Thursday, October 04, 2007

A Plug

I know you're all breathlessly awaiting the next vacation installment, but in the meantime I've been working on the boat doing various projects.

Power usage has always been a bugaboo for me. Since I live aboard and aboard in the summer is on a mooring, I'd prefer not to have to run a generator or the engine every night. So until I got some new lighting, I was being very cautious with my use of internal lighting.

The Pearson 424 has a number of standard overhead round lights, as well as some classic vintage '70's lights made out of what looks like small Clorox® bottles. They have Edison fittings (like you have with screw-in incandescent bulbs at home) and they draw about an amp and a half each. The overhead lights only a little bit less.

So to have a cheery interior you're looking at a current draw of nearly 10 amps! That is more than the autopilot, instruments, and radar all together draw!

I've mentioned Sailor Solutions before. They have lots of neat and useful stuff for boats that you can't find elsewhere. But their big product is their Sensibulb™ , a LED light engineered to provide very nearly identical light as an incandescent at much lower temperature and 1/10th or so the current draw - which means I can light the whole boat up like a Christmas tree for just about the same current draw as one of the old bulbs.

I now wallow in light. Read for hours. I love it. You can check out what I did with the normal white LEDs on Inertia on a previous post. As pleasant as that was, this is doubly so.

The only downside is the cost: They are about $40.00 each. However, if you take into account they're rated at 10,000 hours and the wear and tear on your generator or engine they save will be paid back. Also: you don't have to purchase new bulbs every couple of years.

They provide a warm, soft, yellow light that is nearly indistinguishable from normal lighting. The Sensibulb™ plugs into a normal halogen bulb socket. Sailor's Solutions provides socket adapters for all types of sockets at a reasonable price (although the Edison ones are becoming rare). They also provide full light fixtures with dimmers (yes! they can be dimmed!)

If you're thinking of updating your interior lighting, these are the bulbs. I can't recommend them enough. You'll be happy as a clam bathing in your low current light!

See you on the water!

1 comment:

Zen said...

THanks for the tip. I came across a dealer for some LED lighting, this summer, I replaced a couple of my units. but I can still do more. I'll check out your source. Fair Winds