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Old 31-12-2009, 12:39   #31
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Originally Posted by wannago View Post
I recently read an article in some publication (us boat) that explained that LED bulbs could be more visible from a distant than comparable monofilament bulbs, but that the light was very directional, and that the visible spectrum of light was also narrower.

They are also more sensitive to fluctuations in voltage. But most fixtures have circuitry to minimize the issues caused by this.

For these reasons, they recommended replacing the entire fixture instead of just the bulb.
Funny it was Bob, one of the Boat US insurance adjusters whom I spoke with, who told me that I should not use non-certified LED bulbs. He told me the chain of questions goes in this order, in a night time accident:

1) Were the running lights on?
2) Were they USCG certified nav lights?

He also told me that he would personally like to pay me for a claim if it were up to him, as he is also a sailor, but it is not always in his power to do so.

If anyone is a Boat US insured client, and doubts this, I can sent you Bob's last name if you PM me and you can call and speak with him yourself.

I am also insured with Amica on another boat and was told basically the exact same thing by the Amica adjuster I spoke with.

The odds of a night time accident are probably slim but you could potentially be gambling with your insurance coverage something I am not willing to do, considering I pay a lot for it.

Again, if this concerns you in the least, simply call your insurance company and ask them. If they say your covered, with non-cert nav fixtures, I would then suggest getting that in writing to stick into your insurance binder for future reference.
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Old 31-12-2009, 13:36   #32
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WRT the cost of LED light fixtures -

Even incandescant light fixtures, like the Aquasignal series, are not exactly inexpensive. The cost of an LED fixture goes far beyond simply the cost of the LED(s) used. As I've said before, for optimal life and output, a proper heat path out of the fixture needs to be considered and engineered. A constant current power supply to the LED(s) should also be a part of the design, and that is usually accomplished with at least one IC, a few resistors, a few capacitors, and a toroidal inductor. What all this means is that the parts count of an LED fixture is much higher than that of an incandescant fixture, as is the effort of assembly.

I'm not arguing that current LED fixtures are reasonably priced, but there will be no way around paying significantly more for them than for a similar incandescant fixture. What you should get in return is better visibility, much lower power consumption, and an increase in reliability. Those are worth paying for.
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Old 31-12-2009, 14:02   #33
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I think it was two years ago (three TOPS) that one of the prime LED makers was asking $10 a unit for anything under a thousand unsorted pieces. Given the incredible size [sic] of the marine market, I'm not surprised some of the vendors have those prices. I'll bet their CEOs get $20M bonuses, just like the Wall Street bankers, too.

;-)

Of course, I've got an unfair advantage, I know how to solder.
Hey, where's my 20 mil?!
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Old 01-01-2010, 18:02   #34
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Fishing with Boilerplate...

There looks to be many different types of solicitors in this worlds and it's very difficult to tell what they're like just from a few letters or by reading a profile.

I'm have no legal training but I would expect that in NSW, Australia when a solicitor files a statement of claim they list the reasons why the other party was negligent.

Some solicitors might just quickly type out a list of everything that might have caused an accident and include it.

If there was any hint that poor visibility was involved then including an allegation about lights might be in their standard boilerplate.

They'd need to be a little bit careful because just throwing wild accusations around may not do a lot for their case.

As a boat owner I (of course) do take care to make sure that my lights conform to all relevant laws and regulations. Beyond that I consider it prudent to keep receipts, take the occasional photo and to inspect my lights as often as is practicable.

If I were unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident involving visibility I would consider it prudent to get signed statements from all crew that the lights were on, keep receipts, take photos as soon as possible with the prints notarized by a responsible person and if the lights were damaged to remove then and seal them with the seal also notarised.

If the responsible person were an experienced marine professional and they also observed the lights and made a signed statement to that effect so much the better.
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Old 02-01-2010, 12:40   #35
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Hi all,
i've been googling this for ages, but can't find the answer- does anybody out there know what the tri, anchor light and interior light fitting types are on a Beneteau 423 so I can order LED replacements? (my boat is 2000 miles away!)
thanks
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Old 02-01-2010, 14:15   #36
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Good new and bad news...

When I fitted Bebi lights to my Acquasignal steaming/deck spotlight I brought a new fitting, drilled out the interior brackets and used polysulphide mastic to glue the Bebi fittings in place, then had the old fitting pulled off the mast and replaced.

All looks very bright, but I haven't really used them at night yet.

On their web site they have a how to do it section.

They have a special offer (that I took advantage of) that if you promise to give then photos of how you did it they throw in another light fitting with the order (I got the spot light for my Acquasignal).

I use a very bright LED anchor light from my local chandler.

I'll probably go with LED port and starboard lights from my chandler as the stock ones are reasonably priced and have a 2 mile (I expect better) rating, however at the moment I can't find a LED stern light so I'll probably buy another fitting from Bebi.

I don't like the idea of replacement LED bulbs as I believe the reason my steaming light failed was corrosion (it was old) of the clip that held the bulb in place. I would expect this problem to be worse with the low current draw of LEDs.
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Old 02-01-2010, 20:11   #37
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"corrosion (it was old) of the clip that held the bulb in place."
There are actually products sold as "light bulb grease" to prevent that. Although depending on the fitting, it may be problematic getting the grease not to melt and run down towards a bulb. But you can also use silicon grease of various types, a light smear of it on exposed metals does a very nice job of preventing that problem. Sells for about $6 per 1/2 oz. as "ignition point dielectric grease" or $4 for six ounces as "silicon high temperature brake grease" in most auto chains. Pretty much the same product, too. I think the Ancor brand tube is probably $6-8 for one(?) ounce in chandleries.
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Old 02-01-2010, 21:12   #38
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I dont know weather they were CG approved or not but the boats up here in Mi that I have seen running with LED running lights were using replacement housings and were able to be seen from a very long distance especilly at night. I saw lots of small craft and medium boats using these very nice lights for running and masthead lights with good results. Also they are using these as interior lights. I am really thinking about putting these in when I get to do the refit on the boat I am looking at. I am seriously looking into them as running lights too because I have seen them in action. I am a little worried about your statements about the "law" but I think this needs more looking into for me.
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Old 04-01-2010, 03:32   #39
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Let's leave aside the Coast Guard approval stuff for the moment and get back to LEDs.

If you're going to spend the money on LED nav lights, why not get a decent LED masthead tricolor w. anchor light. Ours is made by OGM; we've had it on our boat for six years now, without any problems. The anchor light comes on automatically at night, so we don't have to worry about remembering to turn it on.

We use the tricolor when sailing--that's when power consumption matters. Our other lights are all regular incandescent bulbs and we use them when motoring--i.e., when power doesn't matter.

The tricolor is also critical for making sure you're seen if there are any waves, etc. It makes a big difference whether your lights are 5 ft. off the water or 50 ft.

I suspect that a decent tricolor will cost you less than trying to mickey-mouse something with your existing fixtures.

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Old 04-01-2010, 06:20   #40
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Let's leave aside the Coast Guard approval stuff for the moment and get back to LEDs.
Absolutly!

Stuff the regulations, just get LEDs so you can run them when you need them. Too many people do use nav lights at all because they don't have the batteries.

The more you use your boat for night sailing the more you will probably pay for your LED lights.

Don't forget the garden solar lights and solar christmas tree lights for anchor lights. IMHO mast head anchor lights are a WOFTAM. Useless. they look like a star.





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Old 04-01-2010, 18:26   #41
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I must disagree with Momo on 2 points. I think masthead anchor lights are hard to see in an anchorage due to background shore lights and night time navigation in a harbor requires looking ahead and not up. My masthead is only50ft off the water but I only hoist my light about half that. Secondly, Dr. LED bulbs are of very high quality and specifically designed for Aqua Signal lights, both the series 25 and series 40. These are equally quality lights and the combination in no way can be considered Mickey Mouse. At $50 US for each bulb I consider them a bargin and trust this combination with my life. Dave
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Old 04-01-2010, 19:23   #42
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DaveOnCudjoe,

Those are both good points. However:

1) Regarding anchor lights. The appropriate thing to do is not to get rid of the mast-head anchor light but to also use a distinctive light (blue, orange, whatever) in your cockpit or cabin--something you can use to identify your own boat when your head back through a crowded anchorage. Having said that, we just use our masthead light, but we've recently painted the boat yellow, which helps us find our way home. Besides, nothing helps if people don't pay attention--I've almost run our dinghy into anchored boats with lights at deck level and lights at the masthead.

2) At $50 a pop, you're right, the LEDs are not Mickey Mouse. But they are expensive. And if you already have fixtures, but not the right ones ... that's when the mickey-mousing begins. Apart from adding a masthead tricolor LED, I just don't see the point in changing anything. LEDs for standard running llights might be very, very good. But if you don't need them, they're still a waste of money. For those few times when I'm sailing (not motoring) in a harbor at night, I don't mind using less efficient incandescent bulbs (and for $50 I can carry a lot of spares). But when I'm offshore, there's nothing better than the masthead LED.

The question in this case isn't really about what's safer (i.e. what you trust with your life); it's about where you want to spend your money & how much you want to spend.

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Old 04-01-2010, 19:51   #43
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"what's safer "
The point should also be made that's what goes up, sometimes falls down. Goes boom. Breaks bones and runs up big bills when that happens.
Switching to LEDs aloft could be considered a cheap investment in safety, versus finding yourself going aloft shorthanded in adverse conditions. Or, if you've got a duplicate set of nav lights on the rails...a needless expense. The same way some folks think about roller furling/reefing.
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Old 29-05-2013, 21:08   #44
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Re: LED Replacement Running Lights

I bought one of the 36 SMD LED bulbs being sold for Aqua Signal and Hella Bi color bow lights. Paid about $10 for it and installed it in a A/S 40 series. The Red side was fine, but the Green side was definately Blue. I took it out and installed the stock 25W until I could get a Dr LED CG approved one. I wouldn't have been sure what I was seeing if I had saw a blue light one night and sure dont want the next guy trying to figure out what I am either.
Better Safe than Sorry.
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Old 29-05-2013, 22:08   #45
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Re: LED Replacement Running Lights

I have always found Jeff at marinebeam.com to have some very interesting products and a very informed site regarding quality.
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