Electrical Upgrades - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electrical Systems
 Not a Member? 


Like Tree6Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 07-12-2014
This Old Sailboat's Avatar
aka $tingy Sailor
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: E Washington
Posts: 85
Thanks: 0
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Rep Power: 2
This Old Sailboat is on a distinguished road
Electrical Upgrades

Starting this week, I'll be posting 5 or 6 articles on my blog that feature electrical projects that I've done to Summer Dance. I'll give a Reader's Digest version here and if you want to see more, you can head over to The $tingy Sailor.

This week's post is about LED conversion complete with before and after pictures of each light. I swapped out the incandescent bulbs in my navigation lights that, together with replacement LED cabin lights, reduced my potential electrical consumption by 86%.



The result is more light with less power and better reliability. It's all good and the cost was very reasonable.



Stay tuned for more LED awesomeness next week!
__________________
Follow me on the
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
blog - DIY trailerable sailboat restoration and improvement without throwing your budget overboard.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 07-12-2014
tommays's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 4,272
Thanks: 1
Thanked 27 Times in 27 Posts
Rep Power: 7
tommays will become famous soon enough
Re: Electrical Upgrades

I don't want to burst your bubble but NONE or very few of the replacements bulbs are legal in navigation lights as the COMPLETE unit has to be summited to a testing lab
__________________
1970 Cal 29 Sea Fever

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

1981 J24 Tangent 2930
Tommays
Northport NY


If a dirty bottom slows you down what do you think it does to your boat
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 07-12-2014
Puddin'_Tain's Avatar
Don't call me a "senior"!
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 667
Thanks: 0
Thanked 25 Times in 22 Posts
Rep Power: 1
Puddin'_Tain is on a distinguished road
Re: Electrical Upgrades

Quote:
Originally Posted by tommays View Post
I don't want to burst your bubble but NONE or very few of the replacements bulbs are legal in navigation lights as the COMPLETE unit has to be summited to a testing lab
That may be true for new construction, but not for replacement equipment. Replacement "bulbs" are legal as long as they meet or exceed the specifications in the COLREGS and Inland rules. See COLREGS Annex I and 33 CFR 84 Annex I (Inland rules).
__________________
Typed on my Underwood Finger-Flight Champion portable typewriter (in triplicate, using carbon paper), sent to my basement laboratory via pneumatic tubes, transcribed by Minions on a Commodore 64 (complete with 5 1/4" single-sided floppy), and uploaded to the Internets via 14.4 kbit/s modem. Ain't modern technology grand?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 07-12-2014
Maine Sail's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Maine Coast
Posts: 5,424
Thanks: 11
Thanked 127 Times in 95 Posts
Rep Power: 15
Maine Sail is just really nice Maine Sail is just really nice Maine Sail is just really nice Maine Sail is just really nice
Re: Electrical Upgrades

Quote:
Originally Posted by Puddin'_Tain View Post
That may be true for new construction, but not for replacement equipment. Replacement "bulbs" are legal as long as they meet or exceed the specifications in the COLREGS and Inland rules. See COLREGS Annex I and 33 CFR 84 Annex I (Inland rules).

And how would you know they meet the specifications?
__________________
______
-Maine Sail / CS-36T


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.




© Images In Posts Property of Compass Marine Inc.


Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 07-12-2014
This Old Sailboat's Avatar
aka $tingy Sailor
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: E Washington
Posts: 85
Thanks: 0
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Rep Power: 2
This Old Sailboat is on a distinguished road
Re: Electrical Upgrades

My bubble is fully intact, Tom. 33 CFR Part 183, Subpart M (nav light certification) applies to dealers, distributors, and manufacturers of boats after 2002, not boat owners. I'm far more worried about the lawyer in the powerboat taking out someone in my family or myself than I am of that lawyer in a courtroom.
eherlihy, CS Cruiser and Brewgyver like this.
__________________
Follow me on the
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
blog - DIY trailerable sailboat restoration and improvement without throwing your budget overboard.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old 07-13-2014
This Old Sailboat's Avatar
aka $tingy Sailor
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: E Washington
Posts: 85
Thanks: 0
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Rep Power: 2
This Old Sailboat is on a distinguished road
Re: Electrical Upgrades

Hey, guys. Let's not let this thread disintegrate into yet another endless debate about LED lights, eh? That horse was beat to death long ago. Caveat emptor, okay?
__________________
Follow me on the
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
blog - DIY trailerable sailboat restoration and improvement without throwing your budget overboard.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
The Following User Says Thank You to This Old Sailboat For This Useful Post:
budvar (07-16-2014)
  #7  
Old 07-13-2014
Puddin'_Tain's Avatar
Don't call me a "senior"!
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 667
Thanks: 0
Thanked 25 Times in 22 Posts
Rep Power: 1
Puddin'_Tain is on a distinguished road
Re: Electrical Upgrades

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
And how would you know they meet the specifications?
How would you know any incandescent replacement bulb meets them? If a bulb burns out do you have to get the replacement bulb and fixture "approved"? Nope. Do you even have to put the same brand of bulb in the fixture (if you can find that particular brand)? Nope. You just slap any ol' incandescent bulb in there and assume it's OK. Fact is the new bulb may, or may not, have the same spectral qualities as the old bulb; which by the time it failed may, or may not, have had spectral qualities similar to those it originally had.

Look at the COLREGS. The color ranges are pretty broad. Basically, if it looks red, it's red enough. Ditto for green, white, and yellow. You can download a CIE chromaticity diagram from any of a number of web pages and plot out the ranges yourself, then compare them to what your lights look like. Many digital cameras also come with the software to plot out the spectral peaks (but you'll have to convert these to the CIE ranges specified in the COLREGS; not that difficult, just one added step). It ain't rocket science.

Usually the problem is with putting a "cool white" LED in some green lenses, as this looks pretty blue-green. If your lights have colored lenses, using "warm white" LEDs usually solves this problem (the "extra" yellow in the output of the "warm white" makes the light look greener after it goes through the lens). Or, you can put green LEDs in the green fixtures, red LEDs in the red fixtures, and white LEDs in the white fixtures (this is the solution I used).
__________________
Typed on my Underwood Finger-Flight Champion portable typewriter (in triplicate, using carbon paper), sent to my basement laboratory via pneumatic tubes, transcribed by Minions on a Commodore 64 (complete with 5 1/4" single-sided floppy), and uploaded to the Internets via 14.4 kbit/s modem. Ain't modern technology grand?

Last edited by Puddin'_Tain; 07-13-2014 at 12:18 AM.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #8  
Old 07-13-2014
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 175
Thanks: 1
Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Rep Power: 5
redline is on a distinguished road
Re: Electrical Upgrades

I'll admit to having installed LED replacement bulbs in my nav fixtures, though not for the lower drain but for longer life - even though I rarely sailed at night, the original bulbs with their long vertical filaments were extremely susceptible to vibration. At $15-18 each (!) I went through over a hundred bucks of bulbs in only a few "lit hours". Years later, the LEDs don't mind the shaking.
That said, those long, thin vertical filaments are a key part of the original fixture design: with a metal baffle they produce a sharp cut-off so the red/green transition is well defined. The much fatter LED bulbs (most any brand) result in a "softer" cut-off giving much more overlap between colours. There is a significant angle through which one can see both red/green which isn't right.

I am puzzled the theLunaSEA LED tricolour I saw recently - nicely built, compact, seemingly well-designed, but with significant red/green overlap, at least close up. The vendor (who in other respects seemed quite kmowledgeable) claimed it wasn't a problem.

One day I will replace my nav fixtures with "real" Hella LED fixtures, but I figure having non-conforming lights that work is better than any other kind which don't.



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
__________________
Norman
s/y "Redline"
1998 Jeanneau SO45.2
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #9  
Old 07-13-2014
Maine Sail's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Maine Coast
Posts: 5,424
Thanks: 11
Thanked 127 Times in 95 Posts
Rep Power: 15
Maine Sail is just really nice Maine Sail is just really nice Maine Sail is just really nice Maine Sail is just really nice
Re: Electrical Upgrades

Quote:
Originally Posted by This Old Sailboat View Post
My bubble is fully intact, Tom. 33 CFR Part 183, Subpart M (nav light certification) applies to dealers, distributors, and manufacturers of boats after 2002, not boat owners. I'm far more worried about the lawyer in the powerboat taking out someone in my family or myself than I am of that lawyer in a courtroom.
Yes, boat builders must use USCG / ABYC 16 "certified" navigation lights however the COLREGS require/mandate that your lights must meet the same exact specifications. In the end there is no difference in how your lights must perform vs. a boat builder.

How will one know that a home made navigational light will meet the horizontal sectors, vertical sectors, color and distance specifications? If you are willing to take on that risk, this is fine, I just point it out because folks only tend to think the COLREGS is only about distance and that is simply not the case at all. It is also not the case that only boat builders are required to install lights that conform with the COLREGS.

There is a part in Rule 20 of the COLREGS that states nav lights SHALL COMPLY with Annex I of the CFR / Code of Federal Regulations, and many folks miss this critical section.

This is what it means, by US Federal Law and the COLREGS to be considered a "navigation light"....

From 33 CFR 84:

Colors

� 84.13 Color specification of lights
(a) The chromaticity of all navigation lights shall conform to the following standards, which lie within the boundaries of the area of the diagram specified for each color by the International Commission on Illumination (CIE), in the "Colors of Light Signals", which is incorporated by reference. It is Publication CIE No. 2.2. (TC-1.6), 1975, and is available from the Illumination Engineering Society, 345 East 47th Street, New York, NY 10017. It is also available for inspection at the Office of the Federal Register, Room 8401, 1100 L Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20408. This incorporation by reference was approved by the Director of the Federal Register.
(b) The boundaries of the area for each color are given by indicating the corner coordinates, which are as follows:
(1) White:
x 0.525 0.525 0.452 0.310 0.310 0.443
y 0.382 0.440 0.440 0.348 0.283 0.382
(2) Green:
x 0.028 0.009 0.300 0.203
y 0.385 0.723 0.511 0.356
(3) Red:
x 0.680 0.660 0.735 0.721
y 0.320 0.320 0.265 0.259
(4) Yellow:
x 0.612 0.618 0.575 0.575
y 0.382 0.382 0.425 0.406

Intensity

� 84.15 Intensity of lights
(a) The minimum luminous intensity of lights shall be calculated by using the formula:
l = 3.43 x 106 x T x D2 x K-D
where:
I is luminous intensity in candelas under service conditions, T is threshold factor 2 x 10-7 lux, D is range of visibility (luminous range) of the light in nautical miles, K is atmospheric transmissivity. For prescribed lights the value of K shall be 0.8, corresponding to a meteorological visibility of approximately 13 nautical miles.
(b) A selection of figures derived from the formula is given in Table 84.15(b).
Table 84.15(b)
Range of visibility (luminous Minimum
range) of light in nautical luminous intensity of light
miles in candelas tor K = 0.8
D I
1 0.9
2 4.3
3 12
4 27
5 52
6 94

Horizontal Sectors

� 84.17 Horizontal sectors
(a)
(1) In the forward direction, sidelights as fitted on the vessel shall show the minimum required intensities. The intensities shall decrease to reach practical cut-off between 1 and 3 degrees outside the prescribed sectors.
(2) For sternlights and masthead lights and at 22.5 degrees abaft the beam for sidelights, the minimum required intensities shall be maintained over the arc of the horizon up to 5 degrees within the limits of the sectors prescribed in Rule 21. From 5 degrees within the prescribed sectors the intensity may decrease by 50 percent up to the prescribed limits; it shall decrease steadily to reach practical cutoff at not more than 5 degrees outside the prescribed sectors. (b) All-round lights shall be so located as not to be obscured by masts, topmasts or structures within angular sectors of more than 6 degrees, except anchor lights prescribed in Rule 30, which need not be placed at an impracticable height above the hull, and the all-round white light described in Rule 23(d), which may not be obscured at all. (c) If it is impracticable to comply with paragraph (b) of this section by exhibiting only one all-round light, two all-round lights shall be used suitably positioned or screened to appear, as far as practicable, as one light at a minimum distance of one nautical mile.

NOTE to paragraph (c): Two unscreened all-round lights that are 1.28 meters apart or less will appear as one light to the naked eye at a distance of one nautical mile.


Vertical Sectors

� 84.19 Vertical sectors
(a) The vertical sectors of electric lights as fitted, with the exception of lights on sailing vessels underway and on unmanned barges, shall ensure that:
(1) At least the required minimum intensity is maintained at all angles from 5 degrees above to 5 degrees below the horizontal;
(2) At least 60 percent of the required minimum intensity is maintained from 7.5 degrees above to 7.5 degrees below the horizontal.
(b) In the case of sailing vessels underway the vertical sectors of electric lights as fitted shall ensure that:
(1) At least the required minimum intensity is maintained at all angles from 5 degrees above to 5 degrees below the horizontal;
(2) At least 50 percent of the required minimum intensity is maintained from 25 degrees above to 25 degrees below the horizontal.
(c) In the case of unmanned barges the minimum required intensity of electric lights as fitted shall be maintained on the horizontal.
(d) In the case of lights other than electric lights these specifications shall be met as closely as possible.


This is what USCG / ABYC A-16 navigation lights are tested to and all nav lights "shall comply" with regardless of certification..


To see where in the COLREGS lights are defined and what those requirements are you need to look no further than Rule 20:

Quote:
Originally Posted by USCG Nav Center

Rule 20 - Application

(a) Rules in this part shall be complied with in all weathers.

(b) The Rules concerning lights shall be complied with from sunset to sunrise, and during such times no other lights shall be exhibited, except such lights which cannot be mistaken for the lights specified in these Rules or do not impair their visibility or distinctive character, or interfere with the keeping of a proper look-out.

(c) The lights prescribed by these Rules shall, if carried, also be exhibited from sunrise to sunset in restricted visibility and may be exhibited in all other circumstances when it is deemed necessary.

(d) The Rules concerning shapes shall be complied with by day.

(e) The lights and shapes specified in these Rules shall comply with the provisions of Annex I [to these Regulations | of these Rules].

Annex I takes you straight to the CFR definitions of a nav light as posted above... "shall comply with the provisions of Annex I" is not worded lightly. This means every boaters nav lights shall comply with the CFR specs above.. "Shall comply" is not a gray area for boat builders only....

There are plenty of certified NAV lights on the market that meet the COLREGS standards but only two or three tested and certified for use in an already existing fixture.

The only after market bulb that is certified, and has the testing certs to back it up, for use in existing fixtures, are made by Dr. LED but only for use in certain Aqua Signal Series 40 fixtures. They have certifications for bow red, bow green and all-round and now Aquasignal 25 anchor...

However the red/green FAILED to meet the specs & pass certifications for a sailboat so the only certified aftermarket bulb is the PolarStar 40 anchor light when used in an Aquasignal Series 40 All Round or the new Series 25 anchor light when used in an Aquasignal series 25 housing..

Even Dr. LED can't pass certifications for a sail boat, after specifically designing his lights to pass a certification, how can a DIY be sure..????

Remember, there is no requirement I know of that says you as a private boat owner must install "certified" lights.

However, it is the law that your lights "shall comply" with Rule 20 / 33CFR 84 for distance, horizontal sectors, color and vertical sectors. How do you know they will, without any testing?

The easiest way to know your lights comply is to simply purchase USCG / ABYC A-16 certified navigation lights. Prices have come way down in recent months...

The fixture with a bulb is what is certified. Dr. LED sent in multiple LED's in Aquasignal fixtures and still FAILED to get certifications for sailboats on anything but their All Round. This is a professional company specifically designing their LED's for navigational purposes yet they got just two approvals that meets the COLREGS for a sail boat, both anchor lights..

Dr. LED's red/green bow lights pass for POWER vessels but NOT for sail and this is because they failed either the horizontal or vertical sectors due to LED's not having the same performance characteristics as an incandescent.. The Aquasignal 40, with their incandescent bulb, passes for both sail and power. The Dr. LED only passes for power.

As I mentioned above distance is only one small aspect of meeting the federal nav light requirements. People often confuse this.

LED's do not have the same cut off angles or horizontal or vertical sector performance that an incandescent bulb has thus when installed in a fixture not specifically designed for an LED they quite often fail to meet certification, especially for sailboats...

IMANNA Labs, that is who does most of the testing, also accounts for bulb degradation in LED's and incandescent. Many of the LED fixtures they have been sent fail the burn in test because LED bulbs also lose lumen output over time and when poorly current regulated this is even more prevalent. They have tested some LED's that were at 50% output after just one week of use. This is simply sloppy design work. Many others fail color, horizontal, vertical or even distance. LED's also constantly degrade and lose lumen output where incandescent drops initially then remain relatively flat. IMANNA accounts for this in LED approvals.

Companies are rather unscrupulous. One LED nav light IMANNA tested, that failed, wound up on the market anyway.... The company simply did not care. There are in fact lots of lights out there sold as navigation lights, not just LED, that fail to meet COLREGS standards. Misleading and unscrupulous? IMHO, yes!

It is NOT easy to meet COLREGS standards with LED and it takes good engineering. Dr. LED has failed with numerous purpose built LED's to gain certification in existing fixtures.

IMANNA fails LED nav lights on a monthly basis and I have had long conversations with them about the process and all aspects of this testing... Companies like Hella, Aquasignal, Marine Beam, LopoLight, OGM and many others have built good LED lights and succeeded in getting them USCG certified. They have also come way down in price. Jeff Field of Marine Beam even went further than IMANNA Labs and pushed his through IMO and other test platforms.

There are MANY "navigation" lights out there that carry no certification, both incandescent and LED, and you'd not catch me dead using any of them.

Why? Because I am one who has been through an on-water night time death that involved lengthy forensics testimony on navigation lights. A drunk boater ran over one of my best friends fathers, at night, and killed him. This was all before LED. I would not risk being on the water without knowing my navigation lights met the COLREGS requirements. But that's just me.. Others choose to do differently. I take navigation lights seriously because it is the law and I have been in the "it won't happen to me crowd" and then it did happen....

IMHO any discussion on home made nav lights should always include all the the details, in fair balance, so people can make educated decisions.

I climbed a mast last summer due to a deck light being out. The owners steaming light, an LED festoon, was facing BACKWARDS!!!!!!!! This can't physically happen with an incandescent. Owner insisted it was installed facing forward so it must have vibrated backwards.

One of the most famous non-certified widely used products is the Davis Mega Light. NO CERTIFICATION and most owners of these lights have no clue they don't.. Misleading? You bet....

Hamilton Marine feels so strongly about not being involved in the liability chain they have this sign hanging right next to the LED lights where you can't miss it:





And this is the back of a package of an IMTRA LED bulb.



It seems no one wants to accept the potential liability for installing aftermarket LED's, not even the people making them or the people selling them. That says a lot to me....

All that said, any light that is used is better than no light at all.....
__________________
______
-Maine Sail / CS-36T


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.




© Images In Posts Property of Compass Marine Inc.



Last edited by Maine Sail; 07-13-2014 at 08:30 AM.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #10  
Old 07-13-2014
tommays's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 4,272
Thanks: 1
Thanked 27 Times in 27 Posts
Rep Power: 7
tommays will become famous soon enough
Re: Electrical Upgrades

Quote:
Originally Posted by This Old Sailboat View Post
Hey, guys. Let's not let this thread disintegrate into yet another endless debate about LED lights, eh? That horse was beat to death long ago. Caveat emptor, okay?
The horse is NOT beat to death as members on this sight have been in court and 100% of accidents at night focus on lighting liability

Even the ones when intoxicated operators drive into stationary barges
__________________
1970 Cal 29 Sea Fever

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

1981 J24 Tangent 2930
Tommays
Northport NY


If a dirty bottom slows you down what do you think it does to your boat
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Time to make some upgrades SirRedemption Gear & Maintenance 0 02-25-2013 04:06 PM
Electrical Upgrades efiste Electrical Systems 17 09-17-2012 06:12 PM
Tartan 31 upgrades DanBR Tartan 3 08-07-2011 11:14 AM
Columbia 22 improvements and upgrades PaulSail51 Columbia & Coronado 1 11-17-2008 11:59 AM
Mirage 29 upgrades Cava Gear & Maintenance 2 08-15-2001 07:18 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:50 PM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.