Changing running lights and courtesy lights to LED on PDQ 32

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Phenix
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Changing running lights and courtesy lights to LED on PDQ 32

Postby Phenix » Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:10 pm

I have PDQ 32 hull #7. Time to change out the stern running light (pictured below) and also maybe the courtesy lights. I'd like to convert them to LED *without* any cutting!

Picture of stern light is here, I think it is this one but not 100% sure: http://a.co/euVIXu0
running-light.jpg


As for the courtesy lights, I think they are something like this pic
courtesy.jpg
courtesy.jpg (11.77 KiB) Viewed 1091 times


And finally, while I'm at it, how about the red/green combo light at the bow. I think I remember seeing something about this one not being as straightforward, because of the way the red/green lens on the original fixture lets out the light ... I think LED didn't come through as the proper shade of green (it is more blue-ish). Has anyone made this LED with minimal effort?

Has anyone changed these out for LED without any cutting, drilling, etc? if so, I'd love to hear what the replacement parts are?

Thanks.
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Re: Changing running lights and courtesy lights to LED on PDQ 32

Postby Jwood1 » Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:32 pm

Virtually all of these bulbs can be replaced with LED's. Just take out the bulb and measure carefully and order the LED equivalent. No need to change out the fixture. This is a good source of LED bulbs:
http://www.doctorled.com/p2.htm
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Re: Changing running lights and courtesy lights to LED on PDQ 32

Postby thinwater » Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:04 pm

^^ What he said. West Marine charges stupid prices for LEDs. I replaced ALL of the lights on my F-24 through Amazon (Dr. LED and others) for less than the cost of one bulb at WM.

Clean the ends and use a dab of waterproof grease. Bed the cover with butyl tape.

The fluorescent fixtures in the cabin are pretty efficient, but the cockpit light (we used it as an anchor light) and all of the incandescents should go. I never got around to it on Shoal Survivor, but I should have.
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Re: Changing running lights and courtesy lights to LED on PDQ 32

Postby Iriemon » Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:21 pm

I just did this upgrade on my 32.

I originally purchase this for the aft light: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00I0 ... UTF8&psc=1

Then I decided to add a second stern light on the port side of the transom, because with a dinghy up on the lift, it blocks almost half the arc of visibility of the starboard aft light. My original purchase was out of stock, so I bought this. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XK ... UTF8&psc=1

Both looked well made with a good rubber gasket. They were the same size and shape as the original, and it was an simple direct replacement for the starboard side with no modification required. Obviously for the port side I had to drill holes and route a wire.

I can't speak to longevity of these units, but after six month, both going strong. They are not identical, but they have very similar brightness, and both are much brighter than the original.

So I would recommend either of these units for an aft nav light replacement.

The bow light was a different story.

I bought this unit: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00I0 ... UTF8&psc=1

The good news is that it is the same size as the original and the mounting holes are the same. It is also nice and bright, though one reviewer noted they don't give good visibility from the beam (I haven't noticed that, but haven't specifically checked).

However, unlike the old incandescent light with the same appearance that it replaced, the front cover (i.e. the curved piece with the lenses that screws into the mounting plate) this LED is not a one piece single unit. When I was examining it, it fell apart into about 8-9 separate pieces, that was like a chinese puzzle to put back together. Worse, these pieces are not waterproofed with with a rubber gasket. There are also open holes in the mounting plate. I'm guessing that after the first salt water wave over the bow, this unit would would turn into rusted junk within a day. To prevent that, I took the front cover apart and reassembled it with silicone sealant, which I also used to cover the back holes. Hopefully that will give it a chance.

As others noted, whereas the old versions had screw terminals for the wires inside the unit, this unit has pre-soldered wires that extend out from the back of the unit. Not a big deal if you have room to connect with butts (which you should seal with heat shrink tubing to liquid tape or the like). For me it was a big problem because the hole (tube) in the boat's mounting plate was too small to fit wire butts I used.

So what should have been a 10 minute job took me several hours of unnecessary fussing.

I've had it on for about six months as well and it is working fine, though I have not taking it out on the ocean and it hasn't been dunked with a salt water wave, so I'm still skeptical about its long term viability.

[Update 3/7/18: Well that didn't last long. Turned on the nav lights yesterday and the green side had crapped out. Hadn't even taken a wave over the bow yet. Definitely do not recommend that light.]

In hindsight, I would buy instead the brightest LED replacement bulb for existing incandescent bow light, and see how that worked first.

If you do decide the try the LED light I purchased, I'd recommend sealing the lens with silicone, and get these smaller butts that should fit through the existing wire tube on the bow light frame: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01F9 ... UTF8&psc=1 The existing wire is much lower gauge (i.e. thicker) than you need with these low power using LEDs.

Good luck!
Last edited by Iriemon on Wed Mar 07, 2018 2:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Changing running lights and courtesy lights to LED on PDQ 32

Postby Iriemon » Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:00 pm

LED cockpit lights:

White: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01JA ... UTF8&psc=1
Red: https://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinf ... 2396/4561/

Both are sealed LEDs. The white are very bright, significantly brighter the the incandescent. The red is perfect brightness for night vision.
Last edited by Iriemon on Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Changing running lights and courtesy lights to LED on PDQ 32

Postby Iriemon » Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:02 pm

LED Reading lights in cabins:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XP ... UTF8&psc=1

A little brighter than the stock halogens (but much cooler and lower power draw), and they have a frame "lip" around the leds so that one person can read without the glare hitting the other person who wants to sleep.

PS: The brackets that come with these lights fit the screw holes for the stock halogen lights. I did not have to drill new mounting holes.
Last edited by Iriemon on Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Changing running lights and courtesy lights to LED on PDQ 32

Postby Iriemon » Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:28 pm

Speaking of LED lights, these interior motion sensor lights are really cool:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XQ ... UTF8&psc=1

At $20 for two they're cheap. They recharge with standard usb connections. They have a built in motion sensor (as well as standard "on" switch) that will turn the lights on for about 15 seconds (or longer if motion continues to be detected). There is a stick on metal plate and the light has built in magnets that hold it to the plate.

They are perfect for the aft cabins. I put them on the bulkhead facing the cabinet. They turn on when you walk in. If you're going to bed, they stay on until you get into bed and turn on the reading light, and will go on if you need to get up in the middle of the night (i.e. the anchor alarm blues). No more fumbling in the dark.

I'm going to get another set for use in the bathroom, though I cannot attest to their longevity in a moist environment.

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Re: Changing running lights and courtesy lights to LED on PDQ 32

Postby Jwood1 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:49 pm

These lights sound perfect. I just ordered a set. Thanks for the tip!
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1997 PDQ 32 LRC #26
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Re: Changing running lights and courtesy lights to LED on PDQ 32

Postby Phenix » Mon Feb 26, 2018 11:51 pm

Thanks guys, really good info posted here!
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Re: Changing running lights and courtesy lights to LED on PDQ 32

Postby Phenix » Thu Mar 08, 2018 5:45 pm

Iriemon wrote:LED Reading lights in cabins:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XP ... UTF8&psc=1

A little brighter than the stock halogens (but much cooler and lower power draw), and they have a frame "lip" around the leds so that one person can read without the glare hitting the other person who wants to sleep.

PS: The brackets that come with these lights fit the screw holes for the stock halogen lights. I did not have to drill new mounting holes.

Here is the picture of the exiting lights I have in the cabin. Is this the same light on your boat that you replaced, with the same screw holes? Thanks.

15205452719461.jpg
15205452082370.jpg
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Re: Changing running lights and courtesy lights to LED on PDQ 32

Postby Iriemon » Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:11 pm

Here is the picture of the exiting lights I have in the cabin. Is this the same light on your boat that you replaced, with the same screw holes? Thanks.

15205452719461.jpg

15205452082370.jpg



Yes, those are the same halogen lights I replaced, and the base support for the LED model lights I linked to fit without the need to drill new holes.

I don't have lights in the positions indicated in your photos, just two on each bulkhead at the head (i.e towards the centerline) of the berths. On my boat, there is a light just at the entrance of each stateroom, at the ceiling. And then the two reading lights on the head of the berths. Hence the value in the motion detector light.

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Re: Changing running lights and courtesy lights to LED on PDQ 32

Postby Iriemon » Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:32 pm

Following up on my earlier post, I trash canned the LED bow light, and purchased and installed an Aqua Signal bow nav light. I installed this LED festoon bulb in it: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B8 ... UTF8&psc=1 (HQRP 360 deg 41mm Festoon). It was $10 including shipping. It is quite bright, brighter than the standard incandescent, though the green side shows the light a little brighter than the red. Perhaps it has something to do with the "coolness" of the bulb.

It was a little shorter than the standard bulb, but still fit fine. This bulb is not sealed. I can't speak for its longevity. I'll report my experiences.

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Re: Changing running lights and courtesy lights to LED on PDQ 32

Postby thinwater » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:06 pm

I switched all of the festoon cabin lights in my new boat to LEDs by Yitamotors (Amazon, about $1 each). Quite cheap and I like the daylight color better.

Look up the lumen equivalence for a good match; I intentionally went up 25% in brightness because I knew they would run cooler and would still be very, very low draw. The cabin is that much brighter. I should have swapped all the cabin lights on the PDQ years ago. It wasn't until faced with a single group 24 battery and only 50W solar that draw seemed so important.
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