Originally Posted by Aquaria
well, in this option the visibility requirements might be met and there won't be a problem of using this bulb in a 360° white (anchor) light. But as soon as you use your old tri-colour glass the distinguation between the colours deteriorates and authorities (BSH in Germany and obviously the USCG.) do not like that. So, it might be a risk to use this arrangement in some territorial waters. We get fined for this.
One could use white light leds in their old tricolor fixture but it would be hit-or-miss as to whether you achieve light that meets the requirements of regulatory authorities and achieves your goals of being seen. The USCG regulations specify visibility at distance and gives very specific guidance on testing: measuring and calculating. I initially looked into this when we were considering purchase or actual fabrication of white led's to put in our vintage lights in the lower shrouds...we would have removed the red and green lens from the vintage lights and put in a clear lens, btw.
For about 6 years, my husband and I had a business together working in the field of biomedical tissue optics -- we used lasers, led's, and broad spectrum light as part of a system for in vivo diagnostic tools--we can easily design and fab LED based lighting systems with specific wavelengths emitted and have the equipment to test the lighting and systems for use in various diffuse media (foggy atmosphere optics very similar to tissue optics) -- so looking into this was sort of a brain-teaser for me. We did, briefly, consider putting together an LED system with our vintage lights and doing the required testing for meeting USCG regs (we could have achieved this fairly easily) but then decided the liability of having a system of light and fixture that was not tested and certified by a marine lighting mfr was just too great. Along about that point, we also decided that if a mfr of LED's hadn't tested their lighting in the vintage fixtures we owned that we wouldn't be doing the right thing to use such a combination either.
I don't know if the Masina Malosi and Kuaka from Bebi Electronics have been tested by Bebi in Aquasignal 40 fittings--if the tests have been done, you should obtain a copy of their testing info and keep it on your boat with other important stuff since this would be one way to avoid a fine by the USCG or other authorities. We do have such paperwork aboard for our nav light systems.
It would be very easy to be fined on this issue since the USCG requires testing of the entire lighting system per their requirements--therefore when you put a different light in...you get something that wasn't ever tested.
This isn't just a regulatory issue--it is a safety issue: while a green lens or red lens will pass a specific (narrow) set of wavelengths to achieve the red or green color, when you remove the broad spectrum emitting incandescent light and place an LED light in that fixture, you have no idea of what you've done. Even a white LED isn't broad spectrum (as an incandescent light is) and when you put it through a filter (red, or green or otherwise), you really have no idea of what color will pass and, most important, what visibility you will achieve without testing of the "new" system you've built yourself.
Forgetting about regulatory requirements and fines...you also more or less have to decide if you're willing to take the liability onto your own shoulders for the matter of navigation lights. If someone hits you at night--one of the first things they're going to say is they didn't see you...