Upgrading to LED Lights

Hatteras PowerLED Recessed SS Flood Light from ImtraLED lights have come a very long way over the last five years – with vast improvements in the quality of the lighting AND the quality of the manufacturing process.  Following, we explore how they are made, how to upgrade and several reasons why your boat will benefit by upgrading to LED lighting.

What is an LED anyway?

LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) operate by using a semiconductor light source (known as a P-N junction) that only allows current to flow in one direction.  When the current flows, it produces energy in the form of photons – called electroluminescence (aka light!).  Because there are no moving parts or fragile metal filaments, LED lights are not nearly as susceptible to vibration or shock, making them last significantly longer.

Bayonet BA15D LED Spot Light Bulb from LunaSeaOver the past few years, LEDs have gotten bigger and are now commonly used in clusters – often in conjunction with lenses to reflect or diffract light, allowing them to put off considerably more light than early LEDs. The color of interior lights has also been vastly improved.  Gone are the days of having to sacrifice the warm glow we long for in exchange for icy white light, all in the name of fewer amps burned.  

Manufacturers now produce a wide variety of warm and cool white lights to suit the needs of almost any interior lighting application – just check out some of the options from our vendors – including Imtra, Lumitec, Lunasea, or Sea-Dog, just to name a few.  And it’s not just interior lights that are available as LEDs – now you can upgrade your deck lights, trailer lights, underwater lights and more!

But why should I switch?

LED Dome Light from Sea-DogWhile switching to LED may seem like an unnecessary expense – here’s some reasons why you should:

  • LED lights outlast incandescent bulbs – potentially by up to 10 years!  
  • There are no moving parts or fragile filaments to break.
  • They are highly tolerant to vibration and shock – a common occurrence on boats.
  • They don’t burn hot, so can be left on for hours with no problem.
  • They are mercury free, so better for the environment.
  • They activate immediately – providing an extra measure of safety for trailer lights.
  • They start to dim when they need to be replaced – much better than sudden darkness!
  • They provide brighter light than older style bulbs.
  • Most importantly, LED lights burn up to 90% LESS power – allowing you to run plenty of lights at night without drawing down your batteries.

How do I convert my current interior fixtures to LED?

While there are now a huge variety of interior LED light fixtures available, why replace the whole fixture if you can just replace the bulb?  Fisheries Supply offers the following wide variety of replacement LED bulbs:

  • LED E26 Adapter Base from LunaseaAncor, Dr. LED, Imtra and Lunasea all offer LED bulbs to match the bulbs you already use – be they bayonet, G4 pin or even festoon style, so all you do is pop in the new LED bulb.  
  • If you need to convert a G4 or an MR16 bi-pin bulb into an E26 (screw-in style) base – you can use this converter.
  • If you need to convert a G4 or an MR16 bi-pin bulb into a single contact bayonet style base – you can use this converter.

LED Navigation Lights from Lopo LightCan I convert my navigation lights too?

Of course you can!  You have two options here – either replace the entire fixture with a new LED navigation light or just replace the bulb in your current navigation light.  If you choose to replace the bulb – Dr. LED, Imtra and Lunasea offer options for most of the popular navigation lights currently in use.  The bulbs we offer are shown here and are labeled with “Nav Bulb” in the description.

So if you are tired of worrying about how much power your old fixtures are using and running out to the store several times a year to replace yet another dead bulb – the ease of upgrading to LED has never been better.  

We hope you’ve found this Navigator on LED lighting helpful, but if you have further questions or need additional help finding the right option for your boat – please don’t hesitate to contact our product experts at (800) 426-6930.


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