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Old 23-10-2014, 09:13   #31
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Re: LED Nav Lights

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
............. I think there may also be a clause about using the vessel for illegal activities, acts of war etc? Would not operating it while intoxicated be an illegal activity?.
Operating while intoxicated is "illegal" but people do it every day, both on the water and on the road.

I believe the exclusion you mention is for activities such as drug running, carrying illegal aliens, etc.
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Old 23-10-2014, 10:12   #32
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Re: LED Nav Lights

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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
I don't think having the wrong bulb in a navigation light or even having a burned out bulb rises to the level of "gross negligence". If your insurance policy is that strict or has that sort of loophole for them to get out of paying you really need to go with a different insurer. What if your fixtures are ten years old and the lenses are slightly faded? Is that gross negligence?

And what about the poor guy you hit? He doesn't get paid for his losses because you had the wrong or burned out bulb in your navigation light?

Driving drunk has to be about the most severe example of "gross negligence" there is, yet your insurance remains in effect.

I think you guys are reading too much into this "gross negligence" thing or just parroting what you've read on boating forums.

As for "approved" navigation lights, my copy of the COLREGS (and ones found on the Internet), list only the performance standards, no requirement that any fixtures or bulbs be approved by any agency. Some folks on boating forums would have us believe that if you have Perko lights you would have to buy Perko or replacement lamps to retain approval. That's just not true.

If someone runs into you at night, and the other skipper claims he couldn't see you, and it is discovered that you put LED bulbs into incandescent nav lights, and/or that you did some home-made modifications to them, you've got serious problems, believe you me.

If I were your lawyer in such a case (and it would cost you), I would find some arguments to get you out of it, of course. The first thing I would do would be to try to prove that the visibility of your boat in those particular conditions to that particular guy was not significantly impaired by the improper bulb. I will get in expert witnesses and set up experiments (this will cost you -- ka-ching!) because the presumption will be against us -- the non-standard bulbs do not produce the intended light pattern, and in case of a white LED unit in a colored sidelight, we would probably lose this argument. But if we did win that argument, then I will bring in a bunch of arguments about how your illegal nav lights did not actually cause the accident since the other guy could practically see you.

If it goes really well, we would win, and it would only cost you, say, 50 grand. If the other side has good lawyers, it will take more time and cost more.

Or, on the other hand, you could just put standard, approved nav lights in in the first place, and you will never have to prove anything.

Your choice!
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Old 23-10-2014, 10:25   #33
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Re: LED Nav Lights

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
If someone runs into you at night, and the other skipper claims he couldn't see you, and it is discovered that you put LED bulbs into incandescent nav lights, and/or that you did some home-made modifications to them, you've got serious problems, believe you me.

If I were your lawyer in such a case (and it would cost you), I would find some arguments to get you out of it, of course. The first thing I would do would be to try to prove that the visibility of your boat in those particular conditions to that particular guy was not significantly impaired by the improper bulb. I will get in expert witnesses and set up experiments (this will cost you -- ka-ching!) because the presumption will be against us -- the non-standard bulbs do not produce the intended light pattern, and in case of a white LED unit in a colored sidelight, we would probably lose this argument. But if we did win that argument, then I will bring in a bunch of arguments about how your illegal nav lights did not actually cause the accident since the other guy could practically see you.

If it goes really well, we would win, and it would only cost you, say, 50 grand. If the other side has good lawyers, it will take more time and cost more.

Or, on the other hand, you could just put standard, approved nav lights in in the first place, and you will never have to prove anything.

Your choice!
Excellent summation of the likely scenario! As sailors, we're used to having free reign to monkey with just about anything on our boats. However with navigation lights and other required safety gear, complying with the letter of the law is both smart and not expensive.
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Old 23-10-2014, 10:38   #34
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Re: LED Nav Lights

Does/can anyone post a court case where the issue of "bulbs a different brand than the fixture" ever came up and was either required to be proven (equal in over formate to the branded bulb) or ruled against?

I ask because I would guess that most (the majority) fixtures where the bulb has been changed now have a bulb of different brand/mfg than the fixture . . . . Eg when you go into a chandlery (like west marine) to buy a bulb for an aqua signal fixture they will usually sell you a Chinese or store brand bulb - looks identical and probably functions identical, but has it ever been challenged in court or required to be proven? I think Dock's argument if correct would suggest it would have been.
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Old 23-10-2014, 10:47   #35
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Re: LED Nav Lights

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
If someone runs into you at night, and the other skipper claims he couldn't see you, and it is discovered that you put LED bulbs into incandescent nav lights, and/or that you did some home-made modifications to them, you've got serious problems, believe you me.

If I were your lawyer in such a case (and it would cost you), I would find some arguments to get you out of it, of course. The first thing I would do would be to try to prove that the visibility of your boat in those particular conditions to that particular guy was not significantly impaired by the improper bulb. I will get in expert witnesses and set up experiments (this will cost you -- ka-ching!) because the presumption will be against us -- the non-standard bulbs do not produce the intended light pattern, and in case of a white LED unit in a colored sidelight, we would probably lose this argument. But if we did win that argument, then I will bring in a bunch of arguments about how your illegal nav lights did not actually cause the accident since the other guy could practically see you.

If it goes really well, we would win, and it would only cost you, say, 50 grand. If the other side has good lawyers, it will take more time and cost more.

Or, on the other hand, you could just put standard, approved nav lights in in the first place, and you will never have to prove anything.

Your choice!
Whatever!

People on boating forums sometimes take things to extremes jut to try to prove they are smarter than everyone else. The LED lamps that I used were specifically designed and manufactured for use in navigation light fixtures. They are the correct color and shape. There is nothing "home made" about my navigation lights.

I am comfortable with my decision. I'm sorry if it bothers anyone else but that doesn't change my mind.

If you want to worry about people's navigation lights I suggest you take up the case of properly installed lights that are blocked by improperly stored items like anchors, bimini tops or dinghies.
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Old 23-10-2014, 11:55   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
Does/can anyone post a court case where the issue of "bulbs a different brand than the fixture" ever came up and was either required to be proven (equal in over formate to the branded bulb) or ruled against?

I ask because I would guess that most (the majority) fixtures where the bulb has been changed now have a bulb of different brand/mfg than the fixture . . . . Eg when you go into a chandlery (like west marine) to buy a bulb for an aqua signal fixture they will usually sell you a Chinese or store brand bulb - looks identical and probably functions identical, but has it ever been challenged in court or required to be proven? I think Dock's argument if correct would suggest it would have been.
It's not the brand, but the type, which matters.

Remember the Clear Lake collision case, where police corruption came up? There was literally microscopic analysis of the nav light bulbs of the sailboat, to determine whether or not they were on and visible to the speedboat driver who crashed into them.
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Old 23-10-2014, 11:58   #37
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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post

Whatever!

People on boating forums sometimes take things to extremes jut to try to prove they are smarter than everyone else. The LED lamps that I used were specifically designed and manufactured for use in navigation light fixtures. They are the correct color and shape. There is nothing "home made" about my navigation lights.

I am comfortable with my decision. I'm sorry if it bothers anyone else but that doesn't change my mind.

If you want to worry about people's navigation lights I suggest you take up the case of properly installed lights that are blocked by improperly stored items like anchors, bimini tops or dinghies.
Your decision doesn't bother me in the least! I'm sure you're a competent mariner making the right decisions for the safety of your vessel and crew. And if you'll send me your address, I'll send you a couple of my cards. In case of, you know, need.
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Old 23-10-2014, 12:48   #38
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Re: LED Nav Lights

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
It's not the brand, but the type, which matters.
But just to play devil's advocate . . . why? . . . let's say it is an incandescent but not the original brand . . . That might mean that it did not have the same lumens . . . . as the original or burn at the same color. Following your logic why would not some scummy lawyer ( ) force the defendant to prove that his replacement bulb did in fact have exactly the same characteristics as the 'approved' bulb?

My only point is that I have heard this legal argument about replacement bulbs on the internet for years, but I have never ever seen a case where it has actually been pursued. I have seen cases where people were dinged for no lights, and for grossly inappropriate lights (eg garden lights) but NEVER EVER for having on a light that was sold as an anchor/navigation light. I understand your theoretical case, but it seems to me that practically speaking the lawyers have concluded it is a waste of time and money to pursue it - because as I say, there are a lot of replacement bulbs out there, both incandescent and leds, and I have never seen it pursued.

If you can point to a couple cases where it was in fact pursued and found against, then I would be happy to change my opinion; but right now I would suggest you are pretty safe using bulbs sold specifically for navigation/anchoring purpose.

My personal peeve against the drop in led bulbs is that I still have not found one that does not produce RF noise.
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Old 23-10-2014, 12:54   #39
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Re: LED Nav Lights

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............ And if you'll send me your address, I'll send you a couple of my cards. In case of, you know, need.
Just post one and I'll print it out.
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Old 23-10-2014, 13:20   #40
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Re: LED Nav Lights

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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
........... I have heard this legal argument about replacement bulbs on the internet for years, but I have never ever seen a case where it has actually been pursued. I have seen cases where people were dinged for no lights, and for grossly inappropriate lights (eg garden lights) but NEVER EVER for having on a light that was sold as an anchor/navigation light. I understand your theoretical case, ........................

My personal peeve against the drop in led bulbs is that I still have not found one that does not produce RF noise.
Lots of "Internet lawyers" like to dwell on theory rather than actual practice. Again, COLREGS lists performance not brand name.

As for interference, my nav lights don't do this but two of the lights in my V berth do and block out the high band VHF TV signals. Turn on the light and the screen freezes. A small capacitor across the leads as close to the lamp as possible will filter most of this out. A more sophisticated filter will do a better job.
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Old 23-10-2014, 13:38   #41
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Re: LED Nav Lights

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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
My personal peeve against the drop in led bulbs is that I still have not found one that does not produce RF noise.
You might try the LED replacement bulbs from Marinebeam.com (here's one: Tri-Color LED Replacement Bulb ).

I've not tested this for EMI, but apparently it does use the same LED driver as their other fixtures. I have a bi-color fixture from Marinebeam, and it puts out very little EMI. I used my spectrum analyzer to measure EMI output, and while there is a very slight amount of noise when I hold the probe (a small coil) right next to the fixture, once I move the analyzer probe, or my VHF with a rubber-ducky antenna, a couple of inches from the fixture I can detect no noise. Similar tests at SSB frequencies are just as encouraging.

It seems likely that the LED replacement bulb should perform similarly.
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Old 23-10-2014, 14:57   #42
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Re: LED Nav Lights

Just to get all the info out there.
USCG Approval 33 CFR 183.810
eCFR — Code of Federal Regulations

There are certification requirements (The USCG goes to ABYC which seem to have a basis in a UL standard) they state that fixtures must be tested and approved by USCG lab. So in this case there actually is a certification requirement by a governing body which is actually pretty rare in the US leisure marine world.
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Old 23-10-2014, 15:16   #43
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Re: LED Nav Lights

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Originally Posted by Colin A View Post
Just to get all the info out there.
USCG Approval 33 CFR 183.810
eCFR — Code of Federal Regulations

There are certification requirements (The USCG goes to ABYC which seem to have a basis in a UL standard) they state that fixtures must be tested and approved by USCG lab. So in this case there actually is a certification requirement by a governing body which is actually pretty rare in the US leisure marine world.
Exactly new boat builders, dealers etc. have to conform to the CFR by Federal law and need to install USCG/ABYC A-16 navigation lights.. We as boaters only need to meet the performance standards of the COLREGS / Annex I from the CFR. Course without any testing how will you know for sure you lights meet the performance specifications set out below???

If anyone thinks this is easy to do you might want to talk to Dr. LED who has failed numerous attempts at getting LED replacements certified in incandescent designed fixtures. One of his bulbs passes for power driven vessels but fails for sail because the LED drop in fails cut off angles when the vessel is heeled.

A number of years ago I was looking into developing less expensive LED nav lights, when they were all $300.00 and up.. I had numerous conversations with Imanna labs the folks who conduct most of this performance testing.

What I found out was that they fail a LOT of navigation lights that come through their facility and the design is nowhere near as easy as drop in LED bulb makers would have you believe. It is not just dropping green behind green or red behind red. There is more to it than just color and intensity.

The big questions is:

HOW DO YOU KNOW "HOME MADE" LIGHTS MEET THE PERFORMANCE SPECS?????

The answer is, you don't, unless you have them tested.......




This is the minimum performance requirement nav lights need to meet.


From 33 CFR 84:


Colors

� 84.13 Color specification of lights
(a) The chromaticity of all navigation lights shall conform to the following standards, which lie within the boundaries of the area of the diagram specified for each color by the International Commission on Illumination (CIE), in the "Colors of Light Signals", which is incorporated by reference. It is Publication CIE No. 2.2. (TC-1.6), 1975, and is available from the Illumination Engineering Society, 345 East 47th Street, New York, NY 10017. It is also available for inspection at the Office of the Federal Register, Room 8401, 1100 L Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20408. This incorporation by reference was approved by the Director of the Federal Register.
(b) The boundaries of the area for each color are given by indicating the corner coordinates, which are as follows:
(1) White:
x 0.525 0.525 0.452 0.310 0.310 0.443
y 0.382 0.440 0.440 0.348 0.283 0.382
(2) Green:
x 0.028 0.009 0.300 0.203
y 0.385 0.723 0.511 0.356
(3) Red:
x 0.680 0.660 0.735 0.721
y 0.320 0.320 0.265 0.259
(4) Yellow:
x 0.612 0.618 0.575 0.575
y 0.382 0.382 0.425 0.406

Intensity

� 84.15 Intensity of lights
(a) The minimum luminous intensity of lights shall be calculated by using the formula:
l = 3.43 x 106 x T x D2 x K-D
where:
I is luminous intensity in candelas under service conditions, T is threshold factor 2 x 10-7 lux, D is range of visibility (luminous range) of the light in nautical miles, K is atmospheric transmissivity. For prescribed lights the value of K shall be 0.8, corresponding to a meteorological visibility of approximately 13 nautical miles.
(b) A selection of figures derived from the formula is given in Table 84.15(b).
Table 84.15(b)
Range of visibility (luminous Minimum
range) of light in nautical luminous intensity of light
miles in candelas tor K = 0.8
D I
1 0.9
2 4.3
3 12
4 27
5 52
6 94

Horizontal Sectors

� 84.17 Horizontal sectors
(a)
(1) In the forward direction, sidelights as fitted on the vessel shall show the minimum required intensities. The intensities shall decrease to reach practical cut-off between 1 and 3 degrees outside the prescribed sectors.
(2) For sternlights and masthead lights and at 22.5 degrees abaft the beam for sidelights, the minimum required intensities shall be maintained over the arc of the horizon up to 5 degrees within the limits of the sectors prescribed in Rule 21. From 5 degrees within the prescribed sectors the intensity may decrease by 50 percent up to the prescribed limits; it shall decrease steadily to reach practical cutoff at not more than 5 degrees outside the prescribed sectors. (b) All-round lights shall be so located as not to be obscured by masts, topmasts or structures within angular sectors of more than 6 degrees, except anchor lights prescribed in Rule 30, which need not be placed at an impracticable height above the hull, and the all-round white light described in Rule 23(d), which may not be obscured at all. (c) If it is impracticable to comply with paragraph (b) of this section by exhibiting only one all-round light, two all-round lights shall be used suitably positioned or screened to appear, as far as practicable, as one light at a minimum distance of one nautical mile.

NOTE to paragraph (c): Two unscreened all-round lights that are 1.28 meters appart or less will appear as one light to the naked eye at a distance of one nautical mile.


Vertical Sectors

� 84.19 Vertical sectors
(a) The vertical sectors of electric lights as fitted, with the exception of lights on sailing vessels underway and on unmanned barges, shall ensure that:
(1) At least the required minimum intensity is maintained at all angles from 5 degrees above to 5 degrees below the horizontal;
(2) At least 60 percent of the required minimum intensity is maintained from 7.5 degrees above to 7.5 degrees below the horizontal.
(b) In the case of sailing vessels underway the vertical sectors of electric lights as fitted shall ensure that:
(1) At least the required minimum intensity is maintained at all angles from 5 degrees above to 5 degrees below the horizontal;
(2) At least 50 percent of the required minimum intensity is maintained from 25 degrees above to 25 degrees below the horizontal.
(c) In the case of unmanned barges the minimum required intensity of electric lights as fitted shall be maintained on the horizontal.
(d) In the case of lights other than electric lights these specifications shall be met as closely as possible.
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Old 23-10-2014, 15:35   #44
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Re: LED Nav Lights

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Originally Posted by Colin A View Post
Just to get all the info out there.
USCG Approval 33 CFR 183.810
eCFR — Code of Federal Regulations

There are certification requirements (The USCG goes to ABYC which seem to have a basis in a UL standard) they state that fixtures must be tested and approved by USCG lab. So in this case there actually is a certification requirement by a governing body which is actually pretty rare in the US leisure marine world.
Should have stated it's not a USCG lab but rather a LAB approved by USCG to under take testing and certify the light.
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Old 23-10-2014, 18:07   #45
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Re: LED Nav Lights

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Originally Posted by Paul Elliott View Post
You might try the LED replacement bulbs from Marinebeam.com (here's one: Tri-Color LED Replacement Bulb )..
This is what I am using right now: https://cruisingsolutions.com/produc...lour-masthead/

It looks just exactly like the marinebeam (but am not sure if it is), and it says it is "low RF", but it still creates AIS interference.

The next time I pull my mast I am going to install an opto lamp fixture. I have one mounted on top my radar that I tested this summer, and no RF and good durability and features. But I don't plan to pull the mast anytime soon (and don't want to struggle with mounting it with the mast up) and would love a "no rf bulb" in the meantime.
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