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Old 08-15-2016, 01:11 AM   #1
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LED lights circuit orientation

I have a Camano with square two bulb fixtures in the salon, kitchen and head. I was in the process of switching all my bulbs over to LEDs. I came across this weird issue with the kitchen and "head" lights. The salon, kitchen and head all take 1156 bulbs. I started in the salon and replaced those bulbs. Worked great and brighter than the original bulbs. Did the kitchen and no go. Same for the head. Verified the LEDs work by using the working LEDs from the salon. Test light shows socket is OK. Pull the fixture down and wiring looks OK. Head scratcher but ran out of time and left the old bulbs in the kitchen and head fixture.

I ordered the festoon bulbs for the nav lights and notice in one of the reviews it says if the bulbs don't work in one orientation to turn them over and re-insert. Well you can't do that for the 1156 bulbs but the next time down down to the boat I take the fixture down and use jumpers to test the circuit in the reverse orientation - BINGO - the circuit was backwards to the LED. I rewired the fixtures and working LEDs. I didn't bother with a ohm meter but suspect the wiring was mixed somewhere along the circuit as most 12 volt devices don't care.

//Rick
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Old 08-15-2016, 06:06 AM   #2
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That is odd. I switched 50+ bulbs to LED during my refit. They were all the MR11 2 pin base. Most could be rotated 180. Not a single one had a polarity issue. All the bulbs I bought have a BUC circuit which allows the bulbs to be used on 10 to 28 volts DC. So that may have had something to do with them not being polarity sensitive.

Ted
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Old 08-15-2016, 10:21 AM   #3
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Ted,

Absolutely possible. These were not the $41 LED that West Marine sells. These were a 10 pack from Amazon for $20. No docs with packing just a static bag of "bulbs".

I know the MR11 LEDs your talking about. A friend spent several hundred replacing his (several years ago) and no polarity issues.

//Rick
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Old 08-15-2016, 12:14 PM   #4
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Yup, I think you have the collision of two things:

1) bulbs that are polarity sensitive. As you point out, incandescent bulbs are not polarity sensitive, and the better LED bulbs also are not. But cheaper bulbs can be, and yours clearly are.

2) fixtures that are miss-wired. Again, with incandescents it doesn't matter, but with the replacement bulbs you got, it does matter.
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Old 08-15-2016, 12:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RBunz View Post
I have a Camano with square two bulb fixtures in the salon, kitchen and head. I was in the process of switching all my bulbs over to LEDs. I came across this weird issue with the kitchen and "head" lights. The salon, kitchen and head all take 1156 bulbs. I started in the salon and replaced those bulbs. Worked great and brighter than the original bulbs. Did the kitchen and no go. Same for the head. Verified the LEDs work by using the working LEDs from the salon. Test light shows socket is OK. Pull the fixture down and wiring looks OK. Head scratcher but ran out of time and left the old bulbs in the kitchen and head fixture.

I ordered the festoon bulbs for the nav lights and notice in one of the reviews it says if the bulbs don't work in one orientation to turn them over and re-insert. Well you can't do that for the 1156 bulbs but the next time down down to the boat I take the fixture down and use jumpers to test the circuit in the reverse orientation - BINGO - the circuit was backwards to the LED. I rewired the fixtures and working LEDs. I didn't bother with a ohm meter but suspect the wiring was mixed somewhere along the circuit as most 12 volt devices don't care.

//Rick
It's not uncommon on a boat to find the light fixtures wired "backwards". Incandescent lamps will work fine in either orientation. Reverse the wires at the fixture and you'll be fine.
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Old 08-15-2016, 12:19 PM   #6
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Bought mine direct from China (where they are all made). $4 to $5 per bulb with a number of number of color temperature choices, output levels, and emitter configurations. They are now 10 to 30 VDC. Have all sorts of socket adapters and sell inexpensive sockets as well.

HERO LED

Ted
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