Panbo

High-bright marine LED lights, from Rigid Industries

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Jan 17, 2012
Rigid_Industries_marine_LED_lights_cPanbo.jpg

Want more LED light at less cost to illuminate your deck or the water beyond? Rigid Industries may be new to the marine industry but the company claims patented optic systems that have already made it "the pioneer of forward projecting high intensity LED light bars" for uses like long-distance racing in souped-up dune buggies (on a course that may be booby-trapped). You can glimpse the unusual reflectors (for LED fixtures) in this photo from IBEX and I can tell you that even those small and relatively inexpensive "four bulb" cubes closest to the camera are blindingly bright...

While the specifications for LEDs and other lights can be quite confusing, that little M Series Dually -- essentially a three inch cube -- seems to have impressive numbers. The claim is not just an amazing 1,300 "raw lumens" using just 15 Watts of 9-36v power, but a beam distance of 1,300 feet with a Lux of 395 at about 100 feet for the spot model (as seen in the diagram for all three models below). I'd certainly like to compare a Dually on Gizmo, which may happen, but the numbers strongly suggest that it throws much more light than the Lumitec and OceanLED deck lights I installed in 2009.
  I found both those LED fixtures to be fine replacements for traditional 55 Watt halogen spreader lights, but what's now called the OceanLED Amphibian A6 Classic is only rated at 400 "fixture lumens" and the Lumitec Caprera page now includes a real world Lux output graphic that doesn't seem to hold a candle to these Dually claims:

Rigid_Dually_specs.jpg

Note too that the Dually at $120 retail costs less than the other two fixtures and it claims a longer lifespan at 50,000 hours plus. Not that any of these lights is apt to wear out during a normal boat life, or even an abnormal one, which is one of the great things about LEDs besides their low power consumption.
   And get this: Rigid already has an M-Series Dually D2 with six bulbs and double the Lumens in the same rugged cube casing for an additional $90. Instead of the original Dually's spot and hybrid flood optic configurations -- in addition to the diffuse mode that might be best for spreader light use -- the D2 has "wide" and "driving" modes. The latter particularly interests me as I've been scheming to replace the combination red/green running light mounted on Gizmo's bow pulpit (and redundant to the side lights on the flying bridge) with an LED fixture that might light up lobster traps and other hazzards when running at night. Having such a light way forward where it can't back scatter into my own night vision is important, and I think a D2 could be installed there without replacing the power feed that was somehow threaded through the pulpit, and without looking odd. Crazy idea?
   At any rate, I think that many boaters will be interested in Rigid Industries new marine line, and that the overall trend of brighter LED fixtures at less cost is wonderful. In fact, I now think that while the ideal interior marine LED fixture hasn't been developed yet, it's going to be. More on that soon.

Rigid_D2_specs.jpg

Comments

Here's a review with videos of the Dually D2 being used on ATVs: http://goo.gl/ZQl2w

I also tried to figure out how Lumens and Lux relate to the Candlepower and Candela ratings usually used for marine spot lights. Pretty confusing, but at least this is funny:

http://www.theledlight.com/lumens.html

Posted by: Ben at January 17, 2012 11:30 AM | Reply

Price is certainly improving. I replace the PAR36-sized HID lamps in my spreaders with aircraft landing light LEDS at more than double the cost suggested in your article. The lights are blindingly bright (almost as bright as the HIDs) and I can't complain about the current draw. Price is still worth grumbling about.

Posted by: Don Joyce at January 17, 2012 6:24 PM | Reply

Rigid puts Infrared LEDs in some military applications. That's good. IR is the key to seeing stuff at night if you can't pony up the price of something from FLIR. All those cheap, [possibly] marinized night cameras from places closer to the PO valley can see forever* in daylight. What's keeping us from seeing those pesky fish traps and crab trap floats at night is the puny amount of IR they can put in their built in illumination. Add external IR illumination and see 'way far away for as long as your batteries and wiring can stand it!

*Poetically speaking. Your experience will vary in proportion to your genetic poet/engineer quotient, the time of day, and blood/alcohol levels.

Posted by: Sandy Daugherty at January 18, 2012 10:45 AM | Reply

THESE ARE AWESOME LIGHTS!! MY FRIEND HAS A COMMERCIAL BOAT AND HAS HAD GREAT RESULTS WITH THESE. HE GOT THEM AT HAMILTON MARINE WHO IS NOW CARRYING THESE. MADE IN THE USA!!! NUFF SAID!

Posted by: VOYAGER at January 18, 2012 3:43 PM | Reply

Interesting idea, Sandy, but I couldn't find anything about IR LEDs on the Rigid site. But I did find some more detail on the optics:

https://www.rigidindustries.com/Articles.asp?ID=247

And also a must-see test-to-destruction video:

http://goo.gl/vL6m9

Posted by: Ben in reply to Sandy Daugherty at January 18, 2012 4:07 PM | Reply

Sandy,

You are absolutely correct, we do offer IR lights. We don't put them on our website due to the fact that they are normally a military/DHS product. The good news is they aren't regulated, just most people don't have any use for them.

We can do just about any light in 850 or 940nm, for Marine applications I would recommend 850nm. There will be a slight red glow, but about 2x the energy output. We have never tested with any cameras, but I do know with true night vision systems they work amazing! They won't help with FLIR due to FLIR being a thermal imaging, but with a night vision camera it should work out perfect.

Thanks
Steve(Rigid Industries)

Posted by: Steve Adams at January 18, 2012 4:55 PM | Reply

I've just been reading about Switch led lights that are liquid filled for cooling in a normal screw type bulb.

this tech would seem natural for a marine light..liquid filled pretty much means waterproof.

Posted by: Peter at January 18, 2012 6:50 PM | Reply

Thanks, Peter. Here's a link to Switch:

http://switchlightbulbs.com/index.html

The prices are finally getting to the point that I'm trying some LEDs around my house. I'm finding that there are still some issues with warm color temperatures (Switch looks better in that dept.) and even, wide light dispersal, but I just ordered five more of these $12 Utilitech 40 Watt equivalents from Lowes: http://goo.gl/9fUD5

Posted by: Ben in reply to Peter at January 18, 2012 7:47 PM | Reply

Posted by: norse at January 20, 2012 12:04 AM | Reply

Hi,

I just want to put a comment regarding Rigid Industries' customer service, which I have found excellent.

Following the above original Panbo entry on the Rigid lights, when I decided to replace the spreader lights on our 46ft sailboat I decided to try the Rigid lights. I bought a pair of Dually diffused marine series lights.

Unfortunately, when they arrived one of them had an internal short to ground which pulled my bench power supply to ground and meant it didn't work at all (the other worked perfectly).

I contacted Rigid by email and got a reply from their Warranty Manager, David Hobbs, within a day. After clarifying a few details for him, he told me that they would happily ship a replacement light to me in Asia, and within the week I received the light.

It was excellent customer service, and I'm very happy with the lights (I haven't mounted them yet). I'm not worried about the DOA light - such failures happen in all production lines - it's how companies deal with them that makes the difference, and Rigid responded superbly.

I think excellent customer service is always worth reporting (too often in this internet world we just hear negatives), hence the post.

Cheers,
Paul.

Posted by: Taniwha at November 18, 2012 6:01 AM | Reply

I have a 21' Carolina Skiff that I want to light up the deck on like a Christmas tree. After reading several post and forums I am still confused about what set of rigid lights to purchase. I know I want the marine series just not sure what model. My boat has a binime top and I want to pit them on the front and back of the shade. I want to light up the deck and the port and starboard sides so I can night fish. Any suggestions would be most appreciated!

Posted by: danny at October 20, 2014 11:19 PM | Reply

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