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Old 08-05-2016, 05:02   #1
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pirate Mast light issues

Hi crew. I have just replaced my Incandescent mast bulb with a LED bulb but it seems to be having some issues. The original was a 25W 12V incandescent bayonet German made bulb and was drawing about 2.5 to 3 amps. I replaced it with a Bell Rock LED bayonet bulb. At first the light was bright then it faded. I then left the boat turned the power off and when I returned I turned the mast light back on it was bright again. I then went below and turned some other instruments and lights on and then when I went back on deck to inspect the mast light it was dull again. This seems to keep occurring as it will be bright for a little while and then fade.

The mast light has its own switch and fuse on the circuit board and the batteries are fully charged.
I was just wondering if there could be something I am missing or should I go back up the mast fiddle with it to ensure it has a good connection.
I have replaced my interior festoon style bulbs with LED and had no issues, it just seems to be with the mast bulb.

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Old 08-05-2016, 05:16   #2
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Re: Mast light issues

Sounds like either the bulb or (more likely) the connection between the bulb and the socket.

Can you try a different bulb?

" requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off- then, I account it high time to get to sea..." Ishmael
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Old 08-05-2016, 05:51   #3
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Re: Mast light issues

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Basejones.
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 09-05-2016, 23:53   #4
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Re: Mast light issues

Hi Basejones,
I believe juist changing an incandescent bulb for a led bulb in a tricolour masthead light is not a good idea for the following reasons:
1. The incandescent bulb has a special vertical filament that ensures that the color overlap between the three sections is minimal < 3 deg.
Led bulbs have a whole array of LEDs so the color overlap will be much higher and can be as large as 30 deg. Very confusing for the other vessel observing you.
2. The colors of certified lights are very strictly defined for optimum visibility at night. Led colors have a different spectrum often more bluefish This will result in very strange color effects, the green will become blueish, the red will become orange, and the brilliance of the the colors will be affected significantly
3. From measurements we know that all led replacement bulbs give significant radio noise in the VHF bands. Since the light is close to your antenna, this will result in very poor VHF communications (shorter range)
4. The led bulb s are much heavier and will not be stable in the fitting, resulting in corrosion and bad contacts
5. In an enclosure the led bulb will become hot and loose its brilliance and have reduced lifetime
6. If in a certified light like Aquasignal 40 you replace the bulb by a led bulb, the certification becomes invalid. Insurance issues may result.

There are good alternatives like the Orca Green, Aquasignal 34 led, Hella Navilight trio, lopolight and K2W. All fully certified (though expensive).
Aquasignal 34 is lowest cost around 150$
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Old 10-05-2016, 02:28   #5
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Re: Mast light issues

I'm not an expert on this, but it sounds like you've got voltage drop somewhere. Check and brighten up all the connections. If that doesn't fix it, you have a problem the folks more knowledgeable than me may be able to help you fix.

Ann & Jim, U.S. s/v Insatiable II, SE Qld, for a while
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Old 14-05-2016, 09:22   #6
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Re: Mast light issues

What Ann says, but likely a bad connection in the common negative.

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