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Old 04-05-2017, 06:34   #1
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LED bulb choice for interior dome lights

Hello,
I'm getting ready to live aboard at my mooring and I'm trying to replace as many incandescent bulbs as possible for my power budget. So far I haven't had the best luck with my LED bulb purchases.

Dr. LED makes a conversion kit with a little pigtail connector (see pic), but at $23 a pop this will really add up if I'm going to convert all my lights. Does anyone know if the bayonet pigtail connectors can be purchased separately anywhere? I have a bunch of extra 2-pin LED bulbs I bought to replace a halogen bulb. I'm not using them because they don't dim well, but they would be fine for the simple on/off dome lights. I could also pull out the bayonet sockets and wire up little bi-pin sockets.

Alternatively, has anyone found a decent LED bulb with a 2-contact bayonet style connector that is short enough to fit under the glass of a standard marine dome light? I bought some on amazon that did fit but they were all duds, and I'd rather not keep making exploratory bulb purchases.

Has anyone been down this road and found a cost-effective and/or simple solution?

Thanks!
Jack
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Old 04-05-2017, 07:12   #2
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Re: LED bulb choice for interior dome lights

We were/are doing the same thing and have had success with bulbs we found on Amazon.com and on a site called superbrightleds.com. superbrightleds.com is a bit more expensive but they had bayonet bulbs that fit our standard marine light fixture.
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Old 04-05-2017, 08:55   #3
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Re: LED bulb choice for interior dome lights

Imtra has the adapters for 12v 2 pin bayonet fixtures to accept the two wire G4 leds for about $5 USD each.

http://www.imtra.com/7fae4fac-b9f8-4...ers-detail.htm
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Old 04-05-2017, 09:06   #4
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Re: LED bulb choice for interior dome lights

Perfect, thank you.
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Old 04-05-2017, 09:17   #5
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Re: LED bulb choice for interior dome lights

You're welcome. I did every interior light on my boat. It was easy and not expensive. I did replace one dome light fixture with a new led fixture that honestly does give out more brighter light that the adapted fixtures, but at much greater cost. I'm happy with the adapters for the G4 LEDs after 4 years of use.
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Old 04-05-2017, 16:12   #6
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Re: LED bulb choice for interior dome lights

I can't answer your main question but can tell you that the Dr. LED's do dim well in our system. I am worried about longevity at the dimmer levels but have been using one on dim in the cockpit as an accessory anchor light for 6 months now and they are doing fine. So for some purposes you do actually get what you pay for in those things.

Jim
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Old 04-05-2017, 16:23   #7
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Re: LED bulb choice for interior dome lights

If you are talking about the generic 4-5" round overhead domes, I've purchased from here and am very happy:
https://www.sailorsams.com/Double-Bayonet_c_2238.html

I have 6 dual bulb overhead domes that used to run incandescent bulbs. They are the original 1974 fixtures with a 3 position switch on each (white/off/red). I replaced both the white and red bulbs with ba15 bulbs from the page listed and they are excellent. Much brighter, and a fraction of the previous amp draw.
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Old 04-05-2017, 16:42   #8
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Re: LED bulb choice for interior dome lights

We had horrible luck with Dr Led nav bulbs. Lasted less than a year with limited use, plus horrible RF interference. Talked to company about that and they said sorry but would not take back bulbs. We installed diodes and capacitors to get rid of RF. Worked. Ordered six more Dr Leds red, green and white bulbs when west marine ran them on clearance. Two out of six of the new bulbs worked, others failed to light. Have since changed nav light fixtures to aqua signal led, and interior light fixtures to Alpenglow. Alpenglow is very high quality but priced as such. No regrets.
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Old 04-05-2017, 16:53   #9
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Re: LED bulb choice for interior dome lights

For what it's worth, I too finally replaced my energy hungry & heat producing G4 halogen bulbs with these nifty LED replacement bulbs! That's 340 watts of power consumption down to 25.5 watts and they work great!



If you're interested, these are the ones I purchased:
http://amzn.to/2qeYgW6 (Amazon affiliate link!)
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Old 04-05-2017, 18:24   #10
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Re: LED bulb choice for interior dome lights

Marinebeam is the best way to go. Check them out.
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Old 04-05-2017, 20:14   #11
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Re: LED bulb choice for interior dome lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVRocinante View Post
For what it's worth, I too finally replaced my energy hungry & heat producing G4 halogen bulbs with these nifty LED replacement bulbs! That's 340 watts of power consumption down to 25.5 watts and they work great!



If you're interested, these are the ones I purchased:
http://amzn.to/2qeYgW6 (Amazon affiliate link!)
Just received a 10 pack from Newfrog (the bulb and pack looks identical) for $7.78 plus $1.70 EMS postage, with tracking number, from Malaysia to PNG. Using them to replace the last of the halogen reading lights in the cabins and nav area.

I've also recently replaced the few remaining halogen downlights in the hulls (prompted by a couple finally dying) which have the bulb horizontal with these:

10Pcs G4 LED Light 5730 SMD AC/DC 12V 10-30V Energy-saving super bright Lamp | eBay
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Old 04-05-2017, 22:55   #12
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Re: LED bulb choice for interior dome lights

LED bulbs are great. Very inexpensive on EBay.
Take a good look at the base of the incandescents you want to replace. There are many types of bases, some have 2 soldered bumps on the bottom and could have one bump be a positive and the other a negative, but sometimes they differ.
Also, some have those side pins on their metal bases that either are at the same level or can be one higher than the other, or not opposite sides of each other (like not 180 degrees apart ). Only the proper type base will work on your existing fixture's socket.
If after installing the proper bulb, it will not light, try re-inserting it half a turn into the socket and that might solve that problem.
Oh, and there are lumens or watts to think about. the highest number of either, the brighter the bulbs will shine, get the brightest and lastly, white light is way brighter, similar to fluorescent, than the more yellow, 'warm light' they call it. They still generate heat but not as much as the incandescent ones you are replacing and use much less power than what you have now.
Careful using them for navigation lights, the whole light assembly may not be 'Coast Guard Approved' for LED lights and may cause insurance problems in case of a claim.
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Old 05-05-2017, 00:32   #13
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Re: LED bulb choice for interior dome lights

Sailjumanji,

More details please on specific diodes, capacitors and placement you used to cure your rfi on Dr. Led bulbs.

I've several I'm getting round to installing...

Thanks
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Old 05-05-2017, 07:41   #14
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Re: LED bulb choice for interior dome lights

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Originally Posted by svtrio View Post
Sailjumanji,

More details please on specific diodes, capacitors and placement you used to cure your rfi on Dr. Led bulbs.

I've several I'm getting round to installing...
I*found*a*fix*that*someone*else*posted*on*the internet,*and*another Seawind owner who was an electrical guy*suggested*similar.**Got*the*parts*at*Radio*Sha ck,*and*cost per*light*fix*was*about*$3.**Not*real*difficult*to *do,*especially*since*I already*changed*out*all*of*the*Aqua*Signal*25*unit s*to*the*newer*ones*that
seem*to*be*sealed*better,*plus*have*screw-downs*for*the*wire*connections
instead*of*tabs.**Here*is*what*the*original*poster *said*he*did*(and*exactly
what*I*did):

------------------------------

I*went*to*radio*shack*and*purchased*a*0.1*uF*capac itor*and*a*100*uH*choke
coil.*I*crimped*circle*lug*connectors*to*each*lead .*The*exact*values*are*not
important.

I*took*the*receptacle*which*has*a*(+)*and*a*(-)*screw*for*attaching*the
cables.*I*placed*the*capacitor*across*the*two*conn ection*screws.*I*took*the
choke,*and*connected*one*end*to*the*positive*screw *on*the*receptacle.*I
connected*its*other*end*to*the*positive*cable*from *the*panel*using*a*crimp
butt*splice*connector.*I*connected*the*ground*or*n egative*cable*to*the
negative*screw.

Now,*the*capacitor*is*wired*in*parallel*with*the*r eceptacle*and*LED*light,
and*the*coil*is*in*series*with*the*receptacle. This*shorts*out*the*RF*hash
from*the*light,*and*blocks*the*hash*from*running*d own*the*wire*back*to*the
panel.

---------------------------------

I*did*send*a*note*to*Dr*LED*asking*if*they*thought *this*would*work.**Their
reply*was:**"This*may*help*for*conductive*EMI*not* radiated*EMI.*We*do*not
know*which*mode(s)*of*EMI*is*it.**Therefore,*we*ca nnot*say*if*this*will*fix
the*issue*or*not.*Very*sorry*about*this."

After doing the modification, I wrote them back*and*told*them*it*worked.**(Thought they might even be so helpful as to post a solution on their website, but of course that would be acknowledging they have a problem, I guess!) They*responded*that
this*would*not*affect*the*life*of*the*LED*(a*quest ion*that*I*asked).**

THat said, the run time for the LED's was not good. At the time, we primarily used the boat as a day sailor, and the NAV lights were rarely used. Seems like even then we were changing out either the red, green or white bulbs every two years. I carried spares. West Marine ran a clearance on them about a year ago, and purchased two of each color: red, green, white. One of the greens worked, and one white. The other four would not light. That was final straw, and I removed all of the fixtures and replaced with Aqua Signal 33 LED's. I also have a Stecktronics NAV/anchor light combo on top of the mast that we use in NAV mode offshore or at anchor (and the AS33's are used when in the bay or on the ICW, where waves are not issue. These are mounted on the bow pulpits and stern davits.)

Sorry about all of those asterisks. I copied this from a post I made on the Seawind users forum at the time, and apparently spaces come over as asterisks!
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Old 06-05-2017, 06:04   #15
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Re: LED bulb choice for interior dome lights

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Originally Posted by slowpoker View Post
...and lastly, white light is way brighter, similar to fluorescent, than the more yellow, 'warm light' they call it...
Slowpoker has some very good points, and I totally agree with everything, except I think the above is more of a personal preference.

Some people find cool white too harsh. In some spaces a warmer color works better. Also, I find that the cooler shades are brighter, but somehow make things harder to see. Maybe it's me.

A lot of people put cooler LEDs in engine and machine spaces, maybe even galleys, with warmer shades in the saloon.

Do a Google image search for "LED color warm vs cool" and you'll get a lot of comparisons.
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