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Old 24-05-2018, 05:52   #1
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Photo Sensor for Anchor Light

Considering installing a photo sensor that automatically turns on the anchor light at night and off again when the sun comes up. Decision is what sensor and where to install it. Anybody have any experience with this?
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Old 24-05-2018, 07:20   #2
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Re: Photo Sensor for Anchor Light

Some solar regulators will do this.

If you install a seperate dedicated automatic day night switch check the power consumption. LED anchor lights do not consume much. The power consumption of some day/night switches can be a significant. So you need one of the low consumption switches to make the exersise worthwhile.

Leaving the anchor light on 24 hours can be an option.
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Old 24-05-2018, 07:46   #3
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Re: Photo Sensor for Anchor Light

There are LED bulbs with built-in photocells available. Does exactly what you want without additional wiring.
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Old 24-05-2018, 09:19   #4
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Re: Photo Sensor for Anchor Light

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Originally Posted by mottseng View Post
Considering installing a photo sensor that automatically turns on the anchor light at night and off again when the sun comes up. Decision is what sensor and where to install it. Anybody have any experience with this?
Made one a while ago, works great, no more watching the sun go down at happy hour worried about the anchor light not turned on..

Light dependant resistors are these:-
https://pi.gate.ac.uk/pages/airpi-files/PD0001.pdf
One of these as a FET..
ALLDATASHEET.COM - Datasheet search site for Electronic Components and Semiconductors and other semiconductors.

Read more at DIY auto turn on anchor light circuit?


LDR is attached to the corner of a port with a wire going up to a plastic enclosure velcroed to a bulkhead out of the way.

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Old 24-05-2018, 09:23   #5
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Re: Photo Sensor for Anchor Light

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Originally Posted by jamhass View Post
There are LED bulbs with built-in photocells available. Does exactly what you want without additional wiring.
This^. Installed in my anchor and tricolor at start of this season. Awesome.
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Old 24-05-2018, 09:28   #6
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Re: Photo Sensor for Anchor Light

One from Marinebeam:

https://store.marinebeam.com/smart-l...be-n3-tri-cmb/
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Old 24-05-2018, 10:02   #7
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Re: Photo Sensor for Anchor Light

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Originally Posted by conachair View Post
Made one a while ago, works great, no more watching the sun go down at happy hour worried about the anchor light not turned on..

Light dependant resistors are these:-
https://pi.gate.ac.uk/pages/airpi-files/PD0001.pdf
One of these as a FET..
ALLDATASHEET.COM - Datasheet search site for Electronic Components and Semiconductors and other semiconductors.

Read more at DIY auto turn on anchor light circuit?


LDR is attached to the corner of a port with a wire going up to a plastic enclosure velcroed to a bulkhead out of the way.

This is great....thanks
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Old 24-05-2018, 14:29   #8
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Re: Photo Sensor for Anchor Light

Bedazzled (UK LED vendor) has tower type lights with auto switching built in. We've used one for some years now, and it is bright and low power draw, switches off and on reliably. Excellent product, as are all the other ones we've bought from them.

It was Dockhead who directed our attention to the firm... thanks, DH!

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Old 24-05-2018, 16:03   #9
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Re: Photo Sensor for Anchor Light

I've had the bulb with the sensor. Worked well. I't (obviously) has some electronics with it so check the height fits the housing and I'd also recommend dipping the bulb (except for the contacts, of course) in some clear polyurethane to seal all the circuitry from the elements.


Nowadays, I just use the "load" output from my solar panel MPPT controller with it configured to come on from dusk 'till dawn.
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Old 25-05-2018, 07:58   #10
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Re: Photo Sensor for Anchor Light

Davis have one that is an LED anchor light with a built in sensor. I leave the light switched on whenever I'm at anchor; then I can find the darned boat, when returning late in the evening.
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Old 25-05-2018, 08:22   #11
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Re: Photo Sensor for Anchor Light

I agree w JammHasss and Jim. Forget messing around with a separate light sensor. Just change the bulb for an LED with sensor built in. Same fitting as your old bulb. I did it and it is so convenient and consumes so much less bec only comes on when dark (you might have left the boat already a few hrs beforehand to go to a restaurant) and then in the morning will switch OFF when it becomes light enough (while everybody else is still snoring away). This is a no-brainer.
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Old 25-05-2018, 09:41   #12
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Re: Photo Sensor for Anchor Light

Been using one for 20 years! First was home built similar to the schematic posted. When it finally failed, I found one on Amazon. Just type in 12v photoelectric switch. Here's one similar to what I'm using now. $4.50. You can't buy the parts to make one for that!
https://www.amazon.com/Solu-Photosen...lectric+switch
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Old 25-05-2018, 09:54   #13
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Re: Photo Sensor for Anchor Light

C'mon guys and girls, consider the effect of light pollution. Yes its very real and extremely damaging to all nocturnal ecosystems ..... minimise your footprint on this earth.
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Old 25-05-2018, 10:14   #14
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Re: Photo Sensor for Anchor Light

Unless you are planning to live on the hook, why would you want/need such a thing? Unless you are on a very small vessel, the anchor light is ONLY for when you boat is at anchor. It is NOT a steaming light, it is not to illuminate your wind vane, nor is it 'to make you more visible'. If you want a light to show you are a sailboat, get a red over green light or a masthead tri-color.
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Old 25-05-2018, 10:26   #15
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Re: Photo Sensor for Anchor Light

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Originally Posted by 01kiwijohn View Post
Davis have one that is an LED anchor light with a built in sensor. I leave the light switched on whenever I'm at anchor; then I can find the darned boat, when returning late in the evening.
Probably works well depending on how many lights one sees late in the evening.
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