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Old 08-01-2013, 09:49   #1
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Rail Mounted Solar Lights

I was hoping that someone out there had found a great rail mounted solar light. I'm about to head down to my boat on the Pacific side of Mexico and will be headed to El Salvador. It seems that everyone uses solar lights to mark their boats as the locals driving pangas at night don't seem to look up for anchor lights, but they seem to be able to avoid boats with these. At least that's the theory...and yes, I do run an anchor light.

Anyhow, I was hoping that someone found a rail mounted solar led light that holds up in a marine environment.

-- Geoff
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Old 08-01-2013, 10:21   #2
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Re: Rail Mounted Solar Lights

I'm pretty sure everyone just uses cheap garden lights. 10-pack for $40 at Amazon. Rail mount = black zip ties.
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Old 08-01-2013, 10:30   #3
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Re: Rail Mounted Solar Lights

Maybe this will help.
Lighting and LEDs
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Old 08-01-2013, 10:41   #4
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Re: Rail Mounted Solar Lights

I was in a Walmart ****SUPER STORE***** and as I walked the edifice of American consumerism I latched onto some solar lights for 97cents each! And they are the good ones where the little led hangs down a bit in the glass, not flush. Gives better light out wards not downwards.

Head into any of those sort of stores, Home Depot, or a gardening store

Attached to stanchions with cable ties.
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Old 08-01-2013, 10:55   #5
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Re: Rail Mounted Solar Lights

Part of my problem is that I live in the North East and I suspect that finding garden lights at this time of year might be a bit difficult. Also, I have to carry/fly with these to Mexico, so I want something that is small and lasts. I have one that another cruiser gave to us, and it survived a season, but it's showing signs of corrosion and I had to trash the rechargeable batteries which were in it.

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Old 08-01-2013, 11:05   #6
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Re: Rail Mounted Solar Lights

geoff--when you arrive in mexico, go to home depot or mega and find garden lights. they are everywhere here as ther eis no winter. mega, home depot, even some other super markets...have fun--why use your allotted weight in air plane for garden l ights??? they are sold here.
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:09   #7
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Re: Rail Mounted Solar Lights

Make sure you have a decent anchor light.

It's very annoying to come in a anchorage at 3am and find unlit boats, because their anchor lights have died.
Even at full brightness most Garden lights are inadequate.

Low down lights are better than the masthead. A proper marine rated led in the fore triangle is a great solution.

If you want to add garden lights to highlight the ends of the boat, that's a bonus, but don't rely on them.

Proper bright LEDs are cheap and readily available, with minimal power consumption, leave them on so I, or someone else, does no hit you.
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:23   #8
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Re: Rail Mounted Solar Lights

I use a solar rope light that I bought at harbor freight for around $15. The nice thing about the rope light is that it's about 15' long, so it lends itself to lots of "artistic" mounting options, which really helps when you're trying to dinghy back to your boat in the anchorage after a few too many cervezas ashore. You can extend the running time on these lights by replacing the NiCad AA batteries that with them to NiMh batteries.
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:26   #9
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Re: Rail Mounted Solar Lights

is a pita to come into a strange anchorage and find no one's lights are mounted low enough so as to be visible, if the lights are even used.
i will post a few pix of anchored boats and you can try to find the damnable things by means of seeking anchor lights--masthead lighting is not adequate, as the lights do blend with stars--even the morning star is at same level as the masthead lights. make extra light in cockpit using many of the cheapo lights--they are also able to be wired into your boat's electrical system so they can be used all night long.
here in mexico where a panga driver can hit you and own all of you and all you own, it is especially important to have cockpit and bow lit. i will be able to post pix in a few days, after i find and buy a windows based puter for that specific purpose. you will all be amazed at the reality of this problem.
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:47   #10
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Re: Rail Mounted Solar Lights

I found that a big one hanging from the boom lights up the cockpit and canvas quite well. Easy to find your boat at anchor and easy to see.
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Old 08-01-2013, 12:19   #11
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Re: Rail Mounted Solar Lights

my anchor light is a nice old oil lamp that has a fresnel lens and can be seen for over 3 miles. i hang it on my mizzen boom, in the cockpit.

i add many lil garden lights in different places--bow and stern so i am visible--the pattern is different from others and is plainly lighted when one looks from the dark of the open waters.....
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Old 08-01-2013, 12:24   #12
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Re: Rail Mounted Solar Lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
my anchor light is a nice old oil lamp that has a fresnel lens and can be seen for over 3 miles. i hang it on my mizzen boom, in the cockpit.

i add many lil garden lights in different places--bow and stern so i am visible--the pattern is different from others and is plainly lighted when one looks from the dark of the open waters.....
Yeah, those are great, any time the boat moves they "occult" a bit making it noticeable...
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Old 08-01-2013, 12:26   #13
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Re: Rail Mounted Solar Lights

mine isnt allowed to fly--is tied to binnacle and boom so is free but not swinging.
occasionally the flame flickers creating an effect similar to strobe..
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Old 08-01-2013, 12:32   #14
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Re: Rail Mounted Solar Lights

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my anchor light is a nice old oil lamp that has a fresnel lens and can be seen for over 3 miles. i hang it on my mizzen boom, in the cockpit.
I am with Zee on this. I have fresnel-lensed oil lamps as a back up for the electrical anchor light and navigation lights.
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Old 08-01-2013, 12:35   #15
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Re: Rail Mounted Solar Lights

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I am with Zee on this. I have fresnel-lensed oil lamps as a back up for the electrical anchor light and navigation lights.
i am seeking green and red nav lites that work using kerosene....
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