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Old 31-07-2010, 20:05   #1
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Red Cabin Lights

I am thinking of putting in a separate set of red lights to light the cabin during sailing. This will give me the light I would need to get around in the cabin without destroying my night vision (It's bad enough as it is.) Probably only one flood for the cabin and one spot at the nav table would do the job. This would be a separate circuit from the white "In Port" lights.

Has anyone done this? What are your results if you have.

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Old 31-07-2010, 20:11   #2
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G'day, Mates. I have done exactly what you are intending to do. I was able to put a 36 let bulb in my existing globe fixture along with the existing bulb. I wired it in through a 3 way switch so I can choose which light I want. Ditto at the Nav table. Cheers.

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Old 31-07-2010, 20:15   #3
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For every white light, I put a red light next to it. Works well, looks really neat.
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Old 31-07-2010, 20:17   #4
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There are some nice little LED white/red combo lights available. I have then in several places on the boat.

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Old 31-07-2010, 20:24   #5
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I've used red lights for night some time and sure cuts down on the time needed to adjust to darkness when taking over the helm.
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Old 31-07-2010, 20:55   #6
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I've done it. Makes the boat a lot less scary down below during a passage. We've got red courtesy lights at floor level in every cabin, and a few strategically placed reds overhead in the saloon. A good idea to have a red LED light near the companionway.
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Old 31-07-2010, 20:57   #7

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Better read this

Night Vision - The Red Myth
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Old 31-07-2010, 21:40   #8
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Originally Posted by SaltyMonkey View Post
Which in the third conclusion so much as says that dim red would be the best inside a boat. It's also very sexy and creates a serious atmosphere while reminding the dim witted just awoken to not brighten the white lights.
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Old 31-07-2010, 21:50   #9
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Originally Posted by SaltyMonkey View Post
Well, the Military still uses the red light system. While I was in the Navy doing night watches we wore these when entering the deck spaces. But an older style with side shields.

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Old 01-08-2010, 00:41   #10
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I speculate that the overall bulb intensity is significantly reduced with the color filter in place when compared to the unfiltered white bulb. Consequently, the ability to see at night is recovered sooner using the lower intensity color filtered bulbs.

All of our lights are dual bulb, white and red. We make extensive use of the red bulbs during night passages.
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Old 01-08-2010, 04:35   #11
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Red lights

I just replaced my cabin flourescents with Aqua Signal led's, red/white. Like em but only 1 overnight since the installation. Dave
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Old 01-08-2010, 04:36   #12
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I have red LED lights installed next to five overhead cabin lights. These have been used on night passages since October 2005. They work VERY well. The problem with the very learned article referenced is that the "myth of red lights" isn't a myth at all. Red lighting works.

Since LEDs draw almost nothing, I simply wired into the existing overhead white cabin lights and installed a SPDT mini toggle switch in the frames of each white light. This allows me to switch to either white or red.

For mounting, I found that small teak winch pads with a hole cut in them to mount the red LED lights worked very well. When varnished, they look good, too!

And, yes, the red lights do indeed make the cabin look "sexy".

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Old 01-08-2010, 05:07   #13
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The article, not it's content, is the myth.
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Old 01-08-2010, 06:17   #14
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On night passages we use the led headlamps with a white and a red switch--no need to leave a light on. They are 2 for $10 at Home Depot.
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Old 01-08-2010, 06:30   #15
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I don't have red cabin lights yet, but that is the plan. I do have a flashlight that has white LED's and Red LED's which I can choose to light up either. I use the light to navigate around the boat and to read charts.

There have been occasions, I have hit the white light rather then the red and I can say for myself at least there is a dramatic difference in the effect of the white light compared to the red light on my night vision.

When the bright white light comes on I can practically feel my pupils react, when the light goes off it takes a while for my night vision to return to where it previously was.

Eg on a passage from North Carolina to Florida, I was able to clearly see the windex on the masthead in the dark. I hit the white light by mistake, I couldn't see much mast the bow let alone way up at the windex. Red light had zero effect on that range of vision.

Myth or not, I stand by it's effect on my night vision and will continue to use red light.

When I used the red light at night I notice a dramatic change in

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