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Old 06-01-2010, 20:48   #1
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AquaSignal Tricolor / Anchor with LED

We just had a masthead Aquasignal tricolor/anchor fixture installed, with retrofitted LED bulbs.

The anchor light is terrific.

The tricolor seems less perfect. Straight from the stern both the red and green can still be seen and it is almost impossible to see the white that should be all you can see. The red and green are terrific, except for the apparent bleed aft of the specified 112.5 degrees on each side. In fairness to Aquasignal their documentation says not to use any bulbs but the original and the installer speculates that the LED bulb might be too bright.

Has anyone else here run into this ? The installer is terrific and will switch out the bulb to see if that takes care of it but I'd even consider retrofitting 112.5 degree blinders if that let us keep the very red and very green while still getting the LED low power draw benefit.

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Old 07-01-2010, 06:22   #2
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Which Aquasignal model - 40? If you are seeing red/green from astern then the lens must not be oriented correctly. This assumes you have a colored lens that surrounds a white bulb. If you have a tri-colored LED bulb shining through a clear lens, then the bulb is not oriented correctly in the socket/fixture OR the fixture is not aligned right. There should be a centerline mark on the fixture.

And the 2nd question is - did you use a white LED bulb inside a colored lens? LED light is peculiar in that white LEDs shining through colored lenses do not produce the desired color of light.

I have an Aquasignal 40 and installed an LED bulb in the anchor light section. Behind the tri-color lens I still use the original tungsten bulb for the reason stated above.

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Old 07-01-2010, 06:40   #3
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A few months ago, Practical Boat Owner ran a trial on this issue. Aquasignal 40 with conventional bulbs was the basis for comparison. The best replacement was the click and replace Aquasignal LED light. The worst was the led replacement bulbs.
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Old 07-01-2010, 07:24   #4
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Originally Posted by markpj23 View Post
Which Aquasignal model - 40? If you are seeing red/green from astern then the lens must not be oriented correctly.
That was my first thought but I walked around all sides and it is definitely oriented correctly, the white is just overpowered and barely visible from the stern.

I am getting information about which model Aquasignal it is, in case there is more than one tricolor/anchor masthead version. The same for the LED. Looking at the Aquasignal documentation, it looks like the model I assume it is only has one bulb for all three sectors. The narrow spectrum of LEDs should have reduced the green or red brightness, not the white, so I'm at a loss to explain it without more data from the installer.

Because of the problem I have not used the tricolor yet but the anchor light is wonderful.

Thanks,


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Old 07-01-2010, 07:27   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talbot View Post
A few months ago, Practical Boat Owner ran a trial on this issue. Aquasignal 40 with conventional bulbs was the basis for comparison. The best replacement was the click and replace Aquasignal LED light. The worst was the led replacement bulbs.
Do you happen to remember how far back that issue was ? I don't remember seeing it. Did it say anything about the white stern sector being overwhelmed by the red and green sectors ?

I'll definitely look for the "click and replace Aquasignal LED" if that is the name of the bulb.

Many thanks,


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Old 07-01-2010, 08:17   #6
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My first replacement bulb for the aqua-signal tricolor was a Dr Led, which had red, green and white sectors. The result was the right colors, but not as bright as the incandescant bulb. My next bulb was an all-round warm white one from Marinebeam, and I am much happier with the result. The sector cutoffs are less sharp than the incandescent bulb, but if I was watching my boat from the bridge of a ship, it woudn't matter, as the boat/light shifts 5 degrees on every wave anyway.
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Old 07-01-2010, 11:13   #7
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I put the DR.LED tri color light in mine and I like it and the anchor light is the brightest one around. I would suggest that you turn the lights on and check them standing further away. Other boats are not looking up at the mast light, but from further afield. It may be that you at an odd angle. Just a thought.
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Old 11-01-2010, 19:41   #8
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Baffles inside ?

Are there supposed to be light-baffles inside the Aquasignal tri-color fixture ?

I walked all around the tri-color both in daylight and at night and i think the red and green are visible from the stern through the fixture. IOW the inside of the red and green lenses are visible through the clear 135 degree stern lens.

The "angle" suggestion is a good one but the problem is apparent even when I'm maybe 200' behind and at 1/3 of the elevation of the fixture.



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Old 11-01-2010, 21:42   #9
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Maybe I have figured it out

I haven't seen the LED bulb that was installed, but I'm wondering if it is two-sided, one LED array to port and one to starboard. If that is the case I'd see it edge-on from the stern and that would probably be a lot dimmer than the light reflected off the colored insides of the lens.

I've asked the Aquasignal folks if they can shed some light on the problem.



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Old 11-01-2010, 22:54   #10
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On my Aquia signal 40 tricolor I used two bulbs. Both from Dr. LED One all around white LED for the anchor light and One tri color red, green and rear facing white. They do make a Bi color light, just the green and red. There are no dividers in the housing its self. The way you describe it I think they just put in a two sided light instead of the three, especially if you see no white light. The original bulb is just an all around clear incandescent light bulb. But you need the red green clear light for proper function
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Old 13-01-2010, 18:25   #11
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Rigger says West Marine had mislabeled the LED package

The rigger went back up the mast and says that WM had mislabeled the LED, it was not a tri-color, just red-green.

Unfortunately he replaced it with a white LED because he had not seen our e-mail telling him not to do that. So now we have a "working" tri-color, using a "white" LED that wastes at least 1/3 of its output to heating the red and green lenses :-(



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Old 14-01-2010, 06:30   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SvenG View Post
T

Unfortunately he replaced it with a white LED because he had not seen our e-mail telling him not to do that. So now we have a "working" tri-color, using a "white" LED that wastes at least 1/3 of its output to heating the red and green lenses :-(

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White LEDs also have relatively very little output in the red wavelengths, so I imagine your red sector would be a lot dimmer than your green sector.
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Old 14-01-2010, 08:26   #13
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Right, the first time I put in a white/clear LED in the tricolor and it came out as pink and blue I changed to the RED & Green LED and the color came out fine.
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Old 14-01-2010, 08:46   #14
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We put a wide angled series of all white LED's into our Aquasignal 60 tricolour and anchor lamp a few years back and whilst if is definately not as bright as the regular incandescent globes, they are well bright enough to do the job.

These were wide angles units built for marine use and purchased in Spain. They were a step up from other LEDS we sourced a year before. I've no doubts LED's sourced tomorrow will be even better, seems the the technology is racing along.

But even with our 3 year old LED's we do not appear to have any one segment any dimmer than the other, and of course no worries with battery drain if we leave them on all day either.............

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Old 11-04-2011, 17:13   #15
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Question Re: AquaSignal Tricolor / Anchor with LED

You all seem to have figured out what Aqua Signal does not tell you: how to change the %$#*&^%$ BULB! I have a new tri/anchor, and planned to replace the anchor light bulb with an LED (as you have all said works great) but how the hell do you get to it? The instructions that come with it are heavy on the installation, placement, CG requirements, etc., but they don't tell you how to access the bulbs. <Grrrrrrr>
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