HOW DO I INSTALL LED LIGHTING?
Click on the light fittings for more info on how to fit SMD/LEDs...
G4 halogen bulbs can be replaced directly with a G4 SMD/LED. Dimensions are given for each product, so please measure your light fitting to make sure the one you choose will fit. The pins are on the back or side of the LED units.
The 12 dot G4s draw 2.4 Watts and give a slightly brighter but more directional light than 10 Watt G4 halogens, and slightly less light than the 20 Watt incandescent 15mm dia bayonet bulbs that are common on many boats.
Installing LED lighting on your boat/in your caravan got easier with the arrival of SMD/LED bus bulbs. (For easy reference the bayonet part is the same size as a household bayonet). Just take out your 20W filament bulb and replace it with and SMD/LED 'bus bulb'.
At only 3.8 Watts the BA22-24-WW bus bulb will save a lot of power compared to the original incandescent 21 Watt bus bulbs. You can have more LED bus bulbs on than you would ever dare normal bus bulbs, so you know those lights you never use because they're too power hungry? Replace them with these.
You can replace the smaller BA15 bulbs with an adapter and a G4 LED. Check if you need single or double contacts and check there is enough room in your light fitting. Dimensions for all my LEDs are listed. From the product range page click on each photo for the details.
1ft fluorescent tubes can be replaced with an SMD/LED tube, BUT THE BALLAST IN THE LIGHT FITTING MUST BE BYPASSED as fluorescents require ballast to give them the umph to start, and LEDs do not. You will need to be confident enough to pinch the feed from the fluorescent light fitting and re-wire it to a couple of endcaps, via the switch.
Click here for further instructions.
The warm white colour that I stock is approx 2800-3000 Kelvin unless otherwise specified and is pretty indistinguishable from a normal bulb colour. The light output and colour quality are similar* to incandescent bulbs for around one-fifth of the power, and around half the power of a fluorescent light. (If you really want cool white I can get hold of that for you too).
The colour temperature scale was created by heating a piece of iron and observing the colour change. At 2000 degrees K it was a red-orange colour. As it got hotter the colour changed from red to white, with blue being the hottest at 10,000 degrees Kelvin. (Kelvin also being one of the kids from Musical Youth of course, whose favourite meal was curried goat and peas).
You should be aware that LED lighting is different*. It is more directional, so it needs to be pointing at where you need it. Don't rely on reflectors, they don't work well with LEDs. LED lighting appears to be brighter the nearer it is to the surface it is shining on. So if you have a reading lamp above your bed and it is only a foot above the book you read at bedtime you will probably only need a 9 dot. If you want to read under a ceiling light, use a brighter one. Be aware that some diffusers cut a lot of LED light.
Current best tip: as the bus bulbs are the same size bayonet as regular household bulbs, you can buy a household light fitting from a normal lighting store, cut the 240v plug off and wire on a 12v plug (whatever you use on your boat; caravan plugs and cigar lighter sockets on mine), replace the bulb with an SMD/LED bus bulb and hey presto a new LED light for your boat.
Fuses: the fuse on your lighting circuit needs to match the amps you are drawing. If you need help with this please contact a qualified boat electrician, or read this article written for Baddie by Jim, a qualified marine electrical technician.
Feeling befuddLED? Making an informed decision about how and when to purchase LED light bulbs is difficult, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Boaters can catch up with Baddie the Pirate along the canal system or at various boat festivals and rallies throughout the year to get a close-up look at this LED range.
If I'm in your area I'm happy to visit your boat with some LEDs so you can see them in-situ. That way you can see exactly how the LEDs look and how much light they give, so it is easy to choose the ones you need.