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Want to switch to LEDs - Nav, Courtesy, and Dash...


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Good afternoon Chappys,

I have a 220 SSI with a few courtesy cockpit lights, original lighted chrome bezel dash gauges, and the factory navigation light on the bow.  I would like to switch all these lights to LEDs if possible.  The courtesy lights are nice, but a little too "amber".  The Nav light gets incredibly hot and I have burned my hand several times while climbing off the bow at night and putting my hand down on the chrome housing.  Lastly, my gauges are simply not visible at night.  All of the gauges light up, but the light is so poor I can't even see them.  I'm hoping I can get LEDs that are brighter, whiter, and cooler to the touch.  If anyone has already done this, I would really appreciate some guidance on the best bulbs to get.  I don't want to spend a fortune, but I also don't want weak bulbs that won't last.  I also have a wakeboard tower and I plan on looking for a battery powered dome light to put up there for when I need to light up the cockpit at night.  Thanks for your help!

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Well that a lot of lights to convert! I would suggest replacing, if possible the whole fixture. Not just installing a LED bulb. Almost all the fixtures are sealed, so no contacts to corrode like the old fixtures.. I would try SuperLEDs.Com for courtesy lights.  Defender.com has a Nav lights under LED lighting.

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31 minutes ago, Iggy said:

Well that a lot of lights to convert! I would suggest replacing, if possible the whole fixture. Not just installing a LED bulb. Almost all the fixtures are sealed, so no contacts to corrode like the old fixtures.. I would try SuperLEDs.Com for courtesy lights.  Defender.com has a Nav lights under LED lighting.

It looks like superleds.com doesn't exist anymore.  My current bow nav light appears to be an attwood 3800 series, which is more of an aqua blue and red than a green and red.  I was hoping I could just swap the bulbs inside without replacing the whole fixture since the chrome is still nice.  I think the courtesy lights might have to be replaced along with the fittings, which appear to be relatively inexpensive.  The gauge lights are another story.  I definitely do not want to replace the gauge lights.  I might just have to pull the bulbs and see what they look like.  Hopefully they are accessible.  

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7 minutes ago, rpmurray said:

It looks like superleds.com doesn't exist anymore.  My current bow nav light appears to be an attwood 3800 series, which is more of an aqua blue and red than a green and red.  I was hoping I could just swap the bulbs inside without replacing the whole fixture since the chrome is still nice.  I think the courtesy lights might have to be replaced along with the fittings, which appear to be relatively inexpensive.  The gauge lights are another story.  I definitely do not want to replace the gauge lights.  I might just have to pull the bulbs and see what they look like.  Hopefully they are accessible.  

My girl is a lot older then your's. So this may or may not apply to you. My gauge lights had a yellow rubber cap over the top of the bulbs to dim them, so I just had to pull the caps off to make mine brighter.

They do make replacement LED bulbs to to plug into your original sockets. They are not cheap.  Denny.

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46 minutes ago, cyclops2 said:

Try ..... www.superbrightleds.com  Be VERY sure of your base design designation.   Call ahead to be sure.

Do you have a dimmer switch? If so try by-passing it.

Also are your lenses fogged up?  Denny.

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2 hours ago, Denny said:

Do you have a dimmer switch? If so try by-passing it.

Also are your lenses fogged up?  Denny.

I don't believe there is a dimmer.  Gauges are clean and clear.  Lights shine around the edge of each gauge, but not the gauge itself.  Its like the lights are behind the gauge.  I'll have to check them out.

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4 hours ago, cyclops2 said:

Try ..... www.superbrightleds.com  Be VERY sure of your base design designation.   Call ahead to be sure.

Thats it! Sorry about that. 

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Why do people want to change to LEDS ?  What are the pluses ?   

I would have a cap on my head with a Night Vision red LED of the correct brightness level. Look anywhere & see anything clearly.  Not even use the night lights in the gauges ? If my hat fails ? use the night light gauge control.

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I've burned my finger tips a couple of times on the front nav light. My cuddy lights also get pretty hot. When I burn through my spares, I'm also going to switch to LED's. As for my dash, I still have most of my original gauges and I like the lighting set up. Too much light and you can't see what's coming at you at night.

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I switched out the bulbs in the courtesy lights with LEDs. They are 194s as I remember. Picked them up at the auto parts store for about 7 bucks each. Plug and play. Nice white light.  Also did the fixture in the head. 

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I'm surprised my cuddy lights [filaments] are still working since my first season in 2008. With all the Lake Erie banging around, I thought they wouldn't last. 

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On 8/30/2020 at 4:00 AM, cyclops2 said:

Why do people want to change to LEDS ?  What are the pluses ?   

I would have a cap on my head with a Night Vision red LED of the correct brightness level. Look anywhere & see anything clearly.  Not even use the night lights in the gauges ? If my hat fails ? use the night light gauge control.

Less power draw, less heat (see initial post), color options, and last longer.  Seems like enough already....  So, you would rather where a hat with lights in it than have proper working lights in your boat.  That is ridiculous.

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14 hours ago, CKSNAP said:

I switched out the bulbs in the courtesy lights with LEDs. They are 194s as I remember. Picked them up at the auto parts store for about 7 bucks each. Plug and play. Nice white light.  Also did the fixture in the head. 

I pulled the bulbs and I don't see any markings.  They look like 194s, I just want some that are a little brighter.  Trying to figure out the lumens I need out of an LED is a bit challenging.

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12 hours ago, SST said:

I'm surprised my cuddy lights [filaments] are still working since my first season in 2008. With all the Lake Erie banging around, I thought they wouldn't last. 

They are automotive bulbs, they are made to take a beating, I still have my original ones too.  Denny.

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7 hours ago, rpmurray said:

I pulled the bulbs and I don't see any markings.  They look like 194s, I just want some that are a little brighter.  Trying to figure out the lumens I need out of an LED is a bit challenging.

Yes, if they look like this , they are 194's 

The LED replacement should be brighter. Denny.

image.jpeg.33c799fdf1f5471d5bd25ecdac08a5f3.jpeg

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I have a post on Chaparral Boat Owners Forum in Facebook.  I used a company called Marinebeam.  I purchased G4s and the LED for the navigation lights.  They have USCG approved fixtures.

 

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  • 1 month later...

For dome light, you could use TH Marine LED. This product is available in two models: switchable 9 white/6 red LEDs which are great for night vision and 15 white LEDs. This product has an extremely long lifespan of up to 100,000 hours. Therefore, you will rest easy knowing that it can save a lot of time without making any replacement anytime soon.
you can see reviews of LED boat lights here

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Denny asked about dash gauges fogging up. When it’s a certain temperature outside and the lights are off, this fogging can occur. With the standard incandescent bulbs, which do give off a little heat, gauge fogging disappears when the lights are switched on. Just something to consider before changing to LED dash lighting.

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