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Old 27-06-2011, 09:27   #16
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Re: Good, cheap LED cabin lighting...

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Originally Posted by DotDun View Post
I'm curious is anyone has noticed 'noise' from the LED replacement bulbs. I've held off buying any worried about inducing interference with electronics. My basis comes from the Dr. LED bulb I put in the anchor light on the masthead which is 6 inches from my VHF antenna. The bad news, bunches of noise in the VHF radio when the anchor light is on, the good news, I turn the VHF off and use the handheld VHF at night in an anchorage. Oh, yes the current draw of the LED anchor light is very low.

I would hate to have to use the SSB radio in the dark because of noise induced by interior LED bulbs.

Have they got the noise under control in the newer LED replacements?
The latest ones I got in UK from bedazzled are very quiet. handheld worldband radio will pick up some noise if you have the aerial almost touching the LED. Very different from the flourescent which was there before.
The ones I got also have voltage protection, up to 30v I think from memory.
With cheap ebay ones it might be worth putting a voltage reg chip in line to smooth out the different voltages you see on a sailing boat, just in case they just have resister current limiting.
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Old 27-06-2011, 10:57   #17
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Re: Good, cheap LED cabin lighting...

Replaced bulbs in my existing fixtures with stuff from superbrightleds.com. The Admiral and I had a discussion about them this weekend so here's the consensus.

First from the Admiral - The lights are nice but a lot whiter than the old bulbs. They are also not quite as bright BUT they are still very much acceptable and she love's the fact that she can turn the freezer down another notch thanks to all the power saved from the LED's.

Me - I've also noticed the color difference from the LED's. They are a lot whiter and not so much yellow. More like an office flourescent but not as bright or maybe I would compare it to the difference between natural sunlight coming into the cabin versus the incandescents being on a night a being quite a bit more yellow. One solution we've used is adding some of the West Marine 20 dollar "puck" lights as just ambiant lighting. They not only have the regular white light but also have red for when we're sailing or out at night. The lense of the puck lights actually add a little yellow to the color of the lights so they work nicely. Again they are not as bright as the old lights but the power savings allow us to leave a night light on in the forward berth for our 3 year old. I've also added a couple of extra lights to the engine compartment as this is the only place the dimmer LED's are really a bother or any type of nuisance. In that compartment I replaced an older 12 volt incandescent with the cargo/compartment light from super bright led's. In all fairness it was not near as bright to begin with. The added benefit I've achieved by having more than one fixture in the engine room is that I've all but eliminated areas where I used to have to get a flashlight to look because the shadows in the compartment with the old fixture didn't allow me to see around some of the corners. I LOVE all the power we save. You would think with 6 6 volt batters for the house (wired to produce 12 volt) that we would have plenty of power but we like running the fans in summer and winter. The power savings from the LED's have dropped our battery drain from the main bank so much that we now have power for 3 or 4 days instead of the 1 or 2 days we had previously. (That of course varies depending on how hard the refrigeration has to work due to outside temps.)

So our consensus over all is this - we like the LED's for the power savings and this outweighs the negatives we have. We did leave a couple of flouresenct fixtures and not replace those bulbs. One is in the falley and the other is over the electrical panel. The power drain from the additional light in the engine compartment is still not as much as the single incandescent fixture that was there before AND being able to leave a small amount of light on at night for my daughter has actually resulted in us getting more sleep. Not that she's afraid of the dark but with a small amount of light left on if she wakes up she'll look around and then go back to sleep. If it was totally dark she always called out and someone had to get up. She even prefers the red light from the puck at night so that's really helped with when we're under sail at night.
AND this is just our opinion and preference. I know everyone has a difference in opinion in how much they'll accept or won't accept with regards to these types of changes. With us however, we REALLY like all the power we save so we're willing to accept the differences in the bulb types.
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Old 27-06-2011, 18:34   #18
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replacing flouros with led

Mate, replaced all the flouros over the galley with leds, as the fixtures were flush with the cabin roof and fixed in I removed all the workings but left the lens and reflective backing and bought 1 metre of the strip leds and they have an adhesive backing and just wired three strips inside the fixture and syuck them to the reflective surface, and bingo, brighter than the flouros and only .2 amp drain!
Trashed the old flouros in the engine room and wired 12v 40 watt flouros, soooooo bright with 3 of them and so easy to see everything now, only have them on a short time and the leds are not bright or wide enough for there!
Got two dutch guys sleeping aboard tonight, they are paddling kyaks around sumatra, with 3 surfboards and a solar panel and movie cameras, off to the banyaks tomorrow, when the wind drops at Banda Aceh!


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Old 27-06-2011, 20:45   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCountry
First from the Admiral - The lights are nice but a lot whiter than the old bulbs. They are also not quite as bright BUT they are still very much acceptable and she love's the fact that she can turn the freezer down another notch thanks to all the power saved from the LED's.

Me - I've also noticed the color difference from the LED's.
Country, is this with the "warm" white LEDs or the regular cool whites? My order just came, and my favorite cheap LED down lights are these: http://www.superbrightleds.com/cgi-b...%2Frlf-smd.htm

Bright warm white light, 8-30VDC, 200 ma. Only drawback is the chromed steel housing... Wish it was stainless... but for $15.99!!!!! Wow, great deal! You can buy 5-6 of these for the price of one Imtra...
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Old 27-06-2011, 21:40   #20
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Re: Good, cheap LED cabin lighting...

Ihave the bayonet auto style 1156 fixtures throughout the boat. I bought several of the automotive replacement LED's on Ebay, something like 3 for 5 bucks. I got a couple of red ones for night sailing. These LED's are a bit directional so they are more like a spot light than a flood light. They easily provide enough light to read by and light up an area. Pointed to reflect an indirect light they do well and are not hard on the eyes. LED's have a threshold voltage that they must surpass in order to function. They are normally very good at accepting wide voltage ranges. Over time high current ranges will damage them. Buy a handfull and try them out if you have the right fixture, if you like them buy a bunch more! If not your out 10 bucks...
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Old 27-06-2011, 22:03   #21
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Re: Good, cheap LED cabin lighting...

I've been using G4 1 watt warm white LED's from a US company named Array for the last two years in all my old halogen ceiling fixtures. Equal output to the old 10w halogen bulb. They are incredibly thin so they fit easily. No failures on unregulated boat power. No radio noise. Can be dimmed. Bright, wide beam and very pleasing light. Cost about $10.

These are not some bargain bin bulb. They use a really interesting approach to LED cooling. I have several sensibulbs which I consider the gold standard (they also fit better in reading lamps). To my eye the Array bulbs have equal quality light but are just a touch dimmer. But they are 1/4 the price and fit in skinny ceiling fixtures. I've debated soldering two together to make a super bright ceiling fixture but decided it would be just too bright.

Array Lighting | Array LED G4

AAC10G4WW - 1 Watt, 12 Volt DIMMABLE LED Warm White Bi-Pin Bulb. | Bulbs.com


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Old 29-06-2011, 11:52   #22
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Re: Good, cheap LED cabin lighting...

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Originally Posted by Honey Ryder View Post
Home Page

might be worth reading this article as apparently you need some circuit protection with leds on boats because the voltage can vary big time...this company sells the bulbs with a little electronic gizmo attached which means they will have the long life they are supposed to have and won't be damaged by voltage fluctuations.
LOW VOLTAGE LED LIGHTS NEED SPECIAL CONSIDERATION ON
BOATS
Sounds simple doesn’t it? Pull out the old bulb and fit the LED version! NOT SO! There are many
pitfalls that can destroy the sensitive LEDs and ruin the dream of low power, long lasting and
environmentally friendly lighting! The extremes of voltages on boats have been investigated by
Bedazzled with some unexpected results showing peak voltages from 25 to 125 volts! We have tried to
address each new problem as they have occurred (to Bedazzled’s great cost) and continue to improve
our products by influencing the manufacturers. This article is intended to explain the causes and
solutions to ensure a long and satisfactory life to any of our LED products.
There are two main causes of the over-voltages on a boat as follows:
1. LOAD DUMP: 25 to 125 volts – When a heavy load is disconnected or turned off
2. SHORT LIVED TRANSIENTS: -300 to +80 volts – caused by pumps, fridges, motors and
alternator (at turn off)
LOAD DUMP happens when any heavy load is turned off (or, like an electric fridge, is automatically
turning on and off). What happens is that the alternator which was trying to supply the power to the load,
takes a short time to respond to the reduced load and generates an excessively high voltage until its
internal regulator has time to adjust. Independent studies by the Society of Automobile engineers (SAE)
have shown that voltage spikes between 25v to 125v can easily be generated and could last anywhere
from 0.04 to 0.4 seconds! This can even happen when your batteries are temporarily disconnected from
the alternator when you use manual starter/leisure battery selectors (the rotary switch types that show 1,
2, Both or Off). Some automatic charge control relays can also produce similar voltage spikes. We don’t
yet have transient figures for the automatic alternator charge controllers fitted to many boats but are
continuing our investigations!
SHORT LIVED TRANSIENTS happen every time a relay or switch is turned on/off or from fuses or
trips opening which cause extremely short lived bursts (0.0003 seconds) but with voltages as low as -
300v to +85v.
These voltages are potentially lethal to almost ANY electronic component which need careful filtering
and spike suppression to ensure a long and reliable life. LEDs are similarly susceptible to damage from
these high voltages even with internal regulators built into all of our products. Bedazzled now
recommend fitting Transient Suppressors to remove the threat in a boat environment and, to this end,
have introduced a simple low cost Transient Suppressors circuit that can be added to any light fitting at
the point of connection to the boat’s wiring. Without this added protection your LED lights could result
in partial or total failure of the bulb. Our Transient Suppressors Circuit also includes a local in-line
resettable fuse to further protect your boat!
Future Bedazzled products will include Transient Suppressors but until then, always fit Transient
Suppressors to existing non-suppressed LED bulbs. Bedazzled offer our Transient Suppressors Circuit at
a massive 50% discount to all our existing customers (for a quantity matching their previous purchases).
For further advice, please don’t hesitate to contact us – we will do our best to advise you on the best
solution for your boat!


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Old 29-06-2011, 12:08   #23
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Re: Good , Cheap LED Cabin Lighting

Dot, a plain LED cannot cause RFI. So if you buy the cheap stuff, that's not an issue. But a plain LED is also going to burn out much sooner than one with with a proper regulator or control circuit attached, and those circuits can cause RFI. Some vendors have chosen good designs that don't cause RFI, others don't seem to give a damn. And sometimes, it is just a defective unit causing RFI. You really need to ask the vendor and make sure that if there's any question, you can try it out and send it back.

There is an argument to be made for using the cheap stuff (no regulation, no protections) and just replacing it every two years, as opposed to buying the good stuff and using it for a solid decade plus. Depends on your budget and how inconvenient a burnt out bulb might be.
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Old 29-06-2011, 14:48   #24
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Re: Good , Cheap LED Cabin Lighting

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There is an argument to be made for using the cheap stuff (no regulation, no protections) and just replacing it every two years, as opposed to buying the good stuff and using it for a solid decade plus. Depends on your budget and how inconvenient a burnt out bulb might be.
I keep hearing that a LED will burn out in short order with no regulator. Why is it the LED indicators on the 12v power panel seem to last forever with nothing more than a current limiting resistor?
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Old 29-06-2011, 15:27   #25
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Re: Good , Cheap LED Cabin Lighting

" Why is it the LED indicators on the 12v power panel seem to last forever with nothing more than a current limiting resistor? "
Typically because they are very conservatively engineered and they are connected to a regulated power supply. Got a coffeepot or wireless phone with LEDs on it? Odds are the LED was engineered to last 10+ years. If it can operate for a nominal 10 years at 30mA power, it probably was matched with a resistor and supply to run at 20mA so it runs "forever". I've got home gizmos, even LED clocks, that have dimmed so much they can't be seen in sunlight after 5 years. Pilot lights are easy. Reading lights and nav lights, somewhat harder.

Electrical system in your home appliance throws no spikes in normal use. Your boats engine? Throws spikes from 600V-2000V in normal operation. That takes a toll on electronics.

"I keep hearing that a LED will burn out in short order with no regulator." Not necessarily. No regulator at all, but a matched power source, like a flashlight LED? The key word is "matched" and you can expect 10 years of use before you notice it dims, 20 before it burns out. Improperly matched? Ah, then you need regulation.

Look at the cheap LED back lights on a bus or truck. There's a dozen in each fixture and two or three are often burned out. That's cheap unregulated LEDs but for that application, the purpose is to avoid having a light totally missing. Every six months there's depot overhaul of the whole thing anyway, and if a couple of LEDs are burned out, it is cheap enough to replace the fixture. Cheaper than replacing a really good $300 fixture that folks are going to steal because it is so easy to do so.
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Old 29-06-2011, 15:52   #26
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Re: Good , Cheap LED Cabin Lighting

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Typically because they are very conservatively engineered and they are connected to a regulated power supply.
OK, I was under the impression that a regulated power supply was something exotic, but apparently a well matched resistor is considered good enough.

Thanks!
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Old 29-06-2011, 16:06   #27
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Re: Good , Cheap LED Cabin Lighting

You can buy an excellent regulator for $1.79 at Radio Shack. It is one chip with three leads, sells for about 25c in real electronic stores. Less in quantities. Nothing exotic these days, and while a resistor (five for $1.79 at Radio Shack <G> ) will work in many cases...sometimes cheap just gets dear.
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Old 29-06-2011, 17:23   #28
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Re: Good , Cheap LED Cabin Lighting

Have you looked at these? Several options and reasonable prices.

LED Boat Interior Lights, Navigation & Cabin Lights, Boat Lighting, Boating : Cabela's
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Old 29-06-2011, 17:56   #29
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Re: Good , Cheap LED Cabin Lighting

I have retrofitted all the two tube Vetus fluorescent fixtures on my boat with warm white LED strips purchased from MastLight.com.
In addition, I've upgraded all exterior navigation bulbs and am much pleased with the quality, cost and fast shipping. Highly recommend MastLight.com and their easy to use bulb conversion system.
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Old 05-07-2011, 03:21   #30
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Re: Good, cheap LED cabin lighting...

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hi Cotemar,

last month, i have brought this type of light. it woks well. so i also recommend this one. i'm wondering if you have used before?
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