Benefits of LED Bulbs
LED technology is in every aspects of our lives from TVs and monitors to lighting. We are using this technology because it is efficient and efficiency is a prime factor in marine industry. It doesn't matter what kind of vessel you have, you will be needing low power draw, low voltage and durable lighting products to use for navigation lighting and lighting your living space like your cabins and deck. Here are the benefits of using LED products for lighting:
LED bulbs mostly have up to 50.000 hours of life. Some producers may say 100.000, even 1.000.000 hours of life, but it’s better to say effective life of a LED bulb is almost 50.000 hours. This means 6 years of non stop working which makes a big difference when compared to 1000 hours life of an incandescent bulb or 10,000 hours of a fluorescent tube. LED bulb prices are usually higher than incandescent and halogen bulb prices. But when calculating the overall cost of the product you must include the changing frequency of the bulb, which in this case creates a big difference. With 50,000 hours of working life, you can forget about a LED bulb after you install it. Another advantage of long life is; when you change the bulbs in hard to reach locations like masthead you won't have to change it again for many years.
A typical LED bulb draws 5 times less energy than it’s incandescent or halogen equivalent and still gives the same amount of light even with a better quality. When you look at this low power draw benefit in marine environment, it means you are saving your battery power. Either you are underway or on anchor, you need to be careful about how much power you are using from your batteries or generator. A recent test involves changing the whole lighting system of 73ft luxury motor yacht from halogen lighting to LED lighting shows that LED system draws only 7 amps of power @24V but halogen system draws 62 amps of power @24V.
Simply put; LED bulbs produce more light than halogen or incandescent bulbs with the power they are drawing. A typical LED replacement bulb of 3 watts produces between 210 and 240 lumens of light depending of the color. To produce this much light you need a halogen bulb of 10 watts and above or an incandescent bulb of 20 watts and above.
An incandescent bulb converts 90% of energy to heat and a halogen bulb converts 80% to heat. Typical heat emission of an incandescent bulb is approximately 85 btu / hour and a halogen bulb's is almost 120 btu / hour and both of these are hazardous, can cause burn injuries on human skin. But an equivalent LED emittes only 3.4 btu / hour and 80% of the energy is converted to light instead of heat. Low heat is important for the life of the bulb, the fixture you are using it in and overalll environment temperature.
LED bulbs are not fragile like halogen or incandescent bulbs; they don’t need a glass or filament can be easily broken. As they have the same types as regular bulbs, this makes the installation even easier. Also they are not effected by vibration in marine environment.
Constant Drive Technology
Not all of the LED products are using this technology. But as a producer for marine industry we are using this technology in all our products to provide even a longer lifespan. In marine environment, where you run with batteries and generators, there might be energy fluctuations. With constant drive technology our LED bulbs and fixtures are not effected by voltage differences, they all work @ DC8-30V without any problem.
Here is a simple comparison of important aspects of common bulbs in marine industry
||~75 lm / watt
||~20 lm / watt
||~12 lm / watt
||9% is lost to heat
Generates 3.4 btu / hour heat
|80% is lost to heat
Generates 120 btu / hour heat (hazardous)
|90% is lost to heat
Generates 85 btu / hour heat (hazardous)
No glass, no filament
|Broken easily, quartz/glass and filament
(Oil from human fingertips, can damage the quartz envelope when it is heated)
|Broken easily, glass and filament