Wednesday, August 19, 2015

LED Light Upgrade Project

It seems that converting your interior lights from incandescent to LED is becoming a popular project, and why not? Here, Rick and DAR of m/v September Dream show us theirs...
Now that the boat is back in the water, it's time to start taking care of some projects that I've wanted to do for a while now.  The first project is an upgrade of the interior lights to LED.

I'm finally getting around to completing the conversion of our interior lights from incadescent bulbs to LED bulbs.  Of course, this would have been a great project to have completed before we left for the trip, when saving amps would have been useful.  Oh well, better late than never... :-)

The first task was to source the replacement bulbs.  Primarily I just use google as my main research tool, but the Dr LED site ( is a great site with a lot of information on LED lamp replacement.

Most of the lighting (two double light fixtures in the salon, one double in the galley and two singles in the head) on the boat use a bulb with a model number of 1141 and a base of ba15s.  I found a number of different LED bulbs that would work as a replacement for the 1141 bulbs, but I chose the following from amazon;

Part of the reason I chose these bulbs was the price ($5.00 per bulb is pretty good), but also because of the colour.

When you look at LED lighing, you'll see references to 'cool', 'warm', etc.  This refers to the colour of the light given off by the bulbs.  Here's a good link that illustrates this;

We previously had two LED bulbs in the salon, one in each light fixture, so we were able to run low current with our lights.  These bulbs were quite blue though ('cool' white colour according to the colour temperature) and we didn't find they did that good a job providing usable lighting.  I decided to change to 'warm' white colour for the replacements.

The new bulbs in one of the salon fixtures

A nice 'warm' white colour

After replacing all the bulbs it was time to do a current usage test to see just how much of a difference LED lights can make.

Everything turned off

Current usage of the incandescent bulb

Current usage of the LED bulb

As you can see, the LED bulbs are a great deal more efficient than the incandescent.

I still have a couple other lights to replace the bulbs in.  We have two reading lights in the stateroom, and a couple side lamps on either side of the couch in the salon.  They have a different bulb, with a screw in base known as an Edison E26 or E27.  I've yet to pick a replacement LED bulb for these yet, but now that I see the other LED bulbs I picked up I have a reference for what the colour looks like.

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