LED Cabin lights

Bowchow

Anarchist
615
13
Going about replacing the ancient halogen brass lights in my cabin for LED ones.

I wish I had the space to recess, only have maybe 1/2" between the deck and cabin ceiling..

Looking for white/red specifically. What have you guys done?

 

savoir

Super Anarchist
4,914
201
For cabin use be sure to get the ones marked " warm white ".  The others are too blue.  For nav lights the LED bulbs have the same sized bayonet and fit right in.

 

random

Super Anarchist
6,057
365
I had an initial problem fitting LED bulbs to incandescent fittings .  The LEDs only works in one + / - direction but the fitting is symmetrical.  Took a while to work out why they wouldn't work. 

 

bgytr

Super Anarchist
5,011
640
I got some interior LED bulbs, they interfere badly with the vhf, especially the handheld.

Anyone got a fix for this or know of better LED bulbs?

 

Elegua

Generalissimo
My many of my interior lights were old, so I just replaced them with Dr LED warm white units.  We'll see how they hold up. The smartest thing I did was put an LED strip over the galley. The Alpenglows will get the OEM retrofit kit.  

 

Ajax

Super Anarchist
14,811
3,083
Edgewater, MD
As others have said, "warm white." Anything else is like industrial or prison lighting.

I went from pulling 12 amps with all lights on, to something like 1.5 amps or less.

Also, give some thought to "direct" or "indirect" lighting.  For example, all of my cabin light fixtures were Perko metal cones that projected a spot of light on a single location. The cabin was dark, even with ALL of the lights on.  I replaced them with brass sconce-type fixtures with translucent shades that have an opening at the top. My overhead is white. This means that light is reflected off of the white overhead and broadcast through the shade, illuminating most of the cabin instead of an 8 inch circle somewhere.

I used these:

https://www.wholesalemarine.com/sea-dog-brass-boat-cabin-light/?gclid=CjwKCAjwzJjrBRBvEiwA867bytsvwhLrilTlSXnHJtNPh5sgPRPwLDTgSnB2XxIA3EODKHY3SuRt0RoCoGgQAvD_BwE

They're a little chintzy but the brass has held up with no corrosion. There are more contemporary versions, if you prefer.

 

jamhass

Anarchist
783
131
If you are willing to replace the fixtures, its hard to beat Alpenglow.  Best customer service in the industry.  Available in your choice of woods, includes both white and red and both have 2 levels of illumination.  

Not affiliated, just very happy with the product.

 

fufkin

Super Anarchist
If you are willing to replace the fixtures, its hard to beat Alpenglow.  Best customer service in the industry.  Available in your choice of woods, includes both white and red and both have 2 levels of illumination.  

Not affiliated, just very happy with the product.
I use Alpenglow LED for the overhead salon and nav station overhead lights. They are extremely well made, and have dual red and dual white light modes. I'm quite happy with them and would recommend them without hesitation. 

I would stop short, however, of comparing their color temperature to any tungsten light. Whatever is characterized as 'warm white' is still way above the color temp of a more 'golden' hued tungsten lamp. For this reason,  I elected to keep the four tungsten reading lamps that are in the corners of the saloon. I'm glad I did, and despite claims, I'm flat out not sold on the ability of LED to be as warm as tungsten. 

That said, for the overhead salon/nav station  lights,  high mode in white is a great, powerful utility light, the lower white mode is good, and the two red modes see a lot of night time use. 

Also, look up West Coast Dart LED lights. I bought a couple of touch sensitive brass lights for the forepeak and they are excellent for this purpose. Mounted on the bulkhead, they can be turned on in a flash without much fuss...and are bomb proof in a way that a swivel shade is not, especially if stuff gets thrown/piled into the forepeak in a hurry. 

 

jamhass

Anarchist
783
131
For general "mood" lighting (such as when watching TV, quiet reading, etc) I use warm white LED strips above the cabin handholds.  On our boat this results in a very nice indirect warm light that is plenty sufficient for conversation, moving around, etc.  With a dimmer, they can be lowered as a very nice night light.  These are available in a variety of colors, and the warm does match tungsten well.

 

SloopJonB

Super Anarchist
68,782
12,405
Great Wet North
Also, give some thought to "direct" or "indirect" lighting.  For example, all of my cabin light fixtures were Perko metal cones that projected a spot of light on a single location. The cabin was dark, even with ALL of the lights on.  I replaced them with brass sconce-type fixtures with translucent shades that have an opening at the top. My overhead is white. This means that light is reflected off of the white overhead and broadcast through the shade, illuminating most of the cabin instead of an 8 inch circle somewhere.

I used these:

https://www.wholesalemarine.com/sea-dog-brass-boat-cabin-light/?gclid=CjwKCAjwzJjrBRBvEiwA867bytsvwhLrilTlSXnHJtNPh5sgPRPwLDTgSnB2XxIA3EODKHY3SuRt0RoCoGgQAvD_BwE

They're a little chintzy but the brass has held up with no corrosion. There are more contemporary versions, if you prefer.
A trick to increase the light "field" or dispersion that I have seen done with oil lamps is to mount a piece of mirror behind them.

Plexiglass mirror is perfect for this since the LED's don't cast heat..

 
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fufkin

Super Anarchist
For general "mood" lighting (such as when watching TV, quiet reading, etc) I use warm white LED strips above the cabin handholds.  On our boat this results in a very nice indirect warm light that is plenty sufficient for conversation, moving around, etc.  With a dimmer, they can be lowered as a very nice night light.  These are available in a variety of colors, and the warm does match tungsten well.
'Indirect' being the key...also the colour/texture of what surface you are bouncing the light off. Generally speaking, dimming an LED light doesn't change its colour temperature, it limits the amount of the same colour temp light. In terms of 'colour' (not colour temp), the sky is the limit in terms of what shade a manufacturer wants to put in front of the light, or the combinations of red/green/blue that can be programmed in a multi-chip LED fixture. 

That said, nowadays there are various tunable LED products where you can select a range of colour temperatures(not colours, that's different, colours have been tunable for a long time). I'm not up to speed as to wether any of these products are in the marine sphere, but at the high end I'd bet on it. 

Anyway, it sounds like you've got a great set-up that you enjoy, and that's the main thing. 

 

Diarmuid

Super Anarchist
3,574
1,594
Laramie, WY, USA
Look for warm white color temp ~2700K, tho not all LEDs live up to their stated temperature. Whiter light is best for task (vs. area) illumination, especially in engine rooms, lazarettes, etc. Touch dimming is a nice feature in living quarters and galleys. Some fixtures, like this very thin LunaSea puck, offer both touch on/off/dim and a soft blue 'nitelite' mode.

Dimmable strips or fixtures can also be controlled via remote switches, electronic dimmers, and touch pads. I just installed a very sweet strip light system under some floating kitchen shelves that employed some aluminum channel + diffuser and this awesome 2" square touch dimmer switch. Its size makes it easy to find by touch. 

Lately, the selection of AA battery-powered LED options has exploded, included many controlled by smartphone or remote/keyfob. Lets you add lighting after the fact without running wire, and is a useful approach to task or courtesy lighting. Probably want to pull the batteries if parking the boat, tho.

 
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We have a Cat 30 that came with LEDs throughout, we hated them, the light was stark and cold, you needed a flashlight to read too.  We replaced them all with Alpenglows two years ago and we could not be happier. Nice warm light throughout. We put the red/white ones over the galley and nav table and we have a kero lamp on the table at dinner. The Alpenglows were not inexpensive but the light is nice and the wood frames are beautiful.

 

SloopJonB

Super Anarchist
68,782
12,405
Great Wet North
Lately, the selection of AA battery-powered LED options has exploded, included many controlled by smartphone or remote/keyfob. Lets you add lighting after the fact without running wire, and is a useful approach to task or courtesy lighting. Probably want to pull the batteries if parking the boat, tho.
I was thinking about that very thing just the other day - seems like a great idea for a stripped out race boat that needs a complete new electrical system. I think I'll investigate it at a good local LED shop I know.

 




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