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  #1  
Old 10-28-2010
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LED anchor light

I'm considering changing out my incandescent masthead anchor light for an LED unit, however I'm wondering if it's worth the effort of going up the mast and trying to remove old and install at the very tippy top. Anyone else switched to an LED anchor light? Do you notice a difference in energey use?

We've been anchoring out most nights during summer (didn't even get a slip this past summer!) and have sometimes used our anchor light, but more often than not I hoist an LED lantern light on my flag line because I'm too freaked out about running a battery down overnight. Maybe I naively overestimate the power consumption of one small incandescent anchor light lit for 10 hours. Maybe I don't need to switch it out for an LED?
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Old 10-28-2010
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you will probably need to go up the mast twice--once to take out the incandescant bulb, and once to install an led replacement bulb.

Depending on the size of the current bulb, you will probably save 5 to 10 amp-hours per night, which adds up.
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Old 10-28-2010
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I was under the impression that I'd have to change the whole setup...including the actual socket. They make LED bulbs that can be slipped into an incandescent socket?
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Old 10-28-2010
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I was under the impression that I'd have to change the whole setup...including the actual socket. They make LED bulbs that can be slipped into an incandescent socket?
Yes but there is only ONE bulb that is USCG certified in an aftermarket fixture. A Dr. LED Polarstar 40 in an Aquasignal Series 40 meets the standards and has approvals.

I had a 20W anchor light so for me it was a HUGE savings in Ah. Personally I prefer a complete unit such as those from Hella or Aquasignal as they will likely be more reliable than the Dr. LED bulbs have been.

My old anchor light drew 1.74 amps or 17.4 Ah's over night

My current anchor light draws .11 amps or 1.1 Ah's over the same time period.

That is 94% less consumption!!!
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Old 10-28-2010
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marinebeam.com has a wide range of replacement bulbs for almost any socket. I used their bulb in an aquasignal fixture. The old incandenscent bulb was only 5 watts, but could still be seen from 2 miles. The new led is much brighter, and only draws about 1.5 watts or 0.12 amps.
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Old 10-28-2010
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Just read a post in Sail Magazine 'To the Editor' from a guy who changed out most his boat to LED. He took a lightning strike and lost every LED on board. The incandescent lights, including the spreader lights, were undamaged. He is questioning his decision to change to LED.
I bought a hurricane lantern at REI for $36 that holds three 9-hour candles. While at anchor I light one of the candles and hoist it to provide the required 360 degree illumination. It provides plenty of light, is easily seen, does not blow out, and I save the battery. Replacement candles come in a 3-pack for $2.
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Old 10-28-2010
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I replaced my old unit with an Orca Green anchor/tricolor/strobe. It has a photo diode so you do not have to remember to turn it off. On two different boats it has worked perfectly for 5 yrs and while it cost $300 it is well worth it to not have to go up and change bulbs.
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Old 10-28-2010
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Just read a post in Sail Magazine 'To the Editor' from a guy who changed out most his boat to LED. He took a lightning strike and lost every LED on board. The incandescent lights, including the spreader lights, were undamaged. He is questioning his decision to change to LED.
I bought a hurricane lantern at REI for $36 that holds three 9-hour candles. While at anchor I light one of the candles and hoist it to provide the required 360 degree illumination. It provides plenty of light, is easily seen, does not blow out, and I save the battery. Replacement candles come in a 3-pack for $2.
And I took a strike this summer too and also lost LED's, BUT, I also lost radar, gps, AIS, incandescent bulbs, depth, wind, speed, Epirb, stereo, solar regulator, ACR, VHF, TV, propane detection, battery monitors, ameter, volt meter, tach, fuel gauge, oil pressure, compass light, autopilot and on and on and on.

Incandescent bulbs CAN also fry but the bottom line is that I have insurance and everything was replaced including the LED bulbs.

Using that reasoning don't buy anything electronic. Heck I even had stuff not plugged in that got zapped!
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Old 10-28-2010
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"The incandescent lights, including the spreader lights, were undamaged. "
LEDs are solid state devices and as such way easier to blow out. And from what little I can confirm, many of the LED "replacement" bulbs on the market have no surge protection, which is critical for a long life expectancy.

But even an incandescent bulb will blow out after running at 20VDC for a short while, and lightning can go way beyond that. It could be the LEDs were more susceptible to damage, or the stroke took a different path. Either way there's no question that good LEDs are way pricey--and, use much less power.

As Maine says...Only his LEDs were hit? Not all the electronics on the boat?
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Old 10-28-2010
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I switched to an LED with one simple trip up the mast using a bulb that matched my dual bayonet style incandescent and my LED uses one tenth the amperage of the former bulb. Be mindful to check the function of the LED when you insert it. Since the "D" in LED stands for diode, you would be aware that the current can only flow in one direction; therfore, you may need to remove the bulb and insert it at 180 degrees for it to function. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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