Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Gulf Harbour, New Zealand
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Re: Dangers of LED navigation lights
I've read this thread. Here are my thoughts. I really think there is no substitute for good LED nav lights on any yacht. They are just better, brighter, and outlast anything else. Lights with bulbs are prone to failure.
I do not agree with those who say masthead lights are no good. In my experience (over 40,000 miles) they can be seen from further away than lower lights, and are less exposed to the salt and corrosion issues. Deck level lights are very poor in any sort of a seaway, and the leeward one is often close to sea level!
If you are concerned about collisions while at anchor, consider this, re the "not looking up" argument. If you are one boat / mast length away, the light is 45 deg up, 4 boat lengths, 22.5 deg up, and in the normal range of vision. If you are paranoid, add some additional lights at deck level by all means - but good ones, with at least 2NM range, NOT solar garden lights - they have a really poor range.
We use a Optolamp Amazonia Mirim Tri Color lamp. It is an anchor/strobe/tricolor all in one unit, 50,000 hrs mean time between failures LED light that draws less than 0.15a at 12v. Many of our fellow cruisers have bought one of these after seeing our one. It has a built in light sensor, and will turn itself on at night, and off in the daytime. The whole thing runs on 3 wires. It is simply the best unit I've seen, which is why I resell it!
Have a look on my website if you are interested.