Old enough to know better
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Beacon, NY
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Re: Low buck projects- Let's see 'em!
As usual TakeFive is correct.. the blue-light won't work in some nav lights.
HOWEVER, you might be able to get the right "color" out of your LED nav lights if you get the right "white" out of your LEDs.
Look for a fuller spectrum white (warm white) LED and you might still be A-OK.
I know when I bought my PERKO replacement bulbs, they were certified for this use, still a bargain, and fit into this "low buck project" thread.
NO I am not working for this company.. and I am sure you can buy them elsewhere.
Perko Atwood Hella 31mm Festoon LED Replacement Bulbs
While I have recommended marine beam as well, and plan on using them for any interior lights I think they are playing games with the "approved" line. They do not really claim to be certified, only that they are brighter than stock bulbs.
These lamps are MUCH brighter than the original incandescent festoons, and easily meet the 2nm visibility requirements.
They don't really claim them to be certified only that they can be seen more than 2 miles away. There is more to the spec than 2 nautical miles visibility. They have to be a very specific color and they make no claim of even meeting the requirements. For me I think it is best to just replace the fixture with one that is designed for use with LEDs. I have to agree that if you are on a trailer sailor on a small inland lake, and you are going to only be overnight sailing occasionally then it likely does not matter. But if you are going to be out often or in areas that might have more heavy traffic then I would get the official fixtures with LEDs in them. My only concern is that if you are involved in an accident at night, and your lights do not meet spec you could be held liable for this incident. The easiest way to prove that it meets spec is to show the label of the package that says "approved by Coast Guard" that shows that you at least believed they met them and that you had not "modified" them.
Also if you have fixtures that are not approved for use with LEDs they may have corroded connections anyway so it is not a bad idea to replace them anyway. LEDs seem to be more sensitive to corrosion and the resultant fluctuation in current.