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Old 28-08-2006, 20:20   #1
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LED bulbs

I would like to replace the bulbs in my navigation lights with LED's. Where are they sold?
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Old 28-08-2006, 20:58   #2
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All the usual suspects, like Sailnet and West Marine.

They ARE still kinda pricey, but if you don't want to go aloft for the next ten years, possibly worthwhile.

Expect to replace the entire FIXTURE, not just the bulb. Getting LEDs to meet the requirements for direction and brightness usually means they will be integral to the new fixture.
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Old 29-08-2006, 02:40   #3
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Best value is to source direct on the web. Google for a USA supplier. Over this side we've used ultraleds.co.uk and thier site might be a useful guide for you.
hellorsailor is right at present about dedicted fittings being best (in most cases only) legal LED lighting - but this should change shortly.
Most of the major nav lamp manufacturers (ie Hella, Acquasignal, etc) do have new LED models in for EU compliance testing so I'd expect a range of LED globes to fit their existing lamps to be also available inside 12 months.
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Old 29-08-2006, 05:14   #4
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LED

http://www.fourwinds-ii.com/lednavig...gation.htm#led
http://www.bebi-electronics.com/index.html

http://www.superbrightleds.com/other.htm
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Old 29-08-2006, 06:15   #5
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http://www.mastlight.com/Products/1156Twhite.html

This one is the first that I have seen that incorporates a fresnel lense. To better focus and "even out" the focus of the led light.
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Old 29-08-2006, 07:13   #6
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I'm confused. And distrustful of marketing gimmicks.

LEDs usually have a very tight beam of high brightness, or a wide beam of VERY low brightness, which is why it is so hard to build up an assembly with both brightness and beam spread to meet legal specs. So the LED assemblies usually require lots of high brightness LEDs made up in an array to provide the bright wide beam combination.

And Fresnel lenses are used to *concentrate* light. When concentrated light (the light bright beams) is the problem with LEDs in the first place.

Sounds like a gimmick because "it looks cool".
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Old 29-08-2006, 12:14   #7
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how timely

I just got finished looking up sources myself.
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www.superbrightleds.com
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Old 29-08-2006, 12:18   #8
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So am I to understand that there is not a direct LED replacment for the regular bulbs that I am now using??
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Old 29-08-2006, 13:41   #9
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LED

This might be helpful,
http://www.bebi-electronics.com/index.html
Bill,
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Old 29-08-2006, 14:38   #10
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Blue Water Ships Stores sells LED masthead tricolor and other LED running lights. They are expensive. You may have to call them directly. As hellosailor mentioned simply replacing the bulbs with LED bulbs is unlikely to meet COLREGS.
http://www.bluewatershipsstore.com/
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Old 29-08-2006, 21:58   #11
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Gunner-
"So am I to understand that there is not a direct LED replacment for the regular bulbs that I am now using??"
Short answer: No, there is not.

Longer answer:<G>
While there are people who are making LEDs into assemblies that fit into the same sockets as many 12V bulbs...the problem is, these are unregulated and unapproved devices.
Your nav lights (assuming they are USCG approved, which is normal for production boats in the US) are approved as FIXTURES. The specified bulb is one part of that fixture, and if you change that bulb to some other type, there's no way to say if the fixture will now meet COLREGS standards.
COLREGS specify the vertical and horizontal beam spreads, and brightness, and specific colors. Well, the LEDs will meet the colors well enough.<G> But a 79-cent "automobile" bulb puts out roughly uniform brightness over a whole sphere. LEDs typically put out their rated brightness over a tiny 10-20 degree "cone". In order to get enough of them together to match the cheap 79-cent bulb....you need an awful lot of them, precisely picked and assembled.
The same problem applies to cars. Sure, you can buy "LED brake lights" but they are illegal, none of them meets even the simple DOT specification to be used in tail or brake lights after all these years.
The folks who do actually sort and select LEDs and design whole fixtures and submit them for USCG certification? Gotta charge for it. And if you try to build your own, the price will come very close to what they are selling approved ones for.
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Old 30-08-2006, 14:45   #12
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LED bulbs have an extremely high failure rate . Just check the burned out ones on busses. My first LED flashligh burned out the bul in a couple of months and others I've talked to had the same experience. Per watt of consumption they put out les light than a halogen bulb. They just apper brighter because they are more focussed.
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Old 30-08-2006, 16:29   #13
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"LED bulbs have an extremely high failure rate ." Not so. What you are missing is that PROPERLY SELECTED AND ENGINEERED APPLICATIONS, or the failure to make same, are the key. An LED should and can last something like 100,000 hours in service. But for bus marker lights, there are laws requiring specific brightness of the lights. You get brightness by running the LED at or above maximum design parameters, and you can make a cheap 49c LED as bright as an expensive $7 LED, if you are willing to replace it after a year or two when it burns out. OK, not quite as bright, but the array is still plenty bright. Those vehicle marker lights are intended to have multiple burnouts. the logic is that if you have a commercial vehicle and you burn out a safety lamp, you now have to pull it off the road and have a union mechanic replace it--making the cost of replacing a light bulb nearly $200, more if you figure the cost of pulling the vehicle out of service for an entire day. So...You have a marker light with 24 LEDs in it, and you don't pull the vehicle until half of them have burned out and there's routine depot maintenance going on anyway. And you buy the marker light for $20 instead of $100. Net saving? Right, $80 per marker by using LEDs that are intended to be consumed and replaced.

Your flashlight...I suspect was just the random failure, or the usual "let's make it as cheap as we can". The LEDs in my first "big digits" digital clock ran over ten years, day and night, 24x7, before it was too dim and I replaced it. With zero out of maybe 4 dozen LEDs failed.

Don't blame the tools for the poor workman.<G>

Halogen is nice...but my single-LED pocket light will burn 40 hours on a single AA cell. That's not as bright as a halogen light--but I know I can rely on it to make SOME light all year long. And not need a new bulb for my lifetime.
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Old 26-10-2006, 03:34   #14
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The light bulb was invented in the 1800s. Isn't it due for replacement?

Group IV Semiconductor Inc < http://www.groupivsemi.com/ > says it has developed a silicon-based lighting technology that's 80 per cent more efficient than the average 60-watt light bulb, lasts up to 20 times longer, and is more affordable and better quality than compact fluorescent bulbs.

In simplest terms, "it's a piece of silicon that we put electricity across and it glows," explains Naor, also chief executive of Group IV. "Our goal is to make it glow bright enough so you can replace a light bulb with it."

Like LEDs, Group IV's technology is considered "solid state lighting", because the light is emitted from a solid semiconductor material that produces virtually no heat and isn't vulnerable to vibration.

In solid-state lamps, semiconductors such as LEDs (light-emitting diodes) convert electricity directly into light without having to activate a gas (as in fluorescents) or heat a filament (as in incandescent bulbs). This conserves a great deal of energy. SSL lamps also last far longer than conventional lamps. But LEDs have not achieved the brightness levels people are accustomed to with conventional lights, and the compound semiconductor materials on which LEDs are based remain stubbornly expensive to manufacture.

Silicon has proved its versatility and cost-effectiveness time and again in semiconductors used for computing, mobile communications and other areas of technology. Group IV is working rapidly to put those advantages to use in a solid-state light engine that will enable the creation of lamps as bright as their conventional counterparts—and more efficient than fluorescents. These silicon-based SSL products will be designed for use with today’s standard bulb-and-socket fixtures, making them open to rapid adoption by end-users.

The goal is to manufacture a mass-market bulb product prototype by 2008.
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Old 26-10-2006, 06:17   #15
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We just replaced the anchor light in our tricolor with a LED replacement bulb we got from Hotwire the KISS generator folks. Went in OK will report back in a few months as to how it holds up.
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