LEDs afloat - Page 4 - SailNet Community
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post #31 of 57 Old 08-03-2013
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Re: LEDs afloat

60 million volts, discharging 60 thousand amps, hotter than the surface of the sun and travelling at near the speed of light ...... not entirely surprising that a few LED's were burnt out.
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post #32 of 57 Old 08-04-2013
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Re: LEDs afloat

As semiconductor devices, LEDs will be more sensitive to reverse voltage and overvoltage than some of the other lights, so I'd expect them to be more easily damaged by lightning strikes. Just like all the other electronics on a boat.

But having said that, I'd still use LEDs because a good lightning strike can also blow out every kind of light and appliance known to man, and they routinely do that even in homes. You could probably take steps to harden the lighting wiring so it was less likely to get an inductive surge from a strike, or less likely to carry a strike, but lightning is such a damn pigheaded creature, that you could probably spend less by just changing the blown LEDs. Along with everything else the lightning struck.
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post #33 of 57 Old 12-15-2014
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Re: LEDs afloat

How often do you expect lightning strikes and wouldn't your bulbs be the least of your worries in such a situation?
Personally, I carry spare everythings aboard anyway. I wouldn't consider lightning strikes as a deterrent to updating my lighting.

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post #34 of 57 Old 12-15-2014
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Re: LEDs afloat

"How often do you expect lightning strikes ...Personally, I carry spare everythings aboard anyway. "

Light bulbs are electrical devices, they're fairly robust. LEDs are electronic components, easily destroyed by a plain static discharge of only single-digit voltage or static.

Light bulbs cost 79c each. Okay, $3.49 in the inflated chandleries but still under a buck apiece if you know where to buy them. LEDs, which often cannot be replaced except as a larger electronics board or module, or an entire sealed fixture? Could easily be a $50-150 "spare" to keep on hand.

Good luck carrying the spares for LED lights, you may find they are way more expensive than you think. One of the reasons why some folks haven't converted to sensitive and expensive LEDs.
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post #35 of 57 Old 12-15-2014
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Re: LEDs afloat

The problem with standard bulbs is more than just outage.
The amount of pull on the battery is as much as ten times that of LEDs.
The free standing solar powered LEDs or the batt types can be adapted and since they are not hard wired, do not suffer the damage from lightening.
Interesting point though.
(A boat rarely has solutions. Only extenuating circumstances).
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post #36 of 57 Old 12-15-2014
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Re: LEDs afloat

Hellosailor,

You might consider, when you do your expense calculations, to include the extra run time for power generation you'll need for those consumptive incandescent bulbs.

And speaking of 'knowing where to buy them,' there are plenty of good quality LED around that are far less than the prices you're citing.

Having experience with LED (my entire boat is LED) I have found them to be neither particularly sensitive nor particularly expensive.
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post #37 of 57 Old 12-15-2014
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Re: LEDs afloat

Multi-
I'm aware of all the pros and cons of LEDs, I was just limiting my response to what was said in one post. Carrying spares, and the cost of spares, is entirely separate from any question of power budgets and capacities. 100,000 hour life expectancy (for properly engineered devices) and potentially 20 fewer trips aloft to change a light bulb, or twenty nights not spent in the dark waiting for daylight to change it (G) all are separate considerations from the sheer cost of carrying spares for these fixtures.
Considering the way LEDs and their prices keep improving? No spares, gamble on needing a new one in five or ten years. All other considerations aside.
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post #38 of 57 Old 12-15-2014
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Re: LEDs afloat

That link to Bibe electronics (LEDs) in Fiji is is gone. A government take over there scared them off. You can edit message and take the link out, if you like
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post #39 of 57 Old 12-15-2014
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Re: LEDs afloat

The look forward will see better LEDs and if you have the expertise a 'driver' is advised. Glass in the bilge is always undesired end with bulbs since it is invisible to the eye, it is bound to occur.
The heat generated by the bulb is also a fire hazard. Fall asleep once and the batt is gone. LEDs are vulnerable but cheap.
It's my hope that my LED tricolor lamp is not going to put me through a replacement.
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post #40 of 57 Old 12-16-2014
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Re: LEDs afloat

we have been hit twice in 4 years, once just before we bought. Last hit was July 5 in Muskegon Michigan. A direct hit vaporized the main mast Windex. We lost:
Wind instruments
boat speed
VHS
AIS
1.5 KW back-up alternator
3 of 6 spreader lights on two masts
all mast-head lights
all nav lights
all bow wiring was fused
3 LED bulbs in the bow cabin
transom paint was spauled
2.5 KW Xantrex off line (re-boot fixed it)
60 amp shore power breaker smoked

Curiously, the lightning arrestor was un-damaged

We have 60 cabin LED bulbs and 13 LED lights aloft. Even with all on at once, 0.4 amps. I haven't done the math but the diesel to charge & wear & tear on the batteries is the reason to have LEDs.

My observation: all lights, radio & any device should have its own local two-pole switch to interrupt totally both power & ground with an air gap. I installed our Simrad this way as well as its radar and depth scanner - no problems. This may not save everything every time but it is a definite preventative to induced spikes.
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