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Old 15-03-2012, 16:02   #61
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Re: LED Anchor Light Update

we have a Hella anchorlight since early 2008, easy to mount, no complaints, no VHF or HF noise. When riding the dinghy back to the boat, at dark, we find it to be one of the brightest in the anchorages:
2 NM NaviLED 360 All Round White Navigation Lamps - Navigation Lamps, Anchor / All Round White - Hella Marine

currently $104 at defender.com
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Old 19-03-2012, 14:43   #62
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Re: LED Anchor Light Update

Blue lights won't make it in the USA, but if you want a different light than other boats you can use a 5000 (degree) kelvin led. When we talk about 'white' light I'm sure you've all heard a couple of the terms 'warm white / cool white ... etc?), if you order a 5000K led it is LEGALLY white (in the usa) but has a decidedly BLUE cast.

I used one on Ceil for a few months and got lots of positive comments - most were 'it looks like Venus' (which is very close to the truth.)

The are circuits call 'joule thief' (google it) which will allow an led to run on a battery down to 1vdc. You will find this kind of circuit in solar garden lights that have only one battery in them.

While you could do this, I have to ask you why? If you are running your battery (I may be dumb but I'm assuming it's a 12vdc) down below 10.5vdc which means you've pretty much killed it. - If a small 12vdc lead acid battery (this is in SFBay area, USA) costs $90USD wouldn't it make more sense to spend the second (you bought the battery once, this is the replacement battery) on a solar panel of some sort? This way you never kill the 12vdc battery, assure power to the led anchor light... and other stuff.

If you are really hard up for cash you can actually do this pretty cheaply. Out on Catalina Isl (so calif), and up here in the sfbay there are lots of boats that use regular solar garden lights as anchor lights. If you buy a couple of them and use your imagination and a little resin, a couple of pvc fittings you can build an anchor light that actually works off solar power and (if you've used two of them) is redundant.

I'm in no way telling you to do this, I'm merely relating something I've seen done.
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Old 19-03-2012, 15:01   #63
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Re: LED Anchor Light Update

The Davis Mega light is a good product but draws much more than an LED. Found a product with Marinebeam that is quite similar to the Davis product but draws a fraction of power. Now length of service is another issue- we'll see how that works out. So far I'm very impreeed with the anchor light from Marinebeam
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Old 19-03-2012, 15:45   #64
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Re: LED Anchor Light Update

Please don't recommend using garden lights as anchor lights. They are not legal (not USCG approved) and worse, aren't bright enough to be seen at any distance. On top of that, the "bright bulbs" that use them tend to mount them so as to be obstructed from some angles anyway. I have had some close calls with them; if I ever do hit one I fully intend to fight paying a nickel. I have always used brighter anchor and nav lights than the law strictly required for Carina's length because it increases safety - cutting down on light output is simply foolish. My 2.

Greg
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Old 19-03-2012, 15:49   #65
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Aqua signal is a big player in the lighting industry, we never get returns due to faults (west marine is the walmart of marine industry)
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Old 19-03-2012, 16:35   #66
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Re: LED Anchor Light Update

We have the OGM anchor light (got it in 2010) and have been very pleased with it. Bulletproof construction, easy to install (comes with a mounting bracket if you need it) and for just a little extra you can get one with a built-in light sensor so that the anchor light switches on and off automagically at dusk and dawn. I asked if the light sensor failing renders the light useless and OGM said that if the sensor fails it defaults to on so that you still have a working anchor light, you just have to remember to turn it on and off manually like a normal light. Even though it uses very little juice, it is nice knowing I don't have to turn it off in the morning (which I always forgot to do) to keep from wasting the batteries, and if I am not on the boat at dusk I don't have to worry about not having an anchor light on.

As far as RF interference, the light is mounted on our masthead with our VHF antenna right next to it and we have experienced no problems. I believe OGM claims to have addressed the RF issue, and it certainly seems to be true in our case.

Hope this helps,

Steve
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Old 19-03-2012, 21:03   #67
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Re: LED Anchor Light Update

I've read somewhere that white LED bulbs (of any temperature) can't be used with tri-color lenses. They just don't produce the right color of light. That's why there are special tri-color bulbs with red and green leds and my navigation light is the only incandescent bulb in my boat.
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Old 19-03-2012, 21:18   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabrieln
I've read somewhere that white LED bulbs (of any temperature) can't be used with tri-color lenses. They just don't produce the right color of light. That's why there are special tri-color bulbs with red and green leds and my navigation light is the only incandescent bulb in my boat.
I'm sorry but maybe a warmer LED could work ok.
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Old 20-03-2012, 01:26   #69
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Re: LED Anchor Light Update

White LEDs shouldn't be used in tri- or bi-color lamps; the color rendition is usually wrong for the green sector (it appears as blue). And it is an inefficient approach. White LEDs are actually blue (or occasionally UV) LEDs that are covered with materials that absorb much of the blue light and re-radiate one or more lower frequency colors - usually just a broad spectrum yellow. If a high CRI white LED is used it might work OK as far as color rendition, but would still be less efficient than red and green LEDs. So just bite the bullet and get the multi-color LED lamps.
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Old 20-03-2012, 12:40   #70
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Re: LED Anchor Light Update

"They are not legal (not USCG approved)"
Oh, that old myth again. Lights DO NOT have to be USCG approved in order to be "legal" for general recreational use. Please! Read Colregs. As long as a light meets the requirements for proper color and range, IT IS LEGAL for recreational users.
For builders and regulated commercial vessels, more rules apply. For "ust us sailors", they don't.
Is a cheapass two buck garden spike going to make a good anchor light? Probably not, but it very possibly might.

There are several different technologies for making white LEDs but you're right about the bottom line with all of them: They'll be terribly inefficient compared to using red or green LEDs, if they put out enough of the proper color to be usable at all.

People just don't realize, WHITE and BLACK are not colors at all. White is the presence of "all" (or many) colors, and BLACK is the absence of colors. Unless you're a printer and dealing with printing inks, as opposed to luminous things.

Like telling someone to "go to the left side of the boat" it works, usually, but simply never is right.
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Old 20-03-2012, 13:05   #71
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Re: LED Anchor Light Update

OK, I am not a lawyer. I believe the law is that commercial vessels must be CG-approved, and recreational vessels need to meet the requirements (2nm for an all-round white anchor light) but do not require prior approval. Most commercially available nav lights are approved by the USCG, or failing that, the ABYC. My points stand: I have never seen a solar-powered garden light that is visible to anything like 2nm (although I grant the theoretical possibility), the ones being used on boats are inadequate either legally or for safety, and if I hit into you at night and that is what you are using for an anchor light you should count on having to prove the 2nm visibility in admiralty court as I have no intention of letting you off the hook for such reckless behavior.
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Old 20-03-2012, 13:07   #72
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Re: LED Anchor Light Update

We keep hearing over and over about the certification of lights. I have a question. How many cases were decided on based on the certification or non-certification of a light? Does anyone have any examples from any courts in any countries?
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Old 20-03-2012, 13:35   #73
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Re: LED Anchor Light Update

That is an interesting question, but the more appropriate question is what would happen in the future? An example:

Years ago virtually no one on the west coast was using a black ball as the daylight indication of being at anchor. Then, 25-30 years ago, some incompetent t-boned an anchored boat in San Diego. The insurance companies wanted to hold him fully responsible, but he successfully argued that the responsibility was equally shared because the anchored boat did not display the proper day shape. For several years after that enforcement of the daylight black ball increased on the west coast.

I see the garden light as the equivalent of the lack of a black ball: in event of collision the anchored boat will share responsibility for not having met the requirement of the COLREGS to avoid a collision. And rightly so in this case (I still have a problem with the black ball case, but that is the law).

I also think the cavalier attitude by many cruisers towards their dinghy nav lights is going to get someone in trouble (or worse) at some point. According to the COLREGS:
Quote:
A power-driven vessel of less than 7 metres (23.0 ft) whose maximum speed does not exceed 7 knots (13 km/h; 8 mph) must be capable of showing a white light
Those of us with fast RIBS do not qualify for this classification - mine does closer to 20kn. The relevant rule is:
Quote:
A power-driven vessel of less than 12 metres (39.4 ft) may display only an all-round white light and sidelights.
There are precious few of us who have the proper sidelights. I have not seen any enforcement, anywhere, for this rule. But again, if I collide with your unlit dinghy count on my insistence on consideration of this rule. It isn't a silly law, it is a commonsense safety precaution.
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Old 20-03-2012, 13:55   #74
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Re: LED Anchor Light Update

Carina, COLREGS and other law as set minimum and stautor standards. If one wants to play sea lawyer...that's almost meaningless. At least here in America, you could probably bring a civil suit for negligence or other grounds, even when someone meets statutory minimums. That's the way it works.

Ask any infantryman, you can see a cigarette glowing from 1/4 mile away on a dark night. Garden light? Who knows. Crowded anchorage, lots of shore lights? I've been out when there's no much shore clutter, you can't spot the freaking USCG-standard harbor bouys against the background clutter. In that type of situation, a USCG-approved anchor light could easily be called totally insufficient, it just doesn't mark the boat.

Laws are all well and good. Seamanship, or common sense, have little to do with them.
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Old 20-03-2012, 14:21   #75
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Re: LED Anchor Light Update

I mean honestly, has anyone ever had a judgement against them not because the light was insufficient but because it wasn't certified?

I want to get the bebe lights for our boat, but I read SO MUCH about getting sued and whatnot for not having the right lights. But then I got to thinking about it and I cannot recall any cases like that. Google turns up nothing. The bebe website says they went to the lexus nexus and found nothing. I mean is all this fear mongering? Sure you might be the "first" to have a ruling against you but what are the odds? Especially if you used a high quality light that you trusted.

I'd rather get a great light that isn't certified than an unreliable light that is certified. Su re a few are both great and certified, but those are out of our price range.
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