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Old 31-03-2012, 22:37   #106
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Re: LED Anchor Light Update

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Originally Posted by RUSTYNAIL View Post
I have looked at a lot of LED NAV lights, and my biggest concern was the wires coming out of them. Some companies use a very small wire about 18 to 22 gauge due to the low current and some companies said it was necessary for the electronics circuit. I would be very careful when connecting the 12 or 14 gauge wire going up the mast to it, especially on the top of a mast with a lot of movement. Electrically it's big enough, but mechanically the wire is too small for any vibration without a very good connection and securing method.
You should never, never, ever rely on the structural integrity of a wire connection. The connection should be supported. Even at the masthead.
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Old 01-07-2012, 06:47   #107
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Re: LED Anchor Light Update

Thanks to previous contributors to this thread. Just thought I'd throw in another data point for the discussion...

I recently had my OGM Orca Green LED tricolor-anchor fail while cruising in the Bahamas this winter. No lightning when it failed just rain and wind. Initially I thought I must have a wiring problem because a high quality light like that can't possibly fail after only a few years right. I think I paid nearly $300 but today it's closer to $400.

I should have carried a spare anchor light but didn't and so borrowed one from a good and generous friend. It was a Davis Mega Light...not very bright and after two bulbs burned out I needed to find something else.

After checking the forums I ordered the BEBI cigarette lighter model and had a guest bring it to the Bahamas. WOW that BEBI light is the brightest anchor light in the harbor! No problem being seen with that and only $55. It is much brighter and more visible than the OGM unit. I can't believe they still make the Davis Mega Light.

When I got back to Florida I contacted OGM to get my light repaired. Apparently it had leaked on top of the mast somehow and the electronics was likely fried. I knew it wasn't in warranty and I would have to pay for it. I traded a couple of emails. In all fairness they were very responsive. The bottom line though was that they wanted $135 to repair it. That seemed like throwing good money after bad. As an alternative they offered me 40% off a new light. Either way it was a lot of money per year for a light.

BEBI was the obvious solution for me. First I want reliability. Certainly being run over because my anchor light isn't working is just not an option. BEBI is a company that builds their product to last and stands behind it with a lifetime warranty.

The OWL cigarette lighter model is great ... the only negative with the other units is you have to come up with a solution to mount it... They also do not offer stand alone units other than the anchor lights so you must retrofit the guts of your existing unit. That works fine for existing running lights but in my case the unit from OGM that failed doesn't really work and I would have to buy a standard tricolor/anchor and replace the guts with BEBI LED units. That would still be dramatically less costly than even the OGM "repair" and it would have a lifetime warranty. Did I mention that BEBI units are warranted even if submersed in seawater?

I opted for the anchor light model with a photo cell. I also replaced the guts of all of my running lights with LED units from BEBI. I plan to do the tricolor at a later time. Of course, with the anchor light I want to keep amp draw to a minimum but with the other lights I am most concerned with reliability. Oh and did I mention the knowledgeable and responsive customer service? I don't think you will find better.

It's now all installed and works great. I'll update in the future.
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Old 01-07-2012, 07:15   #108
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Re: LED Anchor Light Update

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After checking the forums I ordered the BEBI cigarette lighter model and had a guest bring it to the Bahamas. WOW that BEBI light is the brightest anchor light in the harbor!.
I anchor over 300 days a year and I have only seen one boat with an anchor light as bight as the Owl. Most are substantially duller.
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Old 01-07-2012, 21:45   #109
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Re: LED Anchor Light Update

I replaced the BA9s incandescent bulbs in my two Davis Mega anchor lights with LED modules from superbrightleds.com. Much brighter with much lower energy consumption than the standard bulbs. This was a cheap swap, and they have lasted for many hundreds of hours so far. I chose to put a white LED module in one, and a amber LED module in the other.
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Old 03-07-2012, 15:02   #110
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Re: lED Lights

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Anyone cruising with LED lights would be wise to carry a lot of spares. Their life expectancy is grossly over rated. I've been using them for a couple of years now and find that their failure rate is around 40%. An LED flashlite I bought in November needed the bulb replaced in February. A friend bought one in November with 6 bulbs and two have burned out by March. I'm on my second LED anchor light since november.The first one burned out in three months.

I have been using the same LED's for over 3 years now and have had ZERO problems. Yes, we have bought some flashlights that just don't cut it, but the lights we have on board are awesome. PM me and I'll show you where to get them.

Anchor light is brightly visible for 3 - 4 miles and all running lights have survived the past 6,000 miles of ocean transit (Vancouver Island to Belize) Even after being ripped off a couple times by renegade jib sheets (in 30 foot seas) LED's are amazing BUT they have to be installed correctly. If they are replacement bulbs, they must be built correctly.

For instance, the 12 volt flexible strips you see advertised.. Very bright and super useful Great light and great (very low) power consumption. And you CAN just plug them straight into your 12 V system. They will last 6 months to a year. You see, the diodes are set up for a constant 12V and yes we SAY our electrical system is 12V, but we are also generalizing. when we drop lower than 12V the lights dim.. Down to about 7 volts. Handy if you want to add a dimmer switch. The problem is the voltage ABOVE 12 that causes damage. You are burning the diode at 2.5 volts MORE than it's rated for when charging.

What must be done is add a voltage regulation circuit to your flexible strips and they WILL last for years.

With the replacement bulb - be sure and ask if the diodes are regulated to 12V. Most are, but some aren't. If it's $4.95 for the bulb - it probably isn't. Great light for a little while.

Try these solutions to your LED's burning out too soon. PM me if you have any more questions.
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Old 03-07-2012, 15:12   #111
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Re: LED Anchor Light Update

Prime LEDs are specified for an industry-standard 100,000 hours of life when used per the design points, and also to have 70% of the orginal brightness at the 50,000 hour point.

How can a consumer tell if they are buying prime LEDs that are being properly used? Only by the reputation of the company, or by inquiring of the company. You can expect LEDs from BiBi to meet that goal, they are very up-front about choosing prime components and not cutting corners with them.

On the other hand the LED flashlight you buy with no brand name is probably running the LEDs from the cheapest possible source, which will last less than one year of constant use, i.e. 8,000 hours instead of 100,000+. And if you run the LEDs with excessive power, they're considerably brighter. While they last.

If you ask a light manufacturer "What kind of regulation do you use?" and they answer anything except "constant current driver with spike and overvoltage protection" say thank you and good-bye. Because that's the minimum that long-term LEDs require.

Sometimes cheap is good, because a cheap LED can cost 50c while a prime one can cost ten dollars EACH. Sometimes cheap is the right answer, sometimes, "bought cheap, paid dearly."

Spares are always a good idea because anything can break. But sometimes, it just pays to buy a quality product the first time around.

The light strip under the kitchen cabinets? No big deal if that has to be replaced in two or three years. The masthead light? A little less convenient to replace whenever the dice say "NOW".
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Old 03-07-2012, 15:16   #112
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I've been surprised by the Attwood LED Anchor light we installed 18 months ago. Probably 11 months or so at anchor and it still works great. Very bright. Spends at least one day a week on all day since even with the note by the coffee pot we forget to turn it off. Never thought I'd be writing a testimonial for an Attwood product....it will probably bite me tomorrow....
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Old 03-07-2012, 15:46   #113
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Re: LED Anchor Light Update

Just at the Owl light site... Bebe. They are using Nichia LED's. These diodes are one of the best in the business. I supply LED lighting for homes and I will not buy them for resale unless they are Nichia, Cree or Epistar diodes. Nothing else is worth it. Found that out through 3 years of R&D. They are only more expensive when you buy them and with the price they are quoting for the owl light ($45) they aren't expensive anyway. I would expect the Nichia's to be amazingly bright.

We have Nichia spreader lights and for 10 watts of LED (2 5 watt units) it lights up the deck almost like daylight. Again have not failed for over 3 years.
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Old 03-07-2012, 17:08   #114
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Re: LED Anchor Light Update

Generally the only anchor lights that were brighter than our spare owl was our BEBI Masina Malosi that we used to replace the light at the top of the mast. In crowded situations we hung the owl in the cockpit so that it would swing with any wave action. It's very noticeable, especially to bleary eyed captains retuning to their boats late after a late happy hour.
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Old 03-07-2012, 17:37   #115
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Re: LED Anchor Light Update

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Generally the only anchor lights that were brighter than our spare owl was our BEBI Masina Malosi that we used to replace the light at the top of the mast. In crowded situations we hung the owl in the cockpit so that it would swing with any wave action. It's very noticeable, especially to bleary eyed captains retuning to their boats late after a late happy hour.
For those not familiar with the Bebi lineup the Masina Malosi is basically 2 owl lights in the one housing. 30 LEDs instead of 15.
It was designed to overcome the light loss that may occur if the fitting is mounted behind an existing diffuser especially a coloured tricolour.

The power consumption of the Bebi lights is very low. The Owl is 1/2 most led anchor lights so the Masina Malosi can be used without any excessive power draw.

IMHO anchor lights that are brighter are better, but the owl is very bright.

The solution I use is 2 owl lights mounted a couple of meters off the deck. 2 lights ensure that at least one is always visasible from all angles. The top of the mast is not a great place for an anchor light, but if want to put one there the double brigness of the Masina Malosi is worth considering, but the owl will still be brighter than anything else in the anchorage.
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Old 04-07-2012, 08:26   #116
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Re: LED Anchor Light Update

I just had my BEBE owl fail - mine is the one that comes on and off at dusk & dawn- the light still works but it stays on all the time-just bought it see post 102-
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Old 04-07-2012, 08:51   #117
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Re: LED Anchor Light Update

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I just had my BEBE owl fail - mine is the one that comes on and off at dusk & dawn- the light still works but it stays on all the time-just bought it see post 102-
They guarantee them for life so if you send them an email they will send you a new one. It's very unusual for them to fail, did they send you the wrong model by mistake? It's available with or without a photosenser. The photosenser should be easily seen just below the row of LEDs.
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Old 04-07-2012, 08:53   #118
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Re: LED Anchor Light Update

@Ram

check to see whether something is blocking the sensor - maybe dirty or something?
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Old 04-07-2012, 09:23   #119
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Re: LED Anchor Light Update

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@Ram

check to see whether something is blocking the sensor - maybe dirty or something?
I would suggest the same. Sometimes little birdies like to sit up there and leave little presents. Chuck
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Old 04-07-2012, 16:29   #120
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Re: LED Anchor Light Update

We too had a failure in a Bebi Owl. One e-mail had a replacement onits way, no questions asked. They are fine people to deal with and produce good products... an enviable position that others in the marine industries could well emulate!

Cheers,

Jim
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