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Old 01-06-2009, 17:53   #1
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Affordable LED Replacement Bulbs

MastLight.com has affordable LED replacement bulbs for just about any existing Nav Light out there. Simply find the bulb you want to replace on thier chart and it will give you the LED replacement. Replaced my bayonet base bulbs for less than $4.50 each!! You are going to LOVE these guys.
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Old 01-06-2009, 18:08   #2
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Excellent. Looks like you can replace interior bulbs with LED's as well with them.
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Old 01-06-2009, 19:22   #3
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You should

Not that you will care but folks should know that none of those bulbs, when put into other fixtures, will be USCG certified nav lights.

They may not even meet the criteria for getting an approval in terms of color, angle etc.. It's your boat so technically you can do what you want but do beware that those bulbs are not technically certified for use in other nav fixtures.

The only LED bulb that is certified for use in an aftermarket fixture is the DR. LED Polar Star 40 when used in an Aqua Signal series 40. Dr. LED however is quite misleading in their marketing and their site would lead you to believe all their nav bulbs are certified when they are not and only the Polar Star 40 is in an Aqua Signal series 40 all round.

I use a non certified anchor light but also have a fully functional working certified all round too. My bow and stern lights are legal LED fixtures made by Aqua Signal as LED nav lights. My steaming light is not approved, I was sold a bill of goods by Dr. LED, and did not sufficiently do my homework, it will be replaced soon with a certified fixture.

The USCG is most likely only looking to see that you are displaying lights and the proper ones and you may likely never even be asked. However in the event of a night time accident the lawyers may bring nav lights to the forefront of the case.

Just weigh your options and make the right choices for you.

LED bulbs are the snake oils of 2009 so be very careful who you buy from as all LED's are NOT created equal.

ANY NAV LIGHT IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN NONE!!!
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Old 01-06-2009, 19:49   #4
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The CG isn't going to climb your mast to check your "certified" lights, nor will they require you to. I have had two CG inspections over the years and neither time did the even ask about navigation lights--however they were extremely concerned that I didn't have a bell onboard. I pointed out that my cast iron frying pan and my hammer met the letter of the "sounding device" regulation.
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Old 01-06-2009, 19:56   #5
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Item 8 - Sound Producing Devices / Bell:
To comply with Navigation Rules and for distress signaling purposes all boats must carry a sound producing device (whistle, horn, siren, etc.) capable of a 4-second blast audible for ˝ mile. *Boats larger than 39.4 ft. are also required to have a bell (see Navigation Rules.)


*Under a recent change, a vessel 12 meters (39.4 ft) to less than 20 meters (65 ft) is no longer required to carry a bell on board.


The Coast Guard said: "The bottom-line, a bell is no longer required on a vessel less than 20 meters in length. That of course means a bell is not required for those same vessels for successful completion of a VSC."


National Department of Vessel Safety Checks

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Old 01-06-2009, 20:40   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FloridaWriter View Post
The CG isn't going to climb your mast to check your "certified" lights, nor will they require you to. I have had two CG inspections over the years and neither time did the even ask about navigation lights--however they were extremely concerned that I didn't have a bell onboard. I pointed out that my cast iron frying pan and my hammer met the letter of the "sounding device" regulation.

You sit at anchor, and a speedboat plows into you, killing someone. You bet your tail someone will find out that your lights were not CG spec, and you WILL lose in court.
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Old 01-06-2009, 21:10   #7
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OK--Just spent about an hour going thru the Coast Guard site reading THE COLORREGS for boats. It says only what color the lights have to be and what distances they have to be seen from for each size catagory boat. Placement and acceptable substitutes are discussed. If you replace an exsisting bulb with an equal LED bulb with the same or greater brightness, you are still in compliance. Nowhere did it say any particular bulb was CG Certified that I could find.
So if you know where the list of Coast Guard Certified Bulbs is, please tell me I would like to see it so I stay legal.
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Old 01-06-2009, 21:17   #8
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Well, one must have the lighting certified by a USCG approved testing lab, in order to sell it as "USCG Approved". That's why the manufacturers go through that process. If it's NOT USCG approved, then it is up to YOU to prove that it meets USCG requirements. Good luck with that. I'd not want to be your attorney.

Just as an example, take a look at this one:

http://svhotwire.com/info/?cat=115
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Old 01-06-2009, 21:30   #9
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The fixture yes, but I challenge you to show me where it says anything about the bulb except at what distance it has to be seen at, and that distance is calculated under ideal conditions,I checked. If an atorney can't prove this bulb is brighter than that one, I darn sure would't want him either. Took a look at THAT ONE and why would I spend $175 to over $300 when I can buy a $10 bulb of sufficiant brightness to go into my exsisting fixture and still meet the Regs! If you actually read the Regs you will see I'm right. Or find it in the Regs and post it here, where it says anything about what bulb you can use. It only says how far you need to be able to see the light.
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Old 01-06-2009, 23:08   #10
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RULE 22
VISIBILITY OF LIGHTS
The lights prescribed in these Rules shall have an intensity as specified in Section 8 [Intl] of Annex I to these [Regulations / Rules] so as to be visible at the following minimum ranges:

(a) In vessels of 50 meters or more in length:
  • a masthead light, 6 miles;
  • a sidelight, 3 miles;
  • a towing light, 3 miles;
  • a white red, green or yellow all-round light, 3 miles.
  • a special flashing light, 2 miles. [Inld]
(b) In vessels of 12 meters or more in length but less than 50 meters in length;
  • a masthead light, 5 miles; except that where the length of the vessel is less than 20 meters, 3 miles;
  • a sidelight, 2 miles;
  • a sternlight, 2 miles;
  • a towing light, 2 miles;
  • a white, red, green or yellow all-round light, 2 miles.
  • a special flashing light, 2 miles. [Inld]
(c) In vessels of less than 12 meters in length:
  • a masthead light, 2 miles;
  • a sidelight, 1 miles;
  • a towing light, 2 miles;
  • a white red, green or yellow all-round light, 2 miles.
  • a special flashing light, 2 miles. [Inld]
(d) In inconspicuous, partly submerged vessels or objects being towed;
  • a white all-round light; 3 miles.
So if a bulb meets the minimum range you are good to go.the special flashing light refers to towing.
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Old 02-06-2009, 06:43   #11
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The CFR Defines nav Light Parameters

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martinini View Post
The fixture yes, but I challenge you to show me where it says anything about the bulb except at what distance it has to be seen at, and that distance is calculated under ideal conditions,I checked. If an atorney can't prove this bulb is brighter than that one, I darn sure would't want him either. Took a look at THAT ONE and why would I spend $175 to over $300 when I can buy a $10 bulb of sufficiant brightness to go into my exsisting fixture and still meet the Regs! If you actually read the Regs you will see I'm right. Or find it in the Regs and post it here, where it says anything about what bulb you can use. It only says how far you need to be able to see the light.
For that you'd need the rules behind the rules. The CFR clearly defines lights:

The question is not really one of legality. The USCG will certainly NOT be climbing your mast & checking your bulbs & usually only checking to see that you use them.

The question of matter comes into play with our sleazy legal system at least here in the US. If you are involved in a nigh time accident it will likely become your job, and your expense, to prove in court that your fixture/light met the color, beam, horizontal, vertical and distance standards.

Any good maritime lawyer could attempt to make his entire case based on your use of non-certified LED lights especially when there are now plenty of "certified" options.

I was personally involved with a night time boating death (best friends father was killed). The forensics testimony, on just the nav lighting, was two full days of testimony. Both boats had legal certified bulbs and it still went on for two days. Imagine if you had non-certified bulbs..

It's not the USCG you need to worry about it's the Jim Sokolove's of the world..

The specificity for lights is well defined in the CFR.

The question is a LOT more in depth than just, can you see it 2 miles away.

Below is the criteria nav lights must meet to be USCG certified..

From 33 CFR 84:


Colors

� 84.13 Color specification of lights
(a) The chromaticity of all navigation lights shall conform to the following standards, which lie within the boundaries of the area of the diagram specified for each color by the International Commission on Illumination (CIE), in the "Colors of Light Signals", which is incorporated by reference. It is Publication CIE No. 2.2. (TC-1.6), 1975, and is available from the Illumination Engineering Society, 345 East 47th Street, New York, NY 10017. It is also available for inspection at the Office of the Federal Register, Room 8401, 1100 L Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20408. This incorporation by reference was approved by the Director of the Federal Register.
(b) The boundaries of the area for each color are given by indicating the corner coordinates, which are as follows:
(1) White:
x 0.525 0.525 0.452 0.310 0.310 0.443
y 0.382 0.440 0.440 0.348 0.283 0.382
(2) Green:
x 0.028 0.009 0.300 0.203
y 0.385 0.723 0.511 0.356
(3) Red:
x 0.680 0.660 0.735 0.721
y 0.320 0.320 0.265 0.259
(4) Yellow:
x 0.612 0.618 0.575 0.575
y 0.382 0.382 0.425 0.406

Intensity

� 84.15 Intensity of lights
(a) The minimum luminous intensity of lights shall be calculated by using the formula:
l = 3.43 x 106 x T x D2 x K-D
where: I is luminous intensity in candelas under service conditions, T is threshold factor 2 x 10-7 lux, D is range of visibility (luminous range) of the light in nautical miles, K is atmospheric transmissivity. For prescribed lights the value of K shall be 0.8, corresponding to a meteorological visibility of approximately 13 nautical miles.
(b) A selection of figures derived from the formula is given in Table 84.15(b).
Table 84.15(b)
Range of visibility (luminous Minimum
range) of light in nautical luminous intensity of light
miles in candelas tor K = 0.8
D I
1 0.9
2 4.3
3 12
4 27
5 52
6 94

Horizontal Sectors

� 84.17 Horizontal sectors
(a)
(1) In the forward direction, sidelights as fitted on the vessel shall show the minimum required intensities. The intensities shall decrease to reach practical cut-off between 1 and 3 degrees outside the prescribed sectors.
(2) For sternlights and masthead lights and at 22.5 degrees abaft the beam for sidelights, the minimum required intensities shall be maintained over the arc of the horizon up to 5 degrees within the limits of the sectors prescribed in Rule 21. From 5 degrees within the prescribed sectors the intensity may decrease by 50 percent up to the prescribed limits; it shall decrease steadily to reach practical cutoff at not more than 5 degrees outside the prescribed sectors. (b) All-round lights shall be so located as not to be obscured by masts, topmasts or structures within angular sectors of more than 6 degrees, except anchor lights prescribed in Rule 30, which need not be placed at an impracticable height above the hull, and the all-round white light described in Rule 23(d), which may not be obscured at all. (c) If it is impracticable to comply with paragraph (b) of this section by exhibiting only one all-round light, two all-round lights shall be used suitably positioned or screened to appear, as far as practicable, as one light at a minimum distance of one nautical mile.

NOTE to paragraph (c): Two unscreened all-round lights that are 1.28 meters appart or less will appear as one light to the naked eye at a distance of one nautical mile.


Vertical Sectors

� 84.19 Vertical sectors
(a) The vertical sectors of electric lights as fitted, with the exception of lights on sailing vessels underway and on unmanned barges, shall ensure that:
(1) At least the required minimum intensity is maintained at all angles from 5 degrees above to 5 degrees below the horizontal;
(2) At least 60 percent of the required minimum intensity is maintained from 7.5 degrees above to 7.5 degrees below the horizontal.
(b) In the case of sailing vessels underway the vertical sectors of electric lights as fitted shall ensure that:
(1) At least the required minimum intensity is maintained at all angles from 5 degrees above to 5 degrees below the horizontal;
(2) At least 50 percent of the required minimum intensity is maintained from 25 degrees above to 25 degrees below the horizontal.
(c) In the case of unmanned barges the minimum required intensity of electric lights as fitted shall be maintained on the horizontal.
(d) In the case of lights other than electric lights these specifications shall be met as closely as possible.





If you feel you can go up against Jim Sokolove or his buddies who would potentially be prancing about a courtroom with the above standards for nav lights then by all means go for it.

I will mention this again, it is not the USCG who will care but the lawyers will if and when you are involved in a night time accident. It is not the USCG you need to worry about it is the ambulance chasers who are looking for a case, any case, to show why their drunk defendant deserves to get off scott free.

If you have read the above CFR for nav lights and still believe you can meet these horizontal, vertical, color spectrum and intensity parameters, or feel comfortable with your choice and know they don't meet the standards, than you're good to go...


Let's run this scenario:

You are at anchor with your non certified, blueish colored LED anchor light that you saved big money on by purchasing it from an autoparts store or Mastlight.com. Joe six pack in his 32 foot Baja with 550 H.P. has been drinking all day and is blasting home when he plows into your boat and kills your child. Fast forward about two years to the trial where the lawyer for the defendant is blaming you, and convincing the jury that because you were a cheap skate, you are the reason your child is dead because his drunk defendant could not see your anchor light and thought it was a "blueish planet" or star on the horizon not a boat...

A stretch? Possibly not. I sat through two days of this type of testimony during the trial of the defendant who killed my friends father. It was two days of nav light testimony only these were certified nav lights, and yes that was brought up, and the bulbs were examined by a forensics expert to determine if the bulb was on at time of impact. The case would have been made much easier if Kim's dad had simply installed aftermarket LED's as it would have given the lawyers food for fodder..

I am in NO WAY saying or advising you not to install aftermarket bulbs but rather presenting potential outcomes, which may make you think about it more, and also what it takes to be a certified nav light.

Again I still have two non-certified bulbs on my own vessel and one of them will be changed shortly (the one Dr. LED mislead me on). The other is a secondary redundant anchor light as I feel that any light, certified or not, is always better than none..
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Old 02-06-2009, 08:27   #12
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Bingo!
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Old 02-06-2009, 10:35   #13
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ok, but what manufactures of LED are people using? there are more and more of theme out there I would just like some feedback of specific units.
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Old 02-06-2009, 11:53   #14
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Wow, great post. what a long winded way of saying you have to have proper Nav
fixtures to put your PURE WHITE LED bulbs in, not the old style blueish white leds.
The SMD LEDS put out pure white light. AS good or better then the currently certified incandescent The case you cited was about a drunk(2x over the limit was it) power boat operator who hit an anchored boat, and claimed it was the anchored boats fault because it didn't have it's anchor light on! This case wouldn't have gotten National coverage except for the fact that the DRUNK in question was rich and way Politically connected! Oh, and by the way he lost didn't he. I stand on my earlier statement that a LAWYER who can't prove this bulb is brighter than that one in front of a jury IS not one I want! Lawyers out there try to confuse the issue with BS.It is a fact not Conjecture that a SMD puts out a more pure light then the same incandescent bulb! Not equal, Better!
QUOTE:
If you have read the above CFR for nav lights and still believe you can meet these horizontal, vertical, color spectrum and intensity parameters, or feel comfortable with your choice and know they don't meet the standards, than you're good to go...

If you meet these horizontal, vertical, color spectrum and intensity parameters, then you HAVE met the Legal standards!!!!


Sorry about your Friend--DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE------------ANYTHING!!!
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Old 02-06-2009, 12:00   #15
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I agree this is a great thread!

However, I the REAL problem, goes back to the original topic:

Affordable LED Replacement Bulbs

There are no such things! They are all rediculously expensive. Down here a replacement LED for halogen bulb costs anywhere from $NZ28 to $NZ60!!!

And that's just interior bulbs!
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