Monday, March 11, 2013

Switching to LED Lights Without Breaking the Bank

Phoenix came equipped with older Aqua Signal Series 41 navigation lights (port, starboard, stern, steaming, anchor and tricolor). Bill cleaned up and/or replaced the wiring for each light, and we were really surprised to see the amp draw each light consumed when underway!

Despite our 940 amp hour battery bank, we like to keep power draw to a minimum so we decided to replace all of the incandescent bulbs with LEDs.

Regardless of age, all of the Aqua Signal Series 41 lights use the same BAY15d bayonet base bulbs. Dr. LED and other marine outfitters sell replacement LEDs for upwards of $40+ each. The rationale for the high price is that many of these bulbs claim to contain built in regulators, providing the bulb with a constant current and extending the overall life of the bulb.

Yet if you really look at these bulbs, they are essentially brake light bulbs that are available through many non-marine vendors. After a little research we found these LED bulbs at We opted for warm white rather than the cool (bluish) white option, but either bulb provides plenty of lumens (250-306) and is very bright.

Not only was the price right, but the people at EverSale had excellent customer service! Shipping was cheap and timely, and their staff was more than helpful. We originally purchased the BAY15d (offset pins), which is recommended for Aqua Signal lights and sold as the replacement through competitors. However, when we received the bulbs, none of them worked. After speaking with the staff at EverSale, we learned that the current flow was directional and backwards for our Aqua Signal lights, so we needed the BA15d instead.

Note the pin difference between the BAY15D AND THE BA15D

They immediately sent us the correct bulbs free of charge, along with a postage-paid return shipping label to return the original bulbs. The new bulbs did the trick. Now with the anchor light on, it barely moves the needle on our amp meter, and we may draw 3 amps when we have the running lights on.

I can't guarantee that these bulbs have an internal regulator, but at this price, we figure we could replace each bulb 8 or 9 times and before equaling the price of one "marine" LED bulb! If you are in the market for new LED bulbs, we highly recommend you check out They have a great selection, great prices, and we were really impressed with how much they care about their customers; very refreshing in this day and age!


  1. Hi Bill, Very nice post and research and yeah i do agree with you if we replace a single bulb so each bulb 8 to 10 times price difference.

  2. Great post...thanks for sharing it.

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  4. As LEDs are cost effective & usefully. So, it would be a wise idea to replace other bulbs with LED lights.


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