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Old 03-09-2013, 16:18   #1
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Navigation Bulb Price

For the life of me i cannot work out why a 25watt 12 volt
Navigation bulb cost $18? Each!
Am i missing someplace that sells them for the $5 a pair they should cost?
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Old 03-09-2013, 16:30   #2
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Re: Navigation bulb price

I suppose that it has to do with supply / demand / volume / cost to manufacture. The expensive incandescent bulbs used in tri-colors and other all-around lights have a long vertical filament so the intensity is uniform in all directions. They require mid-filament supports. Normal "automotive" bulbs have a short horizontal filament.
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Old 03-09-2013, 17:45   #3
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Re: Navigation bulb price

Not knowing the type and style but i would start with some place like Auto Zone or Advance Auto...but i would stay away from Dr. LED..I just recently had mine de-masted for rigging problems and decided to chance my anchor light out to LED while it was on the ground. After going thru 5 Dr. LED's bulbs (of which none work) i went back to standard bulb...
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Old 03-09-2013, 18:30   #4
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Re: Navigation bulb price

As mentioned above, the specified bulb for navigation lights has a vertical filament so that the division between colors in bi-color bow lights and tri-color lights meets the various specifications. For stern, anchor and running lights, I simply filed off one of the retaining pins so it would fit in the nav light socket. Not an "approved" solution, but it never failed and I could use 50 cent bulbs from the auto store when I could find ones that were bright enough.
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Old 03-09-2013, 18:49   #5
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Re: Navigation bulb price

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Originally Posted by Hank Kivett View Post
i would stay away from Dr. LED..I just recently had mine de-masted for rigging problems and decided to chance my anchor light out to LED while it was on the ground. After going thru 5 Dr. LED's bulbs (of which none work) i went back to standard bulb...
Silly question, did you check to see that the socket was wired with the correct polarity? LED = Light Emitting Diode. Diodes only conduct current in one direction. Traditional incandescent bulbs conduct in either direction.
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Old 03-09-2013, 18:51   #6
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Re: Navigation Bulb Price

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Originally Posted by scoobert View Post
Am i missing someplace that sells them for the $5 a pair they should cost?
What's the bulb number and/or base style?
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Old 03-09-2013, 19:03   #7
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Re: Navigation Bulb Price

EUR 9 each, 6.5 if in bulk. 3-coloured LED at 30-35 each. EU.

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Old 03-09-2013, 19:10   #8
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Re: Navigation Bulb Price

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Originally Posted by pbiJim View Post
What's the bulb number and/or base style?

Ancor Double Contact Navigation Light Bulbs
this one.
i have separate red and green fixtures, i think its because i am too large for 1 combo. they had 1156 auto bulbs in them that were barely visible, let alone 2 mile visible. those are not correct for 25 watts.

for the anchor light i am thinking hella LED.
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Old 03-09-2013, 20:09   #9
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Re: Navigation Bulb Price

Maybe this??? - 27 watt Sylvania for $2.50 each:
http://www.elightbulbs.com/Sylvania-...ive-Light-Bulb
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Old 04-09-2013, 06:54   #10
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Re: Navigation Bulb Price

BAY 15d mast ones (see Ancor link above). Festoons very often in smaller deck level models.

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Old 04-09-2013, 06:57   #11
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Re: Navigation Bulb Price

From SVB 8 to 9 EUR each depending on voltage:

Ersatz-BSH-Glühlampen ab 8,50 € | SVB Spezialversand für Yacht- und Bootszubehör GmbH

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Old 04-09-2013, 07:26   #12
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Re: Navigation Bulb Price

The "double contact index base" sounds like the double contact bayonet base, which would be an 1157 not an 1156. An 1157 has dual filaments.

But your marine bulb appears to have a rather unique helical support for the far end of the filament, and I'd suspect that makes it way more robust and able to take a lot of bouncing around compared to an automobile bulb.

Light bulb prices in general have gone absurd. What used to be a 50c or dollar bulb, is now usually $3.49 simply because they can. And of course, if you have that odd bulb in your nav lights, the lights are only USCG approved if you replace it with the exact same bulb. Catch-22.
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:13   #13
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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
The "double contact index base" sounds like the double contact bayonet base, which would be an 1157 not an 1156. An 1157 has dual filaments.

But your marine bulb appears to have a rather unique helical support for the far end of the filament, and I'd suspect that makes it way more robust and able to take a lot of bouncing around compared to an automobile bulb.

Light bulb prices in general have gone absurd. What used to be a 50c or dollar bulb, is now usually $3.49 simply because they can. And of course, if you have that odd bulb in your nav lights, the lights are only USCG approved if you replace it with the exact same bulb. Catch-22.
Yiu should be this side of the pond , with the banning of certain incandescent types , I've had so called long life halogens fail in three months at about 5 euro a pop. The whole long life stuff is a complete charade.

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Old 04-09-2013, 09:27   #14
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Re: Navigation Bulb Price

I am showing my ignorance. Are the bases standardized enough that you can substitute a LED bulb in an old incondescent bulb's place without changing anything else?
Are the base fittings standardized enough that I can order a bulb for my anchor light and tricolor without climbing the mast to get the old bulb first?
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:29   #15
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Re: Navigation Bulb Price

Slight derail on LEDs-

I scratchbuilt an anchor light (3 white LEDs and a resistor; not USCG approved, of course) a couple of years ago, and at some point a LED failed electrically. Only reason I could think of was some sort of transient overvoltage (static? induced by lightning?) because LEDs are very touchy about reverse voltages. So when I rebuilt it I added a reverse-biased rectifier across the LEDs to eat up reverse voltages, and a capacitor to eat up transients... and the anchor light has survived 2 seasons now. I now protect all my boat LEDs like this.

So the possibility of transients might be something that not all LED replacement bulbs have taken into account. A properly protected LED light circuit should survive for years.
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