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Should I use my 12v cabin lights while I am at the dock? The onboard charger is plugged in. Will this ruin my battery?
 

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Telstar 28
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If it is dark, then using the lights would be a good idea.... ;) No, it won't ruin your batteries unless you're trying to imitate the sun using 12 VDC lighting. :)
 

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Montgomery 17
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Yeah, you shouldn't have to worry about it.

If you are still concerned, check your battery levels after a few hours with the lights on and see if you are even taking out more than the charger can put back in.

If not, there is nothing to worry about.
 

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On the topic of chargers and lighting, I'm was an electrician in the Navy and should know this, but don't:

My first night on my boat (last December), I checked my charger because ... well, long story full of problems. The point is, my 120-12 volt converter is putting out amps, but the voltage output is only 10 volts. I don't understand: in order to charge the batteries -- which it does seem to be doing -- doesn't the voltage output have to be greater than that of the batteries, which varies at times between 12 and 14 volts?

Am I an idiot ... or a big idiot?

My other related question on lighting is this: I am a liveaboard and need more lighting. Should I install 120 volt since I am always on marina-paid shore power when in port; or should I install more 12 volt so that, when sailing, I can use it? Advise anyone.

TonyInNewportOregon
 

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Your charger is definitely not working. It should be running att a minimum of 13V and higher depending on the state of your battery bank.

You would generally get more light from a 120VAC source as the bulbs are bigger...
 

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i would go with 12vdc bulbs and then use an adapter 120 VAC to 12VDC when you're in port. these adapters are very common and used on labtops for example.
 

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I was a Navy ET and never learned that stuff either. But as a shadetree gearhead gearhead, yes, it should be putting out nearly 14VDC.

As for lighting, I've been looking at 12V LEDs. I'm impressed with the output of LEDs in flashlights, at least.
 

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These are about the cheapest LED's around after mucho searching! :)

Product Listing - OTHER
direct bulb replacements about 1/2 way down the page.
The 1142's fit the 2 contact base w/o grounding sides like an 1156 or 1157 type bulb.

Every LED application you could want;
SUPER BRIGHT LEDS home
 

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12V illumination is not much different than 110V. Halogen bulbs can give more light when compared to classic hot filament bulbs. It might be better to use 12V halogen bulbs for better illumination.

I do not like LEDS. They might produce good candle power per watts consumed, but I do not agree to the candle power measurements. Although the electronic machinery states the same candle power, I cannot feel the same light as compared to hot filament lights.
 

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You boat was meant for sailing, you might as well keep it that way. By going with 12v, you'll have all the light you need when you are sailing (assuming battery capacity is sufficient, etc.) Bravo on your choice.
 

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I would also recommend the 12V option. You wont need as many in smaller boat, and if you have the 120V lights in some locations it may overpower some of the 12v lights and make things look dimmer in other parts of the boat.

I am also a big fan of being able to sail away with everything you use on a day to day basis. Besides, isnt that the point anyways?
 

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If your batteries are charging then Check your meter using your car battery to see if it is accurate.

On the topic of chargers and lighting, I'm was an electrician in the Navy and should know this, but don't:

My first night on my boat (last December), I checked my charger because ... well, long story full of problems. The point is, my 120-12 volt converter is putting out amps, but the voltage output is only 10 volts. I don't understand: in order to charge the batteries -- which it does seem to be doing -- doesn't the voltage output have to be greater than that of the batteries, which varies at times between 12 and 14 volts?

Am I an idiot ... or a big idiot?

My other related question on lighting is this: I am a liveaboard and need more lighting. Should I install 120 volt since I am always on marina-paid shore power when in port; or should I install more 12 volt so that, when sailing, I can use it? Advise anyone.

TonyInNewportOregon
 
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