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Old 07-01-2012, 10:29   #16
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Re: Mixed Feelings about LED Cabin Lighting

All my lighting is now LED to save power. I replaced fixtures and all and find the results more than satisfactory. At this time I feel that the expectation of voltage correction in replacement bulbs is very optomistic, also expecting anything of quality out of China even more optomistic. Dave
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Old 07-01-2012, 10:57   #17
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Re: Mixed Feelings about LED Cabin Lighting

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Thanks for that Dockhead... was debating going down the LED route for Nav and other lights for the boat when I rewire/fit new fittings... but after reading this I'm gonna stick to conventional and use the savings towards a little Aerogen.. to back up my existing 60W solar....
Do look at your power budget when considering LED Nav lights. On my boat the incandescent tricolor was one of the biggest overall loads: It is on for twelve hours a day and takes a lot of amps. Deck-level running lights burn even more power, but I seldom use then when underway. Switching to an LED tricolor made a huge improvement in my daily current drain.

Interior lights are a lot more complicated decision. I replaced some of mine with LEDS so we could reduce the power consumption under most circumstances. I kept a few fixtures with incandescent or fluorescent bulbs so we have task-lighting where it makes a difference.

More power generation is always a good thing, but reducing consumption is even better.
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Old 07-01-2012, 11:09   #18
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Re: Mixed Feelings about LED Cabin Lighting

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Do look at your power budget when considering LED Nav lights. On my boat the incandescent tricolor was one of the biggest overall loads: It is on for twelve hours a day and takes a lot of amps. Deck-level running lights burn even more power, but I seldom use then when underway. Switching to an LED tricolor made a huge improvement in my daily current drain.

Interior lights are a lot more complicated decision. I replaced some of mine with LEDS so we could reduce the power consumption under most circumstances. I kept a few fixtures with incandescent or fluorescent bulbs so we have task-lighting where it makes a difference.

More power generation is always a good thing, but reducing consumption is even better.
Well, the tricolor is only used on passage at night -- I haven't so far been doing more than a few overnights a year. And at the end of an overnight sail there's always some motoring to get into port, making up the used power. So the tricolor is not a priority for me.

The anchor light, on the other hand, definitely is.

I was waiting to install an entirely new anchor/tricolor light -- like a Lopo. It's a reasonably big job to install it (on top of our 75' mast) and not an inexpensive piece of kit, which is why its number hasn't come up on the wish list yet. Now I'm thinking about simply putting an LED bulb in the anchor light part of my Aquasignal lamp.

It's 25 watts and burns all night at anchor -- so, yes, of course, the impact is significant.

Deck-level nav lights are not even on the radar -- I'm always motoring when I use them, so I don't care how much power they consume.
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Old 07-01-2012, 11:13   #19
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Re: Mixed Feelings about LED Cabin Lighting

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All my lighting is now LED to save power. I replaced fixtures and all and find the results more than satisfactory. At this time I feel that the expectation of voltage correction in replacement bulbs is very optomistic, also expecting anything of quality out of China even more optomistic. Dave
I just bought a Sinometer true RMS multimeter with AC/DC clamp meter, stencil-branded from Radio Shack. Made in China. Wow, what a beautiful piece of equipment, a top-notch bit of kit. Quality from China all depends on what is specified by the buyer. They can do almost anything, I think.
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Old 07-01-2012, 11:35   #20
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Re: Mixed Feelings about LED Cabin Lighting

Dockhead, et. al...

Thanks so much for your expose on LEDs. I have been planning to upgrade my cabin lights (12 festoons) and reading lights (4 double-contact bayonets) this year, but have been waiting for some definitive info on the performance and quality of those generally available.

In addition to the warm incandescent-like color and adequate brightness and reliability, I'm very interested in the RFI generation of LEDs, particulary as it concerns HF radio. Any insight or experience would be of interest.

Again, many thanks.

Bill

PS...I agree with you about stuff built in China. Much of it is terrible, granted. Nevertheless, they do in fact make some VERY good products, including test instruments, batteries, and other things of interest to the cruising community.

B.
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Old 07-01-2012, 12:06   #21
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Re: Mixed Feelings about LED Cabin Lighting

I'll endorse LED strip lighting.

I got a couple of warm white 5m strips out of Hong Kong on Ebay. Hung one of them around the cockpit. It's almost too bright.

If I were doing Boracay again I'd work out a way to mount (mine came with self adhesive tape backing) differing lengths. 5m in total would be just about enough for a main cabin.

I'd also be looking at putting some sort of frosted diffuser in front. Maybe put a couple of strips inside one of those older cheap fluorescent fittings. The individual LEDs are very bright.
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Old 07-01-2012, 12:07   #22
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Re: Mixed Feelings about LED Cabin Lighting

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I have been making new tabs out of brass picture hangers and pop riveting them in place. Very tedious. Tomorrow I will experiment with epoxy instead of pop rivets (the 3.2mm rivets are a little too big for the job, and I haven't been able to find any 2.5mm microrivets here in Cowes). Argghh! A pox on your house, Cantalupi!

Try using a modified methacrylate like Plexus. You cab get plexus in very small cartridges which fit in a small gun with mixing wands. It cures in about 10-20 seconds and bonds much better than any epoxy. Handles heat well too. The only drawback is that it's nasty stuff and smells horrible when applied. I have done much destruction testing of Plexus vs. epoxy bonds. It's awesome stuff for small applications like this. You can actually buy small quantities in most auto parts stores under a different name. It is sold for gluing on broken motorcycle fairing parts. I know, off topic, just trying to help...
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Old 07-01-2012, 12:11   #23
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Re: Mixed Feelings about LED Cabin Lighting

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I am interested to see what the Bedazzled LED units are like. They are even cheaper than Superbright and seem to be sophisticated (buck regulated) and high quality. I will update this thread after I have tried them.
I've replaced most of mine with units from bedazzled. No problems whatsoever, plenty bright and the warm white looks fine. Fast delivery, seem like a good bunch. Very RF quiet as well.

12 volt Replacement LED Light Bulbs - Bedazzled UK
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Old 07-01-2012, 12:13   #24
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Re: Mixed Feelings about LED Cabin Lighting

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Originally Posted by minaret View Post
Try using a modified methacrylate like Plexus. You cab get plexus in very small cartridges which fit in a small gun with mixing wands. It cures in about 10-20 seconds and bonds much better than any epoxy. Handles heat well too. The only drawback is that it's nasty stuff and smells horrible when applied. I have done much destruction testing of Plexus vs. epoxy bonds. It's awesome stuff for small applications like this. You can actually buy small quantities in most auto parts stores under a different name. It is sold for gluing on broken motorcycle fairing parts. I know, off topic, just trying to help...
Oh, thank you! That's a hot tip! I will definitely try this.
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Old 07-01-2012, 12:17   #25
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I replaced my 7 interior old school edison 12v light bulbs. 5 were replaced with Dr. LED because they are a perfect fit for the clip on lampshade. 2 are sensibulbs, which are certainly more of a PITA, but I was able to hide by fastening lampshade to base.
Sensibulbs are better, and the original bulbs obvusly are best. dr. LED are as advertised, just decent.
I find much better light because I'm not afraid to turn on all 4-5 in my main salon at same time, and barely get a voltage drop. That's the real advantage of LEDs, that you can use them all, whereas power misers like me used to only switch on a couple.
Basically my power consumption is about 15%-20% the original per light. So turning on 5 lights is better than 1 of my prior.
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Old 07-01-2012, 12:23   #26
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Re: Mixed Feelings about LED Cabin Lighting

Great information Thank you. I have been replacing as I go but also added a couple of halogen lights in main cabin and head.

This summer leds made a real difference in how house battery bank held up after 3 weeks at anchor. Starting to look at ebay for cheap leds. Unsure about the quality, but the price looks interesting
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Old 07-01-2012, 12:58   #27
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Re: Mixed Feelings about LED Cabin Lighting

I have replaced all my incandescent lights with LED's from Ikea and am very happy with them. I have no issues with reading or working under them. My boat has rather common older style fixtures which I evicerated and refitted with the Ikea stuff for $10.00 Can. each.

I have posted a How To on my website.
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Old 07-01-2012, 12:58   #28
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Re: Mixed Feelings about LED Cabin Lighting

I've been using a mix of sensibulbs and a bulb called Array from a US company Nexxus.

Array Lighting - Premium LED lamp bulbs utilizing Selective Heat Sink Technology

I'm very impressed with the Array. Compared to sensibulb (the new brighter ones)

-- a touch dimmer than the sensibulb but very, very close
-- dimmable with standard dimmer
-- very broad beam
-- excellent color and pleasing light quality
-- no failures in two years even though it's on boat power (11.5v to 14.6v)
-- Around $10
-- much smaller than the sensibulb. 1.2"x0.5"
-- with a little delicate soldering, it's possible to combine two into a single bulb that is an astonishingly bright $20 2 watt LED.

In the picture (which isn't very scientific) the Sensibulb is on the left and a single Array on the right.

The problem with these guys is that they don't have much retail distribution. I have no idea about outside the US. Here's the place I used. I got the 12v DC warm version.

Nexxus - Array Lighting LED High Output G4 Lamp. In Stock-Shop Now!

Carl
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Old 07-01-2012, 20:28   #29
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Re: Mixed Feelings about LED Cabin Lighting

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The problem with these guys is that they don't have much retail distribution. I have no idea about outside the US. Here's the place I used. I got the 12v DC warm version.
Those are the ones I noted earlier that we have. They are sold in Home Depot and Lowes in the US, so that is great retail distribution there.

Mark
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Old 07-01-2012, 22:29   #30
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Re: Mixed Feelings about LED Cabin Lighting

Mark,

Sorry, I should have read the posts more carefully to see your comment about the Array bulbs. It's good to know someone else has used them on a boat. And great to learn that you can get them at Lowes. It's amazing that no marine supplier has picked them up -- but I guess at $10 it can't be marine grade

Carl
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