1980 30ft Catalina needs LED Lights - SailNet Community

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Old 05-28-2013
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1980 30ft Catalina needs LED Lights

I have an 80 Catalina 30. Want to put LED lights on all the exterior lights. Where should I get them from?
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Old 05-28-2013
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Re: 1980 30ft Catalina needs LED Lights

Hi,

I redid the running lights on the boat I bought several years ago. I used attwood LEDs and they are great. You'd have to go the next size up being 30 feet but they are still much less then the others. For anchor and transom just used a regular base and lens the swapped out the bulb for a 7 element LED.

c_witch
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Old 05-29-2013
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Re: 1980 30ft Catalina needs LED Lights

There's a host of companies offering LED's both the complete fixture and replacement bulbs. Just google "marine LED" and I'm sure plenty will pop up.
I've used Superbrightleds.com but there are others as well.

I suggest replacing interior lights as well. LED's don't generate much heat which is good in the middle of the summer and battery draw is way less.
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Last edited by chuck53; 05-29-2013 at 12:11 AM.
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Old 05-29-2013
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Re: 1980 30ft Catalina needs LED Lights

Ask this before but did not see an answer...the lighting strips that are 12V and are normally powered by an AC transformer in your home....can they be simply wired into your 12v battery?

RibbonFlex Pro™ RGB (Color) LED Tape Lighting System - Lee Valley Tools

EDIT:
Never mind...found the YES YOU CAN answer in the product literature
http://www.leevalley.com/en/html/00u4101-guide.pdf

Last edited by i_amcdn; 05-29-2013 at 01:26 AM. Reason: Found the answer to my question
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Old 05-29-2013
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Re: 1980 30ft Catalina needs LED Lights

I would suggest Marine LED Bulbs for your boat.
I just replaced all mast lights on my Catalina 36 with their lights. All the lights were current driven, not voltage driven - this makes them good for 10V to 30V operation. An LED is a current sensitive device and if you don't controll current, have a light that is meant for 12V and you feed it with 14V, you are overdriving the LED and you reduce life expectancy.
The lights I received were also polarity insensitive so you don't have to worry about inserting them the wrong way around which is possible on some lightbulb types.
They probably are a bit higher in price then cheap LEDs but I have seen too many LEDs die an early death due to cheap components. I'd rather not climb the mast because I wanted to save $5.
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Old 05-29-2013
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Re: 1980 30ft Catalina needs LED Lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by i_amcdn View Post
Ask this before but did not see an answer...the lighting strips that are 12V and are normally powered by an AC transformer in your home....can they be simply wired into your 12v battery?

RibbonFlex Pro™ RGB (Color) LED Tape Lighting System - Lee Valley Tools

EDIT:
Never mind...found the YES YOU CAN answer in the product literature
http://www.leevalley.com/en/html/00u4101-guide.pdf
The best (and least expensive) place I've found to buy LED strip type lighting is LED Wholesalers.
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Old 05-29-2013
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Re: 1980 30ft Catalina needs LED Lights

Unfortunately it may not be as simple as swapping out the bulbs, although often you can do this. But there are certain problems you run into.

First, white LEDs usually can't be dropped into tinted red/green fixtures because of properties of their light output, the result is too dim and unsafe for Nav lights.

Second just finding proper replacements is difficult. Even when the bases are compatible the bulb shape or the direction of the light might not be.

Third, the quality of many replacement bulbs is very very low. It's one thing to use them for cabin lights but Nav lights are a different story. Also, technically you can get in trouble for not having coast guard approved Nav lights after replacing with LED's.

You'll have to evaluate on a case by case basis for each light, but for Nav lights, generally you should lean twards replacing the entire fixture with proper marine LEDs. This will run $50-200 per fixture. But you'll never have to think about the lights again.

At the same time look at replacing all interior lights too. Go for the cheapo LEDs all you want for that.

Last edited by asdf38; 05-29-2013 at 12:45 PM.
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