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Old 22-01-2018, 15:37   #1
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Best water tight running lights?

I have the old Hella SS running lights on the bow of my boat, but my boat has a very wet nose at sea and the Hella SS lights are "not" the most water tight made.
I'm tired for repairing the connections on these lights and I'm looking for a set of LED IP67 rated USCG approved 2NM lights. Any suggestions? Thanks
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Old 22-01-2018, 16:00   #2
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Re: Best water tight running lights?

I originally had a AquaSignal incandescent bi-color at the bow of my sailboat, but after a few ocean passages the connectors corroded away beyond the point of repair. I had used silicone grease on the fittings, but I guess that wasn't good enough.

Next I tried the aluminum Lopolights at the bow. The first one failed inside of a year, with the green sector going dark. Lopo replaced it for free, but the replacement shorted out after a couple of years. We had made a few more Hawaii runs over that time, but the lights didn't have any obvious water intrusion -- they are pretty well sealed.

Now I have a Marinebeam LED bi-color on the bow. So far so good, but we've only made one Hawaii run with it so I can't speculate on its long-term reliability.
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Old 22-01-2018, 16:02   #3
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Re: Best water tight running lights?

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Originally Posted by ardoin View Post
I have the old Hella SS running lights on the bow of my boat, but my boat has a very wet nose at sea and the Hella SS lights are "not" the most water tight made.
I'm tired for repairing the connections on these lights and I'm looking for a set of LED IP67 rated USCG approved 2NM lights. Any suggestions? Thanks
Hi, have you looked at the fully potted Hella led version? Not the cheapest but a friend fitted them to the bow of his boat used regularly offshore and has had no problems.
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Old 22-01-2018, 16:25   #4
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Re: Best water tight running lights?

I went to the Aqua Signal LED nav lights on the bow and stern. The bow lights occasionally get dunked. The LED unit is a sealed light. I used heat shrink crimp connections, and then wrapped the exposed wire in heat shrink as well for UV protection. Our LED are on the pulpit, with wires running into the pulpit rails.

I also have a Stecktronics combo NAV/anchor light at the top of the mast. When offshore, I use that nav light as it is not blocked by waves. Inshore and ICW, we use the lower set of nav lights. And NO, never both upper and lowers at the same time.
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Old 23-01-2018, 04:12   #5
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Re: Best water tight running lights?

In my opinion the best product on the market is
http://k2wlights.de/index.php?id=3&L=1

Fully encapsulated and watertight

When we ordered ours, we requested extra long wires leading below deck... no splicing hence less chance of corrosion.

Our masthead was also ordered with a long wire attached reaching the distribution panel inside the boat.

Yes pricy but worth if!


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Old 23-01-2018, 05:01   #6
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Re: Best water tight running lights?

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Originally Posted by sailjumanji View Post
I went to the Aqua Signal LED nav lights on the bow and stern. The bow lights occasionally get dunked. The LED unit is a sealed light. I used heat shrink crimp connections, and then wrapped the exposed wire in heat shrink as well for UV protection. Our LED are on the pulpit, with wires running into the pulpit rails.. . .
I have the Aqua Signal LED nav lights, the big ones (these: https://www.aquasignal.com.au/series-43/), and really like them. I sail a lot in rough weather and put the nav lights under water on a regular basis. These lights seem completely sealed and seem to be bulletproof, unlike the much more expensive Lopo ones.

What is not bulletproof are the connections. I use Molex heat shrink sealed connections, but they still don't survive regular dunking in sea water for more than a season or two. If someone has a solution to this, I'd be interested to hear it. I have cut back the wires so often now that they are getting too short, and next time I'll have to rewire
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Old 23-01-2018, 05:15   #7
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Re: Best water tight running lights?

We had an Aquasignal bi-color LED at the fore-beam support, supposedly fully sealed,however after 6 years it has failed with moisture somehow entering the light housing and killing off the red led, unfortunately outside the 5 year warranty.
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Old 23-01-2018, 08:43   #8
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Re: Best water tight running lights?

Hello,

On this topic, I have bi 12 v incandescent bow light and wondered if there is an LED bi bulb with bayonet (???) Plugin? That would be an easy LED convertion.

GLC
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Old 23-01-2018, 09:03   #9
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Re: Best water tight running lights?

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Hello,

On this topic, I have bi 12 v incandescent bow light and wondered if there is an LED bi bulb with bayonet (???) Plugin? That would be an easy LED convertion.

GLC
Take a look here: https://store.marinebeam.com/indexed...s-bay15d-base/

Use lots of heavy grease on the socket.
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Old 23-01-2018, 09:09   #10
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Re: Best water tight running lights?

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I have the Aqua Signal LED nav lights, the big ones (these: https://www.aquasignal.com.au/series-43/), and really like them. I sail a lot in rough weather and put the nav lights under water on a regular basis. These lights seem completely sealed and seem to be bulletproof, unlike the much more expensive Lopo ones.

What is not bulletproof are the connections. I use Molex heat shrink sealed connections, but they still don't survive regular dunking in sea water for more than a season or two. If someone has a solution to this, I'd be interested to hear it. I have cut back the wires so often now that they are getting too short, and next time I'll have to rewire
Properly soldered and heat-shrinked, they'll last a very long time. Use 60/40 tin/lead solder with a rosin core, and the heat shrink with an inner layer that melts, and you'll be good.

The other way to go is to use an encapsulating splice kit. I haven't used this vendor but I've used similar products. In the olden days you could find a telephone co repair truck and usually talk the tech into giving you one.

NSi Industries | Easy-Splice™ Gel Stub 10
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Old 23-01-2018, 09:23   #11
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Re: Best water tight running lights?

I have an Aqua Sig tri Ijust installed and the mast is not stepped yet. I am doing a complete refit of a 1972 Pearson 33. I plan to replace the stern and the bow lights with LED. So Moonbeam has a bye light bulb LED?? I will give him a shout shortly. Thanks all for the response!!
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Old 23-01-2018, 10:13   #12
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Re: Best water tight running lights?

perko
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Old 23-01-2018, 10:22   #13
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Re: Best water tight running lights?

Perko was the standard forever so guessing they are on the LED bandwagon.
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Old 23-01-2018, 10:40   #14
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Re: Best water tight running lights?

I have Aqua Signal LED Series 33 on the bow. I just replaced the starboard light after five years, (about $48). At that rate, I don't see a reason to change, but I'm crossing the Gulf Stream, not the Pacific.
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Old 23-01-2018, 11:57   #15
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Re: Best water tight running lights?

Dockhead-
3M makes, literally, gas proof heat-shrink-solder fittings that should stand up better than anything else. NASA uses them. Offhand I don't recall the name but any 3M phone call should be able to get you to the right folks. They typically look like very pale blue tinted transparent heat shrink tubes, about an inch to 4cm long, with several rings of solder in them. Yes, solder. You are supposed to use a special heat gun to shrink the whole thing in place, getting it hot enough to liquify the solder, which then makes the electrical connection in the tubing, as the whole thing shrinks and seals with an adhesive.
The trick is, not to cheat, to use the right tool or something that works as well. The final connection is the usual 3M quality, and the folks at NASA say it withstands extreme environments, keeping out potentially explosive gasses as well as water under pressure differentials.
I don't think you can ask more than that. Except perhaps to use something like "coax seal" and pot over the entire splice, to give it an extra layer of barrier. 3M makes some products for that as well. I think they could give you a short and effective shopping list, they can and do actually put product engineers on the phone.
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