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Old 10-18-2013, 11:20 AM   #21
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Early this year installed about 30 feet of led strips in the engine room. Very bright but they are now failing at rapid rate. there are two possibilities relating to these failures. The first suspect is heat due to the way I close to mount them, not trusting the double face tape I installed the strips in 1/2" acrylic tubs which made a great looking system but does not allow much heat dissipation. the second cause could be that on boat you are
running the leds at 13.3 to 14 volts which is more then 10% above the leds rating.
Heat would certainly be my guess, given your description. Running at that voltage would tend to increase the heat buildup. So it is heat no matter how you phrase it. :-)
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Old 10-18-2013, 05:57 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Peregrinator View Post
... Very bright but they are now failing at rapid rate. there are two possibilities relating to these failures. The first suspect is heat due to the way I close to mount them, not trusting the double face tape I installed the strips in 1/2" acrylic tubs which made a great looking system but does not allow much heat dissipation. the second cause could be that on boat you are
running the leds at 13.3 to 14 volts which is more then 10% above the leds rating.
Your right. From our experience it's the voltage that kills the LEDs first. A lot of LED's are not regulated. When you buy them look to see what the voltage range is. We have had good luck with LED's that are regulated for voltages between 11-15 VDC or 10-30 VDC. Dr LED and GBL LED's sell regulated lights and you'll also find them on eBay.
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Old 10-18-2013, 10:45 PM   #23
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I replaced several interior bulbs and fluorescent bulbs with these 48 LED patches. These run directly off 12volts. They are about $2 each on Ebay. Search 12volt LED on Ebay. You will need to solder some lead wires. For the fluorescent fixtures I used 3 of these.

Very white and very bright.
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Old 10-20-2013, 08:02 AM   #24
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Going way back to the original post, I read somewhere that florescent bulbs are actually more efficient, that is, more light output per Watt, than LEDs, at least in some configurations. I was surprised when I read that. I just assumed the newer technology was "better".

If florescents tolerate the heat of an ER much better, it might make sense to stick with them if their efficiency is at least in the same ballpark as LEDs.
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Old 10-20-2013, 08:23 AM   #25
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I have converted extensively to fluorescent and LED lighting both on the boat and in my North American home. What I have found when making comparisons is that at the 110 volt level the fluorescent and LED lights have approximately the same light output per watt. LEDs have the advantage in life and the ability to dim and use on a timer. Some fluorescent bulbs, but not all, can also be used on a dimmer and on a timer. Cold weather applications favor the LEDs.

At the 12 volt level for a boat the fixture more likely determines the type of bulb. The long tubular fluorescent bulbs are hard to replace with an LED. The smaller G4 ceiling and reading light bulbs work better with the LEDs. Any application which is hard to get to or difficult to change (mast head light) is better off with a long life LED. If one is starting over the navigation lights which are sealed LEDs are wonderful and can easily last a lifetime.

Thus the fluorescent versus LED decision most often can be decided on by the application, not the efficiency of the bulb.

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Old 10-20-2013, 09:26 AM   #26
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Looking to replace my fluorescent under counter 12 volt DC lighting fixtures with LEDs. Am I correct that 110 AC LEDs are actually 12 volt DC and all I have to do is eliminate the transformer to use them?

I have purchased all of our onboard LED lights off of Ebay and couldnt be happier.

I see bulbs other places for up to $20. I can buy the exact same bulb on Ebay for a little over a dollar.

I've outfitted our entire boat, something very close to 100 bulbs, using bulbs off of Ebay. No more going to West Marine and paying $5 for a halogen bulb. No more 40 amp current draw on my house batteries to power a boatload of lights.

A great replacement for undercounter fluorescent bulbs is a rope light. You can buy these in common lengths, and cut them to fit your application.
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Old 10-20-2013, 10:01 AM   #27
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I see bulbs other places for up to $20. I can buy the exact same bulb on Ebay for a little over a dollar.
I'm with you on the idea of not overpaying. You can tolerate a high failure rate if you spent $10 or $20 on 10 lights, instead of $200.

Still, I've heard that the cheap LEDs don't have a voltage regulator, and so have a short life span in a boat, where starting drains and charging voltages create wide swings.

I wonder if it's practical to put a voltage regulator (or would it just be a limiter?) on an the circuit that runs the lights.
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Old 10-20-2013, 10:15 AM   #28
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I believe the biggest issue for LED strips is over voltage not ambient heat. Use of a converter in the lighting circuit should curb over volt problems. As mentioned previously I have used hundreds of feet of the LED tape lighting with great results. One pig issue is proper connection at the adapters that are added to the tape when it is cut to length. As it is a super low draw the connection has to be perfect or it will be intermittent at best.

Use of a step down transformer like the one below should end the over voltage burn out
HOLLYWOOD

Adjustable Buck Converter Step Down Module DC 8 22V to 1 15V 12V 5V Power Supply | eBay
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Old 10-20-2013, 12:09 PM   #29
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I looked into these inexpensive voltage regulators but they do not meet the requirements for a boat. they require the input voltage to be about 3 volts greater then the output which means to provide 12 volts you would need a 15 volt input. Also the ones I looked at would not regulate to a steady output unless the input was a constant voltage. I have considered installing multiple diodes in series with the leds which would drop about .7 volts for each diode if I remember my basic electonics. this would mean that as your boat voltage declined with battery discharge your lights would get dimmer but should help with led life. using diodes rather then resistors makes the system less dependent on current draw since voltage drop across diodes only changes slightly with current change. 3 diodes should work well, plus diodes are really cheap only pennies.
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Old 10-20-2013, 12:51 PM   #30
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I'm with you on the idea of not overpaying. You can tolerate a high failure rate if you spent $10 or $20 on 10 lights, instead of $200.

Still, I've heard that the cheap LEDs don't have a voltage regulator, and so have a short life span in a boat, where starting drains and charging voltages create wide swings.

I wonder if it's practical to put a voltage regulator (or would it just be a limiter?) on an the circuit that runs the lights.
I do not know what you've heard, but I had zero out of the box failures and I've had zero failures all season with close to a hundred bulbs installed.

We also use our boat like many others here all the time on, cruising, on generator, on shore power, on the hook. Plenty of voltage changes and zero failures.

Sounds like an urban legend made up by the people that sell $20 led bulbs to me.
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Old 10-20-2013, 12:54 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Peregrinator View Post
I looked into these inexpensive voltage regulators but they do not meet the requirements for a boat. they require the input voltage to be about 3 volts greater then the output which means to provide 12 volts you would need a 15 volt input. Also the ones I looked at would not regulate to a steady output unless the input was a constant voltage. I have considered installing multiple diodes in series with the leds which would drop about .7 volts for each diode if I remember my basic electonics. this would mean that as your boat voltage declined with battery discharge your lights would get dimmer but should help with led life. using diodes rather then resistors makes the system less dependent on current draw since voltage drop across diodes only changes slightly with current change. 3 diodes should work well, plus diodes are really cheap only pennies.
Great post, but 100% unnecessary.

My cheap led bulbs work great!

Oh I understand electronic theory. I'm a 30 plus year industrial electronics tech by trade. Great theory, but again 100% unnecessary in real life.
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Old 10-20-2013, 01:07 PM   #32
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For those not into soldering or modifying lights. Here is another company selling LED replacements for common bulb types. They're not the cheapest, but certainly reasonably priced. Just don't let your wife see this, they have some really neat decorator lighting ideas using LED's.

Home Lighting Bulbs

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Old 10-20-2013, 03:17 PM   #33
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I do not know what you've heard, but I had zero out of the box failures and I've had zero failures all season with close to a hundred bulbs installed.

FWIW, we've had a couple T10 wedge-base courtesy LEDs fail...

And three of the six diodes on two of our red overhead G4 bi-pins on the bridge have gone. (The same three diodes -- by position -- sometimes go out on our third overhead G4, too. Kinda weird.)

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Old 10-20-2013, 03:23 PM   #34
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Another manufacturer of retrofit led bulbs is Gold Stars, I have some that are designed to replace the 12 volt bubs, square patch with 24 leds, comes with two different bases for different fixtures. part #83000512. don't know price as they were a gift. I suspect they were purchased off e-bay. Good for 11 to 18 volts.
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Old 10-20-2013, 06:02 PM   #35
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Have to go with Ksanders here. I used the cheapos from eBay on the old boat and have been changing over on the new one. No problems with failures.

Rob
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Old 10-25-2013, 05:22 PM   #36
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OK.......YOU GUYS . . . . . you hooked me!!
I just ordered a 15' length of LED tape off Ebay. Came to $7 and change with shipping. My engine room lighting, on the 12 volt side sucks. SO has got to be a 150% improvement. I'll be letting you know if it's not!!
I received my Ebay, LED tape order from Shenzhen Guangdong, China. It is as advertised, all the LED's work and the card say: "operate 10 - 16 volts" Delivery time was 8 days, not as bad as I anticipated. lol
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Old 10-25-2013, 07:13 PM   #37
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I received my Ebay, LED tape order from Shenzhen Guangdong, China. It is as advertised, all the LED's work and the card say: "operate 10 - 16 volts" Delivery time was 8 days, not as bad as I anticipated. lol
Rope lighting for the engine room...

What a GREAT idea!

I replaced my engine rom lights with led bulbs, I think three total. It's still too dim (always was). Rope lights will solve the problem!
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Old 11-03-2013, 07:36 AM   #38
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FYI about the link I posted from Amazon: I got a very nice reply saying they've been shipped - from China - and will be here in about 12 days.
They came in Friday, Nov 1, just about 2 weeks after I received the e-mail saying they shipped. Amazon's estimated delivery date was Nov 12-29, so the Chinese shipper was closer to being correct.

Moral of the story: check where they're coming from when ordering from Amazon, and if you're in a hurry, stick with a seller closer to home.
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