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Old 01-10-2012, 15:14   #1
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Converting a Fluorescence light to LED

I have uploaded this little how to video for anyone interested. Hope it helps or at least entertains someone lol

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Old 01-10-2012, 19:15   #2
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Re: Converting a Fluorescence light to LED

I am about half way through converting all of my 12V fluorescents to LED. Easy to do, depending upon the fixture. My Hella fixtures are a bit of a pain.

MarineBeam.Com stocks a replacement bulb for this purpose. I've been using 12" rigid LED strips from SuperBriteLEDs.com. These are not a straight form factor fit like the MarineBeam product and require a bit more modification of the fixture.
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Old 01-10-2012, 19:31   #3
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Re: Converting a Fluorescence light to LED

Those from MarineBeam.Com look good but the problem with the lights I converted was that the power supplies were toast. But the drop bulb in is a nice option if not a bit pricey.
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Old 01-10-2012, 19:35   #4
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Re: Converting a Fluorescence light to LED

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Originally Posted by sailvayu View Post
I have uploaded this little how to video for anyone interested. Hope it helps or at least entertains someone lol

I've also been converting mine to LED as the ballasts burn out. I've got one in the shower area that's on the to do list right now. One over the galley sink is already done. When I get more "ambitious" I will add a red LED into those fixtures for night use. Of course now the florescent fixtures don't seem to failing as often as the use too. Which I guess is a good thing.
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Old 02-10-2012, 11:03   #5
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Re: Converting a Fluorescence light to LED

Why would you bother? Isn't the efficiency about the same? Or do you prefer the quality of light from LED's?
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Old 02-10-2012, 11:10   #6
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Re: Converting a Fluorescence light to LED

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Why would you bother? Isn't the efficiency about the same? Or do you prefer the quality of light from LED's?
L.E.D.'s are VASTLY more efficient, as well as more durable, longer lasting, and in some cases cheaper.
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Old 02-10-2012, 11:32   #7
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Re: Converting a Fluorescence light to LED

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L.E.D.'s are VASTLY more efficient, as well as more durable, longer lasting, and in some cases cheaper.
Mmm, I don't know about that. Really good LED fixtures produce about 60 or 70 lumens per watt. Flourescent -- about 60 or 70 lumens per watt. See: Is LED The Most Efficient Lighting Technology?

My LED lighting on my boat produces 150 lumens out of 2.2 watts, per fixture, so a little less than that.

They do last longer than flourescent, but LEDs continually lose output over their lifetimes, so you might not want to run them anywhere near their theoretical life spans.

I am still not really seeing an overwhelming case for replacing flourescents with LED's.
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Old 02-10-2012, 11:44   #8
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Why would you bother? Isn't the efficiency about the same? Or do you prefer the quality of light from LED's?
The one I ditched for LEDs was horrifically noisy on HF radio frequencies. Can't remember the power draw, think the
Led is a fair bit less, might not be as bright but plenty bright enough for the job. And I just like LEDs
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Old 02-10-2012, 11:47   #9
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Re: Converting a Fluorescence light to LED

Really good is the operator there. While LED's also vary in quality a LOT, I've never seen a fluorescent output light that I liked



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Mmm, I don't know about that. Really good LED fixtures produce about 60 or 70 lumens per watt. Flourescent -- about 60 or 70 lumens per watt. See: Is LED The Most Efficient Lighting Technology?

My LED lighting on my boat produces 150 lumens out of 2.2 watts, per fixture, so a little less than that.

They do last longer than flourescent, but LEDs continually lose output over their lifetimes, so you might not want to run them anywhere near their theoretical life spans.

I am still not really seeing an overwhelming case for replacing flourescents with LED's.
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Old 02-10-2012, 11:48   #10
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Re: Converting a Fluorescence light to LED

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The one I ditched for LEDs was horrifically noisy on HF radio frequencies. Can't remember the power draw, think the
Led is a fair bit less, might not be as bright but plenty bright enough for the job. And I just like LEDs
Fair enough. I don't have any flourescents on my boat so don't know anything about EMI problems, but I do know that some LED fixtures are also noisy.

My lighting is mostly LED, and I certainly wouldn't go back to power-guzzling halogens, but I have not been all that happy with the quality of the light. I have tried a lot of different LED fixtures from a bunch of different sources -- some of it is horrendous, some of my more recent acquisitions actually look very good. So maybe quality of light becomes a reason to convert, as progress is made with them.
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Old 02-10-2012, 12:09   #11
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Re: Converting a Fluorescence light to LED

LEDs have some significant advantages over fluorescents. As Dockhead points out the theoretical lm/watt gain is not high,but with a led the light output is directed over a narrower arc. Fluorescents direct light over 360 degrees which means their efficiency when installed in a luminare, particularly the smaller fitting necessary for yacht interior is significantly higher.
Gains are still not enormous, but those constructing there own LEDs could expect a 20-30% power saving.

I would go for for for a couple of Cree XML mounted on a aluminium strip as a heatsink.
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Old 02-10-2012, 12:18   #12
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Re: Converting a Fluorescence light to LED

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LEDs have some significant advantages over fluorescents. As Dockhead points out the theoretical lm/watt gain is not high,but with a led the light output is directed over a narrower arc. Fluorescents direct light over 360 degrees which means their efficiency when installed in a luminare, particularly the smaller fitting necessary for yacht interior is significantly higher.
Gains are still not enormous, but those constructing there own LEDs could expect a 20-30% power saving.
That may be offset to some extent by light quality issues.

The worst quality light I have from LED's is when the PCB is oriented down and the light is directly radiated from the LED's.

I've actually gotten some pretty nice light out of LED's when the light is reflected inside the fixture, just like the way flourescent fixtures work.

Flourescent luminaires have reflectors inside, and a polished stainless reflector will send back nearly 100% of the light, so I'm not sure we will ever get more light per watt out of LED's.

But as others have said, there may be gains in light quality -- maybe -- and operating life. Maybe EFI.
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Old 02-10-2012, 12:38   #13
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Re: Converting a Fluorescence light to LED

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That may be offset to some extent by light quality issues.
Flourescent luminaires have reflectors inside, and a polished stainless reflector will send back nearly 100% of the light, so I'm not sure we will ever get more light per watt out of LED's.
.
Luminare effeciency is much lower than 100%. 70% is considered very good and is unlikely to be seen in the smaller fittings necessary on boats.
LEDs that emit light over 180 degrees have a significant advantage in removing many of the inefficiencies associated with luminare design.

Light quality issues of LEDs are a frequent, and justifiable cause for complaint. These are mostly related to poor quality LEDs.
LEDs that are biased towards the blue end of the spectrum are much cheaper and unfortunately often used.
When building your own it is possible to use high quality bin LEDs that eliminate these problems.
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Old 02-10-2012, 12:42   #14
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Re: Converting a Fluorescence light to LED

I've replaced some fluorescents with warm white LED and was dubious whether there would be any power saving.
But I carefully measured before and after current consumption and the LEDs consume just about 50% of the 8w fluoros. Quite a bit brighter too, though that may be due to colour temperature ... ...
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Old 02-10-2012, 13:11   #15
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Re: Converting a Fluorescence light to LED

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Fair enough. I don't have any flourescents on my boat so don't know anything about EMI problems, but I do know that some LED fixtures are also noisy.

My lighting is mostly LED, and I certainly wouldn't go back to power-guzzling halogens, but I have not been all that happy with the quality of the light. I have tried a lot of different LED fixtures from a bunch of different sources -- some of it is horrendous, some of my more recent acquisitions actually look very good. So maybe quality of light becomes a reason to convert, as progress is made with them.
The quality of light is a tricky one, humans being so subjective
i really like the technology so even trying as hard as poss to be Mr Objective I will tend to be happy with LED's just cos i think they're cool. A bit anyway. Didn't like them before I tried warm white.
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