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Old 10-24-2017, 11:32 AM   #1
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flourescent to LED question

New Mainship 40 owner here. Been reading about switching lights over to LED's. Is there a simple way to switch over the twin fluorescent fixtures inside the cabin to LED? I see plenty of bulb options for the small G4 courtesy lights but have not seen any discussion on the fluorescents. Thanks
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Old 10-24-2017, 11:36 AM   #2
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Someone on TF bought a strip of LEDS, and stuck them to the fitting, wired them in, and they lit the place up! I'll have a look for the link.
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Old 10-24-2017, 11:41 AM   #3
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Have a look at this.

Fluorescent Light Replacement

Fluorescent Light Replacement
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Old 10-24-2017, 11:46 AM   #4
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If you can solder electronic circuits, you can buy a reel of LED rope lights, cut to size, and add power leads to replace the bulbs in the florescent fixture.
If not, there are LED replacement tubes. Find the florescent tube type then search online. Cost more but is easier.
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Old 10-24-2017, 11:53 AM   #5
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Thanks, I did some looking for replacement tubes that I could swap in but wasn't sure what I found were the right ones. Didn't have dimensions so wasn't sure. I would prefer not to gut the fixtures at this point so the swap out bulbs/tubes would be preferable. Thanks again and would appreciate any info on the replacement tubes if anybody has gone this route. So far we love our boat.
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Old 10-24-2017, 12:05 PM   #6
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Give these folks a call, great service and high quality

12V / 24V - Fluorescent Tube Style LED Replacements
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Old 10-24-2017, 12:38 PM   #7
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You Tube is your friend. There are many video's on how to do this.
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Old 10-24-2017, 01:41 PM   #8
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Excellent, Thanks all.
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Old 10-24-2017, 05:44 PM   #9
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marinebeam.com has them.
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Old 10-24-2017, 07:01 PM   #10
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Greetings,
Mr. j. Re: Post #2. I am one of those who used the LED light strips in an existing fixture BUT, in my case, the ballast was fried and any hope of replacing the whole fixture with one that would match the other 2 fixtures in the saloon were slim to none. In your case, as suggested, a "drop-in" LED replacement tube is probably the best approach. I purchased the LED strip from this business and they could most likely supply the necessary bulb(s). (NO connection other than a satisfied customer).
Apollo Lighting - marine boat lighting in Fort Lauderdale All it takes is a phone call.
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Old 10-24-2017, 07:06 PM   #11
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I would suggest to look at these:
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Cheap, bright and you can cut/assemble them to fit your needs.

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Old 10-24-2017, 08:14 PM   #12
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First identify the actual bulb being used. Then google search that bulb type with LED added at the end. There is a LED bulb replacement for just about everything out there.

I went through a 1971Uniflite 42 and found a led bulb for every fixture including the fluorescent fixtures.
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Old 10-24-2017, 09:14 PM   #13
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I was in HDepot the other day and was surprised at the selection of led\fluorescent light replacements but they didn't have the 12" size I needed. An 18" replacement was less than $10!! I asked if they will get 12" soon and the guy said to stay tuned. They are getting new stock almost weekly and expects they will have the 12" by Christmas. Given I need 34 tubes to replace my existing units, it's worth waiting.
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Old 10-25-2017, 03:29 PM   #14
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Thanks again to all. yes, I would prefer the drop in replacement LED tube. I assume even with these that there would need to be a removal of the existing ballast so it is not really a drop in replacement as some of the other bulbs on board would be. If I am wrong and you literally can remove the fluorescent tube and put in the LED tube I would love to hear that. I have seen the LED tubes that fit my fixture and looks like they are somewhere around $16 each. I think I would need about 20 off the top of my head so it would be a little pricey to swap them out.
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Old 10-25-2017, 03:43 PM   #15
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We went the cheap route with the LED stick on light strip. Ripped out the ballast, bulb and converted a Thin Lite florecent for maybe $2. You do need to pay attention to polarity. We used “warm” white strip and not the super bright which was too white/harsh imho.
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Old 10-25-2017, 03:51 PM   #16
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Old 10-25-2017, 03:57 PM   #17
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I have one caution. There are a LOT of ac to LED ballasts out there that have awful (and illegal) radio emissions. It is best to try one, and then see if it affects a VHF handheld radio, at minimum. HF/SSB can also be severely affected. Buyer beware.
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Old 10-26-2017, 03:51 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamoore View Post
Thanks again to all. yes, I would prefer the drop in replacement LED tube. I assume even with these that there would need to be a removal of the existing ballast so it is not really a drop in replacement as some of the other bulbs on board would be. If I am wrong and you literally can remove the fluorescent tube and put in the LED tube I would love to hear that. I have seen the LED tubes that fit my fixture and looks like they are somewhere around $16 each. I think I would need about 20 off the top of my head so it would be a little pricey to swap them out.
I recently changed out the 4-foot florescents in three engine room fixtures with LED tubes from Marine Beam. Removal of the existing ballast is required but is quite simple. One of the fixtures was no longer lighting although there was an audible hum. When I exposed the ballast I found it to have melted parts. Scary. Anyway, I'm very happy with the result. The LEDs are much brighter than the florescents were.
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Old 10-26-2017, 04:22 PM   #19
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So I was at Lowes yesterday and asked the same question I did at Home Depot. Do you have 12" led direct replacements for fluorescent tubes? I got the exact same answer that I got at HD. "Not yet but new leds are coming in all the time. Stay tuned."
The Phillips tubes are drop I'm replacements for fluorescent tubes. No need to change or remove the ballast. Has two prongs each end. Same fit. Smallest I have seen at big box store are the 18".

Cheap too. As of yesterday a pair of 4' led drop in replacements was $15.98

About a month and a half ago I bought four replacement fixtures for my engine room for just under $50 each. Vast difference, much brighter than the fluorescent originals. But for the rest of the boat I will wait for the new 12" drop in replacement tubes to become available.
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Old 10-30-2017, 07:09 AM   #20
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That sounds interesting. Did not know there was a direct replacement on the horizon that did not require the removal of the ballast. I will be watching. Please share if you find them at some point. Joe
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