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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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I was thinking of spending my first old age pension cheque on solar panels. Then along came super bright ,affordable, LEDs ,and made making more power irrelevant. Now the battery drain is negligable, as lights are the only electrical power I use. Gonna be nice, having all that bright light on those gloomy winter days.
 

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My understanding of electricity is only a little above that the factory puts magic smoke into their products and if you let it out something is going to stop working... My question is it posible to use LEDs from the dollar store that operate on 4 and a half volts and link 3 or 4 of them in series or ad a simple resistor into the circuit??? Connecting them directly to 12 volts lets out the smoke...
 

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Not knowing exactly the LEDs you are referring to is kind of moot. The units are probably cheap and not worth the trouble to go through the effort. Not all LEDs are the same. Cheaper ones will expire much sooner than a quality diode, for a number of reasons. To get some good information, easily stated, visit the Bebi Electronics website Bebi Electronics-Home of the Finest Marine LED Lighting Products on Sea (or Earth)! When looking for LEDs, CREE Inc. is a US manufacturer of high quality LEDs. By the way, getting the smoke back in is problematic but finding OEM smoke is even harder!
 

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I think most people make this whole LED thing far too complicated.
I converted all my interior light fixtures (15) to LED's from Ikea (much cheaper than any chandlery). They have been working well for 2 years now. I posted a How To on my website.
 

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poker, it is onl complicated if you want to "do it once and do it right".

A white LED typically needs 3.6VDC to operate and one way to match that up to 12 volts is by daisychaining four of them to one power connection. 4x3.6=14.4 volts which is conveniently "alternator voltage" will power a chain of four white LEDs pretty nicely. Of course then the engine is off they'll dim and that'a waste. Or you use chain of three (3*3.6v=10.8V) and they'll work fine of a dead battery but tend to burn out if the engine is running....

Maybe Ikea uses those robust wild-free-range Scandanavian LEDs that match up better, or maybe they use something to control the current, which solves the problem much better. Kinda like changing the coffee filter once in a while,and only re-using the grounds twice. You may notice a difference in the quality of the coffee when you do that. :)

If the LED comes with specs, you can run the numbers, there are plenty of web sites that tell you how to match voltages or power. No specs? You generalize by the color, and if it only lasts five years instead of ten, most folks aren't going to complain.
 

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I'm not a huge fan of cluster LEDs. I prefer single ones with a decent reflector, just personal preference. FWIW I used to work in the factory that makes the substrates for the LED manufacturers. They're all made of solid sapphire crystal, grown the same way as the watch faces. Though the watch face ones are about the size of a film canister, and the ones grown for LEDs are about 60lbs...
We used Timex's crystal as seeds to start most batches because they were so little but that's getting off topic.

The interesting bit to this is the spec. Nichia and lot of the other cheap ones had a very loose specification. Luxeon and Cree had a much tighter spec, that was very different from the other ones, they also paid about 4x as much for it. Whether that makes a more quality product or not, I've never had one of their LEDs fail.
The best LEDs to my mind are properly controlled with a decent power source, and a good quality heat sink.

For marine stuff, I really like Lunasea, I think they are the supplier for West Marine as well, though at a huge mark-up of course.

Voltage tolerance from 6-24v input and on clearance they are very affordable. Like 4.40$ for a festoon bulb vs west marine prices
Or this
LED Wall Lamp - Indoor - Cool White LED's
24$ for a single 3w led controller, and all in a nice stainless lamp. Hard to beat.
 

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I have been using LED lighting on an old Macwester yacht.
The reason I have used them is the power saving and coupled with a solar charging panel I am hoping i will not have any lighting problems.

AS per the very first post of this thread there was mentioned mast light

http://sonar.x90x.net/Macwester%2026/P1211699.JPG
This is one i made earlier. my Mast all round navigation light and Anchor light...
Formed with Polyester resin and formed in a glass jam jar.
I had to break the class jar when it had set solid.
Just needs a quick polish now with T Cut or a g3 cutting compound thae same stuff they buff car paintwork with..

also I have been working on Navigation lights that I can insett to the rubber fendering

These are water resistant strips .with a self adhesive backing strip.
Easy to cut to size and fit.
And a lot of power saved.

Robert
 

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I would not suggest using LED’s on a vessel, because they don’t hold up to a lightning strike. My sailing vessel was struck by lightning four weeks ago, and although I have a superior grounding system, including cables attached to the back stays that hang in the water, every LED light was killed. None of the conventional light bulbs were effected.

Additionally, I am associated with a River Road Plantation in Louisiana that has 100% LED lighting in a museum room. The plantation house was stuck by lightning and it killed all of the LED fixtures.
 

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I would not suggest using LED's on a vessel, because they don't hold up to a lightning strike. My sailing vessel was struck by lightning four weeks ago, and although I have a superior grounding system, including cables attached to the back stays that hang in the water, every LED light was killed. None of the conventional light bulbs were effected.

Additionally, I am associated with a River Road Plantation in Louisiana that has 100% LED lighting in a museum room. The plantation house was stuck by lightning and it killed all of the LED fixtures.
Well I would doubt fluorescents or halogen would do much better. Seems a rather isolated situation to base the decision on. Perhaps keep the old bulbs as back-up. Seems the extended battery life is worth the risk.

Sent from my ADR6425LVW using Tapatalk 4 Beta
 

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60 million volts, discharging 60 thousand amps, hotter than the surface of the sun and travelling at near the speed of light ...... not entirely surprising that a few LED's were burnt out.
 

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As semiconductor devices, LEDs will be more sensitive to reverse voltage and overvoltage than some of the other lights, so I'd expect them to be more easily damaged by lightning strikes. Just like all the other electronics on a boat.

But having said that, I'd still use LEDs because a good lightning strike can also blow out every kind of light and appliance known to man, and they routinely do that even in homes. You could probably take steps to harden the lighting wiring so it was less likely to get an inductive surge from a strike, or less likely to carry a strike, but lightning is such a damn pigheaded creature, that you could probably spend less by just changing the blown LEDs. Along with everything else the lightning struck.
 

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How often do you expect lightning strikes and wouldn't your bulbs be the least of your worries in such a situation?
Personally, I carry spare everythings aboard anyway. I wouldn't consider lightning strikes as a deterrent to updating my lighting.
 

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"How often do you expect lightning strikes ...Personally, I carry spare everythings aboard anyway. "

Light bulbs are electrical devices, they're fairly robust. LEDs are electronic components, easily destroyed by a plain static discharge of only single-digit voltage or static.

Light bulbs cost 79c each. Okay, $3.49 in the inflated chandleries but still under a buck apiece if you know where to buy them. LEDs, which often cannot be replaced except as a larger electronics board or module, or an entire sealed fixture? Could easily be a $50-150 "spare" to keep on hand.

Good luck carrying the spares for LED lights, you may find they are way more expensive than you think. One of the reasons why some folks haven't converted to sensitive and expensive LEDs.
 

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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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Hellosailor,

You might consider, when you do your expense calculations, to include the extra run time for power generation you'll need for those consumptive incandescent bulbs.

And speaking of 'knowing where to buy them,' there are plenty of good quality LED around that are far less than the prices you're citing.

Having experience with LED (my entire boat is LED) I have found them to be neither particularly sensitive nor particularly expensive.
 

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Multi-
I'm aware of all the pros and cons of LEDs, I was just limiting my response to what was said in one post. Carrying spares, and the cost of spares, is entirely separate from any question of power budgets and capacities. 100,000 hour life expectancy (for properly engineered devices) and potentially 20 fewer trips aloft to change a light bulb, or twenty nights not spent in the dark waiting for daylight to change it (G) all are separate considerations from the sheer cost of carrying spares for these fixtures.
Considering the way LEDs and their prices keep improving? No spares, gamble on needing a new one in five or ten years. All other considerations aside.
 

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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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we have been hit twice in 4 years, once just before we bought. Last hit was July 5 in Muskegon Michigan. A direct hit vaporized the main mast Windex. We lost:
Wind instruments
boat speed
VHS
AIS
1.5 KW back-up alternator
3 of 6 spreader lights on two masts
all mast-head lights
all nav lights
all bow wiring was fused
3 LED bulbs in the bow cabin
transom paint was spauled
2.5 KW Xantrex off line (re-boot fixed it)
60 amp shore power breaker smoked

Curiously, the lightning arrestor was un-damaged :)

We have 60 cabin LED bulbs and 13 LED lights aloft. Even with all on at once, 0.4 amps. I haven't done the math but the diesel to charge & wear & tear on the batteries is the reason to have LEDs.

My observation: all lights, radio & any device should have its own local two-pole switch to interrupt totally both power & ground with an air gap. I installed our Simrad this way as well as its radar and depth scanner - no problems. This may not save everything every time but it is a definite preventative to induced spikes.
 
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