Tuesday, January 17, 2012

LED Lights - Wow.

So like most people this has been one of those things that have been on my mind for years related to my boat(s). I have wanted to go to LED for the lack of heat as well as the they draw less power.
I didn't do it because the replacement bulbs for marine industry were still $20-$30 each.

I went online and saw cheap ones so did the research I almost always do, which means I went to Cruisers Forum. I saw posts from a few years ago stated that the non marine LED's were really dim and not a good replacement.

I was recently looking on eBay and found the replacement bulbs for $1.59 each. These were the type of bulb with the 2 small wire leads that go into the socket of most marine round lights. I ordered 10 thinking (What the heck, they are cheap). They took 4 weeks to arrive (from Taiwan).

There are many different variations of bulbs out there. The ones I ordered had 18 LED’s on each bulb. They projected light out of all sides like the conventional bulbs that were in the lights. These LED’s had 5 rows of 3 LED’s around the perimeter of the light and 3 on top of it. I also ordered the one that is “warm” light. It has a slight yellow tint to is so it doesn’t look at sterile as some of the very bright white LED’s look.

LED Purchased on eBay
I put them in the fixtures (simple process), but in a couple of cases I had to bend the wire leads slightly so that the bulb sat in the middle of the fixture.   They were wonderful and give off great light. 

So here is the best part.  Before I replaced them I turned on 9 of the fixtures with the old bulbs in them (2 in rear head, 1 in nav station, 2 in salon, 2 in forward head and 2 in v-berth.).  I went to my electrical panel and say 8.5 Amp draw.
I then replaced all of those bulbs, turned on the same lights, went to my panel and saw 1 Amp draw.  

WooHoo !!!!

Now I will be finding other bulbs to fit the different socket styles to complete all of the fixtures