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Old 08-05-2013, 08:31   #31
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Re: Confused about navigation lights

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Also LED lights average life is about 50,000 hours and most new LED fixtures are sealed so you can't replace the lights.
At the prices they charge, the first time you break one you will cry though. I've heard of many folks with failed LED lights for one reason or another, and when you are in the middle of nowhere what do you do then for running lights? That's one disadvantage of having a sealed, non-replaceable bulb.

Bottom line in all this is I think for sailboats under 12 meters the best light combination to have is LED versions of:

1. Masthead tri-color for when under sail.
2. Bicolor bow light mounted on hull or pulpit, used with the all-around white anchor/steaming light that is part of the masthead unit.

For some boats it might make more sense to have separate red and green deck-level lights, especially if there is a mounting position that would get them out of the helmsman's line of vision. In older sailing boats people used to mount kerosene and electric side lights up in the lower stays of the main mast. They would have light boards to shield the deck and helm from stray light.
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Old 08-05-2013, 08:37   #32
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Re: Confused about navigation lights

Ive been mounting my running lights on my rigging for years. the little bit of elevation I gain by not haveing them at deck level, really makes a difference! at least thats what folks tell us ! just a thought. With proper fixtures you get less problems with vision then lower mounts
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Old 08-05-2013, 09:24   #33
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Re: Confused about navigation lights

G'Day all,

The added height of shroud mounted side lights is good, but if you fly a genoa with lots of overlap they can be obscured to leeward.

We have noted too that in lots of boats with two lamps mounted on the bow pulpit they are often poorly aligned, and "overlap' in coverage. That is, one can see both red and green through a biggish arc rather than only when dead ahead. This can lead to serious confusion!

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 08-05-2013, 09:34   #34
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Re: Confused about navigation lights

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Originally Posted by jeremiason View Post
Bash you are still confusing incandescent bulbs with LEDs... Yes two LED bulbs will require twice the power, but at .10 ah per fixture who cares?
I'm not confusing anything. Most recreational boaters have not yet gone over to LED nav lights. One would suppose, naturally, that those who have would not be as concerned about power draw.
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Old 08-05-2013, 10:06   #35
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Re: Confused about navigation lights

silvirus, I have a Searunner 40. I use two separate nav light systems, choosing between them with a rocker switch in the cockpit. Under power, the switch energizes the masthead (located, actually, about a third of the way up the mast) steaming light, and a combination red/green light mounted beneath the rail of the pulpit, and a stern light mounted above the sterncastle, on the antenna arch. These are all incandescent bulbs, with LED bulbs in reserve for when they eventually fail. Since the engine is running, I don't suffer from the extra electrical demand.

Under sail, the other switch position other than off, the masthead tricolor (LED) is on, . This way, electrical demand is at its minimum, keeping the battery bank as full as possible. Here's a pic of the cockpit panel, located under the seat, to the left of the helm.

The other switches control different lights that I use. The first (top, left) lights up the panel if I need to see it better. Next down is the Nav light rocker switch, choosing between Sail and Power positions. Third down is the compass. You can choose to use a double pole, double throw switch for the nav lights and run the compass from this nav light switch, if you wish. Then the instrument lights, followed by anchor and strobe lights (yeah, yeah, I know...). The right side switches have the incandescent foredeck light perhaps, some day to be replaced by an LED, followed by three separate deck light switches, Port, Starboard and aft. These control very high output High Intensity Discharge spotlights, two on the spreaders, one on the stern antenna mount. These turn night into day, when I feel the need for especially strong lighting (recovery of stuff overboard, having a barn dance, landing at the dock, scaring off the bad guys). Each one turns on separately, though there is a "panic button" by the bunk that uses a relay to turn on everything at once, if I hear a bump in the night. Then a spare switch for future stuff. Finally, at the lower right position (so I can find it by touch) is the Night Lights, which turns on the floor level, and other, red LED lights so I can grab a cup of coffee, go down the companionway or to the head, etc., without turning on other lights and disturbing the off-watch.
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Old 08-05-2013, 10:18   #36
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Re: Confused about navigation lights

Roy M, looks like a good system. I prefer to have the compass light on its own switch. I often run completely blacked out at night onboard at the steering station so that I don't ruin my night vision--can make a huge difference in what you can see.
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Old 08-05-2013, 10:18   #37
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Re: Confused about navigation lights

Roy: I'll have to come check out your set-up once I get the boat to get some ideas. Looks fairly sophisticated, but probably something I can manage with a little time and patience. The boat I'm buying only has a 9.8 HP outboard and the way you have to manually drop it into the water and haul it up with a rope and cam cleat, I'm not sure I'm comfortable trying to figure out a way to use it for anything but pushing the boat. Because of this, I'm trying to go with LED lights for EVERYTHING to save on battery power. It's more expensive, but I have the extra money right now so I figure it's better to do it now rather than later when this extra infusion of cash is gone....
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Old 08-05-2013, 10:23   #38
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Re: Confused about navigation lights

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Ive been mounting my running lights on my rigging for years. the little bit of elevation I gain by not haveing them at deck level, really makes a difference! at least thats what folks tell us ! just a thought. With proper fixtures you get less problems with vision then lower mounts
Same here.
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Old 08-05-2013, 10:46   #39
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Re: Confused about navigation lights

"silvirus, I have a Searunner 40. I use two separate nav light systems, choosing between them with a rocker switch in the cockpit. Under power, the switch energizes the masthead (located, actually, about a third of the way up the mast) steaming light, and a combination red/green light mounted beneath the rail of the pulpit, and a stern light mounted above the sterncastle, on the antenna arch. These are all incandescent bulbs, with LED bulbs in reserve for when they eventually fail. Since the engine is running, I don't suffer from the extra electrical demand.

Under sail, the other switch position other than off, the masthead tricolor (LED) is on, . This way, electrical demand is at its minimum, keeping the battery bank as full as possible. Here's a pic of the cockpit panel, located under the seat, to the left of the helm.

The other switches control different lights that I use. The first (top, left) lights up the panel if I need to see it better. Next down is the Nav light rocker switch, choosing between Sail and Power positions. Third down is the compass. You can choose to use a double pole, double throw switch for the nav lights and run the compass from this nav light switch, if you wish. Then the instrument lights, followed by anchor and strobe lights (yeah, yeah, I know...). The right side switches have the incandescent foredeck light perhaps, some day to be replaced by an LED, followed by three separate deck light switches, Port, Starboard and aft. These control very high output High Intensity Discharge spotlights, two on the spreaders, one on the stern antenna mount. These turn night into day, when I feel the need for especially strong lighting (recovery of stuff overboard, having a barn dance, landing at the dock, scaring off the bad guys). Each one turns on separately, though there is a "panic button" by the bunk that uses a relay to turn on everything at once, if I hear a bump in the night. Then a spare switch for future stuff. Finally, at the lower right position (so I can find it by touch) is the Night Lights, which turns on the floor level, and other, red LED lights so I can grab a cup of coffee, go down the companionway or to the head, etc., without turning on other lights and disturbing the off-watch."

My hat's off to you Roy, sounds like you really thought that through. Good on ya.

Ann
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Old 08-05-2013, 21:34   #40
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Re: Confused about navigation lights

Thanks Ann T. Cate, To be truthful, I built the boat thirty-five years ago and still wake up at three in the morning thinking about stuff. For me, it's the ultimate tree house or 11 year old boy's space ship. In that time I've remodeled a lot of stuff and come up with ideas while on the 3 to 6 AM watch. This was one of the easier tricks. We all love messing about with boats, and it's fun to share ideas. I've certainly stolen my share from others.
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Old 17-05-2013, 00:30   #41
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Re: Confused about navigation lights

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I have recently installed Aqua Signal type 43 LED deck-level nav lights. Wow, what a blaze they put out. They are the same size as the Series 40 lights they replaced, but I guess the lumen output must be 5 times, maybe 10 times more, although the rating is the same (and the same as the toy-like Series 34 lights). They were pretty expensive, but worth it. They are very solid, potted and sealed for life, a different universe from the old ones. The only downside is that night vision is now completely hopeless with them on.
I googled "Aqua Signal type 43 LED" and don't see a Series 43 on the Aqua Signal website. Where should I look? Is there a chart of wattages and lumens and nm range on-line somewhere? Thanks.

John
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Old 17-05-2013, 05:57   #42
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Re: Confused about navigation lights

Go with a tricolour as a preference if sailing offshore at night. I put up with deck level lights for 2 years until I fixed the tricolour. I won't go back. The glare and loss of night vision is huge with deck lights, forwards with lit up spray, but especially aft as the stern light lights up my tender on the Davits.

A good guide following colregs: http://www.aquasignal.info/us/files/...les.pdf?id=195
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Old 21-05-2013, 07:59   #43
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Re: Confused about navigation lights

Hi:

I have incandescent fittings on the hull sides. I understand this would not be legal in my jurisdiction (according to surveyor) in new construction as they are lower than optimal for good visibility.

Reading up at I think it was Aqua Marine literature, they specifically say that installing LED bulbs in place of the incandescent is not allowable either as this is not a compliant arrangement.

New LED fittings seems to be on the order of $500, a fairly outrageous sum that should head for about $200 in a year or 3. So my plan is to not do much if any night sailing in the early years and outfit LED eventually in better locations. I'd likely leave in place the existing fittings and have a switch in the vee berth to choose between the two sets of red/green such that I have a quick and dirty back up.

I would be interested in hearing more from those folks that hang their lights from the rigging. Which fittings? How attached? What is involved with installing and removing each year for those of us who have to haul?

Cheers,

Boulter
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Old 21-05-2013, 08:14   #44
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Re: Confused about navigation lights

My personal take is go for the LED tricolor at the masthead, with an all around white light for an anchor light. Use the existing deck-level incandescent lights as is when under power, when you have plenty of juice to run them, use the LED tricolor when sailing and when at anchor, when you need to conserve electrical power.
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Old 21-05-2013, 08:28   #45
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Re: Confused about navigation lights

Let me rephrase my question:

Which is brighter - an LED 'bulb' in an incandescent fixture with a colored glass lens, or a purpose-made LED base and module? Attached is a link to one option I'm considering.

SHARK EYE TEARDROP STYLE LED NAVIGATION LIGHTS - Navigation Lighting - Electrical

Thanks!

John
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