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mgarr682



Joined: 29 Sep 2012
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 3:25 pm    Post subject: LED Nav Lights Reply with quote

A few days ago I installed some Doctor LED bulbs in my navigation lights. The GE90 Star bulb was too tall for my Perko 1209 all around light. The lens wouldn't screw down all the way so I tried the Marinebeam TW-GE-15. The Marinebeam bulb fit fine.



The actual light portion of the Doctor LED bulb ends up near the very top of the lens rather than centered like the standard bulb and the Marinebeam bulb.



With the standard bulb and the Marinebeam bulb the actual light elements are visible through the center of the lens. With the Doctor LED bulb all that is visible is the large base of the bulb. I don't know if this would reduce light output or not. Also, the height of the bulb kept the lens from screwing down all the way into the base. Notice the gap at the base in the photo.

The Doctor LED red and green lights did fit the Perko fixtures.



As far as light output, the standard bulb and the Marinebeam bulb seemed about the same but the Marinebeam bulb was a much whiter light than the standard bulb.

The red and green side lights seemed about the same brightness.



I was surprised at the volume of water that I found in the green light. I'll have to keep an eye on that.

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thataway



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Fresnel lens makes the light appear brighter, so you want the glowing element to be centered on the magnifying bulb of the lens.

Good job.

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Sunbeam



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tried installing the Dr. LED GE90 I'd purchased in my (stock, typical, I believe it's a Perko 1209) all-around light fixture today. I had ordered it based on another 22 owner having used one, but I had never actually tried to fit it. So of course this thread caught my eye and I decided I should actually try mine.

What I found was similar to what Mike found, with one "albeit," which is this:

So the bulb is a bayonet style (push down, twist, and two "Frankenstein neck things" lock into two keyways). If I just install it normally, let it pop back up, and then try to screw the lens back on the fixture, I get the same "too tall" problem. However, there is quite a bit of spring travel in the base of fixture. If I let the lens push on the bulb and compress the spring slightly, then the lens can be screwed all the way down.

Not saying that's a great fit though, and I think I'll get the Marine Beam bulb instead. On the other hand, I can see where it could possibly be used. As noted though, the main part of the bulb ends up above the center of the "fresnelation." I don't know if this makes it shine less than two miles (and it's not like it's an engineered, cut glass Fresnel lens), but on the other hand it can't help the light output any. I wouldn't recommend anyone go out and purposely buy one for this fixture.

Sunbeam

Edited to add: Just looked up the Marine Beam bulb mentioned above and it is $15. I think I paid a fair bit more than that for the Dr. LED bulb though, so I was braced for it to cost more. It comes in both a warm and cool white; they recommend the cool white for anchor lights (not sure why). Shipping via Priority mail came up as $7.50 though.
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mgarr682



Joined: 29 Sep 2012
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I took mine apart to see if there was a way to make more room for the bulb. The black plastic light bulb base in my fixture is just pressed into the metal base. I was able to get another 1/8 inch or so by pushing the plastic bulb base all the way into the metal base but it wasn't enough.

As for cost, I got two of the Marinebeam bulbs for $37.50 (including shipping) which was less than the cost of the Doctor LED bulb (without shipping). With that said, the Doctor LED bulb does seem to be a better built bulb with its circuits enclosed in the large gray base and the clear cover/reflector, but, it just won't fit in my fixture.
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jkidd



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mgarr682 wrote:
I took mine apart to see if there was a way to make more room for the bulb. The black plastic light bulb base in my fixture is just pressed into the metal base. I was able to get another 1/8 inch or so by pushing the plastic bulb base all the way into the metal base but it wasn't enough.

As for cost, I got two of the Marinebeam bulbs for $37.50 (including shipping) which was less than the cost of the Doctor LED bulb (without shipping). With that said, the Doctor LED bulb does seem to be a better built bulb with its circuits enclosed in the large gray base and the clear cover/reflector, but, it just won't fit in my fixture.



So could you add another gasket or put an o ring around the base of the lens?

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mgarr682



Joined: 29 Sep 2012
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="jkidd"]
mgarr682 wrote:

So could you add another gasket or put an o ring around the base of the lens?


Yes, I think that would work so far as getting the lens to snug up against something other than the Doctor LED bulb. But, that still leaves the light emitting portion of the bulb at the very top of the lens with the wide base blocking light from much of the lower portion of the lens.

It may well work fine like that, I don't know. The only way to tell would be to try it. Since some here have used that bulb in the Perko fixture with good results the vertical positioning of the bulb may well not be an issue.
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jkidd



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My anchor light has the Dr Led in it and I do have a small gap at the bottom of the lens but that is because the lens bottoms on the gasket. It is a tight fit but it doesn't appear to push the bulb down in the socket. It does sit high and I have been using it and the brightness seems ok. I guess I need to compare it to other boats at a gathering.
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colobear



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a spare lens for the Perko Anchor light fixture and cut a piece out of its upper part, then cut the top off of the other lens and glued the two together. That lengthened the lens enough to allow the LED to fit in. Its been two seasons now with no water intrusion into the home alteration.
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Sunbeam



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jkidd wrote:
My anchor light has the Dr Led in it ... it does sit high and I have been using it and the brightness seems ok. I guess I need to compare it to other boats at a gathering.


That would be interesting. It's possible that the "Fresnel" lens in the Perko is more for looks and doesn't really do that much. I mean, I understand how a real one works, but does a plastic lens with a fresnel-like pattern in it really do that much? I don't know so it would be interesting to compare.

I doubt I would purposely buy the Dr. LED bulb again, especially when the Marine Beam is less than half the price and seems to fit just fine. But if I were buying from scratch now I think I would just get the Marine Beam, and at least try it out. Sounds like it's not quite as stoutly built, but then it's not directly exposed to weather in the Perko housing either.

Modifying an Owl is also an interesting option to me - mostly because I "know" the people who have the company and they are the kind of folks I like to patronize. I think it would be a hardy unit. Still, tossing a bulb in the Perko fixture (Marine Beam) is easy and retains the stock look.
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thataway



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, the Fresnel lens concept works with plastic--in fact many of the lanterns which claim to have Fresnel lenses have just a cast glass version of the very complex Fresnel lenses developed originally for lighthouses. I have a boat riding light lantern, used on my great grandfather's boat from the 1890's to about 1910. It was electrified for house use; of, and then we were able to find a kerosene burner to convert back to kerosene, and it has a true multi faceted, multi segmented fresnel lens. The modern glass lanterns are copies of this type, often with a cheaper cast single globe , and the Perko plastic lenses are of the same principle. Car headlights and other light concentration lenses have used the Fresnel principle in plastics.

I suspect that the refractive index of the plastic is not as good as the glass--and that is why fine camera lenses are still made of multiple types of glass, rather than plastic as in very cheap camera lenses.
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Sunbeam



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well alright then, I guess I'm just going to have to buy the Marine Beam bulb, go to Lake Powell when Voyager is also there, anchor the boats in a scenic cove, row the dinghy a half mile on a starry night, and then compare the two Very Happy

Alternatively, I could install the Dr. LED bulb and head for North Carolina to compare with Glenda Jean's Marine Beam. Drudgery, I tell you!
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halibut taco



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow this is eerie. I used Wikipedia earlier today to look up info about the Fresnel lens for a completely different reason. Then I stopped by C-brats and saw this.
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Bill K



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Drudgery yes, but somebody has to do it. Smile)


Sunbeam wrote:
Well alright then, I guess I'm just going to have to buy the Marine Beam bulb, go to Lake Powell when Voyager is also there, anchor the boats in a scenic cove, row the dinghy a half mile on a starry night, and then compare the two Very Happy

Alternatively, I could install the Dr. LED bulb and head for North Carolina to compare with Glenda Jean's Marine Beam. Drudgery, I tell you!
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Dreamer



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love LEDs as much as the next guy, but, since the engine is running, charging the batteries when the nav lights are on, why worry about low draw? Anchor light is a different story of course.
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rogerbum



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dreamer wrote:
I love LEDs as much as the next guy, but, since the engine is running, charging the batteries when the nav lights are on, why worry about low draw? Anchor light is a different story of course.


I plan on switching over my nav lights to LED's but not for the low draw. IMHO, the main benefit is the longevity and the ability to better handle shocks from bouncing around on a trailer or on the water. I can't remember how many times I checked the bulbs on my 22 before leaving home only to find out they didn't work when I got to Neah Bay. I attribute that to filament damage from bumps experienced on the trailer.

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