Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 23
  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    177

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nostrodamus View Post
    Itwould cost me approx 600 pounds without spares to replace the hallogen with decent ones or 39 pounds for the cheap ones.
    I have not got 600 pounds for light bulbs.
    If you use standard 10W halogen down-lighters, I don't know who you have approached for replacement LED lamps, you certainly don't need to pay £18 per lamp.

    A suitable standard constant current lamp would cost no more than £6-£8.00. The range in price tends to reflect the quality and the number of high output LEDs that make up the lamp and higher lumen output.

    Your original question asked why there is a big difference in price between high and low cost lamps. Maybe I can offer some answers:

    1. Any good quality constant-current control circuit chip together with associated components that are incorporated into a quality LED lamp costs considerably more than the selling price of the £1.00 lamp.

    2. The less expensive lamps will not have any current control circuit other than a simple resistor. Its a lottery whether the resistor built in is sized for 12V, 13V or 14V, you wont actually know. This is quite important, if you apply 13.8V i.e., when your boat engine is running, to a lamp designed for 12V the current passing through the lamp will actually increase by around 50%. If you use a modern battery charger, increasingly these can apply up to 16V when running an equalising cycle, your cheap lamp will then be exposed to double its design current. In both instances the lamp will overheat and become rather unwell. At best you will have a very much reduced service life at worst a fire. Failure will occur rather unpredictably as the lamp light output deteriorates. A competitor actually shows an example of a burnt out product on his website.

    3. High output 5050 SMD LEDs are mass produced. The lamps are sorted for both quality and colour and are binned accordingly into batches. These batches range from top quality ones, where light output and colour are closely matched. Down to LEDs that are outside quality standards, but still give an output. The best LED batches reserved for area lighting use, these are the most expensive ones and the ones used in quality lamps. The next lower quality LEDs often are used for OEM vehicle lighting where they are mostly installed behind lenses and don't really need higher quality attributes and are accordingly more attractively priced. The rest are often know as 'orphan' LEDs, they are unmatched in both colour and light output are often sold off cheaply. These are sold at about 5% of the price of the quality ones, often to small back room cottage industry assemblers.

    4. The people who sell the cheap lamps will buy up these low cost assembled lamps for far less than £1.00. Clearly a profit needs to be made so one can only imagine that the assemblers component count involved in the lamp production is not going to be extensive. The quality of what components are actually used, following a similar theme, is going to be minimal too.

    5. A reputable vendor will have a company registration and third party product liability insurance. They will also offer a full technical specification and a warranty for the lamps as fit for purpose. This is contrasted to the £1.00 seller who often offers none of these.

    I don't think most boat owners appreciate that whilst cheap lamps look exactly the same and appear to work OK they won't really know what they have bought or indeed what is going on within the lamp. There is no way of knowing unless a full range of tests are made. I have found the electrical characteristics of cheap lamps can vary widely from the same batch dependant on what low cost components were used on the day of production.

    Check out the reputation of vendors. This forum will certainly highlight any that fall short of the mark!!

    Some food for thought!
    Adrian Jones
    www.boatlamps.co.uk

  2. #12
    pappaecho is offline Registered User
    Location : S. Hampshire
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    1,837

    Default

    The average life of an LED is normally in excess fo 50,000 hours. If the LED works for an hour its is likely to work for years.

    In 2004, I rebuilt Silver Song and fitted mainly LED lights to replace incandescent, as smallish cost on Ebay. They are still working well.

    Prices in Amazon or Ebay have gone down presumably due to increased sales, and hence volumes. The difference between expensive and cheap LED lights is Profit, the components will have come from the same bin
    Def: Yachting - a way of spending the kids inheritance

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    177

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pappaecho View Post
    The average life of an LED is normally in excess fo 50,000 hours. If the LED works for an hour its is likely to work for years.

    In 2004, I rebuilt Silver Song and fitted mainly LED lights to replace incandescent, as smallish cost on Ebay. They are still working well.

    Prices in Amazon or Ebay have gone down presumably due to increased sales, and hence volumes. The difference between expensive and cheap LED lights is Profit, the components will have come from the same bin
    Never mind the technology involved, hey ho, everyone to their own view. A little more substantively informed narrative would be helpful when suggesting all are the same!

    Incidentally, others might be interested in a further issue you have reminded me to mention. If have LEDs with resistors suitable for lamps operating at 14V, which by luck you may have, you may not realise that the lumen output of your lights will be much reduced from optimum when operating them at 12V. This is due to reduced current flow through the lamps at 12V. If your lamps are resistor controlled they cannot possibly have the same light output at 12V as they do at 13.8V. The net result, unfortunately, is sub optimal performance. The irony is that your lamps will all be under performing in terms of light output at the very time you use them most i.e. when running on your battery only and using the galley/saloon.

    Some boat owners complain of poor light output from LEDs without realising that its an incorrectly rated fixed voltage lamp that is causing the problem.

    A constant-current lamp provides the same light output at 10V as it would at 30V so lower light output isn't a problem when the boat voltage varies
    Adrian Jones
    www.boatlamps.co.uk

  4. #14
    Blue5's Avatar
    Blue5 is offline Registered User
    Location : Hampshire and Portugal
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    2,172

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Jones View Post
    If you use standard 10W halogen down-lighters, I don't know who you have approached for replacement LED lamps, you certainly don't need to pay £18 per lamp.

    A suitable standard constant current lamp would cost no more than £6-£8.00. The range in price tends to reflect the quality and the number of high output LEDs that make up the lamp and higher lumen output.

    Your original question asked why there is a big difference in price between high and low cost lamps. Maybe I can offer some answers:

    1. Any good quality constant-current control circuit chip together with associated components that are incorporated into a quality LED lamp costs considerably more than the selling price of the £1.00 lamp.

    2. The less expensive lamps will not have any current control circuit other than a simple resistor. Its a lottery whether the resistor built in is sized for 12V, 13V or 14V, you wont actually know. This is quite important, if you apply 13.8V i.e., when your boat engine is running, to a lamp designed for 12V the current passing through the lamp will actually increase by around 50%. If you use a modern battery charger, increasingly these can apply up to 16V when running an equalising cycle, your cheap lamp will then be exposed to double its design current. In both instances the lamp will overheat and become rather unwell. At best you will have a very much reduced service life at worst a fire. Failure will occur rather unpredictably as the lamp light output deteriorates. A competitor actually shows an example of a burnt out product on his website.

    3. High output 5050 SMD LEDs are mass produced. The lamps are sorted for both quality and colour and are binned accordingly into batches. These batches range from top quality ones, where light output and colour are closely matched. Down to LEDs that are outside quality standards, but still give an output. The best LED batches reserved for area lighting use, these are the most expensive ones and the ones used in quality lamps. The next lower quality LEDs often are used for OEM vehicle lighting where they are mostly installed behind lenses and don't really need higher quality attributes and are accordingly more attractively priced. The rest are often know as 'orphan' LEDs, they are unmatched in both colour and light output are often sold off cheaply. These are sold at about 5% of the price of the quality ones, often to small back room cottage industry assemblers.

    4. The people who sell the cheap lamps will buy up these low cost assembled lamps for far less than £1.00. Clearly a profit needs to be made so one can only imagine that the assemblers component count involved in the lamp production is not going to be extensive. The quality of what components are actually used, following a similar theme, is going to be minimal too.

    5. A reputable vendor will have a company registration and third party product liability insurance. They will also offer a full technical specification and a warranty for the lamps as fit for purpose. This is contrasted to the £1.00 seller who often offers none of these.

    I don't think most boat owners appreciate that whilst cheap lamps look exactly the same and appear to work OK they won't really know what they have bought or indeed what is going on within the lamp. There is no way of knowing unless a full range of tests are made. I have found the electrical characteristics of cheap lamps can vary widely from the same batch dependant on what low cost components were used on the day of production.

    Check out the reputation of vendors. This forum will certainly highlight any that fall short of the mark!!

    Some food for thought!
    Some interesting facts and all make sense but then I would ask you to consider why I and probably many others are a bit sceptical when it comes to the cost of LEDs.

    Firstly I have purchased two batches of LEDs to replace halogen 10w bulbs in down lighters on the boat, both from reputable suppliers recommended on here.

    I am not on the boat but from memory both were suitable I think 12 - 32!! V . Given I was paying £6+ for the bulbs after 6 months one of the bulbs failed (1 out of 5 ). Now given that the lights are only on when I am onboard and when they are needed this bulb probably had no more than 3hrs use. The abuse I got when complaining and the aggravation to package it up and send it back, plus postage made me decide to just cut my losses and buy from another company.

    The second batch I have bought from another reputable supplier I have had 2 failures out of 8, I have not contacted this supplier as the bulbs are outside of the two year warranty but have probably had no more than 24hrs total use.

    From a subsequent post and on other sites I have read an average life of 50,000 hrs (thats 5years continuous use) so I can only conclude that from these two suppliers I have either been very unlucky or got duff bulbs

    Now knowing they will only be on when I am on the boat for short periods I am coming to the conclusion that the cost of LEDs is not worth the power saving or cost of replacing and my experience says they are either too fragile or poorly constructed compared to the halogen.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    177

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NDH View Post
    Some interesting facts and all make sense but then I would ask you to consider why I and probably many others are a bit sceptical when it comes to the cost of LEDs.

    Firstly I have purchased two batches of LEDs to replace halogen 10w bulbs in down lighters on the boat, both from reputable suppliers recommended on here.

    I am not on the boat but from memory both were suitable I think 12 - 32!! V . Given I was paying £6+ for the bulbs after 6 months one of the bulbs failed (1 out of 5 ). Now given that the lights are only on when I am onboard and when they are needed this bulb probably had no more than 3hrs use. The abuse I got when complaining and the aggravation to package it up and send it back, plus postage made me decide to just cut my losses and buy from another company.

    The second batch I have bought from another reputable supplier I have had 2 failures out of 8, I have not contacted this supplier as the bulbs are outside of the two year warranty but have probably had no more than 24hrs total use.

    From a subsequent post and on other sites I have read an average life of 50,000 hrs (thats 5years continuous use) so I can only conclude that from these two suppliers I have either been very unlucky or got duff bulbs

    Now knowing they will only be on when I am on the boat for short periods I am coming to the conclusion that the cost of LEDs is not worth the power saving or cost of replacing and my experience says they are either too fragile or poorly constructed compared to the halogen.
    You make a very good and important point.

    All lamps sold for use on boats should be fit for purpose. If a lamp fails without obvious cause its not really fit for purpose and a reputable supplier needs to offer to replace or repair their product. This forum readily offers its members views on customer service received from suppliers. I have cringed when reading the sort of responses some suppliers dish out. Put the name of your supplier into the forum search facility and see what comments are made. You will very quickly form a consensus whether you were unlucky or the supplier gives consistently poor service.

    Unfortunately not all 10-30V are equal with many lamps not designed to cope with the electrically noisy environment found on boats. Some boats are worse than others. By noisy I refer to high voltage transients that can be generated by many sources on boats. One of the more common sources of transients are boat refrigerators particularly ones with worn open contact type thermostats. These when combined with the coils in the refrigeration compressor can cause havoc. A high voltage pulse up to +100V can be generated and applied to any lamps switched on at the time. De-loading of alternators can also be a potential problem as voltage can rise when load is suddenly switched off. A windlass is a known culprit for this when an anchor snags or jams and the engine alternator and associated charger are in circuit. In all likelihood this is is repeated over time. This incrementally can impact some lamps more than others. Of course the cause of transients from boat to boat will also vary so any LED lamps just have to cope with this or they are simply not fit for purpose.

    A proper marine lamp supplier will supply lamps adequately protected from transients and will often advertise that quality. The same suppliers will often include built in electronic fuses designed to isolate a single lamp should it develop an internal fault thus avoiding fuse or circuit breaker operation. If these protective measures are not mentioned then you can have confidence they are not included.

    Your boat, I'm sure, could well benefit from properly protected lamps. If your lamps are over two years old I suggest they are not protected. I suggest you try a few protected lamps and report back. The lamps are often only a little more costly but are not widely available from generic LED suppliers. Marine specialists can supply these, although not all. If in doubt ensure you ask. To my knowledge only my company and one other supply these lamps in the UK.

    Good suppliers will also test their lamps to destruction to ensure they meet standards.

    Suppliers of vehicle lamps generally do not supply suitable lamps for use on our boats.

    Transient voltage protection is particularly important if your boat is using a 24V system. This is because most commercial quantities of constant-current lamps are manufactured for 10-30V. A modern 24V charger when equalising will well exceed 30V and cause progressive damage to a 30V LED. Add transients to the circuit and you really will have problems.

    Sorry to be so long winded!!
    Adrian Jones
    www.boatlamps.co.uk

  6. #16
    Stu Jackson is offline Registered User
    Location : Oakland, California outside San Francisco
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    753

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nostrodamus View Post
    Itwould cost me approx 600 pounds without spares to replace the hallogen with decent ones or 39 pounds for the cheap ones.
    I have not got 600 pounds for light bulbs.

    and

    Having done the sums, I must declare an interest - as my electric usage for lighting is a mere 6% of my total usage, I shall be sticking for the foreseeable future to halogen and fluorescent.
    I agree that if you do the math, you may be very surprised at the % of total daily use of the lamps.

    If you price the "respectable" lamps that will work, given the very good input on this thread, you may find it worthwhile to simply buy another battery for your house bank.

    That's what I did many years ago.

    We do have a fridge, so that makes the lighting a smaller percentage of daily use. However, without a fridge, adding a house battery to your bank will still apply for one or two nights on the hook.

    We also have two fluorescents (galley and head) and only use the halogens for doing dinner dishes and when we read before hitting the V berth, and in the V berth for maybe 20 minutes at night.

    We also use a trawler lamp in the saloon, which saves a LOT of battery power. Without that lamp, our lighting energy use (& energy budget) would be much, much higher.

    You could also search the internet, because many, many folks have "done your homework for you" and have reported and the "good guys" and "bad guys" who peddle LEDs.

    "Your boat, your choice."
    Last edited by Stu Jackson; 19-12-11 at 22:35.
    Catalina 34 1986 #224 M25 engine 22# Rocna (NZ)

  7. #17
    William_H is offline Registered User
    Location : West Australia
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    8,730

    Default LEDs for boat

    Firstly I am sure that you should buy purpose built LED nav lights.
    However for cabin lights I think the cheap Chinese are fine. Yes they have series resistor for current limiting. Yes I am sure they are designed for motor vehicles at 13.5 volt supply. My experience and experimenting with one type of bulb replacement that had the 5050 type 3 LED with flourescent coating to give white is that the LEDs are greatly underrated even at 13.75 volts but still collectively give plenty of light.
    So yes at 12v the lights will be dimmer than similar with electronic current control if the light is not enough just add more lights.
    Sorry Adrian I respect your business of supplying well designed quality boat lights but I think you will be outsold by the Chinese on price alone. especially as the LED diodes are almost certainly the same device and the simple resistive current limiting is far simpler so more reliable than the complex current regulator.
    I love em. In fact I seem to have bought many more than I need on the boat and have started mounting them around the outside of the house as security lighting running of a battery solar panel and timer. olewill

  8. #18

    Default

    Thank you for all your replies nd there was some very sensible answers on here.
    I am in France at the moment and the price of the light bulbs here are 18 pounds which I think and i am sure you agree is far to much.
    Cheap does sound good but then I read posts from people who know who make a lot of sense. Run something like a electric heads and you can notice how the voltage to the lights change. They are no doubt getting different voltages constantly dependingon what is or is not being used.
    Look at it this way and the expensive ones seem better but at the moment they are just still to expensive.
    Adding another battery is something I did not concider and seems a good compromise at the moment until LED's come down in price and also a lot cheaper option and would give me more power for other things as well.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    1,986

    Default

    Whats the point-other than perhaps for navigation lights-just how much lighting do you want on your boat-standard 12v bulbs /bus bulbs /12v strips do OK and are cheap.
    A couple of 100 ah leisure batteries at £80 each and you have a system that will probably last for a week-certainly from my past experience running these on a caravan.
    Add a couple of solar panels if you like and or a wind gen.
    Anyway I hate those LED lights on cars-agressive and too bright!

  10. #20
    pappaecho is offline Registered User
    Location : S. Hampshire
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    1,837

    Default

    Frankly I do understand the "failures" mentioned in this thread. The leds arrays should be in parallel so if one led fails the rest should continue working.

    My car has LED running lights which are leds, one led has failed which means that there are still 39 still working, and not worth any attention.

    So I think we must start looking at why the bulbs fail, because the bulk of the leds are unlikely to be faulty, so perhaps is it a resistor which is in series with the array
    Def: Yachting - a way of spending the kids inheritance

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •