Glass Panels for Boat Lighting

Glass Panels for Boat Lighting

Bumblebee has, like many narrowboats, brass (or rather brass-finished) ceiling lights which run on 12 volts, fed from the battery bank and kept topped up by our solar panels (I’ll write something about power management aboard another time). The existing ones had been upgraded to use 12V LED arrays from Bedazzled Lighting which are highly recommended, but were looking a bit tired externally, so a stained glass project was born.

By happy coincidence, the local branch of HobbyCraft had a huge stack of ‘box frames’ on sale. They come in a range of sizes and colours but the ones I used comprised a wooden frame about 20cm square and 3cm deep, a hardboard back, an internal spacer and a piece of 2mm clear glass. All I wanted was the frames and the spacers, and so I set to work making a set of stained glass panels to fit the frames. Rather than a set of identical panels, this was an opportunity to try out different designs (and also to put my new Morton Portable Glass Shop to work to make tessellating glass pieces). I love using all the Morton equipment and I’ll write more about it later …

Here’s one of the panels:

Lighting Panel made from Spectrum Wispy Opaque’ Glass, foiled, soldered and patina-ed.

Each panel drops into a frame, and is held in place by the wooden spacer which in turn is clipped firmly in place. A metal strip holding the socket was added, and the LED array (I used flat ones as I wanted the light to all come down through the panel) plugged in. I added a small switch on the side of the frame and wired everything together, ending in a pair of Wago connectors (another current favourite bit of gadgetry) to connect to the main lighting circuit. And there you have it! A set of stylish and unique replacements for the old light fittings. Here are three of them:

Patrick Carmichael

Experiments in stained glass and other media.

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