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Old 22-01-2004, 16:35   #1
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LED Anchor Light Update

What with three snowstorms in a week and a half, a recalcitrent ol' snowblower that has my patience at a point where I'm looking longingly at my 10 pound sledge, I havent had the time to get very far on the final determinations of the light. However, I have done research on photocells, phototransistors, and other esoteric items. This thing is growing. I got to thinking that if I can get the light to work at a supply voltage of around 5 volts, this thing would work even if the battery was close to dead. I think I have found a way to do that. The photocell/phototransistor is obvious to turn it on and off when needed automatically.I think I can also tie it in to the prop shaft with a sensor so when some guy or guyyette decides to motor at night , it will turn off. I have not been idle, just addled.
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Old 17-03-2004, 15:07   #2
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lED Lights

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.
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Old 18-03-2004, 13:52   #3
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Really !! Wow.

Man . Can you give me more details. Like who made it, was there any warranty, and the kind of usage it recieved. I don't wish to go into a lot of work for nothing.
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Old 24-03-2004, 15:01   #4
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LED lights

These LED's came from a variety of sources.
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Old 24-05-2005, 12:23   #5
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I've heard good things about Orca Green.
Can anyone offer any actual experience in use ?

Orca Green Marine Technology Corporation
OGM's Anchor lights are US Coast Guard Approved for sail and power boats up to 65 feet. Approval 33CFR183.10.

LED Anchor Light with Photodiode: $129
This LED Anchor light is completely waterproof, rugged, and low-power. Uses ultra long-life photodiode (automatically turn anchor light on at night, off at dawn) as opposed to the more common CdS photocell for years of trouble-free operation. Draws only 0.2 Amps at 12V. Operates from 8V to 36V DC.
OGM LED Anchor Lights: http://www.orcagreen.com/anchor.cfm
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Old 24-05-2005, 13:38   #6
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I haven't any personal experience, but the folks at Hotwire think highly of the stuff. They are pretty particular about what they endorse and sell.

I especially like the combination tricolor/anchor light that has a sensor for the anchor light. You can install it in place of your anchor light and switch between tricolor and anchor by reversing polarity....pretty smart. I'll probably install one the next time I have $300 I don't know what to do with.

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Old 24-05-2005, 14:02   #7
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I have been using another OGM product for two years now and am very very pleased. I have their original LED insert replacement lights for my running and stern lights. They are bright, visible and reliable. My interactions with the company have been very positive.

I think LED light are a great advantage in cruising boats. Saves a good deal of energy.

There are other solutions for anchoring lights. Several companies make LED anchor lights now, including Perko (I think). Also....if your boat is under 12m, you can use the Aqua Signal series 20 anchor light. It has a 5W incandescent bulb....thus almost the same draw as some of the LED lights on the market. The Davis Mega light also has two bulbs available for it. The brighter one is a 320mA draw if I recall correctly. Most LED anchor lights I have seen thus far draw 250-400mA.

That said, I think LED's are terrific and have gone for them in a big way. I also think the products available from mainstream commercial MARINE companies are reliable (though back ups are always a MUST).

Hope this helps

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Old 24-05-2005, 20:47   #8
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There are a lot of in's and out's with LED. Much has been discussed elsewhere on this board in the past. Certainly LED technology is improving. But the only thing really improving, is the light output of these things. As I have said before, and in greater detail in another thread, an LED works only one way. In very basic working form, think of it this way. Draw a circle and devide the circle in half. On one half write the words "working hrs" and in the other half, write the words, "light output". Want more lightoutput, and you have to reduce it's life span, want more life span, and you have to reduce the light output. Manufacturers are finding ways of making these things brighter and brighter, but no one has yet found away to maintain the operating life span. Normal operating voltage equates to ruffly 100,000hrs of life, depending on color. Increase that voltage and the life comes down dramaticaly. Some can last a few thousand hrs and this would still be acceptable for most of us. But with the reduction in hrs of gauranteed operation, means a few are going to fail even earlier. The reduced operation has to be justified and weighed up against the purchase price of the Light.
The only otherway to get the light output,n is to increase the number of LED's in the device. But this means eventually, you start to see similar current draws of any other light source available and the initial purchase price is high. This type of device is good for uses like mast head, where you don't want to have high maintanance. It would probably outlast the life of the boat.
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Old 07-06-2005, 02:59   #9
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Angry Perko LED Anchor Lights

I bought the Perko LED anchor light and used it during an 8 month cruise in 2003. The amount of light was great and current draw was low, but reliability was poor. The first one lasted about 2 months (full time use) and the LEDs started failing one by one. Still under warranty, took it back and got another one that also lasted two months. At that point I called for technical assistance from Perko. Technician confided that they were not marinized properly and moisture was getting into circuits. Switched to Mega Lite with the bright bulb and it lasts much longer. Also, can buy replacement bulbs from NAPA auto.
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Old 07-06-2005, 08:24   #10
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I just read an interesting article about LED Nav lights. One point was made, that any "home made" type nav lights could possible cause a sticky point to insurance companies in the event of an accident.
Another consideration for us Kiwi's trying to obtain Cat1, the rules mention only the use of a 25W bulb for vessels over 12m. I wonder how hard and fast they are to that rule.
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Old 07-06-2005, 11:59   #11
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Nav' Rules are Performance Spec's

I don’t know about the Kiwi Nav’ Rules, nor the “Cat 1" offshore rules - but the US & International rules are “Performance” specifications. The rules specify the distance at which Nav' Lights must be seen (for the various boat lengths), not the manner ('prescriptive' spec') in which this must be achieved (lamp type or wattage).

Conventional (USCG Approved) Nav’ Lights have generally required a 20 Watt Incandescent Lamp to achieve a visibility of 5 nm (required for vessels over 12m).

It’s expensive to test (& gain “approval”) - so most LED type Nav’ Lights have not been tested - even though they may meet the “standards”.

From the USCG “Navigation Rules Online”:
http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/mwv/navrules/rotr_online.htm

The lights prescribed in these Rules shall have an intensity as specified in Section 8 [Intl] of Annex I to these [Regulations / Rules] so as to be visible at the following minimum ranges:

(a) In vessels of 50 meters or more in length:

* a masthead light, 6 miles;
* a sidelight, 3 miles;
* a towing light, 3 miles;
* a white red, green or yellow all-round light, 3 miles.
* a special flashing light, 2 miles. [Inld]

(b) In vessels of 12 meters or more in length but less than 50 meters in length;

* a masthead light, 5 miles; except that where the length of the vessel is less than 20 meters, 3 miles;
* a sidelight, 2 miles;
* a sternlight, 2 miles;
* a towing light, 2 miles;
* a white, red, green or yellow all-round light, 2 miles.
* a special flashing light, 2 miles. [Inld]

(c) In vessels of less than 12 meters in length:

* a masthead light, 2 miles;
* a sidelight, 1 miles;
* a towing light, 2 miles;
* a white red, green or yellow all-round light, 2 miles.
* a special flashing light, 2 miles. [Inld]

Those seeking official versions of the Navigation Rules should refer to the International Navigational Rules Act of 1977 (Public Law 95-75, 91 Stat. 308, or 33 U.S.C. 1601-1608), and, the Inland Navigation Rules Act of 1980 (Public Law 96-591, 94 Stat. 3415, 33 U.S.C. 2001-2038).

And from “Boat Safe” -“Navigation Rules Changes”:
http://www.boatsafe.com/nauticalknow...es_changes.htm

HTH,
Gord May
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Old 07-06-2005, 13:40   #12
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I have been using the Davis Mega Light at anchor. It draws almost as little power as most LED anchor lights and is perfectly reliable. It really came down to a question of cost for me. While I have been interested in getting an LED anchor light, they are not cheap and I already had the Davis as a backup light. It is fairly inexpensive and can be used for a multitude of chores aboard (which is why I had it). It draws almost as little as an LED, hardly a difference when considering Ah overall.

One other thing I like about using the Davis Mega Light is that when hung just above the cockpit, it provides light in the cockpit area...very nice for boarding at night or nightime use of the cockpit. I like the fact that I can position it anywhere.

Being able to have several back up bulbs aboard as spares is a big advantage.

I had not heard about any reliability issues with Perko...very dissapointing. I know the OGM products are very well marinized, as is the Mega light.

Best

John
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Old 27-09-2010, 18:45   #13
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LED light problems

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Originally Posted by Brent Swain View Post
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.
Agree entirely! I bought LED bulbs to reduce the current drain on my car (four door open lights, two number plate lights and two sidelights) The problem was that the car could not handle granny-cycle in winter (glow plugs for 20 seconds, cranking a 2.5 litre diesel til it starts, then a mile and a half trip in the dark to the supermarket) After getting the shopping it was glow plugs again and driving at 30 mph hardly charges the battery. I kept meaning to fit a huge Bosch machine but never got around to it. By the way choose your alternator on the basis of idle amperes, not highway speed amperes. One ex BMW "150 amp alternator" that I bought turns out to only produce 28 amps at idle so its basically a dumpster job. So now you know why BMW drivers are always in a hurry!

Getting back to the LED lights, the door open lights lasted well as usually when the doors are open the engine is stopped so the battery is off charge. The number plate lights and sidelights soon burned out. Cheap LED bulbs just use a series resistor to control the current and this method is very poor especially if voltage spikes occur. Quality LED lighting uses transistors wired as a Constant Current Generator - Hella use this method. In fact LED lighting with the built-in drivers will work on both 12 volts and 24 volts with no adjustment required.

My yachtie mate is banging-off that the garden light that I converted to a Glomex fitting and posted to The Canaries Isles only lasts 2 hours, duh!
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Old 27-09-2010, 19:53   #14
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Some LED lights have come along a bit since 2005.
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Old 27-09-2010, 20:45   #15
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Some LED lights have come along a bit since 2005.
SOME have but there is still plenty of junk being made in 2010 and it will continue to be made in 2011 The British company NASA (no relation to the space agency) make a superb mast head light but its a lot more costly than garden lights and it does not produce its own power. My old colleague needing the light is a live-aboard sailor on a pocket cruiser LOA 22 feet so space and power are at a premium. His hurricane lamp bought for 5 euros is wasting his diesel fuel so a better method of lighting is desired. Present solar power is 60 watts but the coolbox guzzles most of this especially in 35 degrees celsius. In fact the average solar power is only 30 watts as no power is obtained at night. Unfortunately wind turbines are unacceptable as he was injured by one many years ago and he won't have anything to do with them.
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