Originally Posted by scallywag
Why not change the inerds to accomidate the new bulb type?
There is a bulb available without any adjustments required. I am doing whole fixtures to remain legal
. I don't want any questions should there be an incident or inspection
A good link that has some explanation:
Here is the text of the applicable part:
This is the number one upgrade a buyer should consider when purchasing
a used boat
with incandescent navigation lights.
But you MUST NOT replace the incandescent lamps with some cheap
retrofit that you find at the auto parts
store. Even if the bulb fits the socket it will not be legal
and more importantly it will not be safe.
Navigation lights are tested and certified as one unit. The lens, bulb, and fixture work together to meet strict legal requirements for viewing angle, brightness, and color.
For example a replacement lamp that has a limited amount of brightness when viewed from above or below could look to a distant viewer like a flashing beacon if the distant vessel is rolling in the surf.
In short, navigation lights must be replaced as a complete unit.
Here is an excellent statement from the folks at Boat U.S. which sums this situation up exactly.
“We certainly agree that LED bulbs should not be retrofitted into navigation lights that are designed for incandescent bulbs. When light fixture manufacturers get their equipment
rated by the Coast Guard, the rating is predicated on using the bulbs specified. Using a generic aftermarket bulb, an LED bulb or an automotive bulb may lead to the fixture not meeting USCG standards. No marine
retailer that I am aware of would recommend using an LED element in an incandescent navigation light, though it could happen for an interior
utility light, such as a reading lamp.
Having tested incandescent and LED navigation lights for many years, we’re certainly fans of LED lights
, especially in certain applications where bulb replacement is difficult, or power draw is a consideration.”
So upgrade your fixtures completely and be sure to consult someone at your retailer if you have questions about interior lighting
Make no mistake, all the lights on your vessel are safety
devices regardless of their location. You wouldn’t try to make your own PFD’s would you? Of course not, but that is a different discussion altogether."