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Go Back   SailNet Community > Contributing Publishers > Good Old Boat > LEDs afloat
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Topic Review (Newest First)
08-04-2013 01:24 AM
hellosailor
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.
08-03-2013 07:42 PM
boatpoker
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.
08-03-2013 07:05 PM
miatapaul
Re: LEDs afloat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gulfstar#62 View Post
I would not suggest using LEDís on a vessel, because they donít hold up to a lightning strike. My sailing vessel was struck by lightning four weeks ago, and although I have a superior grounding system, including cables attached to the back stays that hang in the water, every LED light was killed. None of the conventional light bulbs were effected.

Additionally, I am associated with a River Road Plantation in Louisiana that has 100% LED lighting in a museum room. The plantation house was stuck by lightning and it killed all of the LED fixtures.
Well I would doubt fluorescents or halogen would do much better. Seems a rather isolated situation to base the decision on. Perhaps keep the old bulbs as back-up. Seems the extended battery life is worth the risk.

Sent from my ADR6425LVW using Tapatalk 4 Beta
08-03-2013 06:07 PM
Gulfstar#62
Re: LEDs afloat

I would not suggest using LEDís on a vessel, because they donít hold up to a lightning strike. My sailing vessel was struck by lightning four weeks ago, and although I have a superior grounding system, including cables attached to the back stays that hang in the water, every LED light was killed. None of the conventional light bulbs were effected.

Additionally, I am associated with a River Road Plantation in Louisiana that has 100% LED lighting in a museum room. The plantation house was stuck by lightning and it killed all of the LED fixtures.
03-21-2013 09:07 AM
macwester26
Re: LEDs afloat

I have been using LED lighting on an old Macwester yacht.
The reason I have used them is the power saving and coupled with a solar charging panel I am hoping i will not have any lighting problems.

AS per the very first post of this thread there was mentioned mast light

http://sonar.x90x.net/Macwester%2026/P1211699.JPG
This is one i made earlier. my Mast all round navigation light and Anchor light...
Formed with Polyester resin and formed in a glass jam jar.
I had to break the class jar when it had set solid.
Just needs a quick polish now with T Cut or a g3 cutting compound thae same stuff they buff car paintwork with..

also I have been working on Navigation lights that I can insett to the rubber fendering

These are water resistant strips .with a self adhesive backing strip.
Easy to cut to size and fit.
And a lot of power saved.


Robert
08-18-2012 11:30 PM
Jgbrown
Re: LEDs afloat

I'm not a huge fan of cluster LEDs. I prefer single ones with a decent reflector, just personal preference. FWIW I used to work in the factory that makes the substrates for the LED manufacturers. They're all made of solid sapphire crystal, grown the same way as the watch faces. Though the watch face ones are about the size of a film canister, and the ones grown for LEDs are about 60lbs...
We used Timex's crystal as seeds to start most batches because they were so little but that's getting off topic.

The interesting bit to this is the spec. Nichia and lot of the other cheap ones had a very loose specification. Luxeon and Cree had a much tighter spec, that was very different from the other ones, they also paid about 4x as much for it. Whether that makes a more quality product or not, I've never had one of their LEDs fail.
The best LEDs to my mind are properly controlled with a decent power source, and a good quality heat sink.

For marine stuff, I really like Lunasea, I think they are the supplier for West Marine as well, though at a huge mark-up of course.

Voltage tolerance from 6-24v input and on clearance they are very affordable. Like 4.40$ for a festoon bulb vs west marine prices
Or this
LED Wall Lamp - Indoor - Cool White LED’s
24$ for a single 3w led controller, and all in a nice stainless lamp. Hard to beat.
08-01-2012 10:10 AM
hellosailor
Re: LEDs afloat

poker, it is onl complicated if you want to "do it once and do it right".

A white LED typically needs 3.6VDC to operate and one way to match that up to 12 volts is by daisychaining four of them to one power connection. 4x3.6=14.4 volts which is conveniently "alternator voltage" will power a chain of four white LEDs pretty nicely. Of course then the engine is off they'll dim and that'a waste. Or you use chain of three (3*3.6v=10.8V) and they'll work fine of a dead battery but tend to burn out if the engine is running....

Maybe Ikea uses those robust wild-free-range Scandanavian LEDs that match up better, or maybe they use something to control the current, which solves the problem much better. Kinda like changing the coffee filter once in a while,and only re-using the grounds twice. You may notice a difference in the quality of the coffee when you do that. :-)

If the LED comes with specs, you can run the numbers, there are plenty of web sites that tell you how to match voltages or power. No specs? You generalize by the color, and if it only lasts five years instead of ten, most folks aren't going to complain.
08-01-2012 09:42 AM
boatpoker
Re: LEDs afloat

I think most people make this whole LED thing far too complicated.
I converted all my interior light fixtures (15) to LED's from Ikea (much cheaper than any chandlery). They have been working well for 2 years now. I posted a How To on my website.
08-01-2012 07:56 AM
windnrock
Re: LEDs afloat

Not knowing exactly the LEDs you are referring to is kind of moot. The units are probably cheap and not worth the trouble to go through the effort. Not all LEDs are the same. Cheaper ones will expire much sooner than a quality diode, for a number of reasons. To get some good information, easily stated, visit the Bebi Electronics website Bebi Electronics-Home of the Finest Marine LED Lighting Products on Sea (or Earth)! When looking for LEDs, CREE Inc. is a US manufacturer of high quality LEDs. By the way, getting the smoke back in is problematic but finding OEM smoke is even harder!
08-01-2012 05:28 AM
Bob142
Re: LEDs afloat

My understanding of electricity is only a little above that the factory puts magic smoke into their products and if you let it out something is going to stop working... My question is it posible to use LEDs from the dollar store that operate on 4 and a half volts and link 3 or 4 of them in series or ad a simple resistor into the circuit??? Connecting them directly to 12 volts lets out the smoke...
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