Frequently Asked Questions
Don't LEDs have a harsh bluish light?
Early white LEDs did have a bluish tinge. Some cheap ones still do, but good modern white LEDs have a uniform color. White LEDs are available in daylight or warm tones. We use warm tone LEDs to give the same cozy effect of incandescent lighting.
I like plain old incandescent or halogen light bulbs. Why will I like your LEDs?
We use bright warm tone LEDs. Our LED modules put out a lot of light, like halogen bulbs, with the cozy warm tone of normal incandescent bulbs, all while being cooler and much more efficient.
What is color temperature, and what is the color temperature of your LEDs?
Color temperature is an indication of the color of a light source. It is usually specified as CCT, or Correlated Color Temperature, in degrees Kelvin. Our white LEDs are warm white, with a CCT of 3000K. Our night LEDs are deep red. The deep saturation of this red must be seen to be appreciated. Red filtered fluorescents look white compared to this red. The color of red LEDs is usually expressed by wavelength, which is 655nm for ours.
If LEDs are so efficient, why do they need heat sinks?
LEDs are indeed much more efficient than other forms of illumination, but even so, much of the energy used by an LED goes into making heat. While it is much less heat than an equivalent incandescent bulb, the heat in an LED is concentrated in a tiny LED chip, not radiated away like a normal hot bulb. This heat must be removed from the LED chip and safely dissipated. That is the job of the heat sink. We use highly efficient heat sinks designed to work with normal marine bunk lights. In addition, our LED modules include temperature sensors that smoothly reduce output if a module begins to overheat.
Do LEDs interfere with radios and navigation?
Ours don't, but in some cases, yes. LEDs require some sort of current control circuitry. With high power LEDs, this is often done with a switching driver that can create radio interference, acting as tiny radio transmitters. Our LED modules were designed with marine use in mind. We use low switching speeds, careful circuit layout, and filters to keep electrical noise to a minimum. All of this adds cost, which is why many cheap LED modules create a lot of electrical interference.
What is EMI, and should I be worried about it?
EMI stands for electromagnetic Interference, also called radio-frequency interference when in the radio spectrum. EMI can interfere with radio communication and electronic navigation, so yes, it is a concern. Low cost LED lighting can emit a significant amount of EMI, especially with units not specifically designed for marine or aviation use. Our LED lighting modules are carefully designed to minimize EMI by using low switching frequencies, careful circuit layout, and advanced filtering. If you are interested in technical details, you might enjoy our LED driver tutorial.
Why are red lights used at night?
To protect night vision. Red light allows for illumination without destroying night vision. Why? Evolution and physiology. Your eyes contain two types of light detectors: rods and cones. The rods detect black and white, but not color. Rods are very sensitive to light and motion. They become even more sensitive in the dark, in a process we call night vision. It takes time for your eyes to adjust to the dark, and any exposure to light resets this adjustment. However, and this is the cool part, our rods are not sensitive to red light. We lost this ability back when our ancestors were nocturnal tree dwellers. This means we can use red light to see at night without undoing our night vision; perfect for a quick look at a chart or grabbing a sandwich. Our deep red LEDs are perfect for this, as they emit a very pure red light.