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Maine Sail 11-17-2008 11:43 PM

LED Bulb Comparison !!!
Hi All,

I went ahead a acquired five different high output interior 12v LED bulbs for comparison.

I wanted to capture the actual beam width and the light color as best I could. I brought the bulbs home and set them up in my garage to shine on the back of the white garage door. I placed the test fixture 25" from the door and use a Deep Cycle battery at a 13.2V float stage charge to power them.

In order to capture every bulb with everything being equal I used a Nikon D-200 DSLR on a tripod with no flash and the garage was pitch black except for the one bulb being photographed. I even re-shot each and every bulb as new ones came in the mail so they were always shot within minutes of each other and at the same level of darkness in the garage. In between shoots I also moved the fixture and camera so I wanted every bulb to be in the exact same position to be fair. The camera was set to manual mode and every picture was taken remotely and on the same exact setting, so all could be as equal as possible. The camera settings were: 1s f/10.0 at 24.0mm iso200

Please note that a camera sees color temperatures differently than the naked eye and tends to skew everything to a warmer glow. The yellow/oragie tints are actually nice and warm and the whitest bulb, the Dr. LED, is almost blue in the real world.

None of the photos, where light was captured, was post processed or run through any photo editing software. This is how they came out of the camera.

I chose these settings because it gave a clearer delineation of where the effective light spread stopped and petered into darkness.

Current Draw is as follows:

20W Halogen = 1.745 amps
10W Halogen =.87 amps
Sensibulb = .194 amps
MarineBeam 6 bulb = .158 amps
MarineBeam 10 bulb = .188 amps
Dr. LED = .138 amps
Superbrite LED = .141 amps

To put it in perspective one 10W Halogen bulb uses 4.48 times (448% more) electricity than does one Sensibulb and one 20W halogen uses 8.9 times (899% more) electricity than the Sensibulb which was the highest drawing of the LED's tested.

This is the Dr. LED G4 / MR-11 it had the narrowest beam width and the coldest bluish color. It was also the least bright with the lowest current draw at .138 amps. At $28.99 I think the MarineBeam bulb is a better value and if you compare price, with beam width and light output, it can't really compare to the Sensibulb in warmness or beam width:

This is the SuperBrite LED's
MR-11 WHP6. It's a six SMD bulb and a decent knock off to the Marinebeam MR-11-6 below. To the naked eye looks virtually identical but the lighting & current draw tell a different story. It has a cold blueish tint and is slightly less bright than the MarineBeam MR-11-6. At $14.95 it is a decent value but certainly not the best color representation. Another clue that it is not the same exact bulb as the Marinebeam is the current draw. This bulb drew .141 amps and the Marinebeam drew .158 amps.
This is the MarineBeam G4 / MR-11-6 it uses 6 SMD LED's and had a much wider beam width than the Dr. LED and about the same as the Superbrite LED bulb but was noticeably warmer in color output. Though the Sensibulb was considerably warmer and more natural looking this was the second most natural looking and fairly close to an incandescent bulbs color. It was brighter and warmer than the Dr. LED bulb and the Superbrite LED and at $24.99 it is a lot cheaper than the Sensibulb. It's a good choice for a price conscious user & it consumes .158 amps :

This is the MarineBeam G4/MR-11-10. Like the G4/MR-11-6 it uses SMD LED's but instead of six it uses ten. It was brighter but notably colder than it's smaller sibling bulb. At $27.99 it is a lot cheaper than the Sensibulb and a good choice for a price conscious user who needs more light output than the G4/MR-11-6 type bulbs can give.. I was not impressed with the color rendering of this bulb and it is tending towards colder rather than warmer especially when compared to the other MarineBeam bulb. It consumes .188 amps :

This is the Sensibulb and it fits both horizontal and vertical fixtures it had the widest beam width, even hitting & wrapping up onto the ceiling. It also had the warmest most incandescent like light output and was definitely the brightest of the tree bulbs but also the most expensive at $39.95 ea. It was significantly brighter than the Dr. LED bulb but also drew the most current of the three LED's at .194 amps (note the reflection off the ceiling and keep in mind this bulb was only 24" from the door):

I have also included this G4 10W Halogen bulb photo for comparison. It draws .88 amps or 448% more than the Sensibulb:

Here's a G4 20W Halogen bulb it draws 1.745 amps or 899% more than the Sensibulb. In terms of light output the Sensibulb falls in between the 20 watt and the 10 watt halogens..

These are the bulbs tested:

From L to R: Sensibulb, Marinebeam G4/MR-11-10, Marinebeam G4/MR-11-6, SuperBrite LED MR-11 WHP6, Doctor LED Mr-11

Front Row: 10 Watt G4 Halogen, 20 Watt G4 Halogen
Test Fixture:


The question of lumens comes up a lot so here it is straight from Practical Sailor. The lower the color temp the warmer the bulb. The Sensibulb is still the widest and brightest.

Here's the technical color temp and lumen data from the Practical Sailor test:

Sensibulb (Daylight)= 150 lumens / 60" beam width / 2990 color temp

Sensibulb (Soft Light)= 130 lumens / 58" beam width / 2650 color temp

Cruising solutions MR 11 6P
= 72 lumens / 48" beam width / 3300 color temp

Cruising solutions MR 16 9P[/b]= 108 lumens / 44" beam width / 3300 color temp

Dr. LED MR-11= 35 lumens / 25" beam width / 3850 color temp

P.S. If you mention to the folks at Sailors Solutions that you read about the Sensibulb here, Nick, one of the owners, has agreed to give 10% off..:D

ckgreenman 11-18-2008 12:18 AM

Cool. Thanks for the comparison. I'm curious though, on the Superbright, is that their "warm white" series or the cool white?

camaraderie 11-18-2008 12:20 AM

YOU are a Maineiac!! Thank god for long winters!! :D Nice work "Hal"!! :D

Sapperwhite 11-18-2008 12:22 AM

nice, thanks for doing the foot work again.

poopdeckpappy 11-18-2008 12:29 AM

Nice job Maine

BTW, I'm sure that's NOT where the toilet brush goes

TxLnghrn 11-18-2008 01:25 AM

As usual, your free time and hyper anal-retentiveness (or is it anal retentiveness) has worked for the benefit of thousands. Thanks again for all your efforts.

Faster 11-18-2008 01:32 AM

Another classic from THE MAN! Good one - thanks.

Sapperwhite 11-18-2008 05:22 AM


Originally Posted by poopdeckpappy (Post 403668)
Nice job Maine

BTW, I'm sure that's NOT where the toilet brush goes

I can't believe you noticed the toilet brush but not the ball gag....
:D :D :D

catamount 11-18-2008 07:11 AM


Originally Posted by Maine Sail (Post 403645)
20W Halogen = 1.745 amps
10W Halogen =.87 milliamps
Sensibulb = .194 milliamps
MarineBeam 6 bulb = .158 milliamps
MarineBeam 10 bulb = .188 milliamps
Dr. LED = .138 milliamps
Superbrite LED = .141 milliamps

All these milliamps should be amps. For example, a 10W bulb should draw about half the current of a 20W bulb, or about 0.87 amps, which is 870 milliamps.

Giulietta 11-18-2008 07:39 AM

Main SAil, first of all, I thank you very much for the nice test. (you are like the DECO od Sailnet!!)

If I may ask a question, please, you said those are for interior lights, right?

How do they fix on the ceiling light fixtures I have on my boat? Or you need to buy a special fixture? I ask because I see they have a weird shape.

I want to replace all my external lights to LED lights this year. (nav, presence, mast top etc). I know they make them also for the outside. Do you have any photos of the exteranl LED lights, so I can see and compare with what I have?

I need to get to my mast top to remove the bulbs, then come down, then buy, then climb again to get them in.

IF yo have photos, that will help me.

Photos bellow show my ceiling fixtures, so you see them.

The salon ones are 10W halogen, built into the ceiling liner, the aft cabin are normal 12 V light bulbs, but are outside.

Can I get those led lights for both models?

THANK YOU for the time and effort putting these intesresting things together..I do really appreciate. Kudos.


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