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Old 11-16-2016, 11:22 AM   #1
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LED Anchor Lights

In a drift from another thread about the value of LEDs on boats, I wanted to share the info I have on my anchor light that has made a significant saving in my electron budget.

Seven years ago I installed a Davis Mega-Light Masthead which is a photocell controlled anchor light. At sunset it automatically comes on when powered and goes off at sunrise. The light comes with two bulbs; one incandescent and one LED. From their website: "One bayonet-type LED bulb draws just 0.03 amps and can be seen for up to two nautical miles. The other bulb, incandescent, draws 0.32 amps (approximately 3/10th amps) more than twice as bright."

LED Mega-Lightâ„¢ Masthead | Davis Instruments

Davis Mega-Light Masthead

I replaced these with a Marinebeam LED anchor light bulb marketed as a direct replacement for this light fixture.

Marinebeam specs:

Voltage: 10VDC - 30VDC
Wattage: 0.5W (0.040 Amps @ 12V)
Lumens: 25
Color Temp: Green
Beam Angle: ~360 Deg.
Dimensions: Dia. 11mm x 30.5mm L (incl base)

A friend installed his and posted a comparison with photos online here.

BoaterEd - Davis Mega-Light: LED array bulb replacement

Here are the photo comparison's of Dan's test:

OEM Incadescent bulb:



Marinebeam LED Replacement bulb:



This light has been in service on my boat since 2009 and has performed flawlessly. It has saved countless AH of battery use and is the usually brightest anchor light in the anchorage. When I leave my marina for an anchorage I flip the light on, regardless of the time of day. I never have to think about turning it on or off during the entire trip until I return to my slip when it gets turned off.

The cost of this light is about $42 and the Marinebeam replacement bulb runs about $9. This was one of the best $50 upgrades I've made on my vessel.
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Old 11-20-2016, 01:15 PM   #2
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Thanks Al,

I saw your mention of the anchor light in another thread and I meant to ask you. Looks like a great upgrade. My only problem now is how I would get up there to install it....My anchor light is on an arm that comes off the back of my radar arch, angles up, and hangs out over the cockpit. I've replaced the bulb once and that was a project ...I don't think OSHA would have approved of my installation methods.
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Old 11-21-2016, 06:34 PM   #3
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I replaced mine with Bebi owl, excellent light with very low power draw. Unfortunately shortly after I got mine they closed up shop.
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Old 11-21-2016, 06:50 PM   #4
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I really like the idea of an anchor light with a photo-cell. I am forever forgetting to turn off my anchor light in the morning.
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Old 11-21-2016, 08:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bustlebomb View Post
Thanks Al,

I saw your mention of the anchor light in another thread and I meant to ask you. Looks like a great upgrade. My only problem now is how I would get up there to install it....My anchor light is on an arm that comes off the back of my radar arch, angles up, and hangs out over the cockpit. I've replaced the bulb once and that was a project ...I don't think OSHA would have approved of my installation methods.
Your arch looks taller than most 34 LRCs. A ladder and a (sober) friend can make a one man job much safer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhays View Post
I really like the idea of an anchor light with a photo-cell. I am forever forgetting to turn off my anchor light in the morning.
That's been a huge savings for me, too. I can't count the times I missed turning it off until around noon! OTOH, there were also many times I forgot to turn it on at sunset.

After a few IPAs, there's an occasional chest thrust when motoring back to the boat and we first see that we're the brightest candle on the cake! Giggitoni replaced his GB anchor light with an LED that appears just as bright. Maybe he'll chime in here and tell us about the replacement bulb.
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Old 11-21-2016, 10:24 PM   #6
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I used a domestic stepladder to get to mine. I usually remember to turn it off, but honestly, at that miserable draw it could stay on, the solar would cover it many times over. Mine is just an LED into the original fitting,using the original cover, and it`s bright as.
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Old 11-22-2016, 03:19 AM   #7
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I just put one up on a 3' pole that drops. Measured clearance yesterday from top of Radome a 16' clearance with anchor light and Radio Antennas down. Weee.... I had a wind turbine that added 7 feet with 5' pole mount.

1 wind turbine for sale, with mounting....

New light estimated life span something ridiculous, like 6000 hours. Very, very bright and draws something absurdly small along the lines of 1/10 of an amp @ 12volts. I switched it only because it might be annoying to my neighbors while in a marina, only real reason to ever turn it off. With over 60 amps of solar @12v peak sun amp draw of that light = no worries.

The LED Revolution is full speed ahead. As my fluoresce lights go out I am recoring the housings with LED ribbon. The ribbon is not free but almost. Next, on to the red green nav. lights.
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Old 11-22-2016, 03:59 AM   #8
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I am a fan of the LED anchor lights. Mine has a photocell so that it is turned on when I launch the boat and left on for the season except for when I equalize the batteries.

I am curious as to whether the photocell draws more power than the led light so that there is no or little power saving with the light not being on during the day.
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Old 11-22-2016, 04:41 AM   #9
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We had an l.e.d. masthead light on our previous boat. It was supplied with the mast by Hall spars and I think it was an Orca???
Really strange thing to wire as it used a digital switch in the lamp, it had something like only 3 wires for tricolor, anchor and strobe lights...
I used to love the fact that I could pick out our boat in an anchorage by the stark white light as in 2005 there were so few l.e.d. anchor lights used. Today they are everywhere...
Amp draw was a bonus at .3 amp and yes, we would leave it on all day regularly...
The photocell option would have been a nice addition.
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Old 11-22-2016, 06:45 AM   #10
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We replaced our original Perko anchor light with an Attwood LED unit. Both 3nm (nominally). The latter is MUCH brighter than the original.

That was an unexpected benefit; I was really doing the replacement to save on energy consumption, and because the mount on the Perko unit was in the process of going South anyway. Just a bulb replacement wasn't going to solve the wobbly mount.

One of the photos we have with the new LE unit, while we were still in the slip, shows a streetlight in the background... and our new anchor light is just as bright as that streetlight.

-Chris
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