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Old 12-17-2013, 08:14 PM   #21
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Kevin, yours was one of the success stories I think I read before on just "plug and play" in someone elses thread. So you don't think its worth bothering with one of these power supplies even though I have one sitting here?
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Old 12-17-2013, 10:26 PM   #22
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Kevin, yours was one of the success stories I think I read before on just "plug and play" in someone elses thread. So you don't think its worth bothering with one of these power supplies even though I have one sitting here?
I'm assuming your boat is set up for 12 volt lighting.

If thats the case buy some LED bulbs and plug them into your existing fixtures.

No, I would not rewire my boat with a special power supply even if I had one ready to install.

Give it a try. You have very little to loose and allot to save. $20 and a few minutes time and you can try out several of them and see how you like them.
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Old 12-18-2013, 02:34 AM   #23
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Just replaced all the G4 halogens in the saloon with cheapie ebay LEDs. Also put one of those ebay 5m led light strips in the cockpit. Fantastic result - only I'm gping to replace the saloon LEDs with warm white (accidentally bought the harsh bluish-white coloured ones - oh well, $15 bucks is a relatively cheap lesson). No issues at all in 2 weekend trips (although I admit, that;s hardly a long evaluation period).
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Old 12-18-2013, 06:50 AM   #24
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How does it work if you want a dimable LED light?
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Old 12-18-2013, 07:04 AM   #25
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You turn the knob or hold the button until the light is at the desired level.
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Old 12-18-2013, 09:06 AM   #26
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What I know is that the cheap Ebay bulbs work great. This is not theory, it is fact.
There is an echo around here.....................
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Old 12-18-2013, 09:27 AM   #27
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There is an echo around here.....................
You guys ought to know by now that actual hands on experience doesn't count for squat.
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Old 12-18-2013, 11:09 AM   #28
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You guys ought to know by now that actual hands on experience doesn't count for squat.

SQUAT, you have been spending too much time in the "fast disolving TP" discussion.
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Old 12-18-2013, 11:28 AM   #29
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You guys ought to know by now that actual hands on experience doesn't count for squat.
Rick, I'm starting to see your frustration.
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Old 12-18-2013, 12:47 PM   #30
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I think squat is busy over on the weightlifting forums at the moment. But one thing to consider when doing the plug n play route is not only whether the bulb or strip fails before its 30,000-100,000 hr life, but also I have read they can stop producing as much light. So just as a "what if?", its quite possible that the 15V charging cycle COULD cause your bulbs to lose efficiency at some point, and only put out 90%? 80%? 70%? When would we even notice? How many hrs of operation at 15v would it take? Would we even notice at all? Do we care? lol

I'm thinking I should order some LEDs as suggested and just play with them. Since I live aboard and spend a lot of time at the dock, I may just continue with the idea of running them off an ac to dc converter. Not because I think at this point from the responses that I couldn't plug and play...but rather because most of the time I have my 12v panel switched off here and I have not delved into the 12v system enough to know that if I have it on all the time at the dock that something there isn't squirrely (I've already gone through and replaced the 240v panel and traced all the wires, but not yet on the 12v).

The dimmers for the LED lights seem to mostly be RF and open range is listed at >15M, less in enclosed spaces with walls, etc. I don't see different radio frequencies listed...just one. So that makes me wonder how you could do more than one dimmable on board. Also, some LEDs listed say dimmable, but the majority don't say anything. So it makes me wonder, are they all dimmable and just don't say so? or...? ALSO, THERE ARE NON-RF DIMMERS. THE HARD WIRED KIND ARE THERE, BUT THERE ARE FEWER OF THEM LISTED.

I have come up with some info on brightness, so I'll share what I have gleaned. There seems to be a lot of variation in the LEDs. First, an old incandescent bulb wasted a lot of wattage in heat. New LEDs tend to use Lumens instead of wattage for light measurement. Here are some common equivalents. Generally...

9W LED = 40W incandescent bulbs
12W LED = 60W incandescent bulbs

Also, a typical incandescent bulb produces 16 Lumens per watt. So a...

100W bulb = 1600 Lumens
60W bulb = 960 Lumens
40W bulb = 640 Lumens

Now in all honesty its pretty confusing online, so I have only listed some of the numbers I have seen. I have also seen some places listing a 40W bulb equaling 450 Lumens and a 60W bulb equaling 800 Lumens, so it really depends what you read and believe.

All I know is you cant just take an LEDs wattage and compare to what an incandescent bulbs wattage was. The incandescent loses most of its wattage in heat.

When talking about the 12v lighting strips on ebay available in different cuttable lengths up to 5M rolls, there seem to be 3 different kinds and each kind is available in a non-waterproof and waterproof version. They are as follows below, with the 5630 version being the newest type AND BRIGHTEST. Connectors are available for these so you can cut to your own length, drivers (if you don't want to trust just plugging them into your 12v system as we discussed in this thread), and dimmers. I think the 3528 series is most useful as mood lighting only.

These are listed as SMD (please don't ask me, I have no clue what SMD is, I looked. lol) type strips and apparently decay slower than some other types of LEDs. ALL LEDs decay in the light they produce, even with proper voltage. With a 100,000 hr lifespan on these babies I think its a moot point, BUT apparently the initial decay can occur fairly rapidly with any LED and you may lose up to 10 percent light output in the first 1000 hrs. Something to think about in planning how much you need.

SMD 3528 My thought on the 3528 is it is only good for mood lighting as there isn't a lot of light produced, and available in warm white, cool white or RGB switchable colors
consists of one light-emitting chip
dimension of chip : 35 x 28 mm
power: 0.08W/ pearl

SMD 5050 Brighter and good for mood lighting, but also general lighting in enough quantity, and available in warm white, cool white or RGB switchable colors
consists of three light-emitting chips
dimension of chip : 50 x 50 mm
power: 0.24W/pearl


SMD 5630 Brightest. Could be used for mood lighting too with a dimmer, or in smaller strips. Warm white and cool white. Doesn't seem to be available in RGB...yet. That will probably change
consists of one light-emitting chip
dimension of chip : 56 x 30 mm
power: 0.5W/pearl

Theoretically, SMD5050 is 3 times brighter than SMD3528. One SMD5630 LED is one and a half times more bright than a SMD5050.

Energy useage obviously varies here too.....a 5M strip of 5630 is reported to use 1.2 amps per meter, or 6 amps for the whole strip by some sellers. But I have seen some listed at 8-10 amps for the whole 5M. That's approximately equivalent to 100W energy useage.

Light output on the 5630's I have seen listed at between 960-1320 Lumens per Meter. So my thought is that its going to take between 4-5 ft of this stuff to equal a 100W incandescent bulb in light output.

P.S. - I contacted one seller and asked if the Red/Green/Blue (RGB) lights also make white light. His response is yes. I have an ikea LED that's RGB, and it also makes white light. But it IS the cool white light.

My thought on the cool white lights is....YUCK! They wash out EVERYTHING. I am going to try some over the counters and in the engine rooms though. But I am also going to try them in combination WITH warm white in some areas too. Just to see if combined they are less harsh.
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Old 12-18-2013, 01:41 PM   #31
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Am I lost? Is this the "Fast Disolving TP thread"?
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Old 12-18-2013, 02:10 PM   #32
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Old 12-18-2013, 02:27 PM   #33
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Confused? Not sure why. Primary thrust for this thread was the idea of using cheap LEDs vs the expensive ones by providing a reliable source of 12v power. Later, FF asked about dimmable LEDs, and I thought I'd throw in some brightness info and info about specific strip LEDs that it had taken me some time to figure out. Maybe its not info you can use, but hopefully it helps someone else.

There is really not that much info available on this forum for LED conversion except about superbrightleds and their expensive bulbs. Thought it might be nice to explore other options and share information.
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Old 12-18-2013, 02:35 PM   #34
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So i'll make this easy, and make some money along the way.

You forward me the superbright part number, or part number of the expensive LED's.

I'll sell you equivalent LED's for 1/2 the price, and provide a written 2 year warranty. If they fail I'll give you your money back or replace them, my choice.

I'll go to ebay and buy some LED's and take the risk. I'll use the money I make to fun my boating adventures and tell everyone on TF what a great time I'm having.
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Old 12-18-2013, 02:37 PM   #35
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Not me Kevin, I'm all for trying the ebay cheapies. That was the purpose of the thread.
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Old 12-18-2013, 02:51 PM   #36
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Not me Kevin, I'm all for trying the ebay cheapies. That was the purpose of the thread.
Then why does it take 3 pages to figure this out.
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Old 12-18-2013, 02:59 PM   #37
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Oliver.....because I wanted to know if an inexpensive ac to dc power source would work. Says so in my first post. The written article by Jeff Field from Marine Beam that was suggested by a member here indicates the answer is YES, and I quoted that here. But nobody with electrical knowledge has yet stepped up and given an opinion as to whether the computer power supply would work or if there is a better option.

And part of the reason it goes to that many pages is people have comments, related or otherwise. Not to mention people not understanding the original question, as in your case.
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Old 12-18-2013, 03:21 PM   #38
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Oliver.....because I wanted to know if an inexpensive ac to dc power source would work. Says so in my first post. The written article by Jeff Field from Marine Beam that was suggested by a member here indicates the answer is YES, and I quoted that here. But nobody with electrical knowledge has yet stepped up and given an opinion as to whether the computer power supply would work or if there is a better option. And part of the reason it goes to that many pages is people have comments, related or otherwise. Not to mention people not understanding the original question, as in your case.
My sincere Apology for not seeing the original question. I think I may be able to help to some extent. First off which style PSU do you have (see pics below) If you have a computer style one, you'll need a jumper in order to get I producing power ( again see pic below). Hope this helps. Also computer PSU's have to be consistent voltage wise because of sensitive parts in a computer.
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Old 12-18-2013, 03:30 PM   #39
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No problem Oliver, the idea of a computer power supply occurred to me the other day as I was looking at the LEDs online and had this box sitting next to me with 3 of the computer PS units sitting in it. I figured it had to be a pretty consistent power source as you mentioned.

Mine are the type in your first picture, with the fan on the outside. They have all the plugs for motherboard, hard drives, etc. One of them is brand new.

My thought was this...go to my 12v power panel, disconnect the electrical lines going to the various 12v lights in the boat. Attach them to this new PSU and plug it in to my 240/120v power.

I figured as you said I would need to find out what needs to get jumped on it, but hadn't gotten to that step yet. If you know that would be a big help. Thanks.
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Old 12-18-2013, 03:43 PM   #40
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No problem Oliver, the idea of a computer power supply occurred to me the other day as I was looking at the LEDs online and had this box sitting next to me with 3 of the computer PS units sitting in it. I figured it had to be a pretty consistent power source as you mentioned. Mine are the type in your first picture, with the fan on the outside. They have all the plugs for motherboard, hard drives, etc. One of them is brand new. My thought was this...go to my 12v power panel, disconnect the electrical lines going to the various 12v lights in the boat. Attach them to this new PSU and plug it in to my 240/120v power. I figured as you said I would need to find out what needs to get jumped on it, but hadn't gotten to that step yet. If you know that would be a big help. Thanks.
The last pic shows where you need to jump it. When you goto chop the connectors that your going to attach I would chose 2 molex connectors on two different harnesses and join them together for greater amperage, so you don't overload one bus. The problem is I'm not sure if that would work, like i said in theory.
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