Sensibulb Caution - Page 2 - SailNet Community
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #11 of 34 Old 10-06-2010
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 30
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
From the picture of the new sensibulb it is impossible to confirm the color temperature of the led, it is either 2700 or 3000k. It is however a Lumiled Rebel chip, that depending on its quality rating (binning) should be around 100 lumens per watt. The older style looks like a Nichia chip. Both get their yellow coloring from a phosphor-conversion coating contained within the gel-like primary optic. Underneath both are basically InGan "blue'ish" LED's that get their warm color by exciting this phosphor layer and in effect filtering the light. Like anything else this technology is rapidly changing. In my opinion Nichia have been the leaders of Warm White Light. Mr. Nichia developed the process that almost all manufactures use. More information than most really want to know......

It would be interesting to know what the current draw for one of these units is. Driving the chip at 350mA would theoretically be 1 watt plus any inefficiency of the control circuit. Given the size of the heat sink I would be surprised if they were driving any higher, even though that LED will handle 1000mA of current. This brings me to my main point.

The most efficient products are going to be integral fixtures, designed from start to finish with specific end-use in mind. The thermal byproduct of LED's is entirely generated from the back of the chip. This energy needs to be translated into a sufficient heatsink in order to keep the operating temperatures below critical levels. This thermal management is the single greatest factor in the reliability and longevity of the LED. The 50,000 hour claims don't mean anything if it has a dim glow at 40,000.

These bulb replacements may come close, but they cannot address all the unique needs of LED technology. There are standards in the works for larger consumers of LED's, street lights-architectural etc. Because the inherent power limits aboard boats, the marine market has been an early adopter of this technology. It has been and will continue to be a free for all. People are selling all manor of inferior products that don't live up to their claims or even products that emit harmful interference on VHF wavelengths.

My vote, be careful, and you get what you pay for. One quality high brightness LED wholesales for $1.80-$3.00.... Stay tuned and if you aren't desperate hang in there until we see some better product on the market. Usual "boat pricing" will apply!
boofus is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
Sponsored Links
post #12 of 34 Old 10-06-2010 Thread Starter
Best Looking MALE Mod
Cruisingdad's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Washington State
Posts: 9,918
Thanks: 3
Thanked 125 Times in 57 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Hey Maine... I will take you up on your offer in a heart beat. But before you committ, please let me do pics. Was going to do them tonight, but had to watch he rangers beat the rays (YEAH!!!!) which I am sure no one else herer cares about (I am an old Ryan fan, so whatever).

However, the new bulbs are very different and I would not buy any more. THe light is really blue, not white or yellow (my preference). I actually wanted to trade them in with Scad.

If anyone puts these bulbs up against the Halogens or old LEDs, they will notice a distinct difference. Wait for pics.


Sailnet Moderator

1987 Tayana Vancouver 42, Credendo Vides, (Mom and Pops boat, F/T Mobile Live Aboards in Puget Sound)

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

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

Follow me on Facebook:

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Cruisingdad is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #13 of 34 Old 10-06-2010
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
As a long term user of Sensibulbs, I must add my two cents. I tried the blue, multiple led lights of old...for about a few seconds and dumped them quickly. Then I found Sensibulbs.
I've used the older Sensibulbs and like the warm color. At one time, apparently in response to a Practical Sailor comment, SCAD came out with a whiter version. Cooler, (not blue) brighter, and I got ahold of one of them. Althought less 'warm', it was great for reading, and ended up in a reading light by my berth, though I did like the 'warmer' ones a bit better. That said, at my age, brighter is better, even if a bit cooler.
Yes, pricey at $40, but knowing what I know (boofus, I believe, is right), I do believe the Sensibulb will be long-lived and my last light purchase. BTW, the customer service I've received from Sailors Solutions has been quite good.
In July I got a new version Sensibulb. A bit brighter, a bit cooler. Blue? Not in the least. Bad? No. My wife, the most aesthetic conscious-woman on the planet, could tell the difference, but it didn't affect the color of any of our interior accoutrements.
I like them.
helmsmatt is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #14 of 34 Old 10-06-2010
JiffyLube's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Oceanside, Ca.
Posts: 896
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post
Hi All,

I have long been an advocate of their products. THey produce a good (albeit very expensive) bulb that has been hard to tell it was a LED. However, I recently purchased two more Sensibulbs and have to tell you that thehy have changed their manufacturing. The new bulbs give off a blue light versus the very pleasant warm, yellow light that they were known for. This blue light reminds me of a flourescent and will come is very sharp contrast to other Halogens or the older Sensibulbs.

I contacted Sensibulb and they did indeed tell me that they have changed their manufacturing. There were a number of reasons for it, but the bottom line is that I do not believe we will be seeing the old bulbs any more.

You will be able to tell the old from new by a simple glance at them in the package. The old LED's will have two 'yellow' looking LED's versus the new ones which have a single 'yellow' LED. There really isn't much else to tell from the package that will seperate them. But once you plug them in, you will probably be able to tell a significant difference, especially when placed beside Halogens or older Sensibulbs.

Basically, anyone considering a purchase of this product, shoudl be aware of the changes as they will no longer match your other lights. And if you decide to replace all of the LED's, they will put out a 'blue' hue which is very undesirable to me (others may be fine with it). But given the extraordinary cost of these (nearly $40/piece if not more), I would certainly entertain looking at the many other LED manufacturers as there no longer appears to be any difference between them... or just stay with your old Halogens until a suitable warm LED comes back on the market.


PS I wiill try and shoot some pics this evening to illustrate the difference... it is just daylight now so I cannot do it.
Just when I though I found the perfect LED!
JiffyLube is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #15 of 34 Old 10-07-2010
JimMcGee's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Barnegat Bay, NJ
Posts: 2,126
Thanks: 90
Thanked 70 Times in 65 Posts
Rep Power: 12
As I said earlier in this thread. I've tried several and have found the bulbs from mastlight to be a nice warm color temp similar to what I get from a halogen. I have two bulkhead lights and I originally tried a masthead in one and the halogen in the other to compare.

For $10 at the show or $14 online definitely worth a try compared to $40.


95 Catalina 30 Island Time

The sail, the play of its pulse so like our own lives: so thin and yet so full of life, so noiseless when it labors hardest, so noisy and impatient when least effective." - Henry David Thoreau
JimMcGee is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #16 of 34 Old 10-08-2010
Senior Member
dhays's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Gig Harbor, WA
Posts: 727
Thanks: 3
Thanked 8 Times in 6 Posts
Rep Power: 7
I just replaced all but one of the interior bulbs in Legacy with LEDs. I have a detailed description of the bulbs I used with photos of them installed at "Legacy": a boat, a family.: LEDs

FWIW, they are all warm-white bulbs and range in cost from $9 to $16.

I got more light out of the LEDs than the 10w G4 bulbs that were in the boat and significantly reduced current draw and heat. Those 10w Halogen G4 bulbs get REALLY hot.


47⁰20'11.7" N
122⁰35'20.8" W
M/V Kinship, North Pacific 43
S/V Legacy, Catalina 400 MkII, Hull #328
dhays is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #17 of 34 Old 10-08-2010
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
Hey Legacy,
Wait about 6 months and take the pics again.
No power dissipation (heat sinks) or temp control on the LEDs.
They will fade/degrade.
You wasted your money.
You can't mount a high power LED on an FR4 PC board with no temp compensation or ability to dissipate heat without adversely affecting the LED.
You will exceed the junction temps of the device over time and the LED's performance will degrade.
Keep your halogens. You will want to use them again when you LEDs aren't putting out enough light to light to read by in a few months.
Paying $40.00 once is far cheaper than paying $16 three times.
Good Luck
helmsmatt is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #18 of 34 Old 10-09-2010
Senior Member
nickmerc's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: O'Fallon, MO
Posts: 564
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 9
I bought two sensibulbs at the show yesterday. If you put it side by side with a halogen you can see a slightly cooler color to the light. For me, not enough to worry about. I tried them out on the boat last night and was happy with them. I may even get more to replace the last two lights on my boat today.

I looked at all of the LED lights on display and I will say the sensibulb, in my opinion, was the best built.
Vanila4u cam

Last edited by nickmerc; 08-18-2011 at 06:43 AM.
nickmerc is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #19 of 34 Old 10-09-2010
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 12,346
Thanks: 6
Thanked 181 Times in 178 Posts
Rep Power: 13
"worked fine when the battery voltage was up, but it sucked when the voltage was getting low. " I would suspect that was the sign of a cheap "bulb". An LED can provide uniform lighting over a wide voltage range, but only if there is a regulator chip in the package. That chip may cost as much as a cheap LED itself does, doubling the net cost, so you won't see it in cheaper designs. They'll use a plain resistor to limit power instead.

There's a similar price to be paid for consistent "color" in white LEDs. Those Nichia-patented white LEDs have some manufacturing problems. The process produces LEDs that are all "the same" but they fall into nine very different end results. The color varies cool-neutral-warm into three groups, and the buyer has to pay extra to get LEDs sorted by group, instead of the whole variation. The brightness also varies, roughly 1x-2x-4x and if you want all of them to be the same brightness? That's right, you pay again.
Nichia will sell "assorted" as they come off the line, or hand-tested in any of the 9 (3x3) quality grades. Other vendors may have more uniform production lines, but every LED product has its own unique quirks, either color, brightness,power...something.

Of course that's not unique to LEDs. Even with tungsten bulbs, there are "long life" "industrial" "burn base up/down" "burn sideways" and the ever so special cheap imported ones that last less than six months. We're just used to tungsten bulbs being cheap consumables, easily replaced. (Ain't so cheap anymore, either.)
hellosailor is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #20 of 34 Old 10-09-2010
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 14
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
Sensibulb LED

I looked very carefully at the Sensibulb (Sailors solutions) display yesterday at the Annapolis boat show. I should also mention that last year I changed most of my halogen bulbs to Sensibulbs. I examined the new bulbs by comparing their effect when looking at printed pages, bare skin, and on clothing to the same actions using a halogen bulb. The new bulbs are definitely brighter than the older style, and look brighter than the halogen bulb, but I could not detect that there was any noticeable blue tint to the light. Of course, the Sensibulb light may look different in interior fixtures, but still, I detected no blue in the light. I think that it is an excellent product and will purchase more to replace my remaining halogen bulbs. Steve
steve301 is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook

Quick Reply

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:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


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
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
MPPT Solar Caution ... wind_magic Electrical Systems 8 02-21-2010 08:10 PM
New Lighting Fixtures with Sensibulb LED's Willis Gear & Maintenance 4 03-23-2009 01:00 AM
Product Review - Sensibulb !!! Maine Sail Gear & Maintenance 6 08-14-2008 12:00 AM
Caution using wire reinforced water hose NauticalFishwife Gear & Maintenance 3 04-09-2008 09:21 PM
Cruise Report: Salem to Charleston. Caution: Long kptmorgan04 Cruising & Liveaboard Forum 9 10-23-2007 11:04 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome