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Old 20-07-2010, 20:53   #1
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Anchor Light Dusk-to-Dawn Photo Switch

I thought I had developed a fool-proof method of remembering to turn my anchor light off when it got light: Around noon, I'd slap my forehead and say, "****!" So, I just installed a photo cell switch to control my anchor light. No more racing back to the boat as dusk approaches; no more slapping my forehead at noon. I found it on line at Dusk to Dawn Lighting Photocells - Acetek Light Sensitive Switches buy Online and at USD$27.00, it didn't seem too bad.

Of course, now someone is going to reply that I could have found one for a tenth the price. I should get used to slapping my forehead.

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Old 20-07-2010, 20:57   #2
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In most boat stores you will find a little photocell switch called a "Night Watchman" which I love. I installed it in the anchor lite system and it takes care of turning on and off your anchor lite with ambient light conditions.
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Old 20-07-2010, 21:32   #3
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Or a solar pathway light from Homer D
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Old 21-07-2010, 06:35   #4
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The Flexcharge “Night Watchman” photoswitch is rated 10 Amps @ 12.8 Volt

$29.50 Here ➥ 38 Timers,Linear Current Boosters,Photoswitch,Relay,Switches

The Acetek “celloptik12vdc” is only rated 5A.

http://www.acetek.co.uk/sitebuilderc...optik12vdc.pdf

$26.95 Here ➥ Dusk to dawn photocells - Twilight lighting switches buy online £9.93
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Old 21-07-2010, 07:17   #5
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The Flexcharge “Night Watchman” photoswitch is rated 10 Amps @ 12.8 Volt

$29.50 Here ➥ 38 Timers,Linear Current Boosters,Photoswitch,Relay,Switches

The Acetek “celloptik12vdc” is only rated 5A.

http://www.acetek.co.uk/sitebuilderc...optik12vdc.pdf

$26.95 Here ➥ Dusk to dawn photocells - Twilight lighting switches buy online £9.93
If your anchor light draws ten amps, you're not going to have to worry about turning it off the next day because your battery will be dead anyway.

Boat anchor lights are one of the best applications on a boat for LED lighting. An LED anchor light will draw anout one tenth the power of an incandescant lamp and shine brighter.

If you haven't yet converted, now is the time. There are dozens on the market.
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Old 21-07-2010, 08:18   #6
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If your anchor light draws ten amps, you're not going to have to worry about turning it off the next day because your battery will be dead anyway...
Good points.
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Old 21-07-2010, 08:36   #7
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We simply installed an Owl anchor LED light with a built in photo cell and never bother with turning the switch on and off until we are dockside again. The light is much brighter than our old traditional light.
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Old 21-07-2010, 08:47   #8
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Sometimes it's good to hide.......so be able to turn it off!
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Old 21-07-2010, 08:55   #9
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I use a kerosene powered light tied off on the babystay. I love faffing about with it ever since it was one of the "boy's jobs" on family boats along with hoisting and loweing the ensign and looking after the dinghy.
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Old 21-07-2010, 14:03   #10
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Before I replaced our anchor light with a photosensitive OGM one, I connected the power to it through a relay hooked to our solar panel output to the charge regulator. When the solar panels no longer produced voltage, the relay closed and the anchor light came on. Total cost ~$3 for the relay (not counting the solar panels, charge controller and wiring, of course, but I was able to put them to use for another purpose also).

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Old 21-07-2010, 14:11   #11
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We also use a Bebi Owl led with a photoswitch, hanging from the boom. I added a cigarette lighter plug so it is easy to take down to sail. $36 and under 100mA draw.
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Old 21-07-2010, 14:28   #12
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i use a kerosene anchor lamp-- or i might use --and have used, the super inexpensive pathway lights for gardens--they are solar, have batteries that recharge in sun, and last all night...can be placed anywhere on board--and can be seen for miles....cheap and easy. replaceable in walmart or costco or walgreens or anywhere they have garden walkway lighting of solar type. i save my electricity on board for things i like doing, not for what i HAVE to do ..LOL....no cords or wires or plugs or plug adapters needed...
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Old 21-07-2010, 14:41   #13
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i use a kerosene anchor lamp-- or i might use --and have used, the super inexpensive pathway lights for gardens--they are solar, have batteries that recharge in sun, and last all night...can be placed anywhere on board--and can be seen for miles....cheap and easy. replaceable in walmart or costco or walgreens or anywhere they have garden walkway lighting of solar type. i save my electricity on board for things i like doing, not for what i HAVE to do ..LOL....no cords or wires or plugs or plug adapters needed...
That is great for you, except if someone collides with you at anchor, your lights don't meet the legal definition and you could be found at fault. In addition, some local law enforcement types will write a citation for incorrect anchor lights. The solar garden lights don't always last all night, we use them as supplementals, and are not very bright at all.
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Old 21-07-2010, 14:42   #14
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Originally Posted by Waterwayguy View Post
We simply installed an Owl anchor LED light with a built in photo cell and never bother with turning the switch on and off until we are dockside again. The light is much brighter than our old traditional light.
My most important consideration with my anchor amd nav lights is being able to be seen as much as possible under all conditions. I would respectfully suggest that LED's are not as bright as high quality Aqua Signal anchor light with a filament bulb. If my memory serves me well the latter has a visible range of two miles where their LED version is rated for a mile?
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Old 21-07-2010, 14:51   #15
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My most important consideration with my anchor amd nav lights is being able to be seen as much as possible under all conditions. I would respectfully suggest that LED's are not as bright as high quality Aqua Signal anchor light with a filament bulb. If my memory serves me well the latter has a visible range of two miles where their LED version is rated for a mile?
Our LED anchor light is CONSIDERABLY brighter than the filament bulb we replace, a standard Perko Light, and several other boaters we have found that are using the Owl now also have commented on how much brighter they are than the traditional lights. Perhaps some reading on the Bebi site will help clarify,
Bebi Electronics-What Our Marine RV & Off Grid LED Specifications Mean
I don't have any connection to these folks except to like their products and find them well thought out and well constructed.
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