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I run LED lights that are sensor and battery operated. It's great for the head where switches are a pain. Mounted in storage areas where it lights up automatic. They are cheap at cosco and last a long time on one set of batts. I store plenty of batteries for them though just in case. I leave the old lights in place but rarely use without timed switch. For the intense searches I use my St. Minimus head lamp which does not go out when bumped on the head and has no batt pack on the back of the head. Since it's not water proof I keep a flash light that is. The LED is best going on and off so it does not heat and the new generation exhibits better durability so don't go by the old ones. When dealing with nav lights / lawyers and courtrooms it's better to go by the CG book. If you can't, get out the red, white or green back ups that take far less juice.
 

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It's wonderful to live in an age where we have choices. I recall when I had a battery go down using the old 1157s. It was off the coast and with the navs down in a shipping lane I had reason to sweat. Saving current is very important on sailboats because if you love sailing you have a tendency to forget about the aux power (if you have any) and how it's needed to charge the system. I now carry independent AA battery powered back up LEDs as well as back up Gel batteries. No, maybe my back ups are not CG approved but in a pitch it is better to have something than nothing. Because in the end it's about safety -not the law.
Many feel my oil lamps, compass's and water tanks are redundant but I consider the new tech with the option of failure. In fact I still carry candles.
 

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The problem with standard bulbs is more than just outage.
The amount of pull on the battery is as much as ten times that of LEDs.
The free standing solar powered LEDs or the batt types can be adapted and since they are not hard wired, do not suffer the damage from lightening.
Interesting point though.
(A boat rarely has solutions. Only extenuating circumstances).
 

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The look forward will see better LEDs and if you have the expertise a 'driver' is advised. Glass in the bilge is always undesired end with bulbs since it is invisible to the eye, it is bound to occur.
The heat generated by the bulb is also a fire hazard. Fall asleep once and the batt is gone. LEDs are vulnerable but cheap.
It's my hope that my LED tricolor lamp is not going to put me through a replacement.
 

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I have had considerable trouble with bulbs at my house and they do burn out. I will return them now and again having bought them at Cosco.
Glass bulbs of any kind are never a good idea on a boat, LED or whatever. In fact will let yet you in on a little secret, I don't allow "lightening" either because of the same reason... They are both very dangerous... :)
 

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I think you missed the context of what I spoke. I was thinking in times of emergency when lightning fries your "legal" nav lights.
Some light is needed... Not so much to save you from the coasties but to luminate your boat so they can see you. There are better LEDs all the time and many sailors are acting on old info.
LEDs used to fade out from over heating. That is why they are accompanied by heat sinks and or fans that keep the temp down. Drivers for voltage spikes and so on.
 

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I buy mine with good results from this place http://www.dx.com/s/led+light Direct from China and it has the higher end LEDs for the price of lower end. It takes weeks to get here in California though. They did get to me all I ordered.
Drivers are tiny voltage spike protectors. and there is dimmers too. I'm no expert on this subject and you do need to know what you want. I shopped by amount of amps and how dear they were.
Electric is my final frontier but I have vested plenty of headaches in learning the ropes. I bought LEDs all the way back. More light for less juice was just too seductive to pass up for any boater.
I was there wasting money from the beginning. What I've learned is of no use though because things are changing so fast. When I hear an opinion I have to gather if they are current or obsolete in their knowledge.
LEDs are no where near as bad as those 40 dollar 1157 substitute jobs West Marine sold me. Most cabin bulbs are in series on a circuit and if you want LEDs they need to have very small fuses for each light. It's just stupid me's opinion but if they look too bright, they likely are, and that means a shorter life. I speak in retrofit because I never bought the new boat fitted out.
 
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