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 Polar Star 40 bulbs are used in AquaSignal series 40 fixtures this is legal
and certified but ONLY in Aqua Signal series 40 fixtures..
The reality of aftermarket visibility & distance vs. the actually USCG certification
means diddly with lawyers. It would be up to you to prove your particular combo was safe, could be seen, and met all the beam angle & color requirements. That gets awfully expensive and would certainly run more than the cost of a legal
USCG certified bulb, like a PolarStar 40 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 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 fathers was killed on lake Winnepausakee in NH in 2002 and it was a HUGE, high profile NH 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:
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)
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."
As of right now I do not believe anyone has a USCG certified LED bulb for stern, bow or tri-color lights only the PolarStar 40 for anchor.