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Old 23-01-2015, 02:19   #16
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Re: Cabin lighting by cost ... and safety

LED lighting is already not expensive. But the quality (both quality of the light, and quality of the fixture) varies enormously, with higher prices not guaranteeing good quality, so choose carefully. Some brand-name LED fixtures I have bought were actually dangerous -- burned up or exploded (from a company called "Superbright LEDs", and they were not cheap!).

LED lighting is, contrary to popular belief, no more efficient than fluorescent, so no need to change fluorescent fixtures if you are happy with the light.

In my opinion, incandescent lighting has no place on a boat which lives off battery power for any periods of time. LED cabin lighting (or fluorescent) helps immensely with the power budget on most boats.

The tradeoff with LED lighting is the quality of the light, which is a sickly greenish glow in the less good and older fixtures, much less pleasing than incandescent. Over the last few years, better and better LED's have been introduced, with more and more pleasing light quality, although I think even the best of it still falls somewhat short of the light from incandescent. But for the great majority of cruisers, I think there is no question that a small sacrifice in light quality is worth it a hundred times over for the benefit to the power budget.
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Old 23-01-2015, 19:31   #17
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Re: Cabin lighting by cost ... and safety

Maine Sail and I recommend these folks for LED lighting:
http://store.marinebeam.com/

Read his analysis here:
http://forums.sbo.sailboatowners.com...light=LEDbulbs
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Old 25-01-2015, 06:48   #18
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Re: Cabin lighting by cost ... and safety

Adding to this discussion on LED's has anyone found a good blinking LED that you could mount up on a spreader or any high point that would mark you location at anchor so you can easily find the boat in fog or after happy hr : ).
We have a $10 blinking LED puck from Home depot but the batteries dont last very long . THis puck is worth its weight in gold on those choppy dark nights when all the anchor lights blend together .....
THanks for any help
Tom
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Old 25-01-2015, 10:49   #19
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Re: Cabin lighting by cost ... and safety

Tom, and anyone else thinking of it. Please DO NOT fit white flashing lights. Some of the col regs, I agree seam over top or less relevant to small boat but not this one. Flashing white lights are easily confused with cardinals and in buisy waters the time it takes to realize the the flashing light you are looking at is a moored boat not the cardinal where you want to turn can be significant. I am talking from personal experience here not being pedantic about rules. Please can we help curb this one.
It is also ilegal and can get you a fined although I haven't heard of that yet but if they a cracking down on dingy lights in Florida this might be next
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Old 25-01-2015, 12:06   #20
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Re: Cabin lighting by cost ... and safety

We are not 100% on the LED wagon yet. In port, I prefer low consumption fluos: cheaper bulbs, more light and better (warmer) light tone too. I run them from the shore power. I also run them when anchored out. I just plug them via the inverter then.

Offshore, we are 100% LED now in the nav lights and in the cabin too.

b.
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Old 25-01-2015, 12:07   #21
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Re: Cabin lighting by cost ... and safety

I'm a tinkerer; I've made my own LED assemblies, re-purposed some nice IKEA LED fixtures, and installed some cheap strip lighting with a custom PWM dimmer.

My notes to date:
- nice warm-white individual LEDs are available at low cost, if you seek them out. Hopefully they'll find their way into more commercial products.
- White LEDs are complex beasties, that produce white light by exciting some phosphers. There's some industry talk that the phosphers may degrade before the LED's end of life, causing dimming and a spectral shift. Since LEDs should theoretically have a 10+ year lifespan if not abused, we don't yet know how common this will be. Just an FYI.
- LEDs are very sensitive to reverse voltages. Alot of my first-generation assemblies died early deaths, I believe from static voltages, or induced voltages from electrical storms. My next round of assemblies include reversed diodes for protection and all of these are still OK. LED light vendors need to incorporate such protection into their devices and assemblies.
- It's possible to have efficient LED switching regulation without causing RFI. Just use a lower frequency, and filter a bit. I don't know why more manufacturers haven't figured this out.
- I put in a central 5 volt switching regulator, and installed USB jacks in every nook and cranny. Besides being handy for recharging phones and tablets, these jacks can power USB gooseneck LED reading lamps, and some IKEA fixtures I modified for USB. Very flexible and handy.

Anyway LEDs are here to stay, a great energy-saver for boaters, and come in nicer form factors than fluorescent fixtures. Less fragile, too. I definitely prefer LED light to fluorescents.
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Old 25-01-2015, 12:08   #22
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Re: Cabin lighting by cost ... and safety

When the ballasts in our recessed overhead florescent cabin lighting began going from old age we discovered MarineBeam.com replacement LED lighting. The replacement LED tubes assemblies fit our 12" tube fixtures and all of the wiring to/from the ballasts can be discarded. One doesn't even need be concerned with polarity as the fixtures adjust themselves as needed. The light is brighter than the former florescents and the color (we chose "Warm White") a great improvement. While the LED Tubes are not inexpensive ($35.00 each), they are very long lasting and in the long run will likely not cost us any more than periodically replacing the original bulbs over time. Moreover, there is a savings in energy usage (although that is not my primary concern for this use). What we chose can be viewed at LED Fluorescent Replacement T5 Tube

FWIW...
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Old 25-01-2015, 12:25   #23
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Re: Cabin lighting by cost ... and safety

Just replaced all the old incandescent light fixtures with led units made for RV use they are so bright it only took two lights turned on to put out the light of all 6 incandesents we replaced the power looks like this each incandescent unit was 25 watts and each led unit is just under 5 watts so it works out that we reduced our power usage from 150 watts to 10 watts for the same light output and all 6 fixtures cost under 70 bucks so I am a big proponent of LED however you should change the whole fixture not just the bulb one of the adapter bulbs used the same power as a dedicated unit and put out less han a third of the light as a dedicated unit
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Old 25-01-2015, 13:28   #24
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Re: Cabin lighting by cost ... and safety

I've installed $10 red and white LED lights on a couple of the boats I've owned and was very happy, especially for the price.
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Old 26-01-2015, 03:57   #25
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Re: Cabin lighting by cost ... and safety

Quote:
Originally Posted by roland stockham View Post
Tom, and anyone else thinking of it. Please DO NOT fit white flashing lights. Some of the col regs, I agree seam over top or less relevant to small boat but not this one. Flashing white lights are easily confused with cardinals and in buisy waters the time it takes to realize the the flashing light you are looking at is a moored boat not the cardinal where you want to turn can be significant. I am talking from personal experience here not being pedantic about rules. Please can we help curb this one.
It is also ilegal and can get you a fined although I haven't heard of that yet but if they a cracking down on dingy lights in Florida this might be next
HI Roland , Your right about the danger of mistaking the light for a marker. Thats why I was wondering whats out there that would mark you boat and not be confused with a Red green or white marker .....Maybe blue ??? And mounted high enough so it could not be mistaken for a a marker . Our puck has 9 flashing settings that arent even close to the usual marker patterns . THANK YOU FOR THE WARNING THOUGH ....its a really important point........Strong front moving thru the keys today.
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Old 26-01-2015, 04:48   #26
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Re: Cabin lighting by cost ... and safety

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Farley View Post
HI Roland , Your right about the danger of mistaking the light for a marker. Thats why I was wondering whats out there that would mark you boat and not be confused with a Red green or white marker .....Maybe blue ??? And mounted high enough so it could not be mistaken for a a marker . Our puck has 9 flashing settings that arent even close to the usual marker patterns . THANK YOU FOR THE WARNING THOUGH ....its a really important point........Strong front moving thru the keys today.
Not blue, that's enforcement/SAR. I was thinking about making this comment about the flashing light too, but avoided it because I thought people might think I was being over the top.

What about marking your boats location as a waypoint on your hand held. Another thing I always have on my boat that would help distinguish it is a couple strings of LED Christmas lights.

Sent from my SGH-I547C using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 26-01-2015, 05:45   #27
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Re: Cabin lighting by cost ... and safety

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lake-Effect View Post
I'm a tinkerer; I've made my own LED assemblies, re-purposed some nice IKEA LED fixtures, and installed some cheap strip lighting with a custom PWM dimmer.

My notes to date:
- nice warm-white individual LEDs are available at low cost, if you seek them out. Hopefully they'll find their way into more commercial products.
- White LEDs are complex beasties, that produce white light by exciting some phosphers. There's some industry talk that the phosphers may degrade before the LED's end of life, causing dimming and a spectral shift. Since LEDs should theoretically have a 10+ year lifespan if not abused, we don't yet know how common this will be. Just an FYI.
- LEDs are very sensitive to reverse voltages. Alot of my first-generation assemblies died early deaths, I believe from static voltages, or induced voltages from electrical storms. My next round of assemblies include reversed diodes for protection and all of these are still OK. LED light vendors need to incorporate such protection into their devices and assemblies.
- It's possible to have efficient LED switching regulation without causing RFI. Just use a lower frequency, and filter a bit. I don't know why more manufacturers haven't figured this out.
- I put in a central 5 volt switching regulator, and installed USB jacks in every nook and cranny. Besides being handy for recharging phones and tablets, these jacks can power USB gooseneck LED reading lamps, and some IKEA fixtures I modified for USB. Very flexible and handy.

Anyway LEDs are here to stay, a great energy-saver for boaters, and come in nicer form factors than fluorescent fixtures. Less fragile, too. I definitely prefer LED light to fluorescents.
Would be interested to know what "USB jacks" you used ?
I was thinking of adding 12V powered USB sockets, but some seem to have quite a large parasitic draw when they are idle.
Have not seen any with a switch incorporated.

Do you do anything to protect the steel goosenecks from corrosion ?

Cheers,
JM.
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Old 26-01-2015, 06:49   #28
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Cabin lighting by cost ... and safety

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Farley View Post
HI Roland , Your right about the danger of mistaking the light for a marker. Thats why I was wondering whats out there that would mark you boat and not be confused with a Red green or white marker .....Maybe blue ??? And mounted high enough so it could not be mistaken for a a marker . Our puck has 9 flashing settings that arent even close to the usual marker patterns . THANK YOU FOR THE WARNING THOUGH ....its a really important point........Strong front moving thru the keys today.
Tom,

Consider getting some reflective tape and put some strips around your mast near the first spreader. You can create a pattern that will probably be unique. Then get one of those newfangled LED torch lights with the narrow beam. Your mast will stand out from the crowd and by keeping the light pointed up at the masts you shouldn't wake the early to bed crowd.

Edit: obviously the tape doesn't go all the way around the mast
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Old 26-01-2015, 07:04   #29
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Re: Cabin lighting by cost ... and safety

I'm switching everything out to LED's and I'm about half way done. The power consumption alone makes it worth it. You can get LEDs really cheap these days if you are handy at doing things yourself. I make my own light fixtures.
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Old 26-01-2015, 07:52   #30
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Re: Cabin lighting by cost ... and safety

I put LEDs in the main fixtures on my boat shortly after buying it.

I've been seeing a lot on people buying LED strips from Amazon to light up their cabins. I decided to go for it myself. I replaced a no-so-bright light with a strip of white and a strip of red and a switch between the two.

I did a video showing what I did. My installation also included wiring up the vent fan for my Airhead toilet.

http://youtu.be/kw9GuCSKNoM
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