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LED Lights

A forum for discussing boat or trailer repairs or modifications that you have made or are considering.

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Re: LED Lights

Postby Retcoastie » Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:36 am

But Ray, if you use the same bulb in Pennsylvania that worked well in Arizona, why reinvent in the wheel? A=B, B=C, therefore A=C :) :) :)
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Re: LED Lights

Postby Tomfoolery » Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:37 am

NiceAft wrote:I don't doubt their safety, or their ability to function well as a light; I just wonder if it is written anywhere that the lights are visible for two nautical miles.

I believe the 2nm figure is only for the white lights on a boat as small as the Macs. 1nm for the sidelights. That's for boats less than 12 meters.

Ah, yes, here it is. http://boatsafe.com/nauticalknowhow/060199tip5.htm

Here's the Coast Guard page on it. http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=navRulesContent#rule22
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Re: LED Lights

Postby RussMT » Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:05 pm

NiceAft wrote:I don't doubt their safety, or their ability to function well as a light; I just wonder if it is written anywhere that the lights are visible for two nautical miles.


Ray, that is a good question. In my non-scientific tests, my LEDs are brighter and appear more visible than the incandescent bulbs. I don't have a light meter to make that scientific.

I've had standard bulbs burn out. Filaments don't take vibration of trailering well. LEDs don't have this problem.

It's a personal call.
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Re: LED Lights

Postby RussMT » Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:33 pm

robbarnes1965 wrote:Ok Russ, you peaked my curiosity. How do I switch from red to white or back?

Can I do this from a switch on the panel? At best I will have to dig through my sailboat wiring book - I have very little experience with electrics other than plugging in the leds backwards to get them to work.


You already learned that LEDs don't light if polarity is reversed. Diodes only allow power to flow in one direction.
So you wire 2 LEDs, 1 white and 1 red each with the polarity opposite inside each fixture. On "normal" the white lights up and not the red because the red is "backwards". When you reverse the polarity at the panel, the red is "normal" and white is backwards so only the red lights up.

You don't need a wiring handbook, just a little simple wiring knowledge. If you don't have it, find someone who does. It's not that complicated. A whole lot easier than running another set of wires to the fixtures.
At the panel (or someplace near it), install a DPDT switch (like this one) so that when wired properly reverses the + and - wires.


This is the diagram I used to wire my steaming/anchor lights. The "D" in LEDs is diode so the diode in the diagram isn't necessary.
This is a great trick with any LED to save doubling wires when both are not needed simultaneously.
Image

Switch wiring. Center wires are DC in from panel switch, left is out to LEDs (fixtures/mast lights).
Image

This is exactly how I wired my mast lights.
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Re: LED Lights

Postby RussMT » Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:54 pm

Basically, you could cut the wires from your panel to fixtures and insert this into it to reverse the polarity. LEDs in fixtures would illuminate or not depending on the polarity.

Image
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Re: LED Lights

Postby robbarnes1965 » Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:13 pm

Great description! Even being an electrical moron, I think I can pull it off. :)
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Re: LED Lights

Postby NiceAft » Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:00 pm

tkanzler,

Thanks, it appears that I was not alone in the misconception of 2NM's for our bow lights. Image

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Re: LED Lights

Postby ualpow » Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:24 pm

I love modding but I have to say this was the easiest one I have done so far. If you want red/white led cabin lights these are really cool.http://www.sailorsams.com/Imtra-X-Beam-G4-Red-White-LEDs
They plug into an adapter for the bayonet socket and fit right in. This is what they look like in white and red on my :macx:
ImageImageImage
When you turn them on they always come on red. If you want white you turn off and back on within 3 seconds. If you turn them off for more than 4 seconds they come on red again.
The white seems a little bright so I might diffuse them. Maybe some tape over the white LED's? I can also turn them so they face upwards.
Last edited by ualpow on Tue Jul 16, 2013 7:24 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: LED Lights

Postby NiceAft » Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:59 am

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Re: LED Lights

Postby hschumac » Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:48 pm

I ran all the wires today, up to the anchor light from the masthead, also new wiring from masthead to the base of the mast. But puzzled as to how to connect the wires, trying for the single wire using a DPDT switch.

The anchor light has the red wire to the positive terminal, black to negative. It is an LED.

At the masthead light it has two pole connections, also LED.

Do I just hook the red and black coming from the mast base to either one of the poles on the masthead light, then hook the black from the anchor light to the red masthead pole, and red anchor light wire to the black masthead pole?

Or do I need to connect red to red, black to black on the wire runs, and run a separate wire into the masthead light?

Still confused on the electrical flow...
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Re: LED Lights

Postby RobertB » Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:49 pm

I used a DPDT relay instead of a switch - used the two existing switches and it works great.
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