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Old 15-09-2015, 15:00   #31
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Re: LED Bulbs Invalidate Insurance

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Originally Posted by Saltyhog View Post
Did *anyone* actually read the clip at Noonsite? This has *NOTHING* to do with heat. It's about the fact that LED's do not emit the same color temperature and/or distribution pattern as incandescent bulbs. Therefore, for navigation light fixtures which were designed for and tested with incandescent bulbs, if you replace said incandescent bulbs with LEDs, and are involved in an "incident", your insurance coverage may be denied. So, as many have said on this and other forums, if you want LED nav lights, install compliant and approved LED Navigation light fixtures. If you don't want to spend the $$$ on new LED fixtures, keep your old fixtures and install the approved incandescent bulbs.
Well. Pretty close. Actually: it is about white LED in colour fixtures (e.g. side lights or tri-color top lantern).

That's why the title of the news at that forum is misleading.

Who knows, maybe an insurance agent wrote it. ;-)

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Old 15-09-2015, 15:18   #32
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Re: LED Bulbs Invalidate Insurance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saltyhog View Post
Did *anyone* actually read the clip at Noonsite? This has *NOTHING* to do with heat. It's about the fact that LED's do not emit the same color temperature and/or distribution pattern as incandescent bulbs. Therefore, for navigation light fixtures which were designed for and tested with incandescent bulbs, if you replace said incandescent bulbs with LEDs, and are involved in an "incident", your insurance coverage may be denied. So, as many have said on this and other forums, if you want LED nav lights, install compliant and approved LED Navigation light fixtures. If you don't want to spend the $$$ on new LED fixtures, keep your old fixtures and install the approved incandescent bulbs.
It would be pretty hard for an insurance company to prove in court that such a situation was so much the main cause of an accident that coverage could be denied, unless there is something specifically about it in the policy.

Nevertheless, I have always maintained that it is poor practice -- for the reasons stated -- to use LED elements in nav light fixtures designed for incandescent bulbs, unless maybe it's white ones like anchor lights, steaming lights, stern light. The whole fixture is certified TOGETHER WITH THE BULB IT WAS DESIGNED FOR, so it becomes an uncertified fixture as soon as you put an LED element into it.

Does that make you responsible for an accident which occurs, or give your insurance company the right to deny coverage? Not necessarily, but why risk it? Good sealed LED fixtures are not that expensive anymore -- replace the whole thing. This is vastly better than a questionable Chinese made LED unit rattling around in a no longer completely waterproof old fixture with a cloudy, crazed lens.

Until you're ready to go the whole hog, I would keep using certified incandescent bulbs.

When I had my mast down two years ago, I went with the Series 43 Aqua Signal ones which are incredibly bright and clear, with some kind of really good optics in them. No way comparable to the old incandescent ones no matter what kind of bulb you put in them. The purpose designed LED ones are completely sealed and potted so are completely waterproof, unlike the old incandescent ones. That was fairly important to me since my nav lights, mounted on my pulpit, spend a fair amount of time underwater due to the nature of the places I sail, despite their being more than 2 meters above the waterline. They were not that expensive, well under $200 each IIRC.
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Old 15-09-2015, 15:59   #33
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Re: LED Bulbs Invalidate Insurance

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
It would be pretty hard for an insurance company to prove in court that such a situation was so much the main cause of an accident that coverage could be denied, unless there is something specifically about it in the policy.

Nevertheless, I have always maintained that it is poor practice -- for the reasons stated -- to use LED elements in nav light fixtures designed for incandescent bulbs, unless maybe it's white ones like anchor lights, steaming lights, stern light. The whole fixture is certified TOGETHER WITH THE BULB IT WAS DESIGNED FOR, so it becomes an uncertified fixture as soon as you put an LED element into it.

Does that make you responsible for an accident which occurs, or give your insurance company the right to deny coverage? Not necessarily, but why risk it? Good sealed LED fixtures are not that expensive anymore -- replace the whole thing. This is vastly better than a questionable Chinese made LED unit rattling around in a no longer completely waterproof old fixture with a cloudy, crazed lens.

Until you're ready to go the whole hog, I would keep using certified incandescent bulbs.

When I had my mast down two years ago, I went with the Series 43 Aqua Signal ones which are incredibly bright and clear, with some kind of really good optics in them. No way comparable to the old incandescent ones no matter what kind of bulb you put in them. The purpose designed LED ones are completely sealed and potted so are completely waterproof, unlike the old incandescent ones. That was fairly important to me since my nav lights, mounted on my pulpit, spend a fair amount of time underwater due to the nature of the places I sail, despite their being more than 2 meters above the waterline. They were not that expensive, well under $200 each IIRC.
A couple of snippets from my policy attached.

I do agree that properly approved navigation lighting is not hard to do or expensive, there is no reason for anything less.

1) The USCG or investigating entity (assumably certified to investigate marine accidents) would/could lay blame on improper navigation lighting as a factor in causing the accident.

2) Given the attachments are in the 'General Requirements and Conditions' section of the policy, I would guess if #1 is true, then yes the insurance company could walk away.
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Old 15-09-2015, 16:04   #34
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Re: LED Bulbs Invalidate Insurance

Quote:
Originally Posted by DotDun View Post
A couple of snippets from my policy attached.

I do agree that properly approved navigation lighting is not hard to do or expensive, there is no reason for anything less.

1) The USCG or investigating entity (assumably certified to investigate marine accidents) would/could lay blame on improper navigation lighting as a factor in causing the accident.

2) Given the attachments are in the 'General Requirements and Conditions' section of the policy, I would guess if #1 is true, then yes the insurance company could walk away.
The law abhors a forfeiture, so it's by no means certain you would lose your insurance coverage because of a minor violation of some Coast Guard reg.

But why risk even the argument with the insurance company? I wouldn't.
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Old 15-09-2015, 16:06   #35
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Re: LED Bulbs Invalidate Insurance

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
" ...Coloured light fittings designed to use filament bulbs are not suitable for LEDs, claim the Cruising Association’s Regulation and Technical Services team (RATS), and therefore in the event of an incident could invalidate insurance. ..."

Misleading as it applies to white LEDs in tri-colour fittings.

You can read more at e.g. the noon site.

Cheers,
b.
Don't think so. Provided that your vessel was "legal" and in this case that means that the lights produced an intensity and field of view as required by the col regs (or equivalent enabling legislation) then there is no basis for rejecting an insurance claim, at least in the civilised world.
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Old 15-09-2015, 16:12   #36
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Re: LED Bulbs Invalidate Insurance

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Originally Posted by Factor View Post
Don't think so. Provided that your vessel was "legal" and in this case that means that the lights produced an intensity and field of view as required by the col regs (or equivalent enabling legislation) then there is no basis for rejecting an insurance claim, at least in the civilised world.
Hard to prove it if the lights aren't certified.


You wouldn't even know yourself - there is optical design involved. Your nav lights have lenses which require the light source to be in a precise location to focus the light properly. It's not just the number of lumens.

And this is a completely separate problem from the question of color.


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Old 15-09-2015, 16:21   #37
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Re: LED Bulbs Invalidate Insurance

Quote:
Originally Posted by DotDun View Post
A couple of snippets from my policy attached.

I do agree that properly approved navigation lighting is not hard to do or expensive, there is no reason for anything less.

1) The USCG or investigating entity (assumably certified to investigate marine accidents) would/could lay blame on improper navigation lighting as a factor in causing the accident.

2) Given the attachments are in the 'General Requirements and Conditions' section of the policy, I would guess if #1 is true, then yes the insurance company could walk away.
In the US it is federal law that all navigation lights meet the COLREGS definition of a navigation light. Only a boat builder, dealer etc. is "required" to install "certified" nav lights, but we all are compelled, by federal law, to use lights that meet the performance defined letter of the law.

How do you know your lights meet that standard? Simple, just by USCG/ABYC A-16 certified navigation lights, or take your chances & roll the dice...

With this, from your insurance policy,


I suspect (wild-ass-guess by a non-lawyer) you are right that the insurance company could certainly have an out, if they wanted to. I don't know that any insurer has actually done this but it certainly seems they may have contractual grounds to do so....? Unless one's home baked bread nav-lights actually met the requirement, and one could prove that, the insurers may be able to do as the OP stated.

I would love to know if there is a single case of this happening??? I have seen plenty of denials of claim due to lack of maintenance etc., but not nav lights, yet...


Quote:
Originally Posted by COLREGS

Rule 20 - Application
Quote:
Originally Posted by COLREGS

(a) Rules in this part shall be complied with in all weathers.

(b) The Rules concerning lights shall be complied with from sunset to sunrise, and during such times no other lights shall be exhibited, except such lights which cannot be mistaken for the lights specified in these Rules or do not impair their visibility or distinctive character, or interfere with the keeping of a proper look-out.

(c) The lights prescribed by these Rules shall, if carried, also be exhibited from sunrise to sunset in restricted visibility and may be exhibited in all other circumstances when it is deemed necessary.

(d) The Rules concerning shapes shall be complied with by day.

(e) The lights and shapes specified in these Rules shall comply with the provisions of Annex I [to these Regulations | of these Rules].
This is what is in Annex I of the Code of Federal Regulations:

From 33 CFR 84:

Colors

� 84.13 Color specification of lights
(a) The chromaticity of all navigation lights shall conform to the following standards, which lie within the boundaries of the area of the diagram specified for each color by the International Commission on Illumination (CIE), in the "Colors of Light Signals", which is incorporated by reference. It is Publication CIE No. 2.2. (TC-1.6), 1975, and is available from the Illumination Engineering Society, 345 East 47th Street, New York, NY 10017. It is also available for inspection at the Office of the Federal Register, Room 8401, 1100 L Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20408. This incorporation by reference was approved by the Director of the Federal Register.
(b) The boundaries of the area for each color are given by indicating the corner coordinates, which are as follows:
(1) White:
x 0.525 0.525 0.452 0.310 0.310 0.443
y 0.382 0.440 0.440 0.348 0.283 0.382
(2) Green:
x 0.028 0.009 0.300 0.203
y 0.385 0.723 0.511 0.356
(3) Red:
x 0.680 0.660 0.735 0.721
y 0.320 0.320 0.265 0.259
(4) Yellow:
x 0.612 0.618 0.575 0.575
y 0.382 0.382 0.425 0.406

Intensity

� 84.15 Intensity of lights
(a) The minimum luminous intensity of lights shall be calculated by using the formula:
l = 3.43 x 106 x T x D2 x K-D
where:
I is luminous intensity in candelas under service conditions, T is threshold factor 2 x 10-7 lux, D is range of visibility (luminous range) of the light in nautical miles, K is atmospheric transmissivity. For prescribed lights the value of K shall be 0.8, corresponding to a meteorological visibility of approximately 13 nautical miles.
(b) A selection of figures derived from the formula is given in Table 84.15(b).
Table 84.15(b)
Range of visibility (luminous Minimum
range) of light in nautical luminous intensity of light
miles in candelas tor K = 0.8
D I
1 0.9
2 4.3
3 12
4 27
5 52
6 94

Horizontal Sectors

� 84.17 Horizontal sectors
(a)
(1) In the forward direction, sidelights as fitted on the vessel shall show the minimum required intensities. The intensities shall decrease to reach practical cut-off between 1 and 3 degrees outside the prescribed sectors.
(2) For sternlights and masthead lights and at 22.5 degrees abaft the beam for sidelights, the minimum required intensities shall be maintained over the arc of the horizon up to 5 degrees within the limits of the sectors prescribed in Rule 21. From 5 degrees within the prescribed sectors the intensity may decrease by 50 percent up to the prescribed limits; it shall decrease steadily to reach practical cutoff at not more than 5 degrees outside the prescribed sectors. (b) All-round lights shall be so located as not to be obscured by masts, topmasts or structures within angular sectors of more than 6 degrees, except anchor lights prescribed in Rule 30, which need not be placed at an impracticable height above the hull, and the all-round white light described in Rule 23(d), which may not be obscured at all. (c) If it is impracticable to comply with paragraph (b) of this section by exhibiting only one all-round light, two all-round lights shall be used suitably positioned or screened to appear, as far as practicable, as one light at a minimum distance of one nautical mile.

NOTE to paragraph (c): Two unscreened all-round lights that are 1.28 meters appart or less will appear as one light to the naked eye at a distance of one nautical mile.


Vertical Sectors

� 84.19 Vertical sectors
(a) The vertical sectors of electric lights as fitted, with the exception of lights on sailing vessels underway and on unmanned barges, shall ensure that:
(1) At least the required minimum intensity is maintained at all angles from 5 degrees above to 5 degrees below the horizontal;
(2) At least 60 percent of the required minimum intensity is maintained from 7.5 degrees above to 7.5 degrees below the horizontal.
(b) In the case of sailing vessels underway the vertical sectors of electric lights as fitted shall ensure that:
(1) At least the required minimum intensity is maintained at all angles from 5 degrees above to 5 degrees below the horizontal;
(2) At least 50 percent of the required minimum intensity is maintained from 25 degrees above to 25 degrees below the horizontal.
(c) In the case of unmanned barges the minimum required intensity of electric lights as fitted shall be maintained on the horizontal.
(d) In the case of lights other than electric lights these specifications shall be met as closely as possible.



I suspect rather than trying to figure out if home made nav lights meet this criteria, and you are in legal compliance with the law, it is easier to just buy certified navigation lights...
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Old 15-09-2015, 16:22   #38
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Re: LED Bulbs Invalidate Insurance

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
The law abhors a forfeiture, so it's by no means certain you would lose your insurance coverage because of a minor violation of some Coast Guard reg.

But why risk even the argument with the insurance company? I wouldn't.
My point is if the investigator blamed the 'non-certified' lights as the cause of the accident.

Obviously an accident at high noon on a cloudless day, I doubt lights would be an issue.

I'm positing that a 'minor violation' becomes a major issue if it's the direct cause of the accident, same as not maintaining watch.
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Old 15-09-2015, 16:31   #39
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Re: LED Bulbs Invalidate Insurance

two points:

(1) A particular fixture is certified with a specific bulb (usually branded by the fixture mgf like aqua signa) If you use ANY other bulb (like a west marine store brand),even an identical looking incandescent that might (or might not) have come off the same chinese production line, then in theory you don't know if you are in compliance or not. It might not have exactly the same intensity or color or location.

(2) When we all discussed this exact same question a number of years ago, I took a soft white LED bulb and an aqua signal standard bulb and a fixture to the naval academy and had some cadets test them. The LED bulb was significantly brighter than the incandescent. The LED colors where well within the specified color spectrums. There was a hair more 'bleed over' between the color sectors but not enough that it could cause any significant real world misinterpretation. I personally was quite satisfied with its light performance. Unfortunately it also produced RF noise, so I later stopped using it and switched to a different fixture/led combo that did not produce RF noise
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Old 15-09-2015, 16:33   #40
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Re: LED Bulbs Invalidate Insurance

Haven't bought one yet but intend to. Might be of interest, and might not.

w.boatlamps.co.uk/contents/en-uk/d175.html
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Old 15-09-2015, 16:35   #41
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Re: LED Bulbs Invalidate Insurance

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Originally Posted by Fearless Friend View Post
Haven't bought one yet but intend to. Might be of interest, and might not.

w.boatlamps.co.uk/contents/en-uk/d175.html


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Old 15-09-2015, 16:40   #42
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Re: LED Bulbs Invalidate Insurance

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The NAV light according to the website is 2W, which if you use 12V means .6 amp.
from A64pilot

Umm, I think if you do the math, you will find that 2 watts at 12 volts really equates to 0.166 Amperes, not 0.6 A.

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Old 15-09-2015, 17:23   #43
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LED Bulbs Invalidate Insurance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
from A64pilot



Umm, I think if you do the math, you will find that 2 watts at 12 volts really equates to 0.166 Amperes, not 0.6 A.



Jim

OK, I give up, math eludes me I need to quit now, I obviously divided 12 by 2, not 2 by 12.

See why I want to use Watts?


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Old 15-09-2015, 18:35   #44
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Re: LED Bulbs Invalidate Insurance

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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
<sniped>, so I later stopped using it and switched to a different fixture/led combo that did not produce RF noise
Did you ever get your Lopolight issues worked out?
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Old 15-09-2015, 19:07   #45
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Re: LED Bulbs Invalidate Insurance

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
If LED's are generating lots of heat, they can't be very efficient, plus the safety aspect.
Here we go again.

LED lights require current (not voltage) regulation. If you buy replacements that are not designed for proper current regulation, they will run hot when your charging system is active and may drop out or dim when your batteries are low. Many cheap replacements use resistors in line with the LEDs to drop voltage to control power. These will run hot all of the time. Consider that your LED needs about 3.5 volts to drive the correct current. You have 12 or 24 VDC. How to do this? Add in a resistor. These are the types you get at NAPA and other sources. They are not designed in consideration of the variable voltage found on a boat, particularly a sailboat. They are not designed for salty marine environs. They are planned to run in systems with a motor & alternator running always. They are hot. They burn off power you thought you were saving. The best current regulation is PWM. You can tell when you buy one of these as it usually states 12-30 VDC more or less. Its on-board IC circuits rectify your DC, chop it into 30KHz bits and feed it to the LED at the necessary current no matter what your voltage. You can touch these any time and they are barely warm. You will expect to pay about 12 to 20 bucks for a cabin light and 20 to 50 for nav lights. These are massively bright and power frugal. We have about 60 LED PWM cabin lights and all deck lights and nav lights are LED. I can turn on the entire lot and show 0.4 amps on my 24 VDC Xantrex.

Marine Beam https://store.marinebeam.com/ read the tech info
Signal Mate Navigation Lights | Restricted Visibility Controllers
Imtra Imtra Marine Products - Marine Systems and Solutions BULBS AND FIXTURES

There are others but- do your homework on this. In this case, cheapest is just exactly that. It is not the best & may be far worse.
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