Most newly built boats are already equipped with light-emitting diode (LED) lighting. But if your boat is old enough or you are considering buying a used boat, then the lighting may need to be updated. Interparus will give a couple of simple tips for those who are going to update the lighting.
What are the benefits of switching to LED lighting?
The most common reason for switching to LED lighting is that it's time to replace the old bulbs. Lamps may simply fail or fail to meet new standards.
Another reason may be a practical issue - if your boat is old, you may find it difficult to find replacements for some types of halogen and incandescent bulbs, or even first generation LED bulbs.
Even if there is nothing wrong with your old fixtures, there are still reasons to consider switching. One of the main advantages of modern LED lamps is that the ratio of light output and energy consumption. Modern LEDs shine much brighter and at the same time consume less energy. What's more, the new LED lamps offer a choice of light from neutral and warm tones to cool blues.
How has LED lighting improved in recent years?
All electronics are gradually becoming more efficient and compact, consuming less energy. LED technology is no exception. Newer LED bulbs typically produce more light (measured in lumens) and use less electricity.
LEDs have brought more sophisticated and affordable lighting concepts to the marine industry, such as "tuning white". One light bulb can now be set to warm, neutral or cool light.
For example, the Lumishore brand offers all three white light options in one luminaire, as well as the ability to change colors. Boat owners can choose the color they want at any time using the touch screen controls.
What are the problems with old marine LED lights?
When you are looking to buy a used boat, pay attention to these problematic points that may arise:
- Deck lights - these lights need to be replaced most often. Constant exposure to the environment creates not the most favorable conditions for long-term operation. Corrosion is the worst enemy of such lamps.
- Interior Lighting - Old interior lamps fail when a filament burns out or part of a lamp breaks. When working behind the upholstery, you may accidentally snap off the spring from the lamp or break the glass. Sometimes the original light bulb or fixture cannot be replaced if the manufacturer has changed the style or size of their fixtures.
- Utility Lights - Lights in the engine room or lockers sometimes break or bump and need to be replaced.
- Running lights - also constantly exposed to the elements. These lights should always be in good working order, because your safety on the water depends on them.
Do not neglect the serviceability of all types of lighting on board. Ultimately, it is not only about the convenience of using the boat, but also safety.
What difficulties can arise when switching to LED?
The biggest problem when switching to LED lamps can be interior upholstery. If you can't remove it, or if you have a canvas and leather stretch headliner with pre-drilled lamp holes, you won't be able to put it back in place yourself. Sometimes even the upholstery needs to be replaced.
On some older boats, you may find that existing fixtures are set to run on AC power. Most modern LED boat lamps use low voltage DC power. So the question to ask is: do you have a DC power supply on board, or will you need to install converters from high voltage AC to 12 or 24 volts DC?
Dimmers and switches can also create problems. Halogen and incandescent lamps are regulated differently than LEDs, so switches for older types of lamps are almost always incompatible with LED lamps. This may require replacing many of the switches on board.
How much does it cost to switch to LEDs?
Like any lighting system, depending on the scale and complexity of the installation, LED lighting can be relatively inexpensive, expensive, or somewhere in between. As technology and manufacturing capabilities have advanced, LEDs have become significantly cheaper than even a few years ago. But of course, the scale of your conversion project will ultimately determine the total cost.
If you're just replacing old halogen bulbs with LEDs, this can be a relatively inexpensive solution. Single color indoor LED bulbs typically cost between $8 and $20 per bulb depending on the size and wattage of the bulb. Thus, if you are replacing lamps in 15 fixtures, this can be done for $100-150.
Of course, if you have a large yacht with dozens or even hundreds of lights and decide to replace all of the lights, an LED lighting upgrade can cost tens of thousands of dollars. All yachts are different, and there are almost always several options for upgrading, ranging from simple light bulb changes to high-tech and color-changing synchronized lighting systems. That is why it is important to evaluate and weigh your options, as well as consult with an expert in the field.
What to look for when buying new lighting equipment?
We have prepared 7 simple questions that will simplify the selection and purchase of new LED luminaires:
- Are the luminaires mounted on the surface of the material or built into pre-drilled holes?
- If built in, what is the size of the cutout and the depth of the recess?
- What size bezel (outer diameter)?
- What is the voltage of the current lighting system?
- Do I need single color or dual color light?
- How do I want to control lighting?
- Is the wall lamp a lamp or a table lamp (mounted in the ceiling)?
It's time to evaluate the material! Other interesting articles can be found at the links below or in the "News" section.
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