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Old 22-01-2009, 17:27   #16
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Guys

Please do NOT use non-certified LED bulbs in existing fixtures!!

There is only one company who has spent the time and money to have their LED bulb USCG certified in another manufacturers fixture and that is Dr. LED. When Dr. LED bulbs are used in Aqua Signal series 25 & 40 fixtures this is legal and certified but ONLY in Aqua Signal series 25 & 40 fixtures..

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Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
What you need for LED nav lights are colored LED lights behind a clear lens. Putting an LED behind a colored lens doesn't work well at all, as you have found out.
That is actually the last thing you need. You do not need nor want a non-certified nav light! All a money grubbing lawyer will care about is the USCG certification of the bulb and fixture as a pair! This IS his case when and if you are involved in a night time collision!

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Originally Posted by George P View Post
Hi Mark,
Try a warm white LED bulb vs. the ultra bright white...this will make a difference on bi color or tri color lenses. For single color lens the rule of thumb is same colored LED. I replaced all my interior lights with G4 warm white LEDs and they're great. We leave them on with no worries.
George
Yes there are no worries or regs involving INTERIOR LED's but there is for NAVIGATION lights! See above comment.

The reality of aftermarket visibility & distance vs. the actually USCG certification means diddly with lawyers. It would be up to you to prove this particular combo was safe, could be seen, and met all the beam angle requirements. That gets awfully expensive and would certainly run more than the cost of a legal USCG certified bulb for a given fixture.

Trust me the lawyers will care if you get in an accident at night. In almost every night time case the light fixtures are examined and the bulbs are compared to the certification data, at a minimum. If you have a non approved or non-certified/tested bulb for that fixture installed the lawyers will eat your for lunch and you'll have to prove them wrong because the law and precedent is on their side.

In order for Dr. LED to get approvals on it's bulbs in Aqua Signal 25 & 40 series lights they had to buy the fixtures, install their bulbs and send them off for certification. As of now, unless there is some other company that recently did this, this is the ONLY legal way to install aftermarket LED's into existing fixtures.

Court cases are getting very scientific these days. There was a recent case in California where they used forensics to determine if the bulb filament blew as a result of the high speed collision, when it was on, or if the filament broke when it was off. The way a filament breaks when warm differs from the way it breaks when cold. With forensics they can determine if a bulb was lit prior to an accident or not. Even if you flipped the switch on after the fact, to cover your butt, they can tell these days. If it had been a non approved LED it would have saved them a LOT of money on forensics costs and you would have been toast. This CA case involved a death! If you don't think this can happen to you then your being naive.

If you get into an accident with a guy richer than you, or with better insurance, and at night, you can almost guarantee they will be dismantling and inspecting your running lights.

One of my best friends father was killed on lake Winnepausakee in NH in 2002 and it was a HUGE court case. They were run over from behind by the son of a local marina owner. The defense tried to say John's running lights were not on at the time of the accident, which was not true, and it became a large part of the case. Their boat was was held for evidence for well over a year during this trial and case. If you don't think it happens think again I have had it impact me. We just had a similar case here in Maine and the running lights were a HUGE part of that defenses case as well!

Here is the exact wording from the trial:
Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by State of NH vs. DJL
During the post-collision forensic investigation, Maurice Boudreau, a consultant with the State Police forensics laboratory, examined the stern light. He testified that the light was still operable, but that the lamp filament showed signs of "mild hot shock," or distortion.
Don't be penny wise & pound foolish..

Dr. LED Polar Star 40 (LINK)


Dr. LED Polar Star 25 (LINK)

From a pres release:

"Seattle, Washington, December 18, 2006 – Dr. LED today announced that it’s White Polar Star 40TM after-market replacement LED light bulb for the Aqua Signal series 40 anchor light has been certified by a U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) accepted independent laboratory as compliant with the USCG COLREG 1972 (International Maritime Organization, “IMO”) standards and verified to be in conformance with the navigation light regulations of ABYC A-16. This is the only after-market navigation replacement light bulb that has received such certification."



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Old 22-01-2009, 18:05   #17
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That is actually the last thing you need. You do not need nor want a non-certified nav light! All a money grubbing lawyer will care about is the USCG certification of the bulb and fixture as a pair! This IS his case when and if you are involved in a night time collision!
Main Sail, I didn't say anything about using a non certified fixture or bulb or either. I just made a statement to the effect that LEDs work best as Nav lights when the correct color LED is used behind a clear lens. Such as in Lopolight, for instance.
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Old 25-01-2009, 03:24   #18
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Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
When Dr. LED bulbs are used in Aqua Signal series 25 & 40 fixtures this is legal and certified but ONLY in Aqua Signal series 25 & 40 fixtures..
Dr LED only says that their replacement bulb for series 40 Anchor light is certified. No other light that I can see.
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Old 25-01-2009, 03:48   #19
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Take a look at the marinebeam.com website for replacement LED nav lightbulbs. While they don't have USCG certification, my calibrated eye says their warm white surface mount bulb makes an excellent replacement for a tricolor or bicolor light. They recommend their cool white bulb for replacement of anchor and stern lights, and have red and green replacement bulbs for the single colored applications. Draw is about 0.4 amps, and their current-limiting circuitry should make the bulbs last almost forever.

I don't have any association with marinebeam, but I replaced my Dr Led tricolor bulb with one of theirs and am impressed with the quality, output and color. I'm much more concerned with being seen than with some lawyer's blessing.
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Old 28-01-2009, 10:19   #20
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I just

I just spoke with James at Dr. LED to confirm their certifications of PolarStar nav bulbs.

I was incorrect in the above post that all PolarStar 40 and PolarStar 25 bulbs are certified in Aqua Signal fixtures. Sorry for my mistake!

The reality is that their site is somewhat misleading and ONLY the PolarStar 40 bulb, when installed into an Aquasignal 40 anchor fixture, is certified.

Dr. LED, nor anyone else, makes a USCG certified LED to retro fit into existing fixtures so buyer beware!!


Dr. LED will have more certifications within the year but they cost and I quote James from Dr. LED; "Oh we pay thousands and thousands of dollars to have these cetifications done, it's not like it's $50.00 or something." "This is why it takes time.".

So there you have it the ONLY USCG/COLREGS certified retro fittablle LED for nav purposes is the Dr. LED PolarStar 40 when installed into an AquaSignal Series 40 anchor light fixture.

The only other legal options, for LED nav lights, is to buy complete new fixtures designed and certified as LED nav lights..
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