Home        Store        Learn        Blog

What are option to add more lighting to existing 4 lights?

I am currently operating ROV with heavy retrofit and 4 lights system.
However i like to add more lights. What are my option?

  1. Add 2 more blue ROV lights to my existing 4 lights system.
  2. Add 2 more blue ROV lights by adding to the main electronic enclosure.
  3. Add 2 more bigger lights to my existing 4 lights system.
  4. Add 2 more bigger lights by adding to the main electronic enclosure.
  5. Add payload bay, enclosure with another battery inside and connect 2 bigger lights directly to battery in the payload bay (separate from electronic bay). 2 additional lights will be turn on directly on surface before going into water and turn off when ROV is back to surface.

Please recommend where to purchase bigger lights and how to attach it to the existing 4 lights system.

thank you

To start with, if you’re having issues with insufficient brightness make sure you’re turning the bluerobotics lights up to full, and make sure they’re powered with >=10V; the technical details specify you need at least 10V of power for maximum full brightness of the lights.

Assuming you do need more for the extra brightness or just for lighting in a different direction,

  1. Most likely fine
  2. Fine as long as you’ve got room for another penetrator, and a PWM port on the pixhawk to control them
  3. May be possible but could mean the battery drains too quickly. Could have problems controlling them as the pixhawk is only set up to send 1100-1900us PWM signals by default.
  4. See 3.
  5. Possible, assuming you can source the equipment, but then you don’t have control from QGC and have more separate batteries you need to charge (which can definitely get annoying).

Not sure where you’d go about getting ‘bigger lights’, but if you can find some then you still might need to make your own control board/circuitry that accepts the PWM signal the pixhawk sends. Once you have a setup that allows that control then you can either connect the input to the same one that’s controlling your other lights, or put it in a separate pixhawk PWM output slot (assuming you have one available), and select the relevant output channel in QGC as Lights 2.

My exist 4 lights come with Blue ROV when i purchased, therefore i think it is under the technical detail requirement such as 10 V. and yes, i already turn to full brightness. I only need more brightness when the ROV reached 80 meters depth.

I like option 5 and might go with option 5 because i do not want to play around with penetrator which might introduce leak to electronic enclosure and existing lights system.

If i can calculate light power consumption with additional battery for extra lighting system, i may not need to turn them on and off during dive. I just have to turn it on before going into water and turn it off when stop diving.

Do you have power consumption on blue robotic R2 lights?

can someone show me photo when remove the R2 light assembly or vdo on how to remove blank penetrator cap and installing additional lights to existing 4 lighting system in chain.

Is it easy to add 2 more lights in my existing 4 lighting system, so i do not need to add another penetrator to the main electronic enclosure.

It might be worth trying to adjust the camera settings through the web interface when you’re that deep - increasing the brightness and contrast, and possibly gamma as well.

Choose whatever makes the most sense for your application. If you don’t need control of them then 5 is fine. If the always-on light is problematic in the less deep portions of the dive then having dimming control may be a requirement. :slight_smile:

The technical details I linked to in my previous comment specify that the peak current of one light is 15 / V_in amps. Since power is current x voltage, you can assume the peak power usage is 15W. I’m not certain if the peak power usage is consistently used when full brightness is applied, so the average power might be less than that, but that at least gives you an upper bound. You can also measure the voltage and the current usage with a multimeter or oscilloscope if need be, to get a more accurate estimate of expected power usage of time.

There doesn’t seem to be a guide on doing this at the moment, but it’s not too complicated - you basically just remove the four screws and then carefully pull out the end cap (as discussed here), and then you can unscrew the blank penetrator nut and remove the penetrator.

It’s possible a guide could be made of the process if you’re interested, but it could take a few weeks to a couple of months, which may not be soon enough for you to make use of it.


I make a pcb called the Expanse PCB to provide additional control.

It comes free of chare with my HCU

Here is a video of how I control it.

Additional video here to show various other types of controls with Expanse PCB

The idea is you buy a cobalt connector and use 1 pin for 0vdc, one pin for V+ and several pins for control signals.

This way you only use 1 hole on the ROV and control several lights.

For instance, you can have one set of quads for shallow work and one set for deep work.

Since deep work lights are usually angled differently, you can turn off the ones you don’t use hence conserving your battery power.

Hope this helps.


Eliotinsight ----------> thank you very much for your reply and support. You are blue robotic staff right?

If adding 2 or 4 more R2 lights is not that hard and minimum risk to water leak into existing lighting system, then this option is better than option 5.

I already have 4 lights (connect in series) for my ROV, there will be no problem if i will buy a full set of 4 or 2 light system and add it to existing 4 light system? not to over connect which may lead to some unknown problem such as less power going to the last light bulb or too much power when lead to wire over heat and burning? is it possible to have 8 lights in series? is there any limitation on how many lights can be connected in series for my blue rov (heavy version).

what part do i need to order for adding 2 or 4 lighting system to my existing 4 lighting system?

Thank you for providing me with more option on my problem. I think your system is for bigger upgrade to my ROV. First i need to look into this system to understand more detail about it.

but first go back to my lighting problem. this is what i understand about this system that might be a solution for me.

  1. purchase blue robotic payload frame to be added to my ROV
  2. purchase one new enclosure to install your PCB and maybe battery for PCB and lighting system and both PCB and battery will be installed into this one enclosure.
  3. purchase new set of lighting system (big light, small light, whatever) and one cable will be insert to the new enclosure and so lighting is connected to the pcb and battery for controlling the lights.
  4. one cable from this new enclosure go out and into ROV main electronic enclosure, so my existing controller can control this new lighting?

Not at all. The expanse PCB fits into the 4inch enclosure, it connects directly to the raspberry pi via usb.

Buy additional light, cut the old light penetrator, replace the penetrator with cobalt and install both old and new light on the cobalt connector. Pot the connector and you are done.

On your computer, configure BR2 routing, install the expanse PCB and control lights.

please provide link to parts that i need to purchase to complete what you suggested.

thank you

You need to buy this from me:

then lights from Bluerobotics:

Then this from BlueTrail to install on the lights:

Then this from BlueTrail to install on the ROV:

Then get some epoxy locally.

You can also ask BlueTrail to pot the light cables for you I am sure he will be happy to assist.

@damonblue What do you think?

Here is a photo of the lights setup I use. 8 Lumens in total. They are all controlled by the Delta ROV Expanse module. I split them into 3 circuits.

Yes, I can pot customers’ assemblies if they wish!

By the way, your SCU looks AMAZING! It makes me wish I had an ROV of my own just so I could buy it!

This comment doesn’t address your real question, but is just to alert you to a component that can make it far easier to add penetrators: BlueRobotics has alternate end caps with more holes (but they’re buried deeply on the website). Here’s the 4" endcap with 18 holes: https://bluerobotics.com/store/watertight-enclosures/4-series/wte4-m-end-cap-18-hole-r2-rp

Using that, you can easily add more penetrators without drilling/tapping the existing system, if that’s what you end up needing.

Wow Ken, that is one pimped up ROV.

Can I use the picture of your ROV in my online shop for the expanse product?

Now you need to use my HCU so you can control all 3 channels :slight_smile:

Thanks Damon, it takes a while to put together and already rev3. I am very proud of it.

look like it has all high tech component.


Thanks! And I love your latest SCU! Is there a NUC or something inside it?

For sure you can the pic. I can try and take a more ‘pro-like’ shot if you wish.

The Expanse now controls: USBL Beacon, IP camera (power, still shot/record video), 3 lumen circuits, laser scalers. Once I get your HCU (still saving up), I’ll move the camera tilt servo from the Pix, to the Expanse too!

Question, now that we’re here: Can you upgrade it while installed (Zoom in through the QGC computer), or do I have to remove it and connect it directly to a desktop computer for you to Zoom in?



Yes, this one: Intel NUC Hades Canyon 65W i7 Kit (Slim) BOXNUC8I7HNK1 B&H Photo

It is very powerful and since this is not for gaming, the GPU is good enough

you can install a usb server on the rpi which will allow direct access. Else you need to take it out