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Old 26-10-2009, 15:22   #1
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Interior LED Cabin Lights

Hi folks

We are busy replacing our interior lighting
(existing are recessed fluorescent 12V fittings
with two x 12 inch tubes and individual switches on each fitting )

we want to switch to LED lights
preferably using the same headliner recesses and wiring harness.

we anticipate we will need

1) a minimum of 24 downlighters (12 x 2)

2) and would want to have the switches mounted "on or adjacent to"
the actual light as we do not have any place for wall switches

3) The head liners on the boat necessitate a low profile fitting
we believe the M16 fitting is a standard ??

One idea we have looked at is to make up a solid wood panel to fit the recess and mount two x LED downlighters into each panel with a 12 V switch for each light so we have complete control over level of light

The only lights we have found so far are exorbitantly expensive

Has anyone on the forum had any good experience with this
getting good coverage of light at a reasonable price
or finding a suitable fitting for the above ready-made

I vaguely remember reading a thread about this some time ago,
but cannot find it now ..

Txs in advance

John H
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Old 26-10-2009, 17:23   #2
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John,

We had similar recessed fluorescent lighting all over our boat. I yanked out the 24" fluorescent fixtures, and replaced them with ones I built myself. I used high power LEDs from Cree LEDs - Led Driver - Led Fixtures - Led Optics - Luxeon LEDs - LED Supply.com and one of their buck pucks to control the current.

For most lights, I used these:

100 Lumen Neutral-White EndorStar - LED Supply.com at 700ma. They put out 180 lumens at 700ma - they are BRIGHT.

I also tried a couple of fixtures of these Cree LEDs at 700ma - and while not as bright, work really well:

CreeŽ XR-E Neutral-White Star LED - LED Supply.cmo

These fixtures are several times as bright as the fluorescents they replaced. Be sure and mount them on a heat sink (a piece of aluminum should work fine) and make sure they aren't completely sealed up. Excessive heat is not good for LEDs.

I also replaced single fluorescent bulbs in 3 fixtures that are over the galley - here are some pix:

LED Lighting Project Update
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Old 26-10-2009, 18:54   #3
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I am heading to Singapore in a few days to get some LED's that one cruiser found.
Each strip is about 2 inces long, 1 cm wide and 1 cm deep (like that change of units?!) and have 3 large square LEDs per strip.

The wires that come off them and connected to the next strip. So you buy as many as you want off a reel and cut them apart yourself.

I think they are about US$4 or $5 each.

I hope my explanation was clearish....
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Old 26-10-2009, 18:57   #4
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John,

When my fixtures got zapped, I replaced the guts with LED light strips and reused the old fixtures (The Ligthning Strike).
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Old 26-10-2009, 19:08   #5
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If you want reliabilty and excellent light quality try these guys Bebi Electronics-Home of the Finest Marine LED Lighting Products on Sea (or Earth)!
Most f their lights can be retrofitted into existing fittings and they have a new unit called Fautasi which I am currently trying to resist buying. Guaranteed for life, made by an ex cruiser and employs local Fijian villagers.
(I don't have any investment in the company)
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Old 26-10-2009, 20:06   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoTies View Post
If you want reliabilty and excellent light quality try these guys Bebi Electronics-Home of the Finest Marine LED Lighting Products on Sea (or Earth)!
Most f their lights can be retrofitted into existing fittings and they have a new unit called Fautasi which I am currently trying to resist buying. Guaranteed for life, made by an ex cruiser and employs local Fijian villagers.
(I don't have any investment in the company)
I love the business model and all. Really I do.

But the technology is 10 years old! I mean, 9 LEDs producing 15 lumens? Wow. I'm not even buying the state of the art, and I get 100 TIMES as much light from each LED I use!
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Old 26-10-2009, 20:32   #7
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Originally Posted by bstreep View Post
I love the business model and all. Really I do.

But the technology is 10 years old! I mean, 9 LEDs producing 15 lumens? Wow. I'm not even buying the state of the art, and I get 100 TIMES as much light from each LED I use!
You notice I said light "quality", not "quantity" and the lifetime guarantee adds to the positive side of the equation.
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Old 26-10-2009, 21:43   #8
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I've found the best solution is to make your own. I found a site, www.otherpower.com that helps even the tech challenged like myself to make the right decision about how to wire these up and what electronics to use for the best results.

I found that if you place a small section of photographic light defuser in front of an LED array that it will difuse the spotty very bright light into a soft glow that is equal in all quadrants.

I original bought a bunch (20) Aqua Signal lights on Ebay that were set up to take a festoon bulb of the filament type. by putting a scrap of the difuser material over the lense is did a great job of scattering the light. I made my own festoon bulbs using a section of round nylon rod cut to length with the ends angled to fit the festoon brackets. Then using a 5MM end mill I opened the holes for as many led's as I wanted. Power leads went into one slot on the back side a grounds in the other. I can light the boat up at night and still draw less that 10W.
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Old 26-10-2009, 23:36   #9
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Mostly cheap LEDs doesn't comes with any kind of voltage regulation, that means it will shine different intensity and/or color range, when your batteries drop voltage. It will also affect its lifespan when you're charging batteries above nominal 12V. We had a total LED boat before, but overtime, we hate the visual cool effect at cabin/saloon. Today, I'd replace it in steps until a point I'm satisfied with the warm/cool balance of color ....
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Old 27-10-2009, 02:13   #10
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You can also gel the LED's to change the color to anything you want, I prefer 3200K. I use LED's all the time for camera lighting in tv production, it is very 'hard' light, difusion helps soften it, color gels can be bought from B&H photo really cheap, $5 or $10 for a big sheet. There will be a loss of light output with both difusion and gels but with a good output LED to start with it's not that big of a deal, if you have old low output LEDs you'll take a big hit.
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Old 27-10-2009, 10:24   #11
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Hi folks
we have not disappeared, just busy reading all the replies (txs everyone)
keep them coming, your experiences will hopefully shorten our learning curve

Txs John H
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Old 09-02-2010, 02:46   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoTies View Post
If you want reliabilty and excellent light quality try these guys Bebi Electronics-Home of the Finest Marine LED Lighting Products on Sea (or Earth)!
Most f their lights can be retrofitted into existing fittings and they have a new unit called Fautasi which I am currently trying to resist buying. Guaranteed for life, made by an ex cruiser and employs local Fijian villagers.
(I don't have any investment in the company)
I just received a photo sensor equipped 24 LED BEBE light from Bebi Electronics. I took it outside as the sun was setting. I was dissapointed to find that the light would flicker on & off as if there was a loose wire. I hung it up anyway and noticed later that it seemed to be shining brightly & STEADILY in the rigging. I emailed the Bebi owner. He asked me to find out where the loose wiring was and mentioned the photo sensor. OOPS I had forgotten about that. The flickering was caused by my hand covering and uncovering the sensor. DUH
The owner had promised to replace the unit. I had to reply that I had found the problem = ME
I love my LED light from Bebi and will be buying more. It is water proof to one metre and is the brightest light in the anchorage.
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