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Old 03-23-2018, 11:52 AM   #1
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Short Anchor Light Bulb Life

Has anyone else here been experiencing very short life with Ancor short bayonet bulbs? We have been replacing our anchor light bulbs every week to ten days which is a real pain. We have been anchoring nearly every night but that is still pretty short life. The last bulb went dim instead of burning out and I found the inside coated with smoke but there was still some light.


Our light fixture was old (now removed for replacement) and the contacts may have been creating heat. I suspect that this heat was breaking down the seal where the wire was going into the bulb or the wire was burning just enough to let a small amount of oxygen into the bulb. Still, I would like to know if others are experiencing short bulb life in case it is a bad manufacturing run. I have a new Perko dual fixture to install but will go with LED if bulb quality seems to be an issue.
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Old 03-23-2018, 11:59 AM   #2
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I replaced all my nav light fixtures with new LED ones. No more bulbs to change and it saves a lot of power when anchored.
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Old 03-23-2018, 12:00 PM   #3
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Those bulbs SUCK. For years I used them for both nav and white lights. Ate power, got hot and melted things, burned out frequently. I would keep a bowl of bulbs in the galley.

Went LED and have not looked back. Do it.
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Old 03-23-2018, 12:39 PM   #4
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Led.....
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Old 03-23-2018, 01:11 PM   #5
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Even using LED replacements in standard sockets you can still get corrosion in the socket. Go with a complete LED anchor light fixture.
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Old 03-23-2018, 01:14 PM   #6
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I had the same problem with those bulbs......junk! Changed to led and haven't changed a bulb in years.
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Old 03-23-2018, 01:18 PM   #7
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Yes, led for sure. Here are the ones I used: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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Old 03-23-2018, 01:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Long View Post
Has anyone else here been experiencing very short life with Ancor short bayonet bulbs? We have been replacing our anchor light bulbs every week to ten days which is a real pain. We have been anchoring nearly every night but that is still pretty short life. The last bulb went dim instead of burning out and I found the inside coated with smoke but there was still some light.


Our light fixture was old (now removed for replacement) and the contacts may have been creating heat. I suspect that this heat was breaking down the seal where the wire was going into the bulb or the wire was burning just enough to let a small amount of oxygen into the bulb. Still, I would like to know if others are experiencing short bulb life in case it is a bad manufacturing run. I have a new Perko dual fixture to install but will go with LED if bulb quality seems to be an issue.
Strange .... but a few things come to mind:

a) Bad batch of bulbs, b) bulbs rated @ 12VDC only when in fact when you fire up the Engines / Gen. you go up to 13.8 + VDC, c) clearly when alleged heat from the ends socket burns up the lamp, the lamp is flawed.

We did change our anchor light to LED just for the energy reason and it works great. I'm not sure about using LED lamps for the Nav. lights, I keep hearing that they have an effect on the Green - Red colour if using in the older fixture & lens. fb
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Old 03-23-2018, 01:49 PM   #9
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+1 on LED! We went to a photocell controlled Davis masthead light and added an aftermarket Marinebeam LED that is easily the brightest and whitest bulb in the anchorage.

When we leave the marina for an anchorage, we flip the anchor light on and turn it off when we return to the marina. The anchor light automatically comes on a dusk and goes off at dawn.
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Old 03-23-2018, 04:47 PM   #10
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Could be a bad batch of bulbs, but another cause might be a voltage drop at the light fixture caused by corrosion resulting in excess current draw and the bulb is acting like a fuse, burning out before the panel breaker trips.
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Old 03-23-2018, 06:04 PM   #11
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Another possibility is if the bulb or entire housing is loose and vibrates. Vibration kills incandescent bulbs.

Ken
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Old 03-23-2018, 06:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Long View Post
Has anyone else here been experiencing very short life with Ancor short bayonet bulbs? We have been replacing our anchor light bulbs every week to ten days which is a real pain. We have been anchoring nearly every night but that is still pretty short life. The last bulb went dim instead of burning out and I found the inside coated with smoke but there was still some light.

Our light fixture was old (now removed for replacement) and the contacts may have been creating heat. I suspect that this heat was breaking down the seal where the wire was going into the bulb or the wire was burning just enough to let a small amount of oxygen into the bulb. Still, I would like to know if others are experiencing short bulb life in case it is a bad manufacturing run. I have a new Perko dual fixture to install but will go with LED if bulb quality seems to be an issue.

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Mast down, all new Perko lenses and LED bulbs. 1 watt, bright even in daylight.
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Old 03-24-2018, 08:06 AM   #13
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IF you locate a really good source for "12V" bulb description (usually a mfg) you will notice that a 12v bulb can be rated for 12v up to 14,5v .

The 12v bulbs are for battery use with no higher voltages , the 14+ are for use with the engine charging a battery.

If you bunk reading lamp is dim at anchor it may be a car bulb.

If the 12vanchor light bulb has a short life , you might be feeding it above 12V.
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Old 03-24-2018, 06:40 PM   #14
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Another possibility is if the bulb or entire housing is loose and vibrates. Vibration kills incandescent bulbs.

Ken

Most “old style” lights are just junk compared to the new sealed LED units.
Once you change over, you’ll never look back!
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Old 03-24-2018, 07:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Long View Post
I have a new Perko dual fixture to install but will go with LED if bulb quality seems to be an issue.

Use your Perko fixture, but just install an LED bulb in it. They come in sizes to replace almost anything.
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Old 03-25-2018, 11:18 AM   #16
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I have a Perko double light anchor/steaming light combo (uses Festoon style bulbs), that to the best of my knowledge is original (2002). I replaced the 2 incandescent bulbs with 31mm LED's. I have replaced one after only about 10 hours, and now both of them are out after only one season of use and the winter 'rest". The LED bulbs are about $20 each, so I am now going to replace the fixture, but it will not be easy as it is located at the top of a 10 foot high mast (10 feet above the cabin rooftop). The last time I replaced a bulb, the fixture "visually" looked in good condition with no signs of water intrusion or corrosion.
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Old 03-25-2018, 05:04 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by firehoser75 View Post
I have a Perko double light anchor/steaming light combo (uses Festoon style bulbs),
That is the same fixture we have and, yikes, in a senior moment I typed "bayonet" instead of "Festoon" rendering the answers to the question I was asking irrelevant.

I do not believe in retrofitting LED's in nav light fixtures because of USCG certification and legal issues. I'm wondering if there is a common problem with the incandescent festoon bulbs which would tip me toward the more complex replacement of a certified LED unit instead of swapping in the Perko incandescent one I already have.

I have also had premature failures with LED's. I replaced all the nav lights on my sailboat with LED's because changing bulbs up the mast and out on the bow was a pain but got less life out of the LED units than the bulbs and replacement was even harder. I was an early adopter though and had good luck with later LED fixtures.
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Old 03-25-2018, 05:43 PM   #18
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For anyone chasing SEALED ba15d 24v bulbs, i tried many, most didnt work but these do.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/5pcs-x-BA15....c100011.m1850
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Old 03-25-2018, 06:40 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Roger Long View Post
That is the same fixture we have and, yikes, in a senior moment I typed "bayonet" instead of "Festoon" rendering the answers to the question I was asking irrelevant.

I do not believe in retrofitting LED's in nav light fixtures because of USCG certification and legal issues. I'm wondering if there is a common problem with the incandescent festoon bulbs which would tip me toward the more complex replacement of a certified LED unit instead of swapping in the Perko incandescent one I already have.

I have also had premature failures with LED's. I replaced all the nav lights on my sailboat with LED's because changing bulbs up the mast and out on the bow was a pain but got less life out of the LED units than the bulbs and replacement was even harder. I was an early adopter though and had good luck with later LED fixtures.
Early LEDs had lots of issues. Newer ones are available that are quite decent including USCG certified.

Ken
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Old 03-25-2018, 06:51 PM   #20
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Most “old style” lights are just junk compared to the new sealed LED units.
Once you change over, you’ll never look back!

I'm definitely convinced. I've been changing my lights over to quality LEDs and have been very happy with the results.
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