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Old 06-24-2016, 08:32 AM   #1
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PFD Light Manual or Automatic

Upgrading my PFDs and looking at replacement lights. Really like some of the new features in the automatic ACR lights including extended burn times. Lot to be said for manual activation and no chance of unintentional activation (dead batteries when you need them). Also like the idea of being able to turn them off to conserve battery life during the day.

If you have PFD lights, what's your preference if you were to buy again?

Ted
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Old 06-24-2016, 08:46 AM   #2
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Depends on what you think you might have in a ditch bag.

I think you probably have heard all this before Ted...but for forum consumption....

If you go over at night, a good light should cut rescue time dramatically. If you are coastal and not found within 48 hrs....your chances go down dramatically.

In a perfect world, every life jacket should have a PLB attached with the internal strobe.

The real trick is don't wind up in the water without the vessel knowing, if solo, the light is insignificant to a PLB. If abandoning ship, a ditch bag could have all sorts of visual distress signals in there.

Are the auto lights you are looking at able to be switched off at all or are they photosensitive?
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Old 06-24-2016, 08:47 AM   #3
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This is a timing thread. We've been looking at the ACR HemiLight™2 Automatic Survivor Lights. They are automatic, with manual shut off, a 5 year battery life and cheap at less than $20 each.

We have some older ACR manual lights that are bigger with manual switches. I think 2 or 3 of these may replace those.

http://productimageserver.com/litera...re/38286BR.pdf
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Old 06-24-2016, 08:54 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Larry M View Post
This is a timing thread. We've been looking at the ACR HemiLight™2 Automatic Survivor Lights. They are automatic, with manual shut off, a 5 year battery life and cheap at less than $20 each.

We have some older ACR manual lights that are bigger with manual switches. I think 2 or 3 of these may replace those.

http://productimageserver.com/litera...re/38286BR.pdf
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Old 06-24-2016, 09:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry M View Post
This is a timing thread. We've been looking at the ACR HemiLight™2 Automatic Survivor Lights. They are automatic, with manual shut off, a 5 year battery life and cheap at less than $20 each.

We have some older ACR manual lights that are bigger with manual switches. I think 2 or 3 of these may replace those.

http://productimageserver.com/litera...re/38286BR.pdf
Saw them. Must say I hate non replaceable battery equipment. I diligently change the batteries in all my safety equipment (except EPIRP) annually.

Price is certainly reasonable.

edit: 8 hour rated battery life, 16 hour typical. That doesn't seem enough to me.

Ted
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Old 06-24-2016, 09:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Depends on what you think you might have in a ditch bag.

I think you probably have heard all this before Ted...but for forum consumption....

If you go over at night, a good light should cut rescue time dramatically. If you are coastal and not found within 48 hrs....your chances go down dramatically.

In a perfect world, every life jacket should have a PLB attached with the internal strobe.

The real trick is don't wind up in the water without the vessel knowing, if solo, the light is insignificant to a PLB. If abandoning ship, a ditch bag could have all sorts of visual distress signals in there.

Are the auto lights you are looking at able to be switched off at all or are they photosensitive?
I'm ok with 2 PLB equipped PFDs (myself and usually one guest). The others only get lights.

Wasn't able to determine if the automatics could be switched off. Will have to find an owners manual. For me it's conceptual. I have more faith in the circuitry of a $500 EPIRP than a $20 PFD light. Also think that my PFD light may more often be exposed to water between deck work in the rain and dingy rides.

Ted
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Old 06-24-2016, 09:46 AM   #7
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Ted, previous owner left a couple of these on board...

https://www.amazon.com/ACR-3959-C-St.../dp/B001CPYZ3K

Seem nice...replaceable 2 AA batteries...would be nice to updradeto lithium batteries but haven't looked into it yet.
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Old 06-24-2016, 10:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Ted, previous owner left a couple of these on board...

https://www.amazon.com/ACR-3959-C-St.../dp/B001CPYZ3K

Seem nice...replaceable 2 AA batteries...would be nice to updradeto lithium batteries but haven't looked into it yet.
Those are what we have now. One had batteries that leaked. Maybe it's just us, but we've had several lights and 2 hand held GPSs with AAA or AA batteries that have leaked and ruined the device.

I'm good with the 5 year factory battery life span.
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Old 06-24-2016, 10:23 AM   #9
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edit: 8 hour rated battery life, 16 hour typical. That doesn't seem enough to me.
Me either!
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Old 06-24-2016, 10:47 AM   #10
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We have one of these on every inflatable:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

We always test the strobe when first putting on the PFD, so don't have to worry about dead batteries.
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Old 06-24-2016, 11:04 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Ted, previous owner left a couple of these on board...

https://www.amazon.com/ACR-3959-C-St.../dp/B001CPYZ3K

Seem nice...replaceable 2 AA batteries...would be nice to updradeto lithium batteries but haven't looked into it yet.
Yes, those are an older version with a 8 hour duration. The newer version has 120 hours duration. They are being considered.

Ted
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Old 06-24-2016, 11:08 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry M View Post
Those are what we have now. One had batteries that leaked. Maybe it's just us, but we've had several lights and 2 hand held GPSs with AAA or AA batteries that have leaked and ruined the device.

I'm good with the 5 year factory battery life span.
That's part of the reason I change batteries annually. Never had a battery leak within a year of installation. Pretty common after several years.

Ted
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