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Thread: Navigation Lights

  1. #61
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    San Francisco - or Abroad
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    430

    Lightbulb LED bulb discount for the Pearson Ariel / Commander Assoc.

    I have tested a number of different bulbs as an LED replacement for the original Pearson fixtures - with very good results, I am happy to say...

    The vendor I've worked with is 'Mastlight.com'. If you want to place an order or just look around the website is: http://www.mastlight.com


    Hans, who operates the site has provided a COUPON CODE for use by Pearson Ariel /Commander owners; (or people lurking here!) Simply enter 'Pearson' in the space provided on the order form. This will apply a discount on your order.

    Note that I get NO comissions, nor do I have ANY involvement with the vendor at all. I am simply providing this for Ariel /Commander owners reference because this vendor's products fit our fixtures nicely and he was willing to offer a discount for the group.






    Here is some insight into the products I found work really well:



    Original Pearson Navigation Lights:
    For these fixtures I ordered RED and GREEN bulbs model 'BA15D Stacking D27LED Red' and 'BA15D Stacking D27LED Green'
    *** Be sure to specify the 'Tall' version as these are about 1/4" taller and a much better fit in the fixture socket than the 'standard' version which sit a bit too low. You can see the 'tall' bulbs installed in my fixtures below in Picture #1

    (See posts above for an explanation of the reasons why colored LEDs are more desirable than the pure white LEDs in Nav lights)

    The standard height version of the bulb is pictured on the page (see the 27 LED version in the center of the page:
    http://www.mastlight.com/BA15D.html

    I found that these bulbs (which have a total of 27 LEDs integrated into the bulb) provide not only MORE light than the standard bulb, but they do so at all relevant angle ranges. (I was initially worried about the 45 degree visibility due to the LED arrangement, but it is not an issue when lit up...

    The Stern Light:
    I have a stern light that is not a Pearson original. I think it is relevant as it is almost identical to the Pearson original. (Mine came off a 1950's Chris-craft.) In any case, the space here is smaller compared to the Nav lights and the best fit for this was bulb Model 'BA15DD 12 LED White'.

    You can see a picture of the bulb on the same page as the bulb above if you look to the bottom left of the page. You can see it installed in Picture #2.
    The top LEDs are a bit on the high side inside this fixture, but overall, the LED bulb provides more light than the standard bulb. I had my doubts, but when I installed it and saw it on, I was very happy with the outcome.

    Interior Lights:
    I was VERY happy to find an LED product that works with the original little lamp shades used for our cabin lights.
    The Bulb looks like a regular household bulb (maybe a tad smaller) but has 70 LEDs and it is 12V. It is slightly larger physically than the smallish 12V/15 watt bulbs I was using to date, but the do provide more light.
    Additionally, they provide a similarly warm light as my incandescents. See Picture #3
    I'll post a picture with the shade on. They provide a nice warm light for the cabin. In darkness, I found that even just ONE of these provided a nice amount of light for most purposes. TWO would fill my Commander's interior with plenty of light to read by...
    Attached Images      
    Last edited by Rico; 08-06-2009 at 11:28 PM.

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    Scarborough, Maine
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    Great info! Thanks for the tips and all the leg work!
    Mike
    Totoro (Sea Sprite 23 #626)

  3. #63
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    Sep 2001
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    San Rafael, CA
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    Ditto on that.
    AND the toggle on the 'coupon code'!

  4. #64
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Brooksville, FL
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    714

    Thanks Rico

    You saved me some legwork. It's the best of both worlds, old world look, and new world electricty savings and bulb longevity.

  5. #65
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Forsyth GA
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    396

    Red face Quest to be seen!

    I would think if you never plan to sail at night the original Pearson light may be fine with an LED bulb.
    When I look at the nav lights I'm thinking...... Man, I hope I never come across a boat at night in a channel or sea with lights this small and have to determine it's intentions. I would think an upgrade would be in order if your plan is to be on the water after the sun has gone down. They may be proportionate to the size of the boat but they sure would be hard to see. I'm thinking something with twice the lens size would be in order.
    Comments?

  6. #66
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    Mar 2006
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    San Francisco - or Abroad
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    I find myself sailing in the dark in the sometimes highly-busy San Francisco /San Pablo Bays pretty often. This body of water is relatively BIG and I sail from one end to the other often...

    Keep in mind that navigation lights are not like headlights; you do not use them to 'see' your way through traffic. And they are not very bright even on the biggest ships. Navigation lights are meant to be seen from specific angles in a particular way in order to enable others to tell the relative 'attitude' (direction of travel) of a ship solely by the scheme of lights that are visible at any one time.

    I think that the LEDs provide MORE than a bright enough light source so that they meet the typical requirements (visibility at 2 miles) even in hazy weather. I usually stay out of ship’s traffic when they are in the channel, but out at sea, or when ships are at an intersection/convergence zone in the bay, I’ve not had any issues ‘signaling’ larger vessels for a clue on their intended course, or to let them know about my intended course simply by showing them a shift in my navigation lights.
    It is often that the other vessel signals me first... (in the case of the smaller commercial vessels such as tugs, workboats, sailboats. (it is always a toss-up with recreational powered boats...)

    The 'signaling' is done either by pointing straight at the vessel where he sees BOTh red & Green (when approaching close to dead ahead) and letting him pick his course, or by shifting course clearly and letting him let me know via his course change (or quick horn blast, in the case of bigger ships) about his preference. I find that this works very well and is much quicker and easier than a hail on the radio.

    Because of the ease of this communication I am confident that my navigation lights are quite effective despite being so small and not too bright (They are much brighter with the LEDs now).

    I completed my LED installation a couple of weeks ago. This was only one day before departing to the south bay on a Friday afternoon for a regatta. This 30 mile+ windy, dark & foggy trip in heavy traffic, provided clear affirmation that my lights are nicely visible even in adverse conditions.

    (More details and pictures on the trip and regatta on the 'Mephisto Cat' thread shortly)

    Picture: Bright LED at mid-day. Note that the image does not EMIT light so the LEDs appear less bright. In person, they are so bright that the light seems almost like a single point of light.

    This picture is taken at a 45 deg angle off the bow.
    Attached Images  
    Last edited by Rico; 08-06-2009 at 11:12 PM.

  7. #67
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Brooksville, FL
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    714

    Replacement Nav lights

    When I removed the stern light on Destiny I broke the light base trying to remove the wires which had probably never been removed since she was new. In addition the glass portion was alread broke before I got her. I've been trying to find a replacement and finally found someone that actually has them. Thought some of you might like to know about these folks.
    Attached Images

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
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    Asst. Vice Commodore, NorthEast Fleet, Commander Division (Ret.) Brightwaters, N.Y.
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    Do they sell just the glass globe for the sternlight? I can't find a plastic replacement. The Seadog one doesn't fit.

    I might just replace the stern light anyway. I really don't like the "wings" on the light. A line rubbing againt the fixture ripped mine right off the deck, twice. The wires kept it from going overboard.

  9. #69
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    Sep 2008
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    Brooksville, FL
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    I looked thru all the information Jim Reineck sent me but

    I don't see anything that says if they sell parts or only complete units. Probably best to call him and ask. The phone number is 781-925-3312 or send him an e-mail at sales@bronzeblocks.com. Let us know what he says because the glass is chipped on my side lights and it would be grat to replace just that.

  10. #70
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    Mar 2006
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    San Francisco - or Abroad
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    Commanderpete - have you contacted - or should I?
    I am also suffering from a cracked stern light glass globe syndrome... I could smack myself! -Ugh!

    I was lucky to have all 3 globes intact... but no longer!

    I installed a new gasket when installing the LED and I guess I tightened it too much for the beautiful globe's liking - not enough to destroy the globe straigh away, but enough for it to develop a crack.

    I thought that I may be able to keep moisture out with a bit of prnetrating sealer, but nope - the water went in. I took the light apart and the 40 year-old globe is now in 3 pieces.

    I am waiting to see if the globe can be somehow repaired. (A glass artist friend is attempting some magic...)

    I've searched for a replacement with no luck so far... Perhaps these might fit?!

  11. #71
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    Rico please give him a shout.

    I'm still conflicted about the stern light. I bought a cheapo incandescent replacement, but never installed it. My light somehow continued to work without a globe all year.

    I don't know if I'm going to keep the original and get a replacement globe and LED bulb.

    I looked very hard to find an LED replacement fixture. They don't seem to make a deck mount sternlight.

    There is one guy "boaterbits" on ebaymotors selling a fixture. But I seriously doubt the bulb is bright enough
    Attached Images  

  12. #72
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    San Francisco - or Abroad
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    I've seen those fixtures... Inexpensive, but I wonder how long before the plating falls off... And I agree that the amount of light might be lacking on these.

    I am amazed at the total lack of proper deck mounted stern lights. There are a few deck mount all-round lights, but no proper stern lights...

    Anyway, I just got off the phone with Jim ( of J.M. Reineck & Son) and I've ordered a replacement glass dome. $25 + Shipping. I have my fingers crossed that it will fit properly...



    UPDATE:
    I have received the Glass dome and I am happy to say that it looks like it will be a perfect fit. I will post an update after the actual installation.
    Last edited by Rico; 02-22-2010 at 02:45 PM.

  13. #73
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    Another option for LED

    Last edited by Commander 147; 02-13-2010 at 05:46 PM. Reason: Add more info on the source

  14. #74
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    Sep 2001
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    San Rafael, CA
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    imPractical Sailor and LED

    USCG regs dictate that sailboats under 65' have port and starboard side lights and a stern light.
    The red and green sidelights are often shown in diagrams in the bow of the boat,
    and we often see them mounted in a single fixture on the pulpit.
    These lights and a stern light can be combined in a single lantern mounted on the mast head.
    If we still want the lights on the bow, or separated on the cabin side and on the transom (or pushpit), Regs say that only one set can be on - NOT BOTH.

    If we are coming into a marina at dusk and we have to switch running lights on, there are strong arguments for the deck level lights to be used because they can be seen better by others. And when we are moving they can be understood better in the dark by others. A masthead light imco in crowded waters is too tall and gives little information about who we are.

    If we go with the side lights on the cabin, we would not have side lights (on) in the bow. One set or the other - altho it is unlikely we would have both.

    If we are under power, which we may well be in order to have more control over the boat, Regs say we have become a powerboat. As soon as we get the motor going (even with sails up) we are under power.
    If we are under power we have to show an all round WHITE light. The only place on a sailboat for an allround light is on the masthead. Under power we also will have the side lights on - but not the stern light.

    This allround white light on the masthead is also our anchor light. Used as an anchor light, our side lights would be off.

    LED 2nm
    Practical Sailor in the 2010 Feb issue tests four led bulb replacements which might be of interest to those of us rennovating the old fixtures.
    They also test three led tricolor masthead lights.
    LOPOLIGHT (200-005) at about $700 with a five year warranty.
    OGM (LXTA-12v) at $340 - two year warranty.
    SIGNALMATE (2-nm Tri) $359 - five years.
    None of these tricolors include the allround steaming/anchor light.

    Notably absent is the HELLA led tri-color. Why would this manufacturer be ignored by PS boggles the mind - as these four are the only led tricolors with USCG approval that can be found, that I've found.

    Not only leaving out a major player, but ignoring the white anchor/steaming light is really whacky.
    However, the article redeems itself somewhat by carefully checking RFI (with a hand held VHF). Electricity reaching the semi-conductors, led's, causes EMI. This can screw up the VHF signal in the coils of the antenna mounted close to the led tricolor. The tr-color manufacturer has to shield his product from other electronics at the masthead.
    They tested the bulbs too for interference along with the tricolors by holding the handheld VHF radio at close distances to the lights.
    Suffice to say only LOPOLIGHT had no RFI at 0 inches.

    SIGNALMATE got RFI at 10". Assuming the test procedure is good, there just is no way I'd get this fixture and mount a VHF antenna next to it.
    The website advertises the tricolor is fully shielded. Now we know - thanks to P.S.
    P.S. also checked out by distance observation whether the red/green overlapped. They also graded how green the green was, Led greens often have a blue cast. And blue is a law-enforcement color. Lopo and the Lunasea bulb got the nod for the greenest green.


    I'm attracted to the HELLA NaviLED Trio Masthead / Anchor Light - $340 - with a seven year warranty.
    Data sheet, drawings, measurements, installation anst all available online.
    "Electromagnetic Compatability (EMC) This LED lamp is an electronic device. The electrical circuits contain components that suppress possible interference, both emission as well as susceptability. to the limits prescribed in EN60945".
    We didn't get the skinny from Practical Sailor on this.
    HELLA also have some nice side and stern lights at $93 each. Defender has them $10 cheaper.
    They don't tell what any fixture or lens is made from (polycarbonate?). If plastic then 7 years warranty is a stretch in southern climes.
    A half dozen international certifications including USCG. So the green must be OK.
    Just info and all of it my opinion.

    Why on water would anybody with an active sailboat go with a plain tricolor?
    How would you later add the allround white, if you wanted to? Led's are already too expensive!
    Last edited by ebb; 02-16-2010 at 02:23 PM.

  15. #75
    Join Date
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    Asst. Vice Commodore, NorthEast Fleet, Commander Division (Ret.) Brightwaters, N.Y.
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    A tricolor light will draw less power than 3 seperate fixtures. If you're going to install an anchor light at the top of the mast anyway, it might make sense to install a tricolor/anchor light combination.

    But, you still need deck mounted lights. You can't use an anchor light while underway (although I see it done frequently). A sailboat under power needs to show a "steaming light" and not an all-around white light.

    As far as I know, the rules state that the steaming light must be located above the sidelights. You can't use a masthead tricolor with a steaming light.

    I suppose you would use the tricolor offshore, for better visibility to shipping and to conserve power. Near shore, the deck mounted lights are more likely to be seen against the clutter of lights on the shore, and should be used when the engine is engaged.

    Seems there are many more choices in USCG approved LED nav lights in the last year or two, and some are fairly reasonable in price. This should only get better.
    Attached Images    

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