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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'll be placing my battery leaching incandescent anchor light with a power sipping LED this year. Most vendors offer warm white and cool white. Which more closely follows the COLREGS? Also, the ones I've looked at have 30 LEDs but range in output from 120 to 200 lumens with a corresponding wattage. I will assume that brighter us better.


Don
 

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You need to insure that they meet coast guard regs for distance visible, etc. I would think cool white would be best.


Mandolin, Bayfield 36 out of Rock Creek, Chesapeake Bay.

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I'll be placing my battery leaching incandescent anchor light with a power sipping LED this year. Most vendors offer warm white and cool white. Which more closely follows the COLREGS? Also, the ones I've looked at have 30 LEDs but range in output from 120 to 200 lumens with a corresponding wattage. I will assume that brighter us better.


Don
I don't believe I've ever seen an LED nav or anchor light offered in both 'cool' and 'warm' white, that choice only seems to apply to interior or deck lighting...

In any event, go with the 'cool', it certainly appears brighter to my eye... I have a Bebi anchor light with the 'warmer' cockpit illumination on the bottom, and that light at a distance seems to be a bit 'softer', as well...

Certainly, 'brighter' is better... Personally, I'm not as concerned about CG certification as some seem to be... For example, Bebi never achieved CG certification for their product, and yet their lights always seem to be the brightest in most any anchorage... So, I'll go with the 'brightest', over 'CG-certified', every time... :)
 

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I agree that I've never see an anchor light offered in both. Are you just buying the bulb?

If you can swing the extra small amount of money I'd recommend buying a replacement anchor light with a sealed LED. It will be far more durable, an important thing for the hardest light to service on the boat.
 

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I recently bought a masthead tricolor-with-anchor light, which came with two different LED bulbs. It said to use the warm light in the tricolor and the cool light for the anchor light. I assume the warm light most closely duplicates an incandescent and therefore the red and green of the tricolor.
 

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The cool white color will pierce through the red/green lens changing the colors slightly and that could spell disaster as the lights could "blend" in with other lights while sailing coastal / inland waters. I know there are other reasons too but that is another can of worms.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The festoon dimple lights that I am lookkng at are exterior nav lights, identical in costruction but one offers cool white. I stumbled on to a sight that said warm is used for steaming lights and cool is used for anchor lights. I'm easy. Whatever I do will be better that the $3 LED puck light in a Walmart bag that I've been using.
 

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The festoon dimple lights that I am lookkng at are exterior nav lights, identical in costruction but one offers cool white. I stumbled on to a sight that said warm is used for steaming lights and cool is used for anchor lights. I'm easy. Whatever I do will be better that the $3 LED puck light in a Walmart bag that I've been using.
Don,

Please be VERY careful with "festoon" nav light replacements in existing incandescent fixtures.. I have now had two customers who's LED wafers have vibrated around and were facing backwards!:eek::eek:

An incandescent festoon emits light 360 degrees and it does not matter if it turns in the socket.. An LED, not so much.

As was mentioned it is a legal requirement that your navigation lights meet the COLREGS / CFR Annex I standards. The best way to know this is to buy already certified navigation lights. Certified LED nav lights have come WAY down in price...
 

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as somebody who has bronze lights on their boat already.. the only problem I have with Colregs certified lights.. they are -very- ugly
 

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The cool white color will pierce through the red/green lens changing the colors slightly and that could spell disaster as the lights could "blend" in with other lights while sailing coastal / inland waters. I know there are other reasons too but that is another can of worms.
OP was talking about an anchor light. I don't think he needs to worry about red/green lenses for an anchor light.
 

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The cool white color will pierce through the red/green lens changing the colors slightly and that could spell disaster as the lights could "blend" in with other lights while sailing coastal / inland waters. I know there are other reasons too but that is another can of worms.
As a matter of fact, with LED lights you need to use a red LED behind the red lens and a green one behind the green lens. A white LED light will be very dull (useless even) behind a oloured lens.
 

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There was an excellent write up on this on the old Bebi web site. I don't think it's up any more though.

I have a Bebi anchor light, actually I have the one that is supposed to be used in a tri-color setup, so it has something like 24 or so white LED's. It's always the brightest light in the anchorage.

As far as colors temperature goes, to be properly within the specifications of COLREGS Annex I, the acceptable LED color would probably fall within the neutral or warm white color temperatures. For most white LED's, cool white is a bit too much in the blue.

Does that mean that it's unsafe. I certainly don't think so. The reason that the USCG's regulations are what they are is simply because when they were written down, they needed to grandfather in all of the oil lamps and incandescent lights that were in use, which are always yellowish in tone, i.e. warm white. They just didn't need to consider a light source that drifted off in to the bluish tone a little. It simply didn't exist at the time unless one wanted to run an oxy-acetylene torch from the mast head. I've read that the Coast Guard is looking into this, but in the mean time, warm white LED's are becoming brighter and more efficient so the issue is likely to be moot before the rules are changed.

You still have to make sure that your brightness is above the minimum value for your length boat, and in your installation. That includes any lost illumination due to wiring losses and condition of your anchor light housing, so it's best over engineer a bit (or a lot :) ), in my opinion.
 

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As a matter of fact, with LED lights you need to use a red LED behind the red lens and a green one behind the green lens. A white LED light will be very dull (useless even) behind a coloured lens.

That in addition to the fact that this is horribly inefficient. All LED's start out as "quasi-monochrome" light sources meaning that they are basically one color (although not as narrow band as a laser).

Shooting a white LED through a red or green filter basically means you are starting with a blue LED (which are more expensive to make and to run since they require a higher voltage than red or green), shooting the blue light through a layer of phosphorous to make yellowish white light, which also absorbs some light power. The new yellowish white light is mixed with some blue light that makes it through the phosphorous (it's a thin layer) and the result is mostly white. Then you take that white light and filter out all of the light that is not red (or green) so you are throwing away a significant portion of the light that you spent more to create in the first place.

It just doesn't make sense to put red or green lenses in front of white LED's when LED's are, by their very nature, single color emitters.
 
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