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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    On a boat
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    406

    Default Navigation bulbs BAY15D

    Seems one of my nav lights uses a white bulb with offset pins and two contacts on the bottom.

    I thought this was a standard bay15d type bulb common in the automotive world.

    I'm looking at replacing it with a LED, not really for energy saving but more for longevity. I have some LEDs lying around with the same fitting and same two contacts on the bottom. The catch is they don't work.

    The incandescent bulb seems to have plus and minus contacts on the bottom. The led although it has the same looking contacts, instead seems to use the metal base of the bulb as negative rather than one of the contacts.

    So now I'm confused as what type of bulb I actually need.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Home: Kent. Boat: Chichester
    Posts
    43,171

    Default Re: Navigation bulbs BAY15D

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikedefieslife View Post
    Seems one of my nav lights uses a white bulb with offset pins and two contacts on the bottom.

    I thought this was a standard bay15d type bulb common in the automotive world.

    I'm looking at replacing it with a LED, not really for energy saving but more for longevity. I have some LEDs lying around with the same fitting and same two contacts on the bottom. The catch is they don't work.

    The incandescent bulb seems to have plus and minus contacts on the bottom. The led although it has the same looking contacts, instead seems to use the metal base of the bulb as negative rather than one of the contacts.

    So now I'm confused as what type of bulb I actually need.
    It sounds as though the LED's you have "lying around" have the same contact and pin configurtion as a dual filament car stop/ tail light bulb in which the cap is used as the common negative for the two , different power, filaments
    You need an LED bulb that uses the two contacts , but not the cap , like navigation light bulbs.

    Boatlamps will be able to supply what you need but no doubt there are cheap ebay suppliers of simiar bulbs

    https://boatlamps.co.uk/

    It is best to use the correct colour LED for coloured nav lights but warm white is an acceptable alternative. Plenty of info on the Boatlamps site
    Last edited by VicS; 09-05-19 at 16:27.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    UK East Coast
    Posts
    35,467

    Default Re: Navigation bulbs BAY15D

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikedefieslife View Post
    Seems one of my nav lights uses a white bulb with offset pins and two contacts on the bottom.

    I thought this was a standard bay15d type bulb common in the automotive world.
    The BAY15D socket is used for some navigation lights to stop people putting incorrect bulbs in, and the wiring is different from the automotive uses. As Vic suggested, a specialist supplier will be able to help, but automotive-style LEDs won't work without rewiring.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Shropshire
    Posts
    8,626

    Default Re: Navigation bulbs BAY15D

    LEDs are polarity sensitive so may be wired backwards. As others have said they're not generally interchangeable with auto bulbs.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Home UK Midlands / Boat Croatia
    Posts
    18,598

    Default Re: Navigation bulbs BAY15D

    Quote Originally Posted by ghostlymoron View Post
    LEDs are polarity sensitive so may be wired backwards. As others have said they're not generally interchangeable with auto bulbs.
    That had me fooled changing the bulbs on the Series 3 Landy to LEDs. It's a 1982 negative earth car .... but one of the original incandescent bulbs is factory-wired as positive earth.

    Richard

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    On a boat
    Posts
    406

    Default Re: Navigation bulbs BAY15D

    Quote Originally Posted by ghostlymoron View Post
    LEDs are polarity sensitive so may be wired backwards. As others have said they're not generally interchangeable with auto bulbs.
    Nah, like I said on the LED the metal base of the bulb is the negative. Rather than the two connectors at the bottom being positive and negative like the navigation bulb.

    Both seemingly use the BAY15D socket, which means each bulb must have some kind of industry code it's called by.

    Anyone know what they are?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Me - Zumerzet Boat - Wareham
    Posts
    11,949

    Default Re: Navigation bulbs BAY15D

    I have just ordered and received a Two Pack off eBay. (
    £15.18 Warm White )
    I bought these because they had 8 stacks of 6 LED's, others had less LED's.
    I put 12v across the pins to test them, also checked them with reverse polarity and they drew the same current (380mA) with either polarity.

    PS so there is no confusion, they lit up nice and bright with voltage connected to the bubbles on the base either way round.
    Last edited by LadyInBed; 11-05-19 at 00:26.
    MontyMariner.co.uk
    Facilitated by AWESEM WP Agency

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    On a boat
    Posts
    406

    Default Re: Navigation bulbs BAY15D

    Quote Originally Posted by LadyInBed View Post
    I have just ordered and received a Two Pack off eBay. (
    £15.18 Warm White )
    I bought these because they had 8 stacks of 6 LED's, others had less LED's.
    I put 12v across the pins to test them, also checked them with reverse polarity and they drew the same current (380mA) with either polarity.

    PS so there is no confusion, they lit up nice and bright with voltage connected to the bubbles on the base either way round.
    Yes those are the right type. They have a positive and negative terminal. The car rear light ones have two positive terminals.

    What I'm trying to find out is the technical name for each different type of bulb.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Home UK Midlands / Boat Croatia
    Posts
    18,598

    Default Re: Navigation bulbs BAY15D

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikedefieslife View Post
    Yes those are the right type. They have a positive and negative terminal.
    Although they don't actually have a positive and negative terminal as both can be positive and both can be negative, although not at the same time. We need a new definition .... how about bipolar?

    Richard

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Gosport
    Posts
    3,021

    Default Re: Navigation bulbs BAY15D

    Mike, how are you going to deal with the wrong colours some LEDs will give in port and stbd lights? also will the arcs be right if you put an LED in a light designed for a filament bulb?

    I have replaced the bulb with LED in my stern light and will probably do the same for the anchor light when I next go up there. However, I have left port and stbd ones alone.
    Moody 31

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