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Old 21-05-2013, 08:38   #46
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Re: Confused about navigation lights

I'm not a fan of the in-hull mounted running lights as they never seem to be aligned properly, and they are very low to the water reducing visibility. Also, there is always a potential for water intrusion in a location that is bound to see heavy water at some point.
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Old 21-05-2013, 08:53   #47
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Re: Confused about navigation lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boulter View Post
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
It might not be legal if they were not visible from the required distance and have the required colors and spec. Manufacturers such as Aqua Signal will have independent tests to prove theirs meet the specs. If a good LED lamp is used, the output will be measurably higher than incandescent. The color will also be good and you will be safe. Aqua Signal do warn off people from using LED lamps and that is probably what your surveyor is thinking of. Here is their warning:

ATTENTION
Bulbs for Navigation Lights
The bulbs used in Navigation Lights are part of the
approval/certification.
Bulbs which are non-approved null-invoid your insurance
cover as your lights will not be in line with the
regulations/certification.
We recommend to use approved material only since
this is in the interest of your safety.

It is a bit mischievous of them to suggest using non-approved bulbs will invalidate insurance. Insurance will only be invalidated if your non compliance was a factor in the accident.

It is mischievous and misleading to suggest that lights will not be in line with regulations using LED bulbs. That is only the case with Solas vessels who can only use approved bulbs. Non Solas are not restricted by this rule: IMO RESOLUTION MSC.253(83).

Yet more mischief is their claim that the warning is in the interests of your safety. That is not the full story.

If in doubt buy a nav light from a reputable manufacturer, ideally not a scaremonger. It will be better anyway probably.
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Old 23-06-2013, 04:31   #48
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Re: Confused about navigation lights

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
"Red over green -- sailing machine" -- merchant seaman's mnemonic for the meaning of that light.

Like others, I use a tricolor offshore, in the belief that it will be better seen free of interference of wave tops and sails, and for the sake of preservation of night vision. Deck level nav lights knacker my night vision, and make use of night vision scopes futile.

Power consumption is a non-issue for me now that I've gone to all LED nav lights.

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 just bought a pair of Aqua Signal 43 nav lights. How did you make the electrical connection with the right angle spade connector? Did you crimp the wire end? Any ideas would be very welcome.

I really don't like spade connectors to begin with; I much prefer heat shrinkable ring terminals.
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Old 23-06-2013, 04:42   #49
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Re: Confused about navigation lights

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Originally Posted by tomgreaves View Post
I just bought a pair of Aqua Signal 43 nav lights. How did you make the electrical connection with the right angle spade connector? Did you crimp the wire end? Any ideas would be very welcome.

I really don't like spade connectors to begin with; I much prefer heat shrinkable ring terminals.
I use Molex heat shrink crimp connectors and a Swedish Pressmaster crimp tool.
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Old 23-06-2013, 04:48   #50
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Re: Confused about navigation lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boulter View Post
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.

Boulter
The prices have come way down. I like the latest from Aquasignal, which are well-made, optically superior to more expensive but older designs, and very reasonable in price - similar to the cost of Aquasignal incandescent. Side lights , large, ship-like, for less than $200 each.
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Old 23-06-2013, 05:46   #51
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Re: Confused about navigation lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boulter View Post
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
What is not allowable is getting the wrongly coded LED navigation bulb. They all come clearly marked red, green or white. Current price is around US45.
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Old 23-06-2013, 07:00   #52
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Re: Confused about navigation lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by poiu View Post
It might not be legal if they were not visible from the required distance and have the required colors and spec. Manufacturers such as Aqua Signal will have independent tests to prove theirs meet the specs. If a good LED lamp is used, the output will be measurably higher than incandescent. The color will also be good and you will be safe. Aqua Signal do warn off people from using LED lamps and that is probably what your surveyor is thinking of. Here is their warning:

ATTENTION
Bulbs for Navigation Lights
The bulbs used in Navigation Lights are part of the
approval/certification.
Bulbs which are non-approved null-invoid your insurance
cover as your lights will not be in line with the
regulations/certification.
We recommend to use approved material only since
this is in the interest of your safety.

It is a bit mischievous of them to suggest using non-approved bulbs will invalidate insurance. Insurance will only be invalidated if your non compliance was a factor in the accident.

It is mischievous and misleading to suggest that lights will not be in line with regulations using LED bulbs. That is only the case with Solas vessels who can only use approved bulbs. Non Solas are not restricted by this rule: IMO RESOLUTION MSC.253(83).

Yet more mischief is their claim that the warning is in the interests of your safety. That is not the full story.

If in doubt buy a nav light from a reputable manufacturer, ideally not a scaremonger. It will be better anyway probably.

Competing advertising from Dr. LED
From:
http://www.doctorled.com/Dr_LED_PRESS_RELEASE_0612.pdf

Seattle, Washington, 25
th
February 2010 – Dr. LED today announced that it’s
White
Polar Star 40
TM
, Red Polar Star 40
TM
, and Green Polar Star 40
TM
after-market
replacement LED light bulbs for the Aqua Signal ser
ies 40 navigation lights have been
certified by a U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) accepted ind
ependent laboratory as compliant
with the USCG COLREG 1972 (International Maritime O
rganization, “IMO”) standards
and verified to be in conformance with the navigati
on light regulations of ABYC A-16.
These are the only after-market navigation replacem
ent light bulbs that have received
such certifications.
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Old 23-06-2013, 07:49   #53
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Re: Confused about navigation lights

Fortunately the price of proper led fittings are coming down in price and the quality and reliability seem to improving.

Its difficult to imagine how an led" bulb" can achieve the correct cut off when installed in a housing designed for incandescent globe.

The Dr LED claim has been around for a while and is interesting. I must admit I was skeptical at first that the fitting passed in terms of colour and intensity, but not cut off. However, I would have expected one of the competitors, or major manufacturers to have challenged the claim by now if this was the case.
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Old 23-06-2013, 08:01   #54
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Re: Confused about navigation lights

the best placement is on either side of boat, 10 ft from waterline. they will be visible.
deck level isnt always seen, nor is masthead, as masthead lights are close together, and color can be difficult to discern in distance.
mine are 10 ft or so --could be 12--from waterline, and on a light board in my mainmast shrouds, so i can be seen readily, as i occasionally enter larger and fishing ports and folks need to see what and where i am. when there is sea traffic i also shine a bright white light on my sails so i am easily identified by those in the shipping lanes and in pangas.

as re:led---try em, then go a few miles away from your boat and see how far they can be seen by you, and would you wish to meet a boat with that lighting in the darkness....
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Old 23-06-2013, 08:27   #55
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Re: Confused about navigation lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
Fortunately the price of proper led fittings are coming down in price and the quality and reliability seem to improving.

Its difficult to imagine how an led" bulb" can achieve the correct cut off when installed in a housing designed for incandescent globe.

The Dr LED claim has been around for a while and is interesting. I must admit I was skeptical at first that the fitting passed in terms of colour and intensity, but not cut off. However, I would have expected one of the competitors, or major manufacturers to have challenged the claim by now if this was the case.
I have on file the test certifications for the Dr. LED bulbs. Imanna Labs did the CFR/USCG/ABYC compliance testing for the Dr. LED bulbs in Aqua Signal fixtures. It is important to note that very few Dr. LED bulbs have passed this testing yet their site can easily mislead you..

It is a requirement for all boats to use nav lights in the US that meet the COLREGS/CFR definitions of a nav light..
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Old 23-06-2013, 10:46   #56
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Re: Confused about navigation lights

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Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
I have on file the test certifications for the Dr. LED bulbs. Imanna Labs did the CFR/USCG/ABYC compliance testing for the Dr. LED bulbs in Aqua Signal fixtures. It is important to note that very few Dr. LED bulbs have passed this testing yet their site can easily mislead you..

It is a requirement for all boats to use nav lights in the US that meet the COLREGS/CFR definitions of a nav light..
These are two points that are not identical. In the U.S. only since about 2002 has it been a requirement that manufacturers that factory install navigation lights have to install USCG certified lights. Everyone else can install any lights that meet COLREG definitions.

As has been pointed out before, putting in lights that do not have certification could possibly put the burden of proof on you that your lights meet COLREG definitions in a court case. Several of the LED lights I've seen advertised do not claim to have passed the certification process.

Not an equivalent case, but showing that burden of proof could be an issue is that years ago an alleged drunk driver hit one of our club boats and apparently got out of most of his troubles by having a surveyor inspect the boat and find that the factory installed nav lights on this older boat did not meet COLREGs.
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Old 23-06-2013, 11:22   #57
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Re: Confused about navigation lights

colregs dictate how far a light bulb must be visible. in miles. for each size of boat.
when you install light bulbs, it is a good practice to make sure yours are compliant no matter whose recommendation thay have, they must be seen from X number of miles. go out and look or have a friend do so, so you know you comply with written usa law.
the light bulb itself is not going to have a compliancy stamp on it. (ask me how i know this one..lol) so--go out and see what you produce. is negligent not to so do and continue to spout the law.
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Old 23-06-2013, 11:50   #58
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Re: Confused about navigation lights

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colregs dictate how far a light bulb must be visible. in miles. for each size of boat.
when you install light bulbs, it is a good practice to make sure yours are compliant no matter whose recommendation thay have, they must be seen from X number of miles. go out and look or have a friend do so, so you know you comply with written usa law.
the light bulb itself is not going to have a compliancy stamp on it. (ask me how i know this one..lol) so--go out and see what you produce. is negligent not to so do and continue to spout the law.
Of course the light bulb doesn't have the certification on it, the bulb and and fixture are tested as a unit.

There's more than distance to consider. Don't forget your color wheel, and whatever else you need.

COLREGs annex, just one of several sections on light specs
ANNEX I: INTERNATIONAL POSITIONING & TECHNICAL DETAILS OF LIGHTS & SHAPES



7. Color specification of lights
The chromaticity of all navigation lights shall conform to the following standards, which lie within the boundaries of the area of the diagram specified for each color by the International Commission on Illumination (CIE).
The boundaries of the area for each color are given by indicating the corner coordinates, which are as follows:
(i) White:
x 0.525 0.525 0.452 0.310 0.310 0.443
y 0.382 0.440 0.440 0.348 0.283 0.382
(ii) Green:
x 0.028 0.009 0.300 0.203
y 0.385 0.723 0.511 0.356
(iii) Red:
x 0.680 0.660 0.735 0.721
y 0.320 0.320 0.265 0.259
(iv) Yellow:
x 0.612 0.618 0.575 0.575
y 0.382 0.382 0.425 0.406
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Old 23-06-2013, 11:57   #59
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Re: Confused about navigation lights

my colors are perfect. my light bulbs are perfect. i am correctly identified many miles from my boat. i didnt die making my trips, did i--lol. i practice what i speak, and i walk my talk. do better and i can bow to you.
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Old 23-06-2013, 12:25   #60
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Re: Confused about navigation lights

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Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
I have on file the test certifications for the Dr. LED bulbs. Imanna Labs did the CFR/USCG/ABYC compliance testing for the Dr. LED bulbs in Aqua Signal fixtures. It is important to note that very few Dr. LED bulbs have passed this testing yet their site can easily mislead you..

It is a requirement for all boats to use nav lights in the US that meet the COLREGS/CFR definitions of a nav light..
Dr. LED states that Polar Star 40 White, Red, and Green bulbs have been certified to be COLREGS compliant. No such claim is made for the Polar Star replacement bulbs for bicolor or tricolor nav lights, although the web site suggests they are suitable for such use.
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