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Old 01-02-2007, 03:10   #1
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LED Nav Lights get 'Approval'

Hella Marine gets German type approval
Hella's “NaviLED PRO” navigation lamps have been certified by German classification authority BSH* for boats up to 50m (164ft) in length.
The 2Nm LED lights carry official BSH type approval numbers for German inland waterways and the open sea.
* Bundesamt Für Seeschiffahrt & Hydrographie

More info:
News & Products from Hella marine - Hella marine
And:
News & Products from Hella marine - Hella marine
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Old 01-02-2007, 08:23   #2
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Dr. LED

Went to the Seattle Boat Show last night and saw that Dr LED replacement LED "bulbs" are now USCG certified. His business has a website from which orders can be placed although I have not personally made an order. I have bought a 120V type bulb, though, and am satisfied.

Eventually I will buy LED replacements for my nav lights and have heretofore not been willing to do so without USCG approval. I can imagine what a real marine lawyer would do if there was a nighttime collision and it was discovered that my nav lights did not meet USCG standards, even if it was not ostensibly my fault!
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Old 01-02-2007, 09:03   #3
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dr. led

Good news on Dr LED getting CG approval. Last year I replaced both running lights with Dr LEDs as well as the lens on Seraph's Aqua Signal25s. They seem to as bright or brighter than the bulbs I replaced. They are very well made units. Expensive to be sure. I've also replaced two of Seraph's 6 interior halogen bulbs with led replacement found here. http://www.superbrightleds.com/bi-pin.html. Not being sure which I'd like better I got one MR16-WLX3 warm (44 lumens) and one MR16-WLX3 cool (55 lumens). The main reason was to get rid of the god awful heat that those halogen bulbs produce as well as the current reduction. So far I'm leaning toward the brighter of the two. It's a better reading light, but the warm is a better overall light. But, since these lamps are primarily for reading, the more light the better.
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Old 01-02-2007, 19:43   #4
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Hi all If NOT getting run down is the primary purpose of your Nav lights then having Non "aproved" lights that run all night with a decent brightness is to me a better option than dull battery drained "aproved" lights. l have been running ....SSSShhh.....home made LED Nav lights for several years (and internal) Its simply fantastic. One small solar panel keeps the whole lot going. The lights can be seen for the required distance. Does the rules state that they must comply to the distance specifations or do they have to be from a aproved manufacturer ? l would like to see the test case with kerosine burning lanterns...........Cheers Martin
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Old 01-02-2007, 20:12   #5
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legal versus practical

I applaud your inventiveness in your attempts to use minimal light. Too bad for the rest of us who may not see you if for no other reason than you do not know for sure if you even meet the minimum standards for us to see you.

The logic that you are using is similar to someone who does not get pregnant without the best form of birth control. Theoretically one could go forever without any means of prevention and not realize a zygote, much to your pleasure. On the other hand one could have 16 children in 12 years. This is why there are at least some minimal standards which you don't know if you meet.

I have made, for instance, several trips between the Straits of San Juan de Fuca and San Diego without radar. On those trips I saw few other vessels. When I made my first trip using radar (as well as others) I saw MANY MANY other small craft in my immediate vicinity that I could not otherwise see. Many of those had NO navigation lights or lights which could only be seen at 100 yards or less. What is the responsibility here?
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Old 01-02-2007, 21:43   #6
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Yeah, Cooper... I might have to say have a look at your local Colregs publication and have those lights tested out to be sure they are emitting the proper wavelength at the proper intensity for the proper arc required.

I am also taking the plunge into LED nav lights, as my masthead (anchor) light blew out at the very end of last fall. I don't feel like replacing it all the time or having it eat away at the batteries, so it's time for an LED.

As to how I will get it up there... no clue. I hate heights.

I stuck with halogen interior floodlights as I enjoy the warm glow, even at the cost of efficiency. However, I light my entire salon at 25 watts or less total power under most circumstances... and when we are at anchor, we usually go to sleep when it gets dark out anyway.... ha ha!
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Old 01-02-2007, 23:04   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cooper
Does the rules state that they must comply to the distance specifations or do they have to be from a aproved manufacturer ? l would like to see the test case with kerosine burning lanterns...........Cheers Martin
here's the visibility requirements:
Rule 22: Visibility of Lights

here's the requirements for color and intensity
http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/mwv/navrules/an...annex_1Intl.htm

here's the color diagram
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International...on_Illumination

here's the lack of certification of nav lights required for recreational vessels in 97 and confusion with optional letter of certification
http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-m/regs/PDF/NavLightsOct97.pdf


here's certification of light and fixture required on rec vessels built after 2002
http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/EPA-IMPA...-01/i27385.htm

My interpretation of this, is that you can put anything you want on a pre 2002 boat. How it works in reality is an allegedly drunk powerboater hit one of our club's keelboats at night some years ago. He got out of most of his legal problems and troubles by having the club boat surveyed. The factory installed lights didn't meet colregs. I didn't see the report, so I don't know how they didn't, but there was nothing obscuring the lights, they were a well known brand, the bow lights were mounted on the molded in flats on the hull, the stern light was not noticably cocked on its mount and they all were working.



Kerosene doesn't have to pass. In the annex page above.

11. Intensity of non-electric lights
Non-electric lights shall so far as practicable comply with the minimum intensities, as specified in the Table given in Section 8 of this Annex.

John
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Old 05-02-2007, 19:56   #8
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quote"Too bad for the rest of us who may not see you if for no other reason than you do not know for sure if you even meet the minimum standards for us to see you." But that is the whole point..........Mine can be seen .......All Night.........and my Nav lights are brighter than most...including "brand named" ones. How do l know, simple l turned them on ...got off the boat and walked.....and walked.....and walked.....until the lights of the other boat could barely be seen but you could still see mine....and it was way greater distance than the regs require....By the way does anyone else run top mast all round colours and standard nav lights (as provided for in the regs) at the same time like l do.....greatly increases the posibility of being seen...
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Old 24-06-2007, 20:32   #9
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Not just Cheap Inventiveness, he's got Initiative

Yeah Rick....Cooper said in the first place "....The lights can be seen for the required distance...."....and now he's elaborated on his own real-world tests too,...not being cheap, he's being smart and resourceful....testing real-world instead of the mishmash of so-called "Regs".

Cooper, I'm pretty handy with a butane-powered soldering pencil while hanging in a Bosun's Chair on the mast of my 27 at 35 feet, so how 'bout emailing me how you did it? I'll go straight to Radio Shack (or one of our company's tech labs where I have friends ), and round up suitable LED's tomorrow! Did you just take old sockets, break the glass off them, and solder LED's in?

And to whoever it was that said they'd like to install an LED anchor light, if they only knew how to get up there....I bought a block and line setup that basically amounts to a Boom Vang, and using that I can hoist myself up to the top of my 35ft mast, and back down, solo, and it's totally safe...there's a cam cleat on the bottom block you hook the bosun's chair to, so it grabs the line...you can't fall....it'll only go up or down about a foot or two at a time...so it takes 15 minutes or so to hoist yourself up there, or back down....

...and yes, it's very scary the first 2 or 3 times up there, where you're convinced you alone are going to flip the boat by your weight being up at the top of the mast,...but trust me,...it won't, you can't, and you'll get used to the bit of wagging around up there...and will find you actually prefer to be there alone...because the bored wife or girlfriend down below, moving around on deck or in the cabin, will get you to swinging up there and you'll be yelling "what the hell are you doing down there!!!"

And, by the way Rick, regarding your indignance at the many dark boats your radar illuminated, considering where you were (off the coast of Mexico?), did you ever think that maybe many of them were doing something that they didn't WANT to be seen doing, like transporting something maybe?? You might want to bring along a 45 to go with your new radar!
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Old 24-06-2007, 20:40   #10
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pirate "Whoever it was...."

Oh, sorry SSulivan....didn't read back to see who it was re: how to get up there.....

Stenn

p.s. I think I paid about $150 for the vang setup (though I don't think they called it that), from SailCare.com, tell 'em Jeff from Annapolis sent you for the Bosun's Chair setup Jerry put together for him...you won't see it in their catalog (although I've urged him to market it)

...plus another $90!!!! for the Bosun's Chair from West Marine....now that I see how those damned things are made, I wish I had built that myself.....there's nothing to a Bosun's Chair!! Why we're paying more than $50 I'll never know! Maybe that's another thing we need the Chinese to start making for WalMart?
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Old 25-06-2007, 03:52   #11
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Like this cooper?

Lights & Shapes; Navigation Rules: Part C

Rule 25: Rule 25: Sailing Vessels Underway and Vessels Under Oars

(a) A sailing vessel underway shall exhibit:

1. sidelights;
2. a sternlight.

(b) In a sailing vessel of less than 20 meters in length the lights prescribed in paragraph (a) of this Rule may be combined in one lantern carried at or near the top of the mast where it can best be seen.

(c) A sailing vessel underway may, in addition to the lights prescribed in paragraph (a) of this Rule, exhibit at or near the top of the mast, where they can best be seen, two all-round lights in a vertical line, the upper being red and the lower Green, but these lights shall not be exhibited in conjunction with the combined lantern permitted by paragraph (b) of this Rule.
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Old 25-06-2007, 07:01   #12
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Light Configuration

Thanks for the information and illustration Gord.

Any DIY'er is my kind of person, so I have a lot of respect for somebody like Cooper, who takes it upon themselves to figure out solutions, rather than pay some so-called "professional" that you presume knows what they're doing.

Regarding that illustration, I have NEVER seen a boat that had Red and Green presented vertically at the mast-head, or at mid-mast. All of my original factory lighting is present and working, and I've got simple white at mast-head and at mid-mast, and so does every other boat I've seen, so the "Rules" you're quoting don't seem to be taken as Gospel by anybody.

That's not to say I'm not interested in complying with them...anything that improves the odds and conditions is worth doing....and I think Cooper said he did actually do the colors at the top, and that they are perfectly visible....that was the first time I had ever heard of colors on the mast actually....good to know.

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Old 25-06-2007, 07:28   #13
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Lightbulb Reread

After re-reading those regs, I understand why I've never seen red and green atop the mast. The only reason you would do that is if you DON'T have bow and stern lights, at which point the regs say you "may" combine them at the mast-head, not "Shall." Even my little 22 had a full complement of bow "side lights" and stern light, and my 27 certainly does, so I expect the combining of lights at the mast-head to be more common on really little boats.

At any rate, the original discussion was not on placement requirements, but on the fact that LED lights, and those brands mentioned in particular, are now approved by the Coast Guard. Cooper's point that seemed to draw so much criticism was, I'd say, misunderstood. He was trying to say don't just brainlessly trust some stamp of approval for a bulb, in this case the old incandescents that could drain your battery by dawn, when there's an equally bright, new alternative (LED's) that will still be perfectly bright at dawn as it was when you went to bed, because they're not drawing any significant current.

As someone who works in the defense industry, where we have just spent the last year spending/wasting millions of dollars to cope with a stupid 1940's regulation people forgot was still on the books, that protected the U.S. smelting industry by mandating that all stainless steel screws and "specialty metals" have their original ingots smelted in the U.S. or an allied country (they didn't care if the screws themselves were made in China!)...I can vouch for Cooper's concern that we use our own brains and judgement in outfitting and improving our vessels, rather than blindly follow what are often outdated government mandates without question.

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Old 25-06-2007, 07:39   #14
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My unstated point was that most boats with hull or rail mounted sidelights and mast-top nav’ lights incorrectly utilize a tri-color at the mast-top. The tri-color mast-top and conventional sidelights should not be used together.
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Old 25-06-2007, 09:36   #15
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Originally Posted by cooper
By the way does anyone else run top mast all round colours and standard nav lights (as provided for in the regs) at the same time like l do.....greatly increases the posibility of being seen...
To expand on what Gord has been saying, because I have gotten into long arguments with many people. Look at the wording carefully on the light rules.

part b says you can show your nav red/green/white lights in a single fixture at the top of the mast, not in addition to the nav lights at deck level. The tricolor at the masthead can only be used under sail, if you have a motor, you still have to have the deck level nav lights that you will show when motoring or motorsailing (with the tricolor off). Partially because, how would you show your white steaming light over the forward nav lights, if you only had the masthead tricolor?

part c says in ADDITION to your deck level nav lights you can show an all round red over an all round green at the top of your mast while sailing.

If Cooper is saying show a tricolor and the deck level lights at the same time, think about what the other boat will see in the dark! Remember they cannot see your boat or its orientation. If they are coming up on your port side they will see red over red, yes that is most certainly going to get attention (probably mostly just confusion as the lights will probably appear to far apart), but not the attention you were looking for. All the other orientation possibilities are going to be equally ambiguous or confusing.

The all round red over green at the masthead choice, greatly increases visibility, and is unique for sailboats, but gives no directionality, thus the reason you also run your deck level nav lights.


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