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Old 05-14-2022, 02:28 PM   #1
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Converting old bulbs to LED question

Hi folks,
I have an 1984 MainShip 36 Double Cabin that I am living on a few days a week and I want to convert the old 1157/1158 bulbs to an LED style. Anyone do this before? In particular, is there a conversion kit out there or do I just have to rewire the sockets?
Thanks
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Old 05-14-2022, 02:32 PM   #2
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https://www.superbrightleds.com/more...15d-bulb/2625/
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Old 05-14-2022, 04:17 PM   #3
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Ive had very good luck with SuperBrightLEDs that are rated 10-30V DC like this.
Just think about the temp/color and brightness you want as there is a pretty wide spread and it helps to be consistent if also doing any other fixtures.
If the same socket style it shouldnt need any rewire. If its a different base you can get almost any base in an LED replacement.
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Old 05-14-2022, 04:21 PM   #4
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Most of the time they just swap out, no rewiring necessary. An issue can arise that the LED's are polarity sensitive so if you put a bulb in a socket and it doesn't work check to see the center terminal on the socket is positive, as they can be wired opposite with an incandescent and still work normally.



I've purchased a lot of LED's from superbrightleds.com and have been happy with their service except I mounted some led strobe units in 4 or 5 separate vehicles and every single one caused interference to the FM radio -broadcast band-(constant popping in time with strobe). Their tech support was unable to help (called them after trying everything else- going straight to battery, ferrite beads, different antennas, metal foil shielding) but other than that was happy with the company.
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Old 05-14-2022, 07:37 PM   #5
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Also Marinebeam.com (Charleston, SC) has good quality LED replacements for most bulbs. Theirs are not voltage sensitive, polarity sensitive & do not interfere with VHF/AIS
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Old 05-15-2022, 05:54 AM   #6
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All but two of our LED replacements on this boat are from marinebeam.com, including nav and anchor bulbs, all good.

The two odd LED replacements we have now were a different base, one that marinebeam doesn't carry, so we had to source that differently. Don't remember details, but these are for sconce lights that we wouldn't normally use while underway... so we're hoping for the best with those.

We used LED ropes from superbrightleds.com to augment engine room lighting in the previous boat, also good.

-Chris
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Old 05-15-2022, 06:26 AM   #7
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Quote:
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Ive had very good luck with SuperBrightLEDs that are rated 10-30V DC like this.
Just think about the temp/color and brightness you want as there is a pretty wide spread and it helps to be consistent if also doing any other fixtures.
If the same socket style it shouldnt need any rewire. If its a different base you can get almost any base in an LED replacement.
I did a bunch also using this company. I never rewired anything, just changed out the bulbs.
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Old 05-15-2022, 08:04 AM   #8
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Or you can save a bunch of money by buying off eBay. I found it's best to use a supplier that has USA stock with easy returns but of course you can save even more by buying from china. But returns are almost impossible.
On my RV I had about 100 bulbs that I changed out to led. Yes 100. That would have been a small fortune to buy at Superbright or Marinebeam, I do agree they do supply better products and service. Just choices.
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Old 05-15-2022, 10:13 AM   #9
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I too changed my incandescents to LED a bunch of years ago from 1142's. You may have to purchase some adapters for the old sockets but the above co. should have them also.

There are adapters also for the smaller halogen bulbs so search the offerings.

THese LED and adapters are often available at an RV supply place as many of them offer these lights also along with the adapters. That's how I got mine when staying in Arizona 6- 8 or so years ago.

Look for the voltage range beyond just what your electrical system supplies.
THose lights, and they are still around, that show ONLY 12v will dim and brighten as the voltage rises/falls for charging/discharging.

You want a light with a range of 10V-30V for a 12V or 24V system, or at least 10-20 for a 12 V system.

The 2700 Colour rating is usually suitable for saloon and other areas for lighting being a softer light.

FOr the engine or lazarette compartment a high number will be better.
Over 5000 will be brighter but harsher but in those dark areas will likely be appreciated when working in those areas.

Oddly some bulbs will cause radio interference. I have one bulb, one only, that really fuzzes my AM/FM radio at times. THe smaller saloon bulbs don't cause any trouble. GO figure.

I don't run those bulbs or the radio while I am travelling so it is not a problem except when I am working on the boat and want the radio for distraction.
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Old 05-15-2022, 11:19 AM   #10
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I swapped all my interior lights to 120 VAC LED's a few years ago.

AC bulbs are:

Less cost to buy
Light specifications (brightness, color temperature, wattage) readily displayed on packaging
Much more bulb configuration choices
Dimmable with AC dimmers that are less expensive than DC dimmers
More light fixture choices available
Easily upgraded as more efficient bulbs comes to market

The AC LED bulbs do use more electricity but is negligible compared to incandescents.
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Old 05-27-2022, 12:45 PM   #11
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+1 for superbrightleds. I've bought several of their products now and all have been good.
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Old 05-27-2022, 12:50 PM   #12
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I replaced 45 Halogen G4 bulbs with Mini G4 LED Star 12/24V from Dr. Led. Expensive at $18 per led bulb, but electric consumption down dramatically. Virtually same amount of light and no heat as with halogen bulbs. The heat coming from halogen bulbs is the clue about how much electricity they consume.
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Old 05-27-2022, 01:06 PM   #13
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LED Bulbs

Just figure out what type bulb it requires. You should be able to find what you need. I replaced all mine in my '89 Grand Banks. Pull one bulb...look at it then go find same (not from West Marine....WAY too expensive) on line. I've replaced EVERY single one on my boat including anchor light, stern light, interior lights, etc.
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Old 05-27-2022, 01:13 PM   #14
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I have had very good luck with M4leds.com and superbrightleds.com

While M4 concentrates its business in the RV world they have a great selection of bulb types and often offers bulb types that other vendors do not have and some that will work with 24volt rigs as well.

Cheers;
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Old 05-27-2022, 01:32 PM   #15
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Also Marinebeam.com (Charleston, SC) has good quality LED replacements for most bulbs. Theirs are not voltage sensitive, polarity sensitive & do not interfere with VHF/AIS
I used Marinebeam.com to replace all 29 incandescent bulbs on MOJO. Great service from the company and great LED bulbs. I tried several Dr. LED bulbs from West Marine and found the Marinebeam bulbs significantly brighter for the same amp draw. They've got a great selection and should be able to match your bulbs so that they're plug & play w/out any rewiring at all.
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Old 05-27-2022, 01:47 PM   #16
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Get them on Amazon very inexpensive. Think I got over a dozen for under $20. You have to make sure that you get a base with one or 2 contacts depending on what kind of socket you have. Most likely they are 2 contacts so that the polarity is fixed.
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Old 05-27-2022, 01:54 PM   #17
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I replaced about 35 (yeah) G4 halogens with matching size LED's. Just grabbed them on ebay for less than a dollar each as I recall. The halogens were hotter than the surface of the sun and 20 watts each. The new ones are like 3 watts. After the replacement our air conditioner stopped popping breakers on very hot nights when we had the lights on, and they don't heat the salon like an oven. The new ones are also brighter than the halogens were, and just get slightly warm. I did have to try twice though -- I really can't stand cold blue or white LED's so I shopped for 2700K (warm color) LED's. The first batch was still too cold so I tried again and the last batch was perfect so I ordered a pile of spares. When you buy on ebay you'll save a pile of money but you can't always trust the specs as to color and size (fitting into the housings I mean).
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Old 05-27-2022, 02:03 PM   #18
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Some troublesome LEDs

A bit of caution is necessary when purchasing LEDs. Some LEDs will cause interference with VHF radios and navigation devices.
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Old 05-27-2022, 02:33 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flatswing View Post
Also Marinebeam.com (Charleston, SC) has good quality LED replacements for most bulbs. Theirs are not voltage sensitive, polarity sensitive & do not interfere with VHF/AIS
The other good thing about Marinebeam is they have LED lights in the warm light range (approx. 2700 kelvin). I much prefer these to the cool white color of the early LED's.
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Old 05-27-2022, 03:02 PM   #20
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Quote:
Just think about the temp/color and brightness you want as there is a pretty wide spread and it helps to be consistent if also doing any other fixtures.
Well put. I wish I took more care selecting my LEDs… I’m getting use to them but I would have gone warmer if I knew better at the time.
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