Archive for August, 2010

A cool article.

August 26, 2010

You've considered running the genset (noisy) more, another solar panel (somewhat pricey), or are maybe even ponying up the benjamins for a wind generator (very pricey and somewhat noisy). It's not as though you need a lot of power you tell yourself. All you want to achieve is more time cruising and less time at the dock or running the genset. Before you jump in, I have a more cost effective solution for you. Enter the boat LED.

LED is an acronym for Light Emitting Diode. They are an electronic device that generates light and the technology has finally matured enough to make them bright enough, the right color (early white ones were very bluish in their light emission), extremely energy efficient, and quite long lived.

The intensity of light from LEDs is now surpassing incandescent and halogen bulbs.

The colors available are varied but they can now be had in a color referred to as "warm white". This is a reference to the light color, which tends to be a warmer golden color, rather than the old blue white.

Energy consumption is frequently measured in milliamps. At 12 volts, a 1.3w LED cluster is drawing approximately 110ma. Figure the average CFL bulb draws about ten times that amount but the LED is generally free of or contains very minimal amounts of mercury (look for an RoHS certification).

Expected service life is even more interesting. A decent LED should have a minimum service life of 50,000 hours. If you left the light on that translates to almost eight and a half years on constant duty. This means it will be ultra rare that they will need changing. This is especially nice if you have to climb to replace them.

So how do you replace the lighting on your boat with them? One way would be to replace all the fixtures on your boat with dedicated LED fixtures but the price adds up very quickly and, contrary to what current marketing may like, you may actually like your current fixtures. The simple method is to simply replace the existing light bulbs with LED equivalents. If you have housings that use a G4 halogen bulb for instance, you have lots of options for G4 LED replacements. You'll only be limited by the space for the bulb and how bright you want it. Pull the halogen out, plug in the LED G4 marine led replacement, repeat as necessary with the other housings and you're done. It really is that simple. Sure beats wiring another solar panel or wind generator doesn't it?

Other bulb options exist, not just G4 LEDs. The 1156 LED, 1157 LED, and a number of others are available. The toughest part will be for those rare cases where a 32v electrical system exists (some of the larger early Chris Crafts are an example). 32v is too high for most the 8-30v LEDs and too low for the 120v LEDs. 24v systems can use the same LEDs that 12v systems do, in most cases.

Quality varies, but even most the stuff coming out of China now is ever of pretty decent quality. I'd just make sure they have the European CE and RoHS certifications.

Now, I have a point to be careful of. Be very careful with the navigation lights. There are VERY few bulbs out there that are actually approved by the USCG (United States Coast Guard) for use in navigation lights. There are some, but they are few and far between. Navigation lights are certrified as a combination of bulb and lens and consequently, some combos don't meet minimum Coast Guard requirements. Furthermore, if you were to be in a collision and the insurance company found out that it was a non-approved combination in your nav lights, you could face the possibility of having your claim denied. Not a good situation to be in. Dedicated LED navigation light fixtures are available as are a few approved LED nav light bulbs.

So, change those bulbs first before you jump into more drastic measures and happy cruising!

CE Benz
http://www.boat-led.com

Boat-LED.com is headquarted in the greater Seattle area and run by people with close to 20 years of experience in the marine industry and an unnatural fascination with lighting, particularly LED. Article authored by Cameron Benz. Background includes about 10years in the marine industry with a focus on engine parts and marine electrical systems.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Cameron_Benz

An inside source….

August 26, 2010
An unspecified source has alerted us to a rumor that Boat-LED.com is intending to bring replacements for the SoLiCo incandescent SoLiCo indicators that are such an incredible pain to find, burn out often, and burn HOT!.

Green standard for LEDs?

August 26, 2010
So, many LED packages have a mark on them that says "RoHS". What the heck is it? Well, that answer can be found at Boat-LED.com

Interesting developments

August 26, 2010
Not just individual LEDs anymore! I saw a recent article in a mainstream mens magazine recently that showed a different approach to LED lighting. Instead of having a small single LED, it had a sheet LED, which meant it produced light as a sheet, rather than a small circuit that was similar to a lightbulb. Very neat technology. No sign of it for the boating world yet, but I'm sure when it's available and reasonably affordable, Boat-LED.com will have it available!

New legislation coming!!

August 26, 2010
Recent developments at the US government level are moving towards the outlaw of incandescent. While perhaps a bit overbearing, it would help to insure the future of LED lighting. From an environmental standpoint however, it would make more sense to outlaw CFLs.

Be sure to check out Boat-LED.com

LEDs the future of lighting?

August 26, 2010
Despite the protests of some, LED lighting is coming on strong. Recent developments have included a government grant for LED research and development. The future for LEDs is bright indeed. (yes I know that was a bad pun) Boat-LED.com is continuing to work to bring this to the marine and boating industries.

Boat-LED.com makes an announcement!!!

August 26, 2010
Big news!

Boat-LED.com just announced their intent to add LED navigation lights to their product line. We suspected this was in the works but hadn't expected it just yet. Click on the name at the beginning of this post to see the announcement!

Untitled

August 19, 2010
Brought to you by Boat-LED.com

It has become obvious that LED lighting is here to stay. The only question has been whether or not it's ready for all the roles it could potentially fill. While I believe we're close, I'm not totally sure we're there yet. And a good example is this article

Untitled

August 19, 2010
Brought to you by Boat-LED.com

Ok, well, I can't exactly imagine seeing the Hoff on a 130 inch projector screen LED tv but apparently it's been demonstrated. Could someone please pick a more attractive and interesting person to use to model this thing?

See the story here

Untitled

August 19, 2010
Brought to you by Boat-LED.com

$60 million in research grants for LED lighting? Imagine.

More evidence the LED lighting is here for the long haul here.