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Old 09-12-2011, 05:41 PM   #1
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Helm Gage Lighting and Night Vision

This may be so obvious to you old salts that it's redundant.* The boat I'm bringing back to life has a typical flybridge helm.* The instruments are good (tach, oil pres, voltage, fuel, etc.).* However, they are all illuminated with bright, white light.* Net result - near zero night vision when operating at night.* I know I can gang them up on a rheostat to dim, but what I'd like to do is change the gage backlighting to red.* I've been unable to find correctly sized red bulbs.* I saw one boat where the gages were covered with a red transparent "lens cover", but it was obviously a temporary fix (and, I have convex lenses on the instruments I've replaced - tough to fit).* Anyone found a good fix ?* Appreciate the help.
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Old 09-12-2011, 05:52 PM   #2
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RE: Helm Gage Lighting and Night Vision

While you are looking for the correct bulbs, take a sheet of red, clear plastic, big enough to cover all your lighted gages and velcro it to your panel. It will be a temporary fix but will be easy to install and remove. (I have a pair of red goggles that I use.)

*red goggles - Google Search
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:10 PM   #3
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RE: Helm Gage Lighting and Night Vision

As a certified old-timer, my initial thought was bulb dye, which at one time was sold by* every auto parts store on the planet.* Went to J.C. Whitney(here in Chicago) and alas, it was not to be found.

But Dick Blick (downstate in Peoria, IL) has this stuff which will do the same job.* I had red dash lights in my '65 Mustang 4-speed 289 Pony.* Those were the days, my friend. Go here:** http://www.dickblick.com/products/delta-glass-paint/

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Rick Haverstock

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Old 09-12-2011, 08:14 PM   #4
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RE: Helm Gage Lighting and Night Vision

Great, Rick! I actually thought about the same thing (bulb dye) when I started the post, but I figured most people wouldn't understand the term. Guess that says something about my age, too. I'm going to order from Blick as soon as I post this. Sounds perfect if it will take a little temperature.

I like the velcroed plastic idea a lot, Seahorse. That will get me through until permanent.

Appreciate the help.

Bill
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:22 PM   #5
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Helm Gage Lighting and Night Vision

I have colored*bulbs with red and green magic markers and that works well.

Cheap and easy.


-- Edited by jleonard on Monday 12th of September 2011 08:22:54 PM
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:51 PM   #6
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Helm Gage Lighting and Night Vision

superbrightleds.com has replacement LED bulbs for instruments.* I have used the red, and they are great.* You can also get replacement backlighting bulbs for your electrical panel gauges.



-- Edited by Moonstruck on Monday 12th of September 2011 08:52:02 PM


-- Edited by Moonstruck on Monday 12th of September 2011 08:55:21 PM
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Old 09-13-2011, 04:15 AM   #7
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RE: Helm Gage Lighting and Night Vision

Nail polish works , but a place like Aircraft Spruce will have a dip.

The light intensity is far more important than the red color , so the rheostat is still the best idea.

AS your eyes adapt slowly adjustable is great!!!
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