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  Topic Review (Newest First)
07-07-2008 04:26 PM
Trekka I think sensibulb's are very high quality - as components - but they do not integrate into fixtures as easily as the Dr LED's. (The LED's I mentioned in my previous post are a combo of DR LED & Anchor.) I have one of the sensibulb units you describe, a mini board with 4 LED's on it. Very clean light, but kind of kludgy to fit. I wish sensibulb would get their manufacturing process unpgraded to make simpler, quicker, swap-ins. I think they do make a dimmer system, btw. (not cheap)

Alpenglow makes beautiful, fine lamps. Always have. They come at a premium price. But you do get what you pay for with them.

The LED technology is improving so quickly I expect to replace anything I'm doing now in a couple of years. So I'm taking a cheap route. (At the broadcasters convention this year a company showed a field lighting unit for film/video that had dial-in color temperature LED's!).
07-07-2008 02:45 PM
billyruffn Check out Home (home page of Alpenglow Marine Lights). Their lights aren't cheap, but they look good, work well, and are pretty economical electrically. I particularily like those with a red LED integrated into the fixture. I had six aboard for the last five years and would buy them again when and if they wear out.
07-07-2008 09:49 AM
Freesail99 I will second that the sensibulb is very bright. I made a chandelier out of a hanging brass oil lamp and it is extremely bright. It is also a warm white light.
07-07-2008 08:21 AM
donradclife We bought a sensibulb led replacement light last year as an experiment, and put it in a spotlight used for bedtime reading. It gives out as much light and the same warm white color as a 20W incandescent bulb, but only consumes about 2 watts. All the light comes from 2 square leds which are only about 2mm on a side.

It has held up well, and the only complaint my wife has is that she wants a dimmer on it. It has sophisticated electronics to keep the led's at the optimum temperature so that they don't burn out, but there are no problems with radio interference.

The technology of the sensibulb is a breakthrough, but the packaging really needs improvement. Frankly, the bulbs are ugly, and look homemade. I want to replace all our incandescent dome lights with leds, and am still looking for something with the sensibulb technology in an attractive package.
07-07-2008 03:20 AM
Trekka I also have 4 oil lamps that I use in cooler seasons. But I only use high grade lamp oil in them. In my previous boat I used kero, but that left a residue on the headliner (and probably our lungs). It makes a big difference to use quality oil. But you don't have to pay boat store prices. I get smokeless oil from K-Mart.
07-07-2008 03:15 AM
Trekka My boat had 4 lamps mounted around the cabin and galley that use screw in bulbs that are 12volt but look like household bulbs. The fixture is like this:

And have shades on them like this:

They put out very decent light, but with 15 and 25watt bulbs they sucked a lot of battery juice. I replaced the bulbs with screw-in 12volt compact flourescent lamps that cost about $7 each through an online RV supply store. They come in varied color temperatures and I selected one step warmer than tungsten (but still well below daylight). They worked out great! Use about 25% of the power of the tungsten. Only difficulty was getting the shades to fit. They are designed to grasp a round bulb, not the curly CFL bulbs. But with some finagling I got them to hold on.

For specific use lighting (reading, focused, etc) I have begun switching out the 12v tungsten and halogen bulbs for LED's. There are an ever increasing variety of "bulbs" available with the proper base/contacts arrangement to fit the existing fixtures. For spot use there are white (not bluish white) bulbs that fit right into the existing brass bell fixtures. (But I do not do this where I need dimmable lighting, as LED's require special dimmer circuitry.)

Up forward there are two "steerable" spots on the bulkhead that take 25watt tungsten bulbs of the "spotlight" (or "mushroom") shape with a very long neck. A lot of directed light, but very hot, and use a lot of power. I finally found LED bulbs with the single contact base the fixtures need. The replacement arrays fit way down inside, as they are short neck not long, but are very bright though not quite as wide a spread of light, and use minimal power. Very minimal.

In the head there is a fixture that is rectangular with a white plastic cover for top and sides, and has two tungsten bulbs inside. Similar to this but angles instead of curved cover:

I replaced the bulbs with two 36 LED "bulbs". They are slightly less bright, but distinctly cooler than the tungsten. I think I will probably go back to tungsten as the head lighting is not used for long times. Otherwise I will go with a CFL screw in fixture like the main cabin.

In cupboards and hanging lockers I have 6 inch flourescents that are powered by 4 AAA batteries (which, since they are only on for short periods, last a long time).
07-05-2008 09:55 AM
ericroline The best gimbled oil lamps are the fastnet lamps from the UK, I installed chart LEDs lights , one white and one red goose necked for chart reading, they were on Ebay at a very good price. LED lights are becoming better with the new white emitters for intensity and truer to white light. If you are doing cruising or extensive overnighters , try to go low current draw. If you have a huge house battery you can go halogen. On cold winter nights, I take out the propane lamp, and enjoy the heat it gives off.
07-04-2008 12:54 PM
Gary1 If cost isn't an issue, take a look at Taylormade's 'cold cathode fluorescent' lights. Low current, and lots of light at a pleasant frequency. They also don't get hot physically, which is a plus. The only catch is that they are very pricey.

Otherwise, you can prowl the marine stores, but the last few years, I've noticed that the 'marine' lights aren't really marine grade. Cheap connectors, brass plated steel, and chintzy connectors. They still charge premium prices though.

I got fed up with that and went to a good retail lamp dealer in Miami and found some nice looking lamps that have halogen bulbs. They came with 'wall wart' power supplies. I just cut the wire warts off and tied into the 12v system. If you don't mind paying the price, you can get high-end household fixtures that are made of solid brass, chrome plated brass, etc. Internally, they're no better or worse than the so-called 'marine' lamps that Perko, et al, sell.

Cap'n Gary
S/V Island Breeze
07-03-2008 10:56 AM
chucklesR We use the battery powered candle lights you can get from Bed Bath and Beyond for low level (non-reading) lights more for safety than anything else - three of the are placed around the boat and left on all night long (master cabin, salon table and head). A double a battery gets you almost a weeks worth of safe night lights and rechargeable batteries with solar panels keeps it cheap.

Mostly, we go to bed when it gets dark and get up with the sun, but when we do actually stay up we just use the standard lights that came with the boat. Once those bulbs start wearing out I'll look into changing to LED's. I'm hoping technological improvements on the 'coldness' of the light will make them better.

For red light at night, I prefer my little flash light as opposed to fixed lights. You never know where you will need red light and installing a bunch of fixtures just in case seems wasteful. Again, flash light has rechargeable batteries so that's not a problem.
07-03-2008 10:38 AM
Originally Posted by Harryeod View Post
I have a nice old oil burning anchor light but the oil I use puts out a lot of smoke. What kind of oil do you burn?
For me today, only diesel
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