Originally Posted by dive7mmwet
has any one put in the screw / plug in LED bulbs?
I know the polarity must be right so all must be right at the wires in mast step,
and they will now fit in anchor light or steaming covers lens. and no need to buy $400 fixtures.
I just hate having my son on the mast, he loves it! & the $$$ he makes,, as the next thing he's working on other boats mast's and some I have no clue on their rigging!
If you want to have a long term solution, buy LED bulbs, that are not polarity sensitive nad have a broad voltage range. Without going into details, LEDs need to have a specific supply current. The simple way is to put a resistor in series with the LED. In this case you have to observe polarity, plus the light output will vary based on the voltage (which can show large swings on a boat). The operating range of these type of buls is narrow, usually something like 10-15Volts. Worse, low quality LED bulbs can be overloaded, and have low lifespan.
The other way to drive LEDs are using electonics, to supply constant current. This usually has the added effect of being insensitive to polarity, and have a broad (sometimes 8-32 volts) of working range, without overloading the LEDs, and thus have longer lifespan. Go for these.
But for this, you need to invest into high quality expensive bulbs, unless you have mast climbing as a hobby.
On the other hand, you'll have about 1/10th of the current consumption. My anchor light went from 1.2 Amps to 0.15. Nav lights from 2.5 to 0.3! That makes a difference. Steaming light isnt that of a big problem, since you should have the alternator running when you use it.
Note on LED lifespan: LEDs usually do not burn out, but the light output gradually decreases. Manufacturers define lifespan by some percentage (75, 50 or even 30%) of the original light output. Heat (usually from overcurrent) drastically reduces lifetime. For failures, don't just look at the individual LEDs, but also the associated electronics, and fixtures. So it is a good idea to have quality stuff at least up on the top.
You may have problems with colors, if you have separate port/starboard lights, get red and green LEDs for them. If you have red and green or tricolor light in one, get warm white LEDs, otherwise green will be more like blue. For stern/anchor/steaming cold white is OK, they usually have higher light output.