This was lifted from the SCAA board , a bunch of cruisers (mostly sail) that are underway , not dockside.
Five year's liveaboard experience with LED lighting
» Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:40 pm
I was recently asked about my Scandvik spreader lights. Making
the reply caused me to remember about the bubbling paint I noticed the last time up the mast. Since I am still in
the US for another week I emailed Defender, who put me in touch with Scandvik
directly. She emailed me back right away and told me they had some problems with
the paint on the first batch of lights and she would send me a new light right
In this marine world I place a HUGE emphasis on excellent customer service, so I
like to write about it whenever I get it. I give two thumbs up to Scandvik. And,
I noticed their lights are on sale at Defender right now for less than I paid.
While I'm at it I'll mention my other experiences with LED lights...
Exterior - Hella "NaviLED" Nav lights - also excellent customer service. Had one
go bad, and they sent me all three as a replacement in case the others were from
the same bad batch (they also had startup production pains a few years ago). Two
thumbs up for Hella.
Masthead - OGM (Orca Green) combo anchor/tricolor. I really love the light,
brightest in the anchorage and a beautiful piece of engineering. However, mine
started to go "on the blink" (literally) last year after six years. The company
has been bought out and the light was well beyond warranty. They did not replace
it outright, but did sell me a new one at cost. One thumb up.
Interior domes: I tried a half dozen different ones, including Dr. LED and some
of the other brand X versions. Generally poor experience, harsh light, short
lifespans, etc. Then I started using the Sensibulbs that SCAT makes, sold by
Sailor's Solutions. You cantell they are highly engineered and it shows. They are bright, nice light, and
no failures. I've replaced all my interior dome lights with them. Two thumbs up.
Interior reading fixtures: At first I used Sensibulbs in my old fixtures, but
the fixtures themselves were garbage and all corroded, so two years ago I sprung
for the reading lights with integral LED's made by Alpenglow. I have both the
white-only and combo white/red. They are works of art, well made and VERY nice
light. They are a nice bunch of folks to work with too. Two thumbs up.
LED strip lights - It is worth looking at these. My Tayana has handrails along
the lower coachroof edge like gutters on a car. I filled them with LED rope
lights at about $3 / ft and they make a very nice indirect cabin light. However,
they are not overly durable. I also used one out in the cockpit that I put up
and take down each time we move, and all that manipulation has broken the
interior wiring so bit by bit they died. I have bought more and this time I'll
figure out a way to permanently mount them out there.
My only remaining incandescent light is the steaming light, and I figure that
one doesn't matter since if the engine is on the alternator is making plenty of
LED's are an expensive investment, but the end result is that I can run every
light in the house for the power that just one of the old halogens took, so it
is worth it - I no longer have to use fossil fuel to make power, the solar
panels keep up.