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Old 17-01-2012, 09:32   #76
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Re: Mixed Feelings about LED Cabin Lighting

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Just some advice - if your meter cannot distinguish between 5 amps and 5 milliamps, then you have a serious problem with it and may want to replace it. This is the range in which you need it to work for it to be a useful battery and energy monitoring tool. Good battery monitors are accurate and precise in this region (well, not 5mA, but definitely in the 0.5-10A region).

Mark
Also, the battery monitor will read the net current. Any chance you had some solar going in or accidentally had some other charger on when you took the measurement? As colemj says, you should be accurate to a fraction of an amp on that meter.
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Old 17-01-2012, 17:59   #77
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Re: Mixed Feelings about LED Cabin Lighting

Its quite possible some other things could have been happening at the same time. Pretty complex system and multiple charge sources & cross connections. There are some things I have been unable to put my finger on yet. I don't have a Fluke Meter but a Home Depot Fluke-wannabe. It is clear, however, that the LED draw is way smaller than the previous total of tiny high intensity lights. I am almost as happy to be rid of the extremely hot bulbs - many burned fingers.
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Old 17-01-2012, 21:55   #78
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Re: Mixed Feelings about LED Cabin Lighting

We're still pretty happy with our sensibulbs. Certainly not operating-room-level brightness, but plenty enough to make dinner, hang out for an evening, etc. The really nice thing of course is that we have half a dozen of them which with all the lights on are burning up ~1 amp. It's just really hard to beat that. When it's just the solar panels and some cloudy days it's nice to walk around and not be the power police, lecturing my family about the merits of shutting off lights.
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Old 18-01-2012, 02:59   #79
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Re: Mixed Feelings about LED Cabin Lighting

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Thanks for the great thread on LED's. Has anyone recently used the LUPO Tricolor mast head system?
Presume you mean Lopolight. I have one and like it very much indeed, bright, well built, low power. There was a thread on a UK forum recently where some people had problems with them, though units built in the past couple of years seemed to fair well so maybe any design flaws got ironed out. WHo knows. Anyway, I very much like having one up there, works down to quite a low voltage as well.
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Old 18-01-2012, 07:15   #80
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Re: Mixed Feelings about LED Cabin Lighting

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We're still pretty happy with our sensibulbs. Certainly not operating-room-level brightness, but plenty enough to make dinner, hang out for an evening, etc. The really nice thing of course is that we have half a dozen of them which with all the lights on are burning up ~1 amp. It's just really hard to beat that. When it's just the solar panels and some cloudy days it's nice to walk around and not be the power police, lecturing my family about the merits of shutting off lights.
Oh, you mean the way I'm like at home? "WHY IS THIS LIGHT ON? WHO IS USING IT?"

I call it "cruising practice". See under "YOU MADE IT, YOU EAT IT...WE DON'T RESTOCK FOR SIX WEEKS!"
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Old 18-01-2012, 15:52   #81
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Re: Mixed Feelings about LED Cabin Lighting

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Oh, you mean the way I'm like at home? "WHY IS THIS LIGHT ON? WHO IS USING IT?"

I call it "cruising practice". See under "YOU MADE IT, YOU EAT IT...WE DON'T RESTOCK FOR SIX WEEKS!"
Yeah, like that.

Trying to make sure your family has fun and running around like a police warden just don't go together.
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Old 18-01-2012, 16:22   #82
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Re: Mixed Feelings about LED Cabin Lighting

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I've switched over to warm white LED bulbs and fixtures. Don't find them harsh or bothersome anymore than the old incandescents. Made the mistake of buying a couple of cool white LED bulbs when I first started the conversion and they were terrrible. Took them out and went back to incandescent till I discovered the warm white LEDs. The warm white LEDs are not tinted but produce the yellowish tinted light naturally, if LEDs could be called natural.

Peter, I don't have the technical background to choose lights based on the technical data given here ... what did you end up with, and where did you get them?
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Old 18-01-2012, 16:58   #83
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Re: Mixed Feelings about LED Cabin Lighting

if you put 2 LED bulbs, arrays, etc... together, do you have twice the brightness?

If so, since the LED have lower light intensity and of course less power, how many do you really need to equal one old style incandescent 20 watt bulb as far as light quantity?
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Old 18-01-2012, 17:17   #84
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Re: Mixed Feelings about LED Cabin Lighting

"I call it "cruising practice". See under "YOU MADE IT, YOU EAT IT...WE DON'T RESTOCK FOR SIX WEEKS!"

Are you sure you dont mean: "She MADE IT, YOU better EAT IT...!"
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Old 18-01-2012, 17:45   #85
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Re: Mixed Feelings about LED Cabin Lighting

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I cant stand LED or Halogen light. Too harsh for me. Walk into a boat with incandescent light at night and it feels warm and inviting. Just me I guess. I'd rather monitor my light use than live with something I dont like. Maybe over the galley to use only when cooking or something like that...
LEDs have evolved tremendously recently. In fact, Wikipedia says they're following Moore's Law. We replaced our 10W G4 halogen bulbs with Warm White LEDs & got not only MORE light (~150 lumens), but warmer light. And at $4 each with IC current limiting, it was a no brainer, as we have 26 of them on Ocelot.

Many white LEDs these days are actually blue LEDs with a phosphor coating. Like a flourescent, the phosphor absorbs the blue & re-radiates it as a different color. There are some losses here (cool-white LEDs are ~10% brighter than warm-white) but apparently not much.

We get our LEDs from Bill Deng & Lighting Matrix, an LED factory in Hong Kong. Their G4 replacements use 12 "5050" segments. They're brighter than the 10W halogens without needing heat sinks. LM seems pretty committed to quality, as ALL of their 12v LEDs have IC current limiting. You can tell because their input voltage specs are 8-30v, not just 10-15v (which usually indicates resistor current limiting).

Our masthead light from LM puts out almost 500 lumens (we deleted the LEDs from the top of the bulb) for only $12. It's usually the brightest anchor light around. We got it with a BA15 base so it fits our Aqua Signal fixture, but LM can put them on any base. Bill has even given me a prototype Tri-color bulb based on this masthead bulb but with Red segments on the left & Green segments on the right.

Unfortunately, our mast is out right now so I can't test this prototype. The problem with tri-color LED bulbs is the change-over from red to green. With a thick LED bulb (instead of the vertical filament incandescent) for a small angle when you're right in front of the boat you see light coming through both the red & the green. Your eye combines these & you perceive it as yellow, but if your LED is cool-white, you perceive it more as white. Which means that, for a small angle dead ahead, it looks like you're going away! Not good.

If anyone has a good solution here (other than keeping a good watch) I'd love to hear it. I've seen a 1W LED mounted vertically & shining into a small conical mirror (for ~$80!). These would simulate the vertical filament pretty well, but a 1W LED doesn't put out enough light (for me) after going through red/green lenses. Thoughts?
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Old 18-01-2012, 19:22   #86
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Re: Mixed Feelings about LED Cabin Lighting

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Unfortunately, our mast is out right now so I can't test this prototype. The problem with tri-color LED bulbs is the change-over from red to green. With a thick LED bulb (instead of the vertical filament incandescent) for a small angle when you're right in front of the boat you see light coming through both the red & the green. Your eye combines these & you perceive it as yellow, but if your LED is cool-white, you perceive it more as white. Which means that, for a small angle dead ahead, it looks like you're going away! Not good.

If anyone has a good solution here (other than keeping a good watch) I'd love to hear it. I've seen a 1W LED mounted vertically & shining into a small conical mirror (for ~$80!). These would simulate the vertical filament pretty well, but a 1W LED doesn't put out enough light (for me) after going through red/green lenses. Thoughts?

You might try adding a divider centered within the lamp so that the left and right do not mix. Coat the divider on each side with aluminum peel & stick tape so that right hand light is reflected right etc. I found the tape at Home Depot.
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Old 18-01-2012, 19:51   #87
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Re: Mixed Feelings about LED Cabin Lighting

Good idea, although there are no Home Depots here in Thailand. I was also thinking of adding a bit of tape inside the lens at the front, exactly as wide as the LED bulb, so you could see the red or the green, but not both at the same time. Problem with this is that the light output would drop to essentially zero directly in front of the boat.
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Old 18-01-2012, 20:05   #88
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Re: Mixed Feelings about LED Cabin Lighting

make the divider from aluminum (aluminium if British) or SS. You could use almost any thin material for the divider but output might be improved by shiney stuff. I agree the wide strip idea is not desireable. This issue is identified as a know problem by some of the replacement bulb suppliers but most do not suggest a solution.
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Old 19-01-2012, 06:13   #89
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Re: Mixed Feelings about LED Cabin Lighting

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Yeah, like that.

Trying to make sure your family has fun and running around like a police warden just don't go together.
True, but it's funny how I continue to hold similar opinions about waste as were held by my late Depression/WWII-era parents.

People think I'm green, but really, it's more a sort of khaki. On a boat where we only hit the start button with regret (unless I'm too close to an Italian island...), it's not a bad headspace to occupy.
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Old 21-01-2012, 18:16   #90
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Re: Mixed Feelings about LED Cabin Lighting

With respect to complaints in early posts to this thread about dim LED lighting, it seems ironic that two days ago I finished installing a dimmer for a string of LED's in our saloon because they are so bright. We replaced all of the interior halogen lights with LED inserts because they provide about 50% more light (guessing because I don't have a lux meter) for about 1/10 the current. We obtained the replacements from LGS Framing in Tucson (wife met Roy, the owner, at a home and garden fair). They are a bit pricey at $30/insert but you may be able to work a volume deal. Part number is: G4.RV3N-F HALOGEN REPLACEMENTS.

We also installed a bar of LED lights across the cockpit under the bimini top. They are in two segments with a quick disconnect at the center so we can run only half the LED's if desired. Even with only half energized, we usually dim them to about half brightness for proper ambiance.

Lastly, we installed two 1 foot long sections of blue LED's about 1/3 the way up the mast. These definitely stand out in a busy anchorage, making the boat much easier to find.

Contact info:
e-mail LGSFraming@comcast.net; phone: 520-954-2598
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