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ATEX and IEC Ex Flame-proof Explosion Proof Lighting & Equipment
Explosion Proof Lights
Explosion Proof Motors - Motors for Hazardous Locations
Industrial and Vaporproof Emergency Failsafe Lighting
Industrial Cord Reels and Tool Taps
Industrial Work Area Heaters
Machine Vision Lights
Megatower™
QC Series Industrial Portable Lighting - Quick Change Mount
Rig Lights
Stadium lights
String Lights and Temporary Light Stringers
Tank Cleaning Lights
Three Phase Motor Soft Starters
Vapor Proof LED Lights
Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs)
Vehicle Mounting Plates
Workboat Light Fixtures & Lighting Equipment
Yacht Engine Room Lights
Color Changing LED RGB Lighting
Explosion Proof Cord Reels
GOLIGHT Spotlights
Larson FUTURE - Lease Lighting
Remote Area Lighting and Scene Lights
Utility Bucket Mount, Receiver Hitch & Trailer Mount Lighting
Aevum Control Lighting and Equipment - IIoT
Butane and Solvent Extraction Room Lighting and Equipment
DC to DC Transformers and Power Supplies
Explosion Proof Fans & Blowers
Explosion Proof Paint Spray Booth Approved Lights
Explosion Proof String Lights
Explosion Proof Switchgear & Controls
Fleet Service Lights and Lighting Equipment
Industrial Equipment Trailers
Industrial Handlamps & Droplights
ISO 14644/FS-209E Clean Room Lighting
LED Blasting Lights
Night Time Fishing Lights
Portable AC Power Supply Units
Portable Power Distribution Panels
Power Distribution Panels with KVA Transformers
Self-Contained Lighting
Service Pit Lighting
Solar Generators & Solar Powered Lighting
Agricultural Farm Equipment Lighting & Beacons
Explosion Proof Cameras & Surveillance Systems
Explosion Proof Emergency Lights
Explosion Proof Heaters
Garage & Gas Station Canopy Lights
LED Grow Lights
LED Lights
NDT Ultraviolet Lights
Portable Hazardous Location Lighting
Radio Communication Towers and Equipment
Salt Water Processing Equipment
Shelter & Tent Lighting
Thermal Monitoring Cameras and Systems
48V LED Equipment Lights
ATEX Rated Explosion Proof Lights
Automotive Lighting
Class Rated Signals, Alarms, and Systems
Hazardous Location Area Lights and Portable Lighting
HID Equipment Lights
Hot Work Permit Lighting and Equipment
Hunting Lights
Industrial lasers
Industrial Transformers
Light Towers
Outdoor Lighting
Remote Security and Surveillance Systems
Temporary Construction Lights
Vehicle Mounted Spotlights
Equipment & Heavy Machinery LED Light Package Fitouts
Phase Converters - Single to Three Phase
Marine Shore Power Cords and Equipment
24 Volt Military Lights
Disaster Relief / First Responders / Search & Rescue Lighting
Plastic Handcuff Key
110/120 Volt Flood Lights
Post Mount Spotlights
Magnetic Work Lights
Crank-up Light Masts
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Intrinsically Safe Lights
Military Flashlights
LED Waterproof Lanterns
Work Area Lights
12 Volt Flood Lights
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Boat Spotlights
New Boat Lights
HID Boat Lights
Boat Dock Lights
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Remote Control Lights
Control Lights
Tow Lights
Magnetic Control Lights
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NEW Lights and New Products
Evaporative Coolers
Police Equipment
AC/DC Transformers
Power Supplies
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Military Spotlights 24V
Infrared Filters, Covert Covers, and Blackout IR Lenses
Military Equipment
Ultralife Batteries
Remote Control Pan Tilt Base
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Larson Electronics Spotlights
Larson Electronics Parts
Replacement Lamps
Cords - Brackets
Portable Wheeled Generators
Non-Hazardous Location Extension Cords / Plugs / Outlets
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HID Work Lights
HID Dive Lights
HID Off Road Lights
Acro Lights HID Lights
Halogen Lights
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Acro Light Flashlight
Xenon HID Flashlights
Powerlight Flashlight
HID Flashlights
Xenon Flashlights
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LED Status Lights
Forklift Lights
Tractor Lights
HID Post Mount Lights
Roof Mount Lights
Post Mount Light parts
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Flashlight Holder
Magnet Spotlight Base
Tripods-Magnetic Base
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Recharging Spotlights
Fire Rescue Lights
LED Street Lights
Utility Lights
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Hazard Lights
Strobe Lights - Battery Operated
Strobes & Beacons
Strobe Light Bars
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Headlights - Headlamps - Hard Hat Lights
Flashlights
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Suction Mount Lights
Magnetic Spotlights
12/24 Volt Spotlights
Gifts For Men
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New 12 / 24 Volt Lights
Explosion Proof Accessories and Replacement Parts
Explosion Proof Lighting
Explosion Proof Hand Lamps (Drop Lights)
Explosion Proof Lights - Stand/Dolly
Explosion Proof Tank Lights
Explosion Proof Phones and Intercoms
Explosion Proof Extension Cords
Black Friday & Cyber Monday Specials
Crane Lights
Explosion Proof Light Rentals
General Light Rentals
Light Tower and Light Plant Rentals
Power Distribution Rentals
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Power Plant Lighting
Refinery lights
Environmental Services Lights
Aerospace Lights
Chemical Plant Lights
Food Grade Safe Lights
Film and Entertainment Lights
Handheld Meters and Devices
Waste Water Treatment Lights
Mining Lights
Ship Yard Lights
Work Site Lighting
         

   
05/06/11 LEDs and Boats: The Advantages Dont Stop at Efficiency and Power

With all the enthusiasm being generated by LEDs within the boating community, it’s understandable that there is a great deal of scrutiny and questioning that has followed. “Will LEDs work with my existing fixtures?” “Are they expensive?” “What are the best LEDs to use?” These are some of the most common questions asked and more so than the answers, the questions themselves reveal something of a shortcoming in understanding just how far reaching the implications of installing LEDs on a boat can be. Certainly there are great benefits to be had. Huge reductions in maintenance, greatly reduced amperage loads, extreme light fixture longevity and improved lighting color quality are just a few of the very real benefits that can be realized when switching your boats lighting to LEDs. There are, however, other areas where LEDs can have an equally substantial and beneficial impact but are rarely mentioned or even thought of.

One area where LEDs can have a significant impact on a boater’s efforts to improve the quality of his craft’s electrical systems is wiring. Traditional lighting, particularly with exterior lighting equipment, is highly inefficient and usually requires significant amperage loads if the equipment is intended for anything more important than reading a book. Managing amperage of this magnitude necessitates wiring and electrical systems capable of withstanding heavy and sudden spikes in amperage without overheating or limiting the current reaching the lighting equipment in question. Even High Intensity Discharge lighting with its lower than average running amperage poses serious issues as it still creates a significant amperage spike at  startup that can wreak havoc if wiring is not up to the task of handling such loads. Consider for example one boater’s dilemma. Although technically he installed a couple of Xenon HID units properly, he still found himself with a vexing problem; every time he switched on his new lights they would run for a few minutes, then they would shut down. Turning the units off and then back on resulted in both lights then staying on. With everything connected properly and the lights appearing to have no defects, you can imagine the frustration he felt as searched for the problem in vain.

The problem this gentleman encountered is all too common in the boating world and here is why. One of the things every boater wants is a boat that has a clean and tight appearance, with no loose fittings, gear exposed to the open or of course, exposed wiring. To that end wiring is typically hidden away and protected by running it between hulls and supports, through hollow railing tubes, under railings along the gunwale and other areas where wiring can be hidden from sight. The problem this poses is that many boats require literally miles of wiring to connect all of the electrical systems throughout the boat. Not only that, but each individual piece of equipment requires its own wiring, resulting in oftentimes very large bundles of wiring running from one end of the boat to the other that must be somehow protected and hidden. One of the ways boaters and manufacturers often try to reduce the size of these bundles so they will more easily fit within conduits, railings or under edges is to use the smallest wires possible. This is where boaters begin to run afoul of electrical basics and find themselves plagued with gremlins when they try adding additional lighting.

At the basic level, larger wire can conduct more electrical current. Thus, a common 16 gauge wire will be able to generally handle about 3.7 amps of current while a 14 gauge wire can handle 4.9 amps. As you guessed, the smaller the wire gauge number, the larger the wire and the larger the current it will handle. Then of course, other variables such as the increase in resistance as wire length increases adds to the problems boaters face when installing new lighting equipment. So, if a boater has a couple of main power leads running the length of his boat and wants to install additional or higher powered lighting by tapping into these mains, he’ll need to take into account how much current these mains can handle and how much load they are already carrying. In our earlier mentioned example, our boater friend knew his wiring could handle an additional 3 amps, so he felt safe adding his HID lighting which had a running amperage of just over 2 amps. The problem, however, is that these HID units pull up to 5 amps when they first start and do not drop down to 2.5 until they have warmed up sufficiently. So, when our friend turned his lights on, the initial amp draw exceeded his wirings capacity, leading to the HID units shutting down since they could not pull enough power to remain on.

In situations like this, boaters used to have two main options; they could either run larger wiring and higher rated breakers, which can be a very complex, time consuming and difficult job, or use weaker lighting which obviously reduces the value of the adding the lights in the first place. With LEDs like Larson Electronics LED Boat Lights, however, there is no initial spike in amperage draw as the unit powers on. LEDs simply turn on instantly, much like an incandescent and reach full intensity immediately. Additionally, LEDs have a much higher lumen per watt ratio than standard halogen boat lights and use up to only a quarter as much amperage, so you can install LEDs in place of halogens and get more light, yet actually reduce the amperage draw on your wiring. With LEDs, the power to lumen ratio is not quite as high as with HID’s, however, LEDs produce up to three times more light per watt than halogen lamps and last longer than both halogens and HID’s, without any warm up periods or spikes in amperage. This means that for many boaters, installing LEDs is simply a matter of figuring out how much load your wiring can handle and wiring in a set of suitable LED light bars and nothing more. As you can see, LEDs can do more than just look good and use less power. LEDs can also save you a lot of headache and work as well as cash.





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