LED Nav Lights for Small Boats.

The price of LED nav lights drops.

They are now well worth the cost of conversion for the small boater.

Save on battery power with these energy efficient light-emitting diode navigation lights for your boat.

When I fitted the navigation lights to Mignonne I would have preferred to fit LEDs but at the time they were scarce and very expensive.

Conversion is now well towards the top of my ‘to do list’.

The price has since then dropped quite dramatically in real terms and the choice and availability has increased.

For anyone who does much night sailing it is worth considering the extra expense for the savings on power consumption.

And it is certainly worth considering buying a LED anchor light.

Just in case you lose electric power, a light fails, your mast falls down or whatever because shit does happen have a set of battery operated LED navigation lights aboard.


For any boat that is used at night even if it is only occasionally conserving battery power becomes a necessity.

Even just running a few cabin lights plus an anchor light can seriously deplete the reserves in your boat’s batteries.

And although LED boat light fittings are more expensive the cost is more than off set by the savings in battery power and they will out last conventional filament bulbs.

As well as being about 8 to 10 times more efficient, they are also more resistant to vibration and impact than incandescent lamps.

Other power saving features such as day light sensing and automatic shut off can be built into them, handy for anchor lights as well as led nav lights .

The initial problem of producing leds with a light color similar to that produced by filament bulbs has been more or less solved.

So, now led lights for interior light fixtures can be purchased in warm white and cool white.

While the cool white is brighter and good for outside boat lighting, a warmer white is much more pleasant for interiors.

Conversion to Led Nav Lights

Up the Mast Cartoon

While replacing all your boat lights might not be considered, it is now possible to replace just the bulbs.

LED bulbs now becoming available for many different types of socket, so you can easily replace almost all your boat’s filament bulbs.

However you might want to consider replacing the masthead lights if you have a sailboat.

A masthead LED will be much less likely to fail than a filament bulb so reducing the frequency of having to climb up there to replace bulbs.

While they can be wired and fused in the same way as other electrical fittings led nav lights are polarity sensitive, which could result in the whole light, rather than just the bulb blowing should water get in.

LEDs are like a normal diode in that they conduct power in one direction so will light up only when the power is of the correct polarity and can be damaged if connected the wrong way.

Replacement LED bulbs for use with conventional navigation light fitting must be of the proper emitted light frequency.

Many white light LEDs emit a narrow spectrum of light made up of relatively few colors, which will be absorbed at differing rates by colored filters.

Using the wrong type could result in making the light less visible and possibly altering the appearance of the color.

As with any electrical equipment, led lights must be protected against the corrosive nature of the marine environment.

Beware of some cheaper led nav lights as they may not conform to the approved standards.

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