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Old 09-17-2007, 10:02 AM   #1
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Whilst doing the rounds of the chandleries today, I asked many questions about LED nav lights as I intend to update my existing lights. Most chandleries recommended the LED lights which cost about four times as much as incandescent lights of a similar size and luminance.

However one chandler recommended I stay with incandescent for what seems like an excellent few reasons.

1) The power saving on a modern yacht, with its extraordinary and diverse ability to generate power, is a false economy given the difference in price, and is a minor saving in AH anyway.

2) Longevity of the lightsource. He has had a board with LED and Incandescent lights running off a 12v source for 15 months in his shop. He has noticed a very distinct drop in the light output of the LED and individual LED's have failed. (In some lights up to 25% have failed in that period)

So here is the problem. When an incandescent bulb fails it is immediately noticable from the deck of your boat and can be immediately replaced with a cheap bayonet style bulb. Over time as the LED's dim and several fail in each bank, you can still see the loom of your light from the deck and therefore assume all is well. However, the penetration of the light may have been reduced from 10 miles to 2 miles or less and you will be none the wiser. This is dangerous.

He has convinced me to stay with Laliza 20m lights @ AU$55 instead of the Laliza 20m LED @ AU$225, and I know that I can be secure knowing that if the light fails, it fails totally...not by degrees.

David.

PS..On radar detection. Has anyone experience with the C.A.R.D. (collision avoidance, radar detection)system? http://www.mcintyremarine.com.au/card.html
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Old 09-17-2007, 06:44 PM   #2
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David,

Dr.LED (www.DoctorLED.com) sells replacement LED "bulbs" for series 40 & other NAV Light fixtures. Cost $39 for std white and $49 USD for tri-Color. They also make them in solid red and green

It's important to understand that you cannot simply put a white LED "bulb" into a tri-color fixture, as the red & green lenses absorb much of the light, reducing the visable range.

Their tri-color "bulb" is made-up with red & green & white LED segments which corrects the absorption of the colored lense.

They're guaranteed for a year.

They draw such little power one friend of mine says he just leaves 'em on all the time when on passage!

Anyway - with these you can always just put your old bulbs back in the socket if you're not happy with the LEDs.

My primary reason for going this route is that if they prevent me from having to climb the mast one more time to change a burnt-out bulb, they'll have been worth the expense.

To Life!

Kirk
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Old 09-17-2007, 07:20 PM   #3
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Quote:
My primary reason for going this route is that if they prevent me from having to climb the mast one more time to change a burnt-out bulb, they'll have been worth the expense.
Ditto here Kirk, although the power saving is also a major factor.

We have used Lopolight LED Nav lights on smaller coast guard workboats and (very) fast runnabouts for a couple of years now with great results - and believe me they take some punishment!

Aye //Stephen
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Old 09-18-2007, 09:02 AM   #4
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David,

I have read elsewhere that some LEDs have a projected lifespan of + 50,000 hours ???

Richard
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Old 09-18-2007, 10:36 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by MMNETSEA View Post
David,

I have read elsewhere that some LEDs have a projected lifespan of + 50,000 hours ???

Richard
This is what the manufacturers' claim. Probably true too but they do tend to become weaker with time.

Incidentaly Lopolight is type approved by the Danish Maritime Administration.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 09-18-2007, 01:10 PM   #6
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We have been using two LED lights for the past 6+ years. First is the masthead tri-color light and the second is an anchor light that turns on at dusk and off at dawn. Both of them are from a company now called Greenway. These appeared on the scene years before others and cost was enough to boggle the mind. The tri-color is $285.00 and the anchor light $150. Yikes compared to the Dr Led lights today I gulp . But it was similar to when Sat Navs or GPS units first came out on the market.

http://www.svhotwire.com/greenray_navigation_lights.html

Two reasons we chose to spend the big bucks. Running the tri-color all night allowed us to run our radar. Secondly we are always fighting power consumption at night and this really helped. The LED has worked well but I sure as heck would look at the led lights from DR Led.

The anchor light is wonderful. We mounted it in a Perko stand-alone unit and never have to worry about it being turned on. That is the best part especially if we are ashore in the late afternoon / evening. It turns on.

Dr LED link

https://www.professorled.com/p3.htm

Cheers

Chuck

Jacaranda

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Old 09-19-2007, 02:29 AM   #7
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I have just installed a large hardtop Bimini over my cockpit, wired for Dome Lights.

Are LED's suitable for being used as exterior Dome lights? Will they put out enough light for dining and reading yet still offer a power savings? Can they be made to dim?

Most of my lighting is 24v Dc but I can only seem to find 12v in LED's

I have no experience with using them or found anything like that on light supplier's websites (except courtesy lights). Any contacts much appreciated… Tnx
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Old 09-19-2007, 03:44 AM   #8
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Hi

We have been using leds in the cockpit for the past 4 years and have had terrific results. I do not see why they would work for you in your application. They make Led replacements for domes lights.

Attached is the link of the LEDs we have been running on Jacaranda both 3 LED & 9 LED's.

http://www.berkeleypoint.com/products/light_fixtures/360.html

They are in a SS case on a fiberglass or plastic stalk. We use the 9 LED type for reading as it's a spot. The 3 LED spot gives enough light to see but not to read. Many times we turn them on when leaving the boat in the evening. They don't even move the digital volt meter(Use no power). We have them both on a flexible stalk so they can be moved around easily. The stalk is the same that machine shops use to pump lubricant up to the drill press and lathes. They snap together and can be made any length. I do not even know if these folks are still making LED lights

Many of the bus and truck taillights are now LEDs. Also many of the new stoplights are also LEDS. So I am sure you can find something that would work in the cockpit

Here is a few other sites that I had bookmarked

http://www.superbrightleds.com/

http://spectrumled.com/1156_1157.htm

http://www.sailorssolutions.com/

I am not sure about putting an led on a dimmer. Maybe someone with the technical knowledge will respond.

Let us know what you come up with and how it works

Kind regards and good luck

Chuck

Jacaranda
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Old 09-19-2007, 03:50 AM   #9
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Sorry I supplied the incorrect link. The previous one contained the brass housing, It should have been

http://www.berkeleypoint.com/products/ligh...xtures/310.html

My apologies

Chuck
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Old 09-19-2007, 06:24 AM   #10
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Thanks Chuck,

I am in the process of moving onboard full time and mostly off the grid, so the battery power savings is very attractive.

I did find through all the links you kindly supplied, replacement bulbs for my existing Interior Dome and halogen reading light fixtures, but only for 12v DC. My problem is that I am all 24vDC!

My sailboat is wired for 24vDC for all domestic lighting, fans and pump services with my 24v distribution panel breakers zoned to 10 specific areas rather than to individual services, so I can not just isolate the lighting and transform them only from the distribution panel, since those lines also feed 24v fans and shower pumps etc, with wiring sized for 24v.

If I understand correctly, I must transform every light to 12v if I wish to switch to LEDs

Dr LED sells a 24 to 12v transformer and I have asked them if I must install one behind every light fixture inside the headliner (huge job) or if they can modify/supply LED light bulbs to run on 24v DC?

Will let you know their reply but in the meantime, has anyone had experience with this problem?

Nick

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Old 09-19-2007, 07:20 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
Thanks Chuck,

I am in the process of moving onboard full time and mostly off the grid, so the battery power savings is very attractive.

I did find through all the links you kindly supplied, replacement bulbs for my existing Interior Dome and halogen reading light fixtures, but only for 12v DC. My problem is that I am all 24vDC!

My sailboat is wired for 24vDC for all domestic lighting, fans and pump services with my 24v distribution panel breakers zoned to 10 specific areas rather than to individual services, so I can not just isolate the lighting and transform them only from the distribution panel, since those lines also feed 24v fans and shower pumps etc, with wiring sized for 24v.

If I understand correctly, I must transform every light to 12v if I wish to switch to LEDs

Dr LED sells a 24 to 12v transformer and I have asked them if I must install one behind every light fixture inside the headliner (huge job) or if they can modify/supply LED light bulbs to run on 24v DC?

Will let you know their reply but in the meantime, has anyone had experience with this problem?

Nick

StarGazer
Hello Nick ;- check supplier of 24 volt LEDs : http://www.ledshoponline.com/automotive_leds_24volt.htm

Another way is to install a Buck DC/DC converter 24V >> 12 V - this will mean choosing 1 or more MCBs to redirect your wiring from the lights that you want as LEDs - then supplying that converter with 24v which in turn sends 12volts to all the lights via the MCB/s
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Old 09-19-2007, 08:08 AM   #12
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Thanks Richard,

I will research their products for compatibility with my existing fixtures, I did meanwhile get this reply from Dr LED:

Dear Nick,

In 2008, we will come up with some 24V nav LED bulbs and LED dome lights.

We also have a off line voltage regulator to use with our 12V products as well.

Best,

Dr. LED

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Old 09-19-2007, 08:39 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
Thanks Richard,

I will research their products for compatibility with my existing fixtures, I did meanwhile get this reply from Dr LED:

Dear Nick,

In 2008, we will come up with some 24V nav LED bulbs and LED dome lights.

We also have a off line voltage regulator to use with our 12V products as well.

Best,

Dr. LED
Nick

Hope that Doctor did not mean December 2008 ??? Doctor's waiting lists now spreading tp Led suppliers !!!

Richard
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Old 09-19-2007, 09:26 AM   #14
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Well, at least we can read his writing !
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