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  #41  
Old 09-27-2012
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Re: Anchor light

As far as Anchor lights go I thought the min requirement was an all round white visible for 2 miles for less than 12 meters and 3 miles for less than 20 Meters but more than 12.
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  #42  
Old 09-27-2012
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Re: Anchor light

Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonV View Post
As far as Anchor lights go I thought the min requirement was an all round white visible for 2 miles for less than 12 meters and 3 miles for less than 20 Meters but more than 12.
Rule 22 says 3 miles for 50 m and up, 2 miles for all others.

Quote:
Rule 22 - Visibility of Lights

The lights prescribed in these Rules shall have an intensity as specified in [Section 8] of Annex I to these [Regulations | Rules] so as to be visible at the following minimum ranges:

(a) In vessels of 50 meters or more in length:

(i) a masthead light, 6 miles;
(ii) a sidelight, 3 miles;
(iii) a towing light, 3 miles;
(iv) a white red, green or yellow all-round light, 3 miles.
(v) a special flashing light, 2 miles.

(b) In vessels of 12 meters or more in length but less than 50 meters in length;

(i) a masthead light, 5 miles; except that where the length of the vessel is less than 20 meters, 3 miles;
(ii) a sidelight, 2 miles;
(iii) a sternlight, 2 miles;
(iv) a towing light, 2 miles;
(v) a white, red, green or yellow all-round light, 2 miles.
(vi) a special flashing light, 2 miles.

(c) In vessels of less than 12 meters in length:

(i) a masthead light, 2 miles;
(ii) a sidelight, 1 miles;
(iii) a towing light, 2 miles;
(iv) a white red, green or yellow all-round light, 2 miles.
(v) a special flashing light, 2 miles.

(d) In inconspicuous, partly submerged vessels or objects being towed;

(i) a white all-round light; 3 miles.
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  #43  
Old 09-27-2012
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Re: Anchor light

Quote:
Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
There are no requirements that I am aware of that any lights need to be USCG approved. There ARE laws that say American vessels in american water need a certain number of USCG approved PFDs for example but no rules about needing certification of lights.
Actually it is part of the US Code of Federal Regulations that all new boats be properly fitted with USCG or ABYC approved nav lights. This federal law has been in effect since the 80's I believe. Altering a vessel built to these standards, meaning any vessel that left the factory with UCG approved nav lights, may look bad in a court case in the event of an accident and the burdon of proof would be on you to prove the nav lights met the CFR definitions for horizontal, vertical, color and distance..

Quote:
Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
COLREGS state the visibility requirements. But what does that mean? Visible to someone with 20/20, what about cataracts that make it hard to see at night? The USCG has created some standards whereby they feel that a light will meet the COLREGS visibility requirement if new, properly installed and operated.
This specifics are very well detailed in the CFR..


From 33 CFR 84:

Colors

� 84.13 Color specification of lights
(a) The chromaticity of all navigation lights shall conform to the following standards, which lie within the boundaries of the area of the diagram specified for each color by the International Commission on Illumination (CIE), in the "Colors of Light Signals", which is incorporated by reference. It is Publication CIE No. 2.2. (TC-1.6), 1975, and is available from the Illumination Engineering Society, 345 East 47th Street, New York, NY 10017. It is also available for inspection at the Office of the Federal Register, Room 8401, 1100 L Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20408. This incorporation by reference was approved by the Director of the Federal Register.
(b) The boundaries of the area for each color are given by indicating the corner coordinates, which are as follows:
(1) White:
x 0.525 0.525 0.452 0.310 0.310 0.443
y 0.382 0.440 0.440 0.348 0.283 0.382
(2) Green:
x 0.028 0.009 0.300 0.203
y 0.385 0.723 0.511 0.356
(3) Red:
x 0.680 0.660 0.735 0.721
y 0.320 0.320 0.265 0.259
(4) Yellow:
x 0.612 0.618 0.575 0.575
y 0.382 0.382 0.425 0.406

Intensity

� 84.15 Intensity of lights
(a) The minimum luminous intensity of lights shall be calculated by using the formula:
l = 3.43 x 106 x T x D2 x K-D
where:
I is luminous intensity in candelas under service conditions, T is threshold factor 2 x 10-7 lux, D is range of visibility (luminous range) of the light in nautical miles, K is atmospheric transmissivity. For prescribed lights the value of K shall be 0.8, corresponding to a meteorological visibility of approximately 13 nautical miles.
(b) A selection of figures derived from the formula is given in Table 84.15(b).
Table 84.15(b)
Range of visibility (luminous Minimum
range) of light in nautical luminous intensity of light
miles in candelas tor K = 0.8
D I
1 0.9
2 4.3
3 12
4 27
5 52
6 94

Horizontal Sectors

� 84.17 Horizontal sectors
(a)
(1) In the forward direction, sidelights as fitted on the vessel shall show the minimum required intensities. The intensities shall decrease to reach practical cut-off between 1 and 3 degrees outside the prescribed sectors.
(2) For sternlights and masthead lights and at 22.5 degrees abaft the beam for sidelights, the minimum required intensities shall be maintained over the arc of the horizon up to 5 degrees within the limits of the sectors prescribed in Rule 21. From 5 degrees within the prescribed sectors the intensity may decrease by 50 percent up to the prescribed limits; it shall decrease steadily to reach practical cutoff at not more than 5 degrees outside the prescribed sectors. (b) All-round lights shall be so located as not to be obscured by masts, topmasts or structures within angular sectors of more than 6 degrees, except anchor lights prescribed in Rule 30, which need not be placed at an impracticable height above the hull, and the all-round white light described in Rule 23(d), which may not be obscured at all. (c) If it is impracticable to comply with paragraph (b) of this section by exhibiting only one all-round light, two all-round lights shall be used suitably positioned or screened to appear, as far as practicable, as one light at a minimum distance of one nautical mile.

NOTE to paragraph (c): Two unscreened all-round lights that are 1.28 meters appart or less will appear as one light to the naked eye at a distance of one nautical mile.


Vertical Sectors

� 84.19 Vertical sectors
(a) The vertical sectors of electric lights as fitted, with the exception of lights on sailing vessels underway and on unmanned barges, shall ensure that:
(1) At least the required minimum intensity is maintained at all angles from 5 degrees above to 5 degrees below the horizontal;
(2) At least 60 percent of the required minimum intensity is maintained from 7.5 degrees above to 7.5 degrees below the horizontal.
(b) In the case of sailing vessels underway the vertical sectors of electric lights as fitted shall ensure that:
(1) At least the required minimum intensity is maintained at all angles from 5 degrees above to 5 degrees below the horizontal;
(2) At least 50 percent of the required minimum intensity is maintained from 25 degrees above to 25 degrees below the horizontal.
(c) In the case of unmanned barges the minimum required intensity of electric lights as fitted shall be maintained on the horizontal.
(d) In the case of lights other than electric lights these specifications shall be met as closely as possible.



Something tells me that a solar garden light, with the intensity of a fire fly, is not going to cut it in a court of law should the need arise to defend yourself....

I sat through two days of this type of testimony during the trial of the defendant who killed my friends father on a lake in NH. It was literally two days of forensic nav light testimony, only these were certified nav lights, and yes that was brought up, and the bulbs were examined by a forensics expert to determine if the bulb was on at time of impact. The case would have been made much easier if Kim's dad had simply installed aftermarket LED's as it would have given the lawyers food for fodder and the guy probably would have gotten off lighter than he already did.
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 09-27-2012 at 10:24 AM.
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  #44  
Old 09-27-2012
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Re: Anchor light

I + all those who suggest a regulation LED anchor light. This takes care of the OP's concern, battery usage, and keeps you legal and safe. I went with the Hella 360 Naviled anchor light a couple of years ago--it cost $100. Yeah, you have to go up the mast to install, but you won't have to keep going up the mast to replace bulbs.
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  #45  
Old 09-28-2012
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Re: Anchor light

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post

This specifics are very well detailed in the CFR..

From 33 CFR 84:

Colors

� 84.13 Color specification of lights.
(a) The chromaticity of all navigation lights shall conform to the following standards, which lie within the boundaries of the area of the diagram specified for each color by the International Commission on Illumination (CIE).......

...I sat through two days of this type of testimony during the trial of the defendant who killed my friends father on a lake in NH. It was literally two days of forensic nav light testimony, only these were certified nav lights, and yes that was brought up, and the bulbs were examined by a forensics expert to determine if the bulb was on at time of impact. The case would have been made much easier if Kim's dad had simply installed aftermarket LED's as it would have given the lawyers food for fodder and the guy probably would have gotten off lighter than he already did.
OK I'm a believer. I currently don't support the use of (or use myself) a solar light as my only anchor light. When it comes time to change my masthead tri-color light I was planning on just using an aftermarket LED in my old housing, but after your experience with sitting through the trial, I might spring for a new (USCG) unit.

Since my masthead tricolor will primarily be used when offshore I do plan to buy a light that is designed for bigger vessels. Now that LED makes the amps cheap, you might as well go bright and have a better chance to be seen!

MedSailor
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  #46  
Old 09-28-2012
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Re: Anchor light

The best anchor light you can buy! Hang it in the fore triangle. You will not believe how bright it is.


The light is the little pvc cap, I put a length of pvc pipe on it to protect the tiny wires. I prefer a light a few feet off the deck. Masthead lights are difficult to see when entering an anchorage at night. Nobody looks up that high, also the led ones look like stars.
http://www.bebi-electronics.com/owl.html

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Last edited by Vasco; 09-28-2012 at 09:09 AM.
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  #47  
Old 09-28-2012
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Re: Anchor light

here in mexico if you are hit by something in darkness and you have no light to light your boat, then you go to jail until you are proven to be at fault, and you will so be. must have light of some kind to light you up a lil so isn t a problem.
btw--i have seen many yotties displaying blue lighting for cockpits here--DONT DO THAT!!!! blue lights here means WHORE HOUSE.
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  #48  
Old 09-28-2012
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Re: Anchor light

Quote:
Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
...When it comes time to change my masthead tri-color light I was planning on just using an aftermarket LED in my old housing...
This could be a very, very bad idea for specific technical reasons. DO NOT EVER PUT A WHITE LED INSIDE AN INCANDESCENT RED/GREEN NAV LIGHT FIXTURE.

The old-fashioned incandescent lights (which includes halogen lights) emit a very broad spectrum of colors, and it's the blend of that spectrum that makes them appear white. You stick a USCG approved red or green filter in front of it, and it looks the right shade of red or green, because the other colors get blocked out by the filter. It's cheap and simple, but wastes a lot of electricity because most of the energy in an incandescent light goes to create heat, and only a small fraction of the white light gets through the red/green filters.

LEDs, on the other hand, emit light at very specific frequencies. A white LED emits on just a few frequencies that, when blended together, look approximately white (though often with a bluish shade). If you stick a red or green filter in front of this, it will be VERY DIM, and usually the wrong color vs. COLREG specs. This happens because the frequencies that the white LED emits do not align well with the frequencies that red/green filters allow to pass through.

That's why, when going to LEDs for red/green nav lights, you must get lights that were designed to emit the appropriate red/green color, and probably use them with a clear filter to the minimize intensity loss. Bottom line, you need to buy a whole new fixture where the filters were designed to work with the LEDs.

I'm still not sure whether USCG has approved any LEDs for nav use (check that out for yourself), so that could be a real liability issue if you are in an accident. But some suppliers are selling well-designed LED nav lights that do a good job, but they're not cheap. I'll leave it up to others whether to consider these lights.

But if you're thinking of putting a white LED inside your existing red/green incandescent light fixture, DON'T DO IT.

I've spent my career working with pigmented systems for paints and inks, so I know a lot about light, color, and CIELAB color space. Trust me on this advice.
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  #49  
Old 09-28-2012
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Re: Anchor light

Quote:
Originally Posted by TakeFive View Post
This could be a very, very bad idea for specific technical reasons. DO NOT EVER PUT A WHITE LED INSIDE AN INCANDESCENT RED/GREEN NAV LIGHT FIXTURE.
...
It used to be true the the only "white" LEDs you could get were "cool white", with their output skewed toward the blue end of the spectrum. The problem was that the "green" sector looked too blue (sometimes very blue). Nowadays, you can get "warm white" LED arrays that more closely match the output spectrum of an incandescent bulb. "Warm white" has more yellow in it, so the green sectors of nav lights actually look green. However, if your fixture has the type of bulb that only works in one orientation (i.e., it cant spin without coming out of the socket), you can also get LED arrays that have individual red/green/white LEDs in the appropriate sectors. These should be more efficient, since the colored sectors filter out most of the light other than red or green. In other words, a white light source transmitting through a red lens has most of the non-red light filtered by the lens to make it look red (likewise for green). But, a red LED emits mostly red light, so little is filtered (and wasted). Likewise for green. If you have a fixture with a bulb that can't be oriented only one way, you can just get a "warm white" LED array and the filtered colors should be fine.

Here's an example (there are others) of an array with the different LEDs in the appropriate sectors:
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  #50  
Old 09-28-2012
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Re: Anchor light

Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowButSteady View Post
It used to be true the the only "white" LEDs you could get were "cool white", with their output skewed toward the blue end of the spectrum. The problem was that the "green" sector looked too blue (sometimes very blue). Nowadays, you can get "warm white" LED arrays that more closely match the output spectrum of an incandescent bulb. "Warm white" has more yellow in it, so the green sectors of nav lights actually look green. However, if your fixture has the type of bulb that only works in one orientation (i.e., it cant spin without coming out of the socket), you can also get LED arrays that have individual red/green/white LEDs in the appropriate sectors. These should be more efficient, since the colored sectors filter out most of the light other than red or green. In other words, a white light source transmitting through a red lens has most of the non-red light filtered by the lens to make it look red (likewise for green). But, a red LED emits mostly red light, so little is filtered (and wasted). Likewise for green. If you have a fixture with a bulb that can't be oriented only one way, you can just get a "warm white" LED array and the filtered colors should be fine.

Here's an example (there are others) of an array with the different LEDs in the appropriate sectors:
Yeah, those dedicated bi-color and tri-color LEDs in combination with red and green lenses make for a very nice setup... I use them with an Aqua Signal 40 bi-color bow light, and a tri-color at the masthead, and the colors are brilliant and much more vibrant than they ever were with a white incandescent, and I think the delineation between the colored sectors is a bit sharper, as well...

I know the caution against LEDs with colored lenses is a sensible one, but I switched to LEDs years ago, before colored or warmer lights became available, and I was hard pressed to notice any real degradation in the quality of the light cast thru the Aqua Signal lenses...

One other tip I'd recommend, particularly with bow, steaming, and stern light fixtures like the Aqua Signal... If you line the inside of the "back" side of the fixture - i.e., behind the light - with a reflective/mirrored tape, I think you'll find you gain a noticeable increase in brightness/intensity...

The latest generation of LEDs represent some wonderful technology for sailors, a real leap forward, I'm amazed anyone is still using incandescents... (With the possible exception of running lights that are only likely to be used when under power, that is)
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