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Old 29-12-2011, 05:23   #1
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LED Solar Power Navigation Lights

Its just come to me this would be a great battery saver after a google I see there are a few on the market has anyone had any experence?
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Old 29-12-2011, 05:34   #2
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Re: LED solar power navigation lights

The garden lights that are re-purposed as anchor lights are too dim.

If you want to be seen, get CG-approved LED lights and power them from separate adequately sized solar panels tied to your house bank. The one exception (not CG-approved) I would vouch for is the Bebi Owl lights, which are very bright. If leaving the boat for several days and you want to show lights, use an light-sensitive switch and/or low-voltage disconnect so you don't run down your batteries.
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Old 29-12-2011, 05:53   #3
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Re: LED solar power navigation lights

oh no I mean while cruising at night Port/starb and stern lights I would think they would mount above the hard wired lights with indvidual switches, would need 10hr battery life.This would leave me more power to watch the flatscreen and DVDs.....HaHa
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Old 29-12-2011, 06:27   #4
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Stecktronics.com has a very good selection of CG approved LED nab/anchor lights. Some for retro-fitting existing units, some complete with photo-cell built in and some other cool features like it flash SOS when if u need it to(anchor light only). He's a livezboard in Key West, take a look. Not affiliated with him but have used his lights for years.
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Old 29-12-2011, 06:33   #5
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Re: LED solar power navigation lights

I use a perko led anchor light, and I can tell which boat is ours at night from a great distance...it's brighter than the others, and with a little tinge of blue (maybe?). I don't sail enough at night to warrant replacing the others.
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Old 29-12-2011, 07:03   #6
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Re: LED solar power navigation lights

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Originally Posted by Waterway Guide View Post
I use a perko led anchor light, and I can tell which boat is ours at night from a great distance...it's brighter than the others, and with a little tinge of blue (maybe?). I don't sail enough at night to warrant replacing the others.
Im sorry guys I think we have come off the rails here....I was laying in bed and it come to me how good SOLAR POWERED NAV lights would be as in RED/GREEN and STERN....so when we sail at night (am I the only one??) we can save a bit of power for 10hrs while its dark I have LED globes in and just checked the draw...ok 1amp but thats still 10amp drain over a 10hr period......
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Old 29-12-2011, 07:07   #7
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Re: LED solar power navigation lights

Great idea but the industry is not there yet on "self-contained" stuff. The link you posted is primarily for navigation lights on pilings or day markers. There are a lot of small self-contained solar powered vents and other stuff and invariably they all suffer the same problems and fail to function after a year or so.
- - The problems I have found in real life with anything using small PV solar cells to recharge a "nicad" rechargeable battery are twofold.
- - First the solar PV covering which is normally plastic gets "eaten" by the sun and crazes over making the PV panel ineffective. Of course bird poo and dirt from rain and sea accumulates on the PV surface and likewise the charging voltage drops below a usable amount.
- - Second the rechargeable nicad batteries last about a year or so and then won't take and/or hold a charge anymore.
- - To accomplish your objective, IMHO, the best way to go LED is to get the certified LED vessel navigation lights that are already on the market. And power them from your main battery bank with large solar PV panels that recharge the house battery. Going small with solar PV just doesn't seem to work or hold up very long.
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Old 29-12-2011, 07:12   #8
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Re: LED solar power navigation lights

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Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
Great idea but the industry is not there yet. The link you posted is primarily for navigation lights on pilings or day markers. There are a lot of small self-contained solar powered vents and other stuff and invariably they all suffer the same problems and fail to function after a year or so.
- - The problems I have found in real life with anything using small PV solar cells to recharge a "nicad" rechargeable battery are twofold.
- - First the solar PV covering which is normally plastic gets "eaten" by the sun and crazes over making the PV panel ineffective. Of course bird poo and dirt from rain and sea accumulates on the PV surface and likewise the charging voltage drops below a usable amount.
- - Second the rechargeable nicad batteries last about a year or so and then won't take and/or hold a charge anymore.
- - Best way to go LED is to get the certified LED vessel navigation lights that are already on the market and power them from your main battery bank with large solar PV panels that recharge the house battery. Going small with solar PV just doesn't seem to work or hold up very long.
Perfect.....we have a winner......I see the point I would wonder the size of a solar pannel that would charge 2 x aa batterys that would be a start.....and if u can get a full 10 hr from the recharged batterys
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Old 29-12-2011, 07:14   #9
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Re: LED solar power navigation lights

or maybe put green and red LED globes in them garden lights!
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Old 29-12-2011, 07:19   #10
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Re: LED solar power navigation lights

Ok here is my dreamed invention!
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Old 29-12-2011, 07:43   #11
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Re: LED solar power navigation lights

Great dream - but have your checked the price? See: Carmanah Solar Powered LED Marine Light Lantern M650 Yellow *NEW* | eBay

Basically, US$450 per unit.
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Old 12-09-2013, 06:21   #12
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Re: LED Solar Power Navigation Lights

I don't know why, but I get the impression that the best way to use the solar lights is for battery charging first and light needs second.

Almost every solar light I've bought seems to be capable of charging aftermarket, larger milliamp batteries.

I expect to add mini switches to all the units since I'm never interested in 10 hours of light each night. This will allow me to part out the batteries and recharge more batteries.

From what I've seen, about 2-4 lumens make nice little "mood lights", but anything above 20 or so lumens make for some useable lighting.

At Menards, there are even some 100 lumen solar lights which supposedly run for about 8+ hours on a day's charge. 100 lumens is pretty serious light on a sailboat.

If anything, I look on the solar lights to be one stage of my "redundancy", of systems.
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Old 12-09-2013, 06:45   #13
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Re: LED Solar Power Navigation Lights

These are expensive commercial lights that are designed for navigation markers. They have not got the correct cut off angles to use them as port/starboard/ stern lights.
In normal operation they are designed to flash while these can be programmed for steady state I doubt if the solar cell will supply enough power for this operation mode in all conditions.

As well as all the above problems mounting would be difficult and vulnerable to damage.

Just install regular led navigation lights. The money spent on these units even if they adapted successfully would be far better spent on bigger/more efficient general boat solar panels, engine alternator, or energy saving measures.
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Old 12-09-2013, 10:58   #14
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Re: LED Solar Power Navigation Lights

Save the money on these expensive lights that would have a ultimate limited battery life and use that money to buy a solar array for the house bank of batteries.............which would net a much better return on investment. I am however, very much in favor of replacing all incandescent lights with LEDs


oops.......just re-read the above post and see that was noelex's conclusion as well.
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Old 12-09-2013, 12:55   #15
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Re: LED Solar Power Navigation Lights

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Originally Posted by Tortuga's Lie View Post

oops.......just re-read the above post and see that was noelex's conclusion as well.
Great minds.................
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