Nav light LED conversion

Jim_R

Well-Known Member
Messages
442
Reaction score
37
These days LED replacements can be bought for nearly any filament type automotive bulb out there. The LED replacements have the benefits of longer life, they draw less current, and give off less heat. In the marine world, particularly with NAV lights, the trick is finding LED replacement bulbs that meet Coast Guard regs for light output. Fortunately there are a few retailers out there that do have certified replacements made here in the US, although they do tend to be a bit more pricey than the more common automotive replacements made in China.

I identified the bulbs used in my Perko port and starboard bow markers as Perko Fig. 71 festoon bulbs, and in the Perko all around light I had a fairly typical bayonet mount BA15D.

Here's a shot of a festoon bulb next to it's LED counterpart:

2013-07-18_12-56-36_401_zps4762236d.jpg


And a close up of the LED:

2013-07-18_12-56-44_739_zpsc513d739.jpg


I found it interesting that corresponding red and green LED replacements were recommended for the side markers rather than replacement white LEDs. Also note the wings present on the led festoon bulbs to accommodate enough individual LEDs to put out the brightness level required. These bulbs may not work in every side marker out there, and with mine it was a tight fit.

A pic in action:

2013-07-18_20-50-53_962_zps63b51594.jpg


As with any shot of an LED, the pic does not do justice. To the naked eye, the four individual leds are somewhat discernible, which to me is kind of a cool look. The light is also less 'warm', which might be seen in the picture above.

Here's the all around light bayonet bulb and replacement:

2013-07-25_10-03-16_112_zps7467ea5f.jpg


In this close up, you can see that the bayonet style replacement has four wings with LEDs on all sides.

2013-07-18_12-58-12_397_zps88c2df41.jpg


No issues with install of the bayonet style, if anything it is narrower than the standard bulb, although it is a bit taller. Somehow I forgot to capture a picture of the all around light in place. I'll add it in the next day or so.

Overall I am happy with the replacements, they seem to freshen up the nighttime appearance of the boat. Although I am somewhat used to getting comments on the perimeter lights, cupholder lights, and other LEDs I have installed, I was surprised at favorable comments from passing boaters on the nav light replacements.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

kaydano

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,288
Reaction score
2,160
Where did you get the white all-around? I would order one of those and just change it out before it burns out. I'd of course keep the old one as a spare, but probably would never need it.

I have the stainless steel bow lights, and I'm thinking the all-around may be the only incandescent bulb on my boat. But I don't know for sure. Anyone know?
 

Jim_R

Well-Known Member
Messages
442
Reaction score
37
I got mine from Marinebeam.com, good folks to deal with. (No affiliation)
 

gerry

Well-Known Member
Messages
363
Reaction score
32
My RCW has the Perko light with a #906 wedge base bulb. Wonder if an led substitution is available ? Gerry
 

cwag911

Moderator
Messages
5,993
Reaction score
2,137
Location
Denver, NC on beautiful Lake Norman

gerry

Well-Known Member
Messages
363
Reaction score
32
Thanks Carl. Doesn't seem like it would hurt to try one. Located a couple others and will probably "play" with them to see if I can improve on the stock Perko. Thanks Gerry
 

Link

Moderator
Messages
5,590
Reaction score
3,219
Location
Sacandaga Lake, NY
Carl, I looked at the video on the link, I am amazed that it can be done this easily. Have you used these on your boat, if so how long have they been installed?
 

cwag911

Moderator
Messages
5,993
Reaction score
2,137
Location
Denver, NC on beautiful Lake Norman
I've had the ones similar to what Jim used in the nav lights for 5 years and no problems. The ones I bought had more leds though (9). Nav light has been in for the same time and it is the cool white. The nav lights have to be the samecolor as the lens. White ones won't show up through the lens.
 

Link

Moderator
Messages
5,590
Reaction score
3,219
Location
Sacandaga Lake, NY
Thanks for the info Carl, I wont do the conversion until I have a problem but when needed will make the change to LED
 

Jim_R

Well-Known Member
Messages
442
Reaction score
37
Here's the pic of the all around. But honestly the only reason I'm posting it is because I said I would. I don't observe much of a difference, unless it is that the LED light is a little less warm, and brighter.

2013-07-25_22-49-59_654_zpsfb2edb64.jpg


Might be my imagination, but seems to me my voltmeter indicates a full 14V at a lower rpm than before when running with lights and moderate stereo volumes. Too many variables to be certain.
 

gerry

Well-Known Member
Messages
363
Reaction score
32
I ordered a couple different LED lights to try. One has a range of 9-14 v. and another is right at 12v. Wonder what is the potential pro or con with such a specific volt requirement. Gerry
 

kmlmartel

Well-Known Member
Messages
104
Reaction score
15
Location
Cuba Landing Marina TN River
Just installed this LED Micro Wedge Light from Marine Beam to replace my anchor light....great product and it looks so much better than the OEM incandescent bulb.  The light is nice and bright and built marine tuff.  http://store.marinebeam.com/wedge-15-led-tower.html
 

Remediation

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,906
Reaction score
1,073
Location
Lake Cumberland KY - White Oak Community Dock
Thanks for the info
 
Top