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  #1  
Old 01-14-2008
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LED Replacement Bulbs?

I enjoy the thought of LED lighting on a sailboat due to the low power usage. But when I look at new light fixtures for a sailboat they are not exactly cheap. I have seen these replacement bulbs and I was wondering if they are made to replaced regular bulbs in my non-LED fixtures.

If so that would be nice.

I am thinking this is the case because as I read about LED's it seems like they would never fo out and last forever.

Any replys will be much appreciated!
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Old 01-14-2008
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Some of the LED replacement bulbs are now USCG approved.
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Old 01-14-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perithead View Post
I enjoy the thought of LED lighting on a sailboat due to the low power usage. But when I look at new light fixtures for a sailboat they are not exactly cheap. I have seen these replacement bulbs and I was wondering if they are made to replaced regular bulbs in my non-LED fixtures.

If so that would be nice.

I am thinking this is the case because as I read about LED's it seems like they would never fo out and last forever.

Any replys will be much appreciated!
You talking interior lighting or exterior (navigation,anchor,running) ?

I'll refrain from my usual rant about the crap quality of LED lamps, it's all been said before but for interior application you DEFINITELY (he shouted) want warm white.

That aside I note that questions are being raised about LED lamps casuing radio interference so you may well need a suppressor, which is no big deal. (I'd heard this mentioned before but would refer you to this months Practical Sailor.)

As to you original question, there are LED lamps that can be retrofitted to many existing marine fixtures although with some you might need to fit a new lampholder, which again is no big deal.

Of perhaps further interest, I used a portable LED reading lamp while I was away this month and whoa mama did that sucker attract the bugs. Usually I
read in the cockpit using a kerosene lantern filled with Citronella Oil. As I get older, grumpier and bits of me start (start ?) to wear out I find I need a tidge more light ergo the experiment with the LED. No thanks, I'm going to get a better hurricane lamp.
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Old 01-14-2008
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Well, I guess both interior and exterior.

What I mean I can I take a regualr bulb out and just pop in one of the LED replacement bulbs?

Why would you DEFINATELY not want LED for interior lights? Would the low voltage not outweigh the non warm feeling? WHat is that warm feeling you are talking about, I guess I have not noticed it.......

Does the LED light really atract more bugs than a normal light?
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Some people find the color of the LED lighting to be somewhat cold and less than flattering. Halogen bulbs and incandescent bulbs generally give much nicer, warmer light, at the cost of higher electrical usage.

As for bugs... yes, LED bulbs may attract more bugs, since they tend to be cooler in color temperature, and most bugs are more attracted to bluish lights.
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Old 01-14-2008
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I just acquired a pair of LED bulb replacements for interior cabin lights. They are meant to stick to a flat surface inside the lamp fixture using double sticky tape (good for the circular fixtures often found in the main cabin, for example). They do not plug directly into a light socket, but for $2 you can buy an adapter that does.

My bulbs came from www.sailorssolutions.com. I have not yet tried them on the boat, only at home with a 12V power supply, but the light color has a definite yellow tone. They are not the usual blue-white you might expect.

These bulbs appear to have the light output of a 30W bulb but draw only 0.2A .

I have looked at LED replacements for masthead lights, where RF interference might really be a problem, and the vendor claims there is none, for what that is worth.

The nav lights I have seen are complete fixtures, not bulb replacements, so some hull mods might be required.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perithead View Post
Well, I guess both interior and exterior.

What I mean I can I take a regualr bulb out and just pop in one of the LED replacement bulbs?

Why would you DEFINATELY not want LED for interior lights? Would the low voltage not outweigh the non warm feeling? WHat is that warm feeling you are talking about, I guess I have not noticed it.......

Does the LED light really atract more bugs than a normal light?
Exterior - Go for it but use USCG approves lamps only.

Interior - Colour Temperature is measured in Kelvins. Standard GLS is around 2700k , daylight is up around 3600k but can be even whiter.

The warm inner glow comes naturally. If you don't see it then you need to spend more time in church. (just kidding) Havn't you ever noticed how a candle or an open fire is so much easier on the eyes than a fluroescent lamp ? That's what I'm talking about. I don't give a damn about burning a tidge more electricity if it means I feel more comfortable when I need to use artificial light. Many people don't feel this way I guess but I would rather be scrupulous about turning off unwanted lights than have to endure fluorescent or LED down below or for personal light in the cockpit.

That said, we do have two lighting circuits onboard, one for general use is incandescent, the other for when we just need lots of light is fluorescent. I also intend fitting red footlights in the cabin and cockpit for moving about when one of the crew is alseep and they will be LED.

SD, explained the bugs. Non incandescent lightsources often have 'blue' in them, particularly fluorescent and led. It's that which attracts the bugs.

And yes, there are 12v LED lamps that simply replace existing halogen or incandescent lamps and require no rewiring or additional control gear. This is, as I said before, subject to your lights having suitable lampholders. If they don't, replacing the lampholders is a piece of marsupial urine.

ps - given how fast led technology is developing all this will have probably changed by this time next year.
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Incandescent tungsten lighting runs from about 2600–2900˚ K in color temperature, Halogen lighting runs about 3000-3300˚ K and daylight runs from 5000˚K on a sunny day to about 6500˚K on a lightly overcast day.

Photographically speaking, tungsten lighting is measured at 3200 or 3400 Kelvin and Daylight is 5000˚ Kelvin. BTW, the color temperature of light is based on the temperature a black body radiator would have to be heated to to give off that color light... the higher the temperature, the bluer or cooler the light color.

Fluorescent lights are not measured in color temperature generally since they emit a discontinuous spectra of light—and can not be replicated by a black body light source.

I would agree that you should have some fixtures that are red in color for night use, since red lighting doesn't destroy your vision's dark adaptation and night vision capabilities. Even a fairly low-power white light is able to destroy your night vision for as much as 45 minutes or more—and if you're an older sailor, it takes even longer to recover.
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Last edited by sailingdog; 01-14-2008 at 11:18 PM.
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Old 01-15-2008
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The latest PBO has an article on LED lights for navigation. Unfortunately, the replacement bulb version they tested did not come off too well. The complete new lamp installations faired better. Pity, because the replacement LED bulb is the cheapest way to save power. I guess things will improve. There are three different diode designs out there. I have not seen a navigation application using the most powerful yet.

For interior use, I have experimented both at home and on the boat. LED light is very directional, OK for spot light applications but not much good for general lighting. The "warm white" LED is a bit on the green tinge side to my eyes. At home the new conformal energy savings bulbs are winning but unlike the LED's they do have an interference issue, just like florescent tubes. Not a problem at home.

I've tried red LED for the chart table, but my old eyes find the chart difficult to read unless it's very bright. Red incandescent bulbs have a wider spectrum, so seem better to me for the chart table.

Night vision - what night vision? (Must buy a Bushnell)
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Old 01-15-2008
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Smile LED replacement bulbs

I found a company in St. Louis that sells LED bulbs to replace just about anything.
Their website is superbriteleds.com and has a pretty good assortment. It takes a little thinking to sort out what bulb you need.
Their customer service folks were real helpfull and I got my order in about a week.
Have not got all the bulbs installed since it is winter here in Michigan so I can't report on how they work.
Craig
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