When you walk around the boat shows, you see that it’s usually the big flashy boats that get all the attention. I enjoy looking at boatbuilders’ latest offerings, but when the novelty of looking at boats that I can’t afford has worn off, I like to go and visit the smaller booths in search of the
latest innovations in electronics and gadgets. I’m always interested in making
my boat more fuel efficient and easier to operate, and to this end, I’ve been
looking into reducing the electricity consumption aboard.
LEDs are nothing new. They’re comparatively old technology, and they’ve been
Easy LED Lighting Upgrade
used as indicator lamps on TV sets and electrical panels for many years. Scientists have
known that the longevity of the LED “bulb” coupled with it’s low power consumption
would make it an ideal replacement for conventional incandescent bulbs, if only they
could produce an LED that delivered a white light and high enough light output.
With recent improvements and innovations, these challenges have been largely
overcome, and LEDs are now being routinely changed to by owners or are fitted at
the factory by the manufacturer.
LEDs are semiconductors that produce light when supplied with electricity of the
correct voltage. Unlike a traditional incandescent bulb, there’s no filament, so there’s
nothing to burn out or break. The most likely failure of an LED is from supplying
Lighting technology has come a long way in the last few years. Now might be
the time to consider an upgrade to LEDs
it with current of the incorrect voltage,
which may destroy it. Put your hand
anywhere near a tungsten bulb and the
heat is immediately apparent; with the
filament glowing white hot, it’s easy to
understand that most of the electricity
consumed goes into creating heat rather
than light. LEDs give off far less heat.
One of the things that I noticed when
I changed to LED lighting in the main
saloon of my boat
was that I had to run
far less often to keep
the cabin cool. With
the AC running less,
I could use the generator less often, and
this meant a decrease
in fuel burnt. There
have been other benefits, too. I initially
changed the lights
to reduce energy consumption, but the
robust nature of the LEDs has meant
that I haven’t had to replace any yet.
Early LED lighting fixtures tended
to cause electrical interference, but these
DO IT YOURSELF
By Mark Corke
This is an easy to
moderately difficult project.
I used wire strippers,
wire cutters, crimpers, a flashlight,
screwdrivers, a digital multimeter,
If you’re just changing a
light bulb, expect to pay $4 or $5.
Each new complete light fitting could
cost up to $50 or more.
YOU GOT THIS!