Monday, August 10, 2009

Low energy LED bulbs for a Narrowboat

I have spent the last 3 weeks living on board Sirius, it's the first time I've really lived on board for any really length of time, and I am really enjoying it. What I have found is that by living on board, a lot of the little things that don't really matter if you are only using the narrowboat occassionally at weekends, suddenly become more important.

Like for example the amount of electricity that everything uses, when you are moored in one place for a week, it's not great to have to run the engine for 3-4 hours to charge the batteries, so the more economical you can be, obviously the longer the batteries will last.

The first thing I have started to do is re-wire the entire boat, for whatever reason (lack of electrical knowledge) the previous owners have used wire that is far to thin, which results in a large voltage drop, i.e. in my boat instead of having 12v+ at the headlamp, I had closer to 8.5v, which as you can imagine results in a very dim headlight!

After re-wiring the main runs of cabling, the next task will be to replace the current bulbs (which are all approximately 10-20w bulbs) with low power LED equivalent bulbs which draw about 1-3 watts, a huge saving!

The following site looks like a good supplier, if anyone knows of any others please let me know: Ultra LED Online


Paul Sims said...

Chris. Just stumbled accross your blog from Google and found it very informative. I'm currently fitting out a new shell for live aboard purposes, aiming to be in permanently before the new year. One useful source of all things LED I found is 12v stuff (inc. LED bulbs) is also available at Best of luck!

homewatt said...

Reading about your post I came across. You can get hold of LED Bulbs from

Anonymous said...

Chris, I just found your blog as I was looking for LEDs myself. I have really looked into this and the best deals I found - depending of course on what you are looking for - is
Their range of products is not that wide, but what they have is really good quality.
Best of luck, Joe

SimoninEaston said...

You tantalisingly refer to wire that's 'far too thin' - what did you replace it with? I vaguely remember that wire is quoted as having a cross section of 'something-something mm squared'... what did you use?