Re: LEDs afloat
First, the USCG does not "certify" bulbs. They certify boat manufactures assemblys and bulbs are only rated by the manufacturer. It is pretty much your responsibility. I doubt they will check if your anchor light is viewable from 2 miles, UNLESS....you are involved in a collision while at anchor. Unlikely still that if you have a light burning that is adequate, it would be an issue. Also consider the lens, if it is clouded or yellowed, you won't get the lumens regardless. Second, when soldering tight connections I use alligator clips as heat sinks. You can squeeze the ends to make them narrower. It also helps when soldering or tinning the end of a wire to prevent melting the insulation. Pre tin as much as possible then make the connection. Bebi Electronics is a small Fiji based company that makes some good and cheap LED units. If you don't feel comfortable making your own and don't want to fork over next weeks food allowance you might check them out. The products are, how to say this.....rustic, but work great and are really reasonable, read the whole website and you will learn a lot!