Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 08-02-2012, 15:42   #31
Registered User
 
hans van os's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Belgium
Boat: Scanmar 35
Posts: 3
Re: Problems with Dr. LED Lights

Just replaced my swedish chart table light with Dr. Led red/white led unit.
this new light is grossly overpriced. Installation is difficult because of the flat bottom with no room to house some wire connectors.
I had to takeaway the bottomplate to solder the wires coming from the wall, with no place to get behind the wall. I was able to wiggle the wires inside the bottom part and mount the light.
The flexible arm is too light and doesn't stay horizontal.
Further there is a terrible RF interference on both red and white light.
All my other LED's bought in UK were cheaper, better, and no RF interference.
Sorry, thumbs down.
__________________

__________________
hans van os is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2012, 16:00   #32
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,751
Re: Problems with Dr. LED Lights

I've been using various LED units -- G4's and festoons -- for nearly three years. Nary a problem with any of them except for two Superbright LED units which exploded when first powered up.

I intentionally tried a variety of them from super cheap (but still, buck regulated, of necessity since I am 24v) to super expensive, and found them all to be good, except the two mentioned before.

Did not try any Dr LED, but this should be relevant to the general topic of reliability of LED lighting.
__________________

__________________
Dockhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2012, 19:07   #33
Registered User
 
Bill_E's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: New Mexico and Puerto Rico
Boat: Sunbeam, 37, Ziamar
Posts: 300
Re: Problems with Dr. LED Lights

I've tried a couple of Superbright LEDs and they work fine. I've also had excellent results with Marinebeam. I just ordered a masthead (anchor) light from Bebi and am looking forward to receiving it in the next couple of days.

I have to say that the Bebi and Marinebeam websites have excellent discussions of things like spectral output and luminance. I know not everyone is interested in all of the technical details but especially for Nav lights you have to worry about the color of the light and the color of your lens (red and green) also the total luminance per watt.

I've been slowly replacing interior lamps with drop in replacements. I understand the issue of voltage spikes but so far haven't had any failures. I'm pretty sure that my refrigerators and some other equipment must spike.

I had an LED anchor light installed when I rerigged my boat several years ago and it (sort of) failed after about a year. I was able to revive it by cleaning and doing some minor rewiring but I'm really looking forward to the Bebi Owl that I'll install in the next week or so. They look pretty bomb proof. And...Michael (at Bebi, in Fiji) has been extremely helpful and gracious with aid for my plans for more replacements.
__________________
Don't believe everything you think
Bill_E is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2012, 22:49   #34
Registered User
 
stillbuilding's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Hong Kong
Boat: Custom Freya 20m
Posts: 961
Noting the wide range of quality in LED lights, I presume there is a similar wide range in RF interference.
Is there a simple way of measuring RFI such that I could check at time of purchase in the shop?
Has anyone/any authoritycompiled a list of LED products and there RFI issues?
__________________
stillbuilding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2012, 03:57   #35
Registered User
 
transmitterdan's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2011
Boat: Valiant 42
Posts: 4,028
LED's do not cause RFI. The regulator circuit that powers the LED is what causes RFI. There is no good way to know in advance how much RFI a particular regulator circuit will create. It depends on the wiring from the boat to the fixture as well as the design of the fixture itself. It even depends on the voltage level at the input to the fixture. It also depends on the location of your radio antennas.

In general, RFI can be corrected by putting a simple filter at the power inlet to each fixture. Some manufacturers do this but many do not because adding cost is not in their business interest. Some masthead LED manufacturers recognize this as a real problem and include RFI filtering because of the proximity to VHF masthead antennas. Some even advertise this fact.

There are standards for measuring RFI in the US and other countries. Many products must comply wth RFI limits established by a local regulatory authority (FCC in US). So far there are no rules for LED lights that guarantee RFI will not be a problem. I suspect if such rules were proposed then LED light manufacturers would go berserk because it costs a lot to test and certify each product. But this is a real problem and many manufacturers will continue to eliminate the cost of RFI filtering until something is done. I suspect that the boater market is not large enough to drive the LED industry to voluntarily limit RFI from their products.

Dan
Valiant 42
__________________
transmitterdan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-02-2012, 23:38   #36
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Panama
Boat: Alberg 30, 30' sloop.
Posts: 59
Re: Problems with Dr. LED Lights

I bought the Dr LED goose-neck light (has option for Red or White light) for my nav station. The White stopped working, I emailed Dr. LED and the quickly sent out a replacement at no cost to me, excellent service. Never had any problems with the installation, the goose neck getting too loose, or radio interference (and I use the SSB a lot). When I'm on passage I leave the Red light on 24/7 at 0.05 amps.

I also bought the replacement mast head anchor light and Tri color for the aqua signal housing, been on the boat for nearly 4 years and 20k miles, no problems, very happy with DR. LED.
__________________
kirkalittle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-11-2012, 17:54   #37
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Panama
Boat: Alberg 30, 30' sloop.
Posts: 59
Re: Problems with Dr. LED Lights

Quick update, after 5 years the mast head lights are still fine, BUT I finally got around to installing the new gooseneck red/white light that they sent for free to replace the old one with no white, the white light on the new one doesn't work either.. Hmmm... What to do with two red only gooseneck lights...
__________________
kirkalittle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-02-2013, 15:04   #38
Registered User
 
Cpt Pat's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2012
Boat: Pearson Ariel, 26 feet
Posts: 158
Re: Problems with Dr. LED Lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by dpollitt View Post
Has anyone had problems with Dr Led lights?

(...)

david pollitt
See attached photo. Less then a year in service, my two "Kevin" lights both dissolved from exposure to seawater spray. Half the LEDs have failed from water intrusion. The paint started to peal after only a few days in service, and you can remove it now from anywhere on the unit with a fingernail. If you look closely, you can see it cracking on the heatsink fins. The underlying metal has turned to powder.

When I asked Dr LED what the problem was, they said they have improved the PAINT. Since two LED lamps failed and are now swimming in saltwater, that implies only the paint separates the LEDs from the elements. How about using an alloy that doesn't turn to powder in the presence of seawater instead (316 stainless, cupronickel, etc.)?

Definitely not a product line for boats!

These Dr. LED products are grossly overpriced for their quality and seaworthiness.


Try Larson Electronics/Magnalight instead.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN2586.jpg
Views:	198
Size:	404.4 KB
ID:	55668  
__________________
Cpt Pat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-02-2013, 15:56   #39
Registered User
 
Cpt Pat's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2012
Boat: Pearson Ariel, 26 feet
Posts: 158
Re: Problems with Dr. LED Lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by transmitterdan View Post
(...) But this is a real problem and many manufacturers will continue to eliminate the cost of RFI filtering until something is done. I suspect that the boater market is not large enough to drive the LED industry to voluntarily limit RFI from their products.

Dan
Valiant 42
Good analysis Dan! Spot on!

I've worked in RF engineering for 40 years, and hold every FCC operator's license at the highest possible class (Amateur Extra, GMDSS Op/Maintainer with radar, General Class Commercial, etc.). I've put some LEDs on my boat that could be quieted down with a 10 cent ceramic capacitor and a ferrite choke, but some defied all measures of RFI suppression -- except completely surrounding them with aluminum foil, which, until someone invents transparent aluminum (where's Scotty from StarTrek when you need him?) rather defeats the purpose. Some LEDs are all-band transmitters that are as bad as the (now banned) sparkgap transmitters of the early 20th century.

Some of the LEDs (or more properly - internal LED buck regulators) I've seen must be emitting as much RF as light! I looked at them - aghast - on a spectrum analyzer and I can't believe any engineer with more than Shop School training could design them. I shudder to think how noisy the RF spectrum will become once LEDs get wider adoption in DC environments like automobiles, but I suspect we'll be able to hear cars coming on our SSB radios as well as you can now hear a vintage Volkswagen Beetle's ignition system from a mile away. Unless we can accept wiping out the entire HF and VHF band, somebody's gotta do something to silence these noisy LEDs!

In the current US political environment, I'm sure we'll hear cries about Jackbooted FCC Thugs interfering with small business, but the RF spectrum is a valuable public property that needs some policing.
__________________
Cpt Pat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-02-2013, 15:36   #40
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Concord, NC
Boat: 1986 CS 30
Posts: 207
Send a message via Yahoo to Hank Kivett
Re: Problems with Dr. LED Lights

I have not had any dealing with Dr.LED but have with superbright and so far so good..i replaced all my interrior lights with LED's and now in the process of putting togother the anchor and running lights...I did find another source and its called "BDGates>com..dont know much about them so they seem to much cheaper than the rest but that may not be good either..
__________________
Hank Kivett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2013, 12:09   #41
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Tampa, FL
Boat: Yankee 30'
Posts: 143
Re: Problems with Dr. LED Lights

Five years ago, getting ready for an offshore race, I have glued a bare Dr.LEDs Polar Star 40 tricolor bulb (no housing) on Antea's masthead. Well, I stuck a little plastic sombrero on top of it to keep the worst of UV off. It was supposed to be temporary, although I liked the price and the next to no weight. The sombrero's gone now, after three years in Florida sun and a two year cruise from Florida to Turkey and back. The bulb housing is translucent yellow, the output diminished but the bulb still works. Time to replace it. I have a question: DrLED website shows tricolor Polar Star MkII (8001450) to be alternately a single LED bulb with a conical reflector or a three sector multi-LED cluster (like the one I still have on the meast head). Which is it? I suspect the "hi-intensity" single LED bulb is white and will only work inside colored lens housing? Can't imagine a single LED could produce three color sectors. Am I right? Is the old style tricolor bulb available?
I would like to install a proper tricolor light, but I am fanatical about (among other things) weights aloft, to say nothing about cost. Words of wisdom on the subjects from anyone? Standa
__________________
sv.antea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-03-2013, 12:43   #42
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Tampa, FL
Boat: Yankee 30'
Posts: 143
Re: Problems with Dr. LED Lights

OK, no replies, but mystery solved. The DrLED Polar Star MarkII tricolor bulb with single LED and cone reflector gives off mostly white light, slightly tinted red and green in appropriate (and aproximate) sectors: apparently it has to be surrounded by segmented color lenses. Will not work in clear housing or alone. A nice salesman at Tampa's West Marine hooked it up for me at the store to a 12V supply.
__________________
sv.antea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-10-2013, 15:45   #43
Registered User
 
Cpt Pat's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2012
Boat: Pearson Ariel, 26 feet
Posts: 158
Re: Problems with Dr. LED Lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by stillbuilding View Post
Noting the wide range of quality in LED lights, I presume there is a similar wide range in RF interference.
Is there a simple way of measuring RFI such that I could check at time of purchase in the shop?
Has anyone/any authoritycompiled a list of LED products and there RFI issues?
There is a way, but it's neither simple nor cheap: Bring along a 12 volt supply. Use an analog supply, so it doesn't add its own RFI to the mix. Power up the LED, and observe the output on a spectrum analyzer in an RF-quiet environment (ideally, a Faraday cage). What passes for a "quiet" light, and what doesn't, is a matter of personal taste - but I wouldn't pass anything that adds more than 6 db to the noise floor between 140 and 170 MHz.

The other poster here who observed the LEDs themselves aren't the source of the RFI is correct: it's the DC-to-DC switching supplies in the lights that are intended to give them a constant intensity over a large voltage range. The fast rise times on the switches (usually MOSFETs) make them "all band transmitters." LEDs with simple resistive current limiters don't produce any measurable RFI. Someday, the manufacturers will include the RF shielding and $2 worth of bypassing capacitors that are needed to quiet down the switching supplies.
__________________
Cpt Pat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-10-2013, 15:51   #44
Registered User
 
Cpt Pat's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2012
Boat: Pearson Ariel, 26 feet
Posts: 158
Re: Problems with Dr. LED Lights

Buyer beware: The Dr. LEDs marketed as "Polar Star 40" are only certified for POWER DRIVEN VESSELS. What's the difference? A navigation light for power driven vessels must have 60% intensity over only +/- 7.5 degrees in the vertical sector, whereas sailing vessels are presumed to heel, and so lights certified for sailing need 50% intensity over +/- 25 degrees vertical.

The Dr. LED certification document itself limits the cert to power driven vessels.

Reference: COLREGS, Annex I, section 10(b)(ii). (http://www.uscg.mil/directives/cim/1...m_16672_2d.pdf)
__________________
Cpt Pat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-10-2013, 07:15   #45
Marine Service Provider
 
Maine Sail's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Maine
Boat: CS-36T - Cupecoy
Posts: 3,060
Re: Problems with Dr. LED Lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpt Pat View Post
Buyer beware: The Dr. LEDs marketed as "Polar Star 40" are only certified for POWER DRIVEN VESSELS. What's the difference? A navigation light for power driven vessels must have 60% intensity over only +/- 7.5 degrees in the vertical sector, whereas sailing vessels are presumed to heel, and so lights certified for sailing need 50% intensity over +/- 25 degrees vertical.

The Dr. LED certification document itself limits the cert to power driven vessels.

Reference: COLREGS, Annex I, section 10(b)(ii). (http://www.uscg.mil/directives/cim/1...m_16672_2d.pdf)
Which bulb are you referring to? I have the IMANNA labs certification reports right here in front of me.

WHITE - Here is the summation for the Aquasignal Series 40 All Round White with Polarstar 40 white LED bulb:

"7.0 COMMENTS AND OBSERVATIONS
The data from these tests show that the Aqua Signal Series 40 AAW navigation light meets the requirements of the standards listed above for sail or power driven vessels under 20 meters in length when equipped with the Dr. LED replacement LED light source. Test equipment used in the performance of these tests was calibrated to standards traceable to the N.I.S.T. The results of the tests presented herein apply only to the test specimen as prepared and as tested."


RED - The red Polarstar 40 bulbs say this:

"7.0 COMMENTS AND OBSERVATIONS
Test equipment used in the performance of these tests was calibrated to standards traceable to the N.I.S.T. The results of the tests presented herein apply only to the test specimen as prepared and as tested. The data from these tests show that the sample tested meets all of the performance requirements of the standards listed above for sail or power driven vessels under 20 meters in length."


GREEN = But the green Polarstar 40 bulb says this:

"7.0 COMMENTS AND OBSERVATIONS

The data from these tests show that the sample tested meets all of the requirements of a two mile light specified in the standards listed above for power driven vessels 12 to 20 meters in length."



Seems like only the Polarstar 40 red and Polarstar 40 all round white have approvals on for use in Aquasignal Series 40 fixtures for sail boats.

I find it odd that people assume getting a nav light certification is easy. Here we have only a color change from red to green, in the same LED bulb, by the same manufacturer, and we lose sailboat certification on green but not on red....
__________________

__________________
Marine How To Articles
Maine Sail is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
led lights

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
LED Lights and ColRegs Weyalan Marine Electronics 11 03-08-2016 09:57
Bebi LED lights Michael Homsany Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 16 14-07-2010 21:35
LED Utility Lights ? SvenG Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 6 18-12-2009 05:58
LED running lights Dmarina General Sailing Forum 27 02-04-2009 14:47
LED lights ub1 Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 6 24-02-2008 05:33



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 22:14.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.