LED vs incandescent Nav lights - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 47 Old 02-06-2011 Thread Starter
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LED vs incandescent Nav lights

Most all of our Nav lights on our new-to-us 2001 Beneteau 411 required replacement of fixture due to extensive corrosion or at least clean up with new bulb. We're wondering if this is the time to switch to LED? The Nav lights are the series 41 from Aqua Signal. The bulb style seems to be a BAY15D with Index (offset side pins). I know there have been similar posts before, but would like to learn the trade-offs between LED and incandescent with actual numbers eg, lifetime, current draw, etc. My preference would be to stick with the current series 41 fixtures given mounting and electrical wiring considerations and if it makes sense switch to an LED bulb that is compatible.

Here is West Marine's offering of LED Nav lights:
DR. LED Bulb-led at West Marine
and here is Dr LED's cross reference table:
http://www.doctorled.com/crossref.htm

What I don't understand yet, is what you do in, for example, the case of the bow light. My Aqua Signal series 41 uses a red/green lens to convert a white bulb to the appropriate color. When switching to LED do you put their white bulb in or do you use their red/green bulb and perhaps change the lens to clear?
Pete

Last edited by prroots; 02-06-2011 at 05:00 AM.
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post #2 of 47 Old 02-06-2011
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We 'bit the bullet' and just changed to sealed LED fixtures. No failures in between 2 and 3 yrs.

Well worth the cost especially the masthead tricolor which has been untouched for 3 yrs...worth the money to keep me going up a 76ft stick.

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post #3 of 47 Old 02-06-2011
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I have heard conflicting information on this. Dr LED's statement is below. My local marine store (not West Marine) says the opposite - and they are a Dr LED dealer.
I would guess if you are going to change the lens you might as well buy a whole new light.

As far as consumption, the replacement bulb for your 41 bi-color (Dr LED Polar Star 41) uses .09 amps. If you currently have a 25 watt bulb you are consuming 2 amps.
Everything I have seen says over 50.000 hours or more but there is no guarantee on that.
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post #4 of 47 Old 02-06-2011 Thread Starter
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I have heard conflicting information on this. Dr LED's statement is below. My local marine store (not West Marine) says the opposite - and they are a Dr LED dealer.
I would guess if you are going to change the lens you might as well buy a whole new light.

As far as consumption, the replacement bulb for your 41 bi-color (Dr LED Polar Star 41) uses .09 amps. If you currently have a 25 watt bulb you are consuming 2 amps.
Everything I have seen says over 50.000 hours or more but there is no guarantee on that.
Thanks, that's helpful. I missed that statement! I still wonder if putting a bi-color LED bulb into my existing bi-color lens if the alignment works out. My bulbs are indexed so maybe it works OK. It may be simpler just to switch to a clear lens. A complete new bi-color LED fixture costs $300 compared to $53 for just the bulb from West.
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post #5 of 47 Old 02-06-2011 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Yorksailor View Post
We 'bit the bullet' and just changed to sealed LED fixtures. No failures in between 2 and 3 yrs.

Well worth the cost especially the masthead tricolor which has been untouched for 3 yrs...worth the money to keep me going up a 76ft stick.

Phil
Thanks. Yes, the tri-color seems the most economical approach when switching to LED. Also, you can keep the factory incandescent Nav lights as a backup. That does mean running an extra cable up the mast, right? Is the tri-color taller so that it doesn't interfere with existing anchor light? Did you also convert your masthead anchor light to LED? I suppose an alternate approach is to steal the cable for anchor light for use by the tri-color and mount the anchor light elsewhere. I've read frequent reports that masthead mounted anchor lights are too high in an anchorage. Just noticed that Aqua Signal offers their model 32706 which is a combo tri-color/anchor light. That would make mounting easier and solve the interference issue between tri-color and anchor lights. Presumably you still need the second cable.
Pete

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post #6 of 47 Old 02-06-2011
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I would replace the incandescent anchor light fixture with an LED tri-anchor fixture. I know that with the OGM tri-anchor, you can use a special switch and get away without needing to replace or add any new wire to the mast -- they reverse the polarity to between tri-color and anchor. Don't know if the LopoLight or other makers have a similar feature.

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Out in the big blue water I like my very high and visible tricolor which inculdes an anchor light and a strobe for emergencies and we used the original cable.

Orca Green Marine Technology - LED Lighting

In anchorages the high anchor light does get lost when you are close to the boat (our stick is 76 ft) so we also have LED spreader lights the illuminate the boat itself.
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Originally Posted by catamount View Post
I would replace the incandescent anchor light fixture with an LED tri-anchor fixture. I know that with the OGM tri-anchor, you can use a special switch and get away without needing to replace or add any new wire to the mast -- they reverse the polarity to between tri-color and anchor. Don't know if the LopoLight or other makers have a similar feature.
Thanks. That's a neat feature with reversed polarity. I looked at the picture, but can't see how the anchor light will be visible since it's not two level like the Aqua Signal tri-color/anchor light? Wonder if the bulb can actually change color although I doubt it?
Pete

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post #9 of 47 Old 02-06-2011
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LED Nav Light

On our 1998 Bene 352 we replaced the bi-color bow light bulb (in an Aqua Signal 41 fixture) with a Dr. LED bi-color LED "bulb". You need to use a bi-color LED "bulb" not a clear one, even though the old incandescent was clear white. The results have been as good or better than the old bulb with 1/10 the current draw. You can use a clear white LED for the stern light. Next project is to replace the anchor light with an LED.
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post #10 of 47 Old 02-06-2011 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by davmarwood View Post
On our 1998 Bene 352 we replaced the bi-color bow light bulb (in an Aqua Signal 41 fixture) with a Dr. LED bi-color LED "bulb". You need to use a bi-color LED "bulb" not a clear one, even though the old incandescent was clear white. The results have been as good or better than the old bulb with 1/10 the current draw. You can use a clear white LED for the stern light. Next project is to replace the anchor light with an LED.
Thanks. I wondered about the alignment of bulb with your bi-color lens. How did that work out? I'm assuming that the indexed bayonet style bulb socket took care of it so that eg, the red part of bulb lined up with red part of lens?
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