LED Reading Light

A word about LED lights
Whenever possible, check out the light before you buy.  LED lights are very efficient and have extreamly low power drain but they can also very in intensity from uslessly dim to very useful bright.  I have purchased both when buying sight unseen.  I've gotten some very good deals and a few lemons.  Unless you are in the mood for a gamble, I suggest you buy from a local dealer where you test before you buy or, at least, easily return if it isn't up to your standards.  Keep in mind that in some applications you may want a lower light such as courtesy lights or for in the cabin at night while under sail although for this use I would suggest a red light.
 
LED Lights are usually very light weight and easy to install.  The only caveot is that, unlike conventional incandesent lights, polarity can be an issue.  The newer style LED lights have a device on board that fixes the polarity issue.  It does not matter which why you plug the Lamp in, but be careful some LED's still have this polarity issue.  If you hook a standard LED light up backwards, it will not light.
 
Another thing to look for is the color temperature of the LED.  This is very important for navigation lamps.  You will want as pure of a white as possible for nav lights.  This will keep your colors crisp and readable and you and everyone around you safe at night.
 
My other recommendation would be to stick to wired lighting.  Yes, wired lights are more work to install and then there is the appearence of the supply wires to consider but unlike wired lights battery operated lights have batteries that can run down or leak.  And then there is the issure of battery type.  Some lights use button cell, some use AA's and still others use AAA batteries.  It's not wrong to use battery operated lights, it's just more stuff to keep track of.
 
All right, Mrs. Mumphy, stop laughing.  My wife was just looking over my should as I wrote that last paragraph.  Yes, it's true, the Christopher-Jin is pretty tricked out when it comes to gismos aboard ship!!!
 
The Reading Light
 I love to sit/lay around the Christopher-Jin and read/sleep.  So I decided it was time to add a reading light to the cabin.  In the last year I've taken to lowering the dinette table and converting the seating area into a bunk.  It's way more comfy and Mrs. Mumphy and I like to snuggle. 
 
The light I pick out is a superbright 3.1W LED Surface Mount Eyeball Light from West Marine for about $25.  They have a display that allows you to activate their lights and you can judge for yourself what you think will work for your particular needs.  This one draws 260mA which is just over a 1/4 Amp.  That's about a 1/10th of what a conventional light would draw.
 
This one will be mounted to the port side of the mast support and far enough out of the way so it does not become a head banger when the dinette is setup.  Once I decide on the final location for the lamp I'll care a small notch in the base to allow the power cable to enter.  You then open the lamp by twisting it from the base and while holding the base against the cabin roof mard the 4 hole postions with a pencle.  Next attach the two wires to a small cable that you will run from one of the battery circuita.  Finally screw down the base with 4 short stainless steel screws (not provided) and re-twist lock the lamp back together.  Wiring tips and more pictures of the installation will be coming this Spring.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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