09-26-2013 1:45 PM

Nice work. I love it!

ffmedic74 09-27-2013 9:08 AM

Where are you all getting your lights from?

trayson 09-27-2013 9:12 AM


Originally Posted by ffmedic74 (Post 1846883)
Where are you all getting your lights from?

I paid $26 shipped off ebay from a seller called nj-store for a pair of 5 meter blue smd 5050

trayson 09-27-2013 9:16 AM

Pic of the runway lights in action! they were so badass when I was docking last night. I was lovin' it.


And a video:

501s 09-27-2013 9:39 AM

try www.led-outlets.com

fullon2008 10-12-2013 12:01 PM

I have only been using the strips for combing lighting on my bigger boat. But, I like the trailer lighting and my try it on my trailer for my 14' RIB. BoatLightsUS.com carries these and remote controlled units that put all all colors.

ryanw209 10-12-2013 3:33 PM

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I love all the ideas and uses for these LED strip lights. If I ever pulled my boat out at night I would definitely put these on my trailer. I just finished putting 95ft of RGB LEDs up around the eves of my house. I'll never have to put up Xmas lights again and you can use them for so many different occasions. First order of business for mine is pink for save the Ta Ta's awareness month!

Jmorlan 01-18-2014 9:25 PM

bringing this thread back up to the top.
Im going to be installing some 5630 Led strips on the under side of my trailer in cool white like the guy did up top for his X-30 trailer.

I am wanting to tap them into my running lights so they are on when my running lights are on. Im mainly wondering where he tapped into the lights. Did he do it up front so the connections always remain out of the water? Or back by the fenders?

501s 01-18-2014 11:27 PM

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Hey J M. I did the connections up front. I also added a button so I could turn it on and off when I wanted too. I did this so the are out of the water as much as possible, and they were all soldered and heat shrinked with water proof heat shrink.

Gnargnar 01-28-2014 4:42 PM

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I wanna play toooooo

Gnargnar 01-28-2014 4:44 PM

And I ran a bead of clear silicone on each side of the strip instead of zipties. That 2 side glue won't last a season

Jmorlan 01-28-2014 9:13 PM

is 1 strip making the full length on each side?
Are you guys tapping into the running lights?

501s 01-29-2014 12:27 AM

Yes one strip per side, and yes tapping into the running lights that come on with the head lights. I put the switch in so you have the ability to turn them off if you have too.

Gnargnar 01-29-2014 8:15 PM

Strips are 5 meters so 15ish feet, my trailer is probably 17.5-18ft long without the tounge, so they don't meet but it's close enough for me

JEr 01-29-2014 9:11 PM

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Can I play

JEr 01-29-2014 9:20 PM

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And another one. Phone didn't load both

crypted1 03-08-2014 9:25 AM

For the guys that put the LED strips under their trailers:
How much does this help with pulling your out boat after dark?
It seems to me that instead of looking for the light, you look for the dark area in the middle of the glow. I this idea better. A buddy of mine has his LEDs on top of the trailer rails and it's too bright at night. (Some times we are putting our boats on the trailers at midnight.) Just wondering how the LEDs under the rails looks in the water.

ffmedic74 03-10-2014 5:16 PM

Anyone have links to good quality waterproof light strips? Can I hook these up directly to 12v supply?

Gnargnar 03-10-2014 5:46 PM

Check amazon, and are you asking if a switch is necessary? No, you can just piggyback one of your trailer lights. I know in ca i would get pulled over for driving around with red on though.

ffmedic74 03-10-2014 5:48 PM

OK. Remembered back a few years ago you had to run them through a Transformer??? Checked Amazon.com and so many to choose from. Figured some were really good and some were really bad.

Gnargnar 03-10-2014 6:55 PM

Nope I just hooked up to the license plate wires like op did. I just found some that had good reviews. I Figure for that cheap I won't be too irritated if I have to replace. Granted my trailer stays inside when not in use. I also ran a bead of silicon on each side of the strip since the double sided tape is definitely the weak link.

ryanw209 03-12-2014 10:54 PM

I have used the zitrades brand a few times and they have been great for me. $18-$21 for 5050's

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

jonblarc7 03-13-2014 8:34 AM

So how do you wire it so you can have the bilge switch and a water proof on/off switch?

I'm lost on this part and it's the only thing holding me back from doing it to my trailer.

trayson 03-13-2014 8:50 AM


Originally Posted by jonblarc7 (Post 1868169)
So how do you wire it so you can have the bilge switch and a water proof on/off switch?

I'm lost on this part and it's the only thing holding me back from doing it to my trailer.

The Auto bilge switch has 3 wires. Obviously black goes to ground. tap the red into your trailer's running light circuit (12v+).

Connect the brown of the switch to the positive of the LED Strip lights.

The negative on the LED Strip is obviously yet another ground.

The switch can be connected with one end tapped into the trailer running light circuit and the other end connecting to the postive of the LED lights.

The wiring of the switch could vary a smidge based on whether it's a 2 way or 3 way switch.

Basically follow the wiring diagram options for the attwood digital bilge switch. Instead of a "pump" you'd substitute the postive and negative of the LED lights. Instead of the "battery" it'd be the Positive from the running lights and the ground.


jonblarc7 03-13-2014 8:55 AM

So basically it can be wired so the auto bilge works separate from the on/off switch and the switch is just there in case you want to run it all the time.


trayson 03-13-2014 9:03 AM


Originally Posted by jonblarc7 (Post 1868173)
So basically it can be wired so the auto bilge works separate from the on/off switch and the switch is just there in case you want to run it all the time.


Yes, the way I described it, the lights would work as either "auto" or "on" depending on the position of the switch.

Now, if you got a 3 way switch, you could wire it up to be "auto" or "ON" or "OFF"

However, I can't really think of what you'd really want to override it to OFF...

turbojedi 03-13-2014 8:27 PM

Love the LED light idea I am doing that, we load at night often, always last ones off the water.. Looking good guys thanks

jonblarc7 03-17-2014 1:11 PM

Just got my LED's and switch today well see how it goes. I should have time to do it next weekend I'll put some pic's up too.

mcdye 03-17-2014 4:42 PM


Originally Posted by jonblarc7 (Post 1868822)
Just got my LED's and switch today well see how it goes. I should have time to do it next weekend I'll put some pic's up too.

that would be great....your diy on the lights please..

waketowake 03-28-2014 7:34 AM

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I couldn't help myself, for only 30 bucks I had to do this one. The zip ties are just temporary, glueing them down soon.

ride152 03-29-2014 6:23 AM

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Loved this idea and ended up running 16 foot strips on the inside of the trailer. I used white because my boat is white, silver and black. I also have the same lights on my F150, just above the side steps that light up when my interior lights come on. The side steps raise and lower when the door opens, so it's visible at night. Had to match the colors.
Zip ties were used until the clear silicon set up.

I can turn the lights on a couple of ways:
1. Bilge switch - automatic on when entering water
2. Switch on the trailer to override all. (Used same set up as OP)
3. Ran another power line from my truck using the power that turns my trucks lights on. To connect to the trailer, I installed another 4 flat wiring kit in the back of the truck and wired another in the trailer. Then installed a switch in the truck to turn all the lights in (truck/trailer) at will.
4. As a side project, I also installed 2 foot led strips underside back part of the trailer tied to the turn signals. Projects a nice white glow on the ground with the blinkers.

Once the project was done, my 4 year old asked if I could hook up his electric Jeep. He is jacked for warm weather!

ride152 03-29-2014 6:25 AM

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2nd pic of the jeep didn't load.

ride152 03-29-2014 6:28 AM

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The truck to match the lights on the boat.

ride152 03-29-2014 6:36 AM

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Another cool thing you can do for night is instal led lights on the rear of your truck. I ran mine off another switch inside the cab. Helps for wiping the boat down after use and generally making night seem like day behind the truck. Super bright LEDs for around $70.
Mounted underneath the truck, they aren't noticeable but in a flood pattern super bright!

jonblarc7 03-29-2014 8:41 AM

Nate are your on the bottom of your trailer or on the in side of the tubing. I like it a lot.

ride152 03-29-2014 10:32 AM


I hooked mine up on the inside of the trailer, on the sides. I wanted the LEDs to light up as much of the boat as possible but also not be able to see them as you walk by the trailer.

The strip lights are not appealing to the eye during the day, or at night if you are looking directly at them...IMO.

I think they look best providing an indirect light.

Use ample silicone when attaching them. Don't trust the 3M adhesive. Better to buy a set that doesn't come with the tape at all, better for the silicone.
And buy IP68 waterproof strips.

It's a fun project!! Enjoy!

ride152 03-29-2014 10:54 AM

I used these lights: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00ASK...588286-4874821

Dman726749 07-06-2014 2:35 PM

Got mine done today, used the same switches as the OP and ran my lights underneath the trailer and ran a bead of silicone down both sides. No nighttime shots yet, but the ones in the dim barn look promising.

https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3890/...530e0cfd_z.jpg10464165_10102007962683688_4946755288807506979_n by Dustin Allison, on Flickr

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5538/...3366720b_z.jpg10505407_10102007962429198_5543044681665814076_n by Dustin Allison, on Flickr

Jmorlan 04-03-2015 8:12 PM

501s, where did you get that on/off switch. Do you by chance have a link to it?
Edit: nevermind, I'm an idiot. Switch is in the first post

jonblarc7 05-16-2016 5:07 PM

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Can somebody help me wire my switch. I'm using the same switch as in the link above. But when I wore it up it only lights the LEDs when I hold the button in. As soon as I let go of the button the lights turn off.

jonblarc7 05-16-2016 5:08 PM

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One more of the back of the switch

shawndoggy 05-16-2016 5:15 PM

dumb question... it's not a momentary switch is it?

jonblarc7 05-16-2016 5:30 PM

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I'm guessing it is. I bought it from the link in the first post. Here it is with a fast bench test. Wire it to the two inside prongs it lights up. Wire it to the two out side prongs it light ups when the button is pushed in. The front and back prongs are for the LEDs in the switch its self

TomH 05-17-2016 8:56 AM

There is a momentary version of that switch, so it's possible you got the momentary instead of the on/off version. It looks like if the part number is between 11020 and 11025, it's a momentary version.

bcrider 05-17-2016 9:02 AM

I plan on doing this as well but I plan on running the switch to my dash. I want to be able to control if from inside and be able to turn it on while driving if I want too. Illegal yes, do I really care.....no.

shawndoggy 05-17-2016 9:57 AM


Originally Posted by bcrider (Post 1935532)
I plan on doing this as well but I plan on running the switch to my dash. I want to be able to control if from inside and be able to turn it on while driving if I want too. Illegal yes, do I really care.....no.

what about one of these bad boys?


bcrider 05-17-2016 10:54 AM

For sure I could do that too as long as the range is decent and not like most of the LED remotes where you have to be within inches of the power supply.lol.

jonblarc7 05-24-2016 7:31 PM

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Finally got my lights on and it turn out great. Had to order a different switch.


I bought my the same LEDs almost a year apart and now I have two different color blues. One is light blue like it should be and the other is a purple blue. It's a easy 10$ fix though

ride152 05-25-2016 11:40 AM

I recently bought a new boat and am going to be hooking up new LEDs on this trailer. Rolling with RGB, because the boat is orange and I'd like to bling out the trailer in similar fashion.

Wondering if anyone has an insight to the legality of driving with the trailer lights fading from one color to the next?

bcrider 05-25-2016 11:43 AM

Unless it's a amber marker light, a red break/taillight, and a white little license plate light it's all otherwise illegal as it's a distraction to other drivers.

jonblarc7 05-26-2016 7:22 PM

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So today was the first time I get to take the boat to the lake with the new lights. And usually perfect because we always finish right at dust. BUT I go to take the cover off and look down and see this LOL

jonblarc7 05-26-2016 7:25 PM

Now got to add some silicone because when the afternoon sun heats up the black trailer it released the glue.

Oh well at least it was the strip that was the wrong color blue so I was going to replace it anyway

ride152 05-27-2016 12:31 PM

Finished up the project last night with the RGB LEDs..... I'll likely just drive with a static color on rather than changing it up (risk of upsetting the B&Ws)
Or.....have the colors change extremely slow while driving...almost not in a noticable fashion.. The remote I used has 300 programming options....

Cool to have options!

<iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/168391408" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe>
<p><a href="https://vimeo.com/168391408">G21 trailer RGB LEDs.</a> from <a href="https://vimeo.com/natechristian">Nate Christian</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>

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