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Shack 02-12-2007 03:31 PM

LED Replacement Bulbs
I've been reseraching and hunting for LED bulbs that fit my current recepticles. The idea here is to convert old lights bulbs into LED while using the old standard double contact base bayonet recepticles.

LED running lights are out there, but I don't need to buy a new set - just the replacement bulbs. I have found some sources online. has the 12 and 19 LED arrays for $7 and $10 respectively.

The big issue is satifying the ColReg distance and the available viewing angle.
If anyone has had successes, please let me know.

My question:
What Microcandella (mcd) is required to achieve similar Lumens for 2nm visibility? The big problem is that its not easy to translate mcd in to Lumens. The issue is that LEDs are measured in mcd because of the angle of the cast light. Incandescents throw 360 deg light, LED's are more directive and focused. Not quite columated, but I guess in between. The same numbers in an LED array configured differently will produce different equivalent Lumens. (Its all ball bearings to me. :rolleyes: )

I need a bulb.


sailingdog 02-12-2007 04:08 PM

As for converting Candelas to Lumens... look here.

Be aware, just because a bulb is the same or greater brightness, doesn't mean that it will be able to satisfy COLREGs if used in an application or fixture it wasn't originally designed for. This is important if you get involved in a collision and get sued... If you want an LED anchor light or tri-color, I think you're just better off, biting the bullet, and buying one that is USCG approved.

AFAIK, there isn't a LED bulb or array made right now, that is approved for use in an older incandescent navigation light fixture that will meet COLREGs approval.

tdw 02-12-2007 06:47 PM

I can't quote chapter and verse but I believe there are LED light sources that are approved replacements for incandescent in nav lights but not for tricolours.

Shack 02-12-2007 07:00 PM

Col Regs
Well . .
I pulled out my COLREGS and my situation requies 2nm lights (1nm for sidelights). Annex I translates that into 4.3 candelas for 2nm and 0.9 cd for 1nm. (4300 mcd and 900 mcd respectively.)

The LED's that fit into the old standard recepticles can do 8200 mcd!! This exceeds the instensity requirements for my boat. However, the two bulbs I'm looking at have a fan of 12 degrees or 100 degrees. Not quite what I need for sidelights or the stern light.

I have found some bulbs at the local West Marine that fit into my sockets (see 10956 on pg 569 of the 2006 cataloge), but now I am doubtful as to their application in my sidelights because of this possible limits in the horizontal plane. Tomorrow, I will try to install a couple and see what happens. Stay tuned.

All this might be simpler if I went out an purchased and installed a new set of those fancy sidelights with the LEDs already in them.


sailingdog 02-12-2007 07:14 PM

Shack. Believe all three lights on a tri-color have ranges greater than 100˚ in coverage, so the LED bulbs you're looking at are probably not sufficient to be legal.

Shack 02-13-2007 11:15 AM

Your right. I think its 112.5 degrees for port and strbd (225 total arc centered to the bow.) (of course, that leaves 135 deg for the stern light).

You know . . . the colregs don't specifiy a vertical angle requirement. I wonder why. Although the ocean is a fairly 2-D environment, a sailboat heeling on waves and observers at different heights can affect the visibility of these lights. Have you ever heard of a vertical angle requirement by the USCG or intl ColRegs?

I'll try to go out to my slip tonight and give it a shot. I bought the bulbs by accident - I might as well experiment with them before I return'em.


sailingdog 02-13-2007 02:09 PM

I'd imagine that the vertical requirement is determined by the type of boat. A monohull may require a greater degree of vertical angle coverage than my trimaran.. :D

Idiens 02-13-2007 04:36 PM


Originally Posted by Shack
I've been reseraching and hunting for LED bulbs that fit my current recepticles.

Me too. I found some at the Dusseldorf boat show. But was told that internationally they are not yet legally permitted for navigation lights. Part Nr. 12608

Pity, I could use the power saving and longevity.

Goodnewsboy 02-13-2007 08:10 PM

If you want to start with an anchor light, see Terry's stuff at:

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