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Does anyone know if the LED replacement bulbs (festoon style) are legal for navigation lights? I am looking at replacing my masthead/anchor light bulbs with some of these and can find little info.
Anyone used these replacemnt bulbs and how do they compare brightness wise? Thanks
06-04-2007, 02:50 PM
I thought about doing the same when I had a boat that used festoon red/green lights.
The biggest problem is that LEDs are directional. Standard bulbs are not. So you have to find LED replacement bulbs that produce light all around for the white light and for the navigation lights.
I did find a company that makes LED replacements for red/green festoon bulbs. These are made to produce light in the same arc as the light housing. They are very bright. But they are also large and may or may not fit in your lights.
For just the masthead, it may be easier to just buy a new LED light that is designed as a LED. It will be USCG approved and not give you any problems.
I really wanted to replace my bulbs with LEDs just because the red/greens on my boat are a major PITA to get to. The boat uses those "shark eye" side lights and you can not replace the bulb from inside the boat. I tried. Can't be done. The bulb does not remove from the back, and even if it did I can not reach it anyway. I have to unscrew the housing from the outside, then remove two more screws that make the bulb area "water tight", then replace the bulb, then put everything back together. This is not an "in the water" operation here.
I found some all around bulbs, but I think they are too long to fit in the housing, So I will replace both bulbs yearly even if they still work.
My anchor light / all around white is already LED. I bought it at a boat flea market.