Author Topic: New LED bulbs draining batteries (help)  (Read 157 times)

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Offline lastgreatgeneration

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New LED bulbs draining batteries (help)
« on: November 22, 2017, 04:28:33 PM »
So I bought a handful of LED bulbs off of amazon. They had good reviews and sell well, most people use them for taillights. They draw 4.5 watts. They are the standard that would fit into an old Chevy pickup.

After I installed them I noticed several strange things going on.

Can not run both incandescent and led at the same time (LED dims)

Last several days battery's have dropped from 12.5 to around 10 volts

New led bulbs were very bright at first but now are very dim when switched on

What gives? I'm pretty good with electrical stuff but this problem baffles me. Even before when I used the incandescently regularly the 100 watt usually kept the batteries topped off. Now that I am thinking about it the only thing I can think of is the two terminals are too close together and grounding out or rather burning itself to bits. However I have not had any breakers trip.

Any ideas?

Thanks,
Dan

I now have a cannon, pirates ye be warned! Also a pirate sword!

Offline Norman

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Re: New LED bulbs draining batteries (help)
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2017, 08:01:05 PM »
Dan, more information is needed.

The 100 watt is a battery charger?  Solar?

Do you now have the same number of bulbs in service, or did you increase the number?

LEDs are very voltage sensitive, and when you increase the load by switching on the incandescent too, the voltage drops a little, and the LEDs dim some.  This should not be much if your wiring has good connections and is adequate size.

How long have you been using the LEDs?  The terminals should not be leaking across unless they have been exposed to a corrosive atmosphere for many months.

I would suspect that something other than the LEDs are draining the battery.  If you have a suitable ammeter, put it in the lead from the battery, with everything turned off, then turn on one device at a time, and record the actual amp draw of each. 

If any one of the switches produces more amps than expected, trace down the problem.

High current devices may be beyond the rating of the ammeter, so be careful, and do not exceed its rating.

Let us know how the investigation goes, and any new information, so we can further theorize on what is happening.

Norman

Offline CharlieJ

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Re: New LED bulbs draining batteries (help)
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2017, 10:10:33 PM »
ditto
Charlie J
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On Matagorda Bay
On the Redneck Riviera

Offline lastgreatgeneration

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Re: New LED bulbs draining batteries (help)
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2017, 10:39:13 PM »
Thanks for the information. I have purchased 4 led bulbs, 2 in operation at once. I never had any problem with running the incandescents before. The panel is a 100 watt that usually keeps the batteries topped off. I'm on vacation and I switched off the main. I'll go back to the boat tomorrow and see where the batteries are at.

I installed the LED bulbs about a week ago and have been using them since. Like I said when I installed them at first they were very very bright and then they noticeably dimmed with a few days of use and this is all when the voltage on the batteries dropped very low. I have a decent multimeter I will have to do some more investigating. Is there any way to test the led bulbs? Could be a faulty bulb. Maybe I will try to rotate some of the bulbs and see if I get the same results,
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Offline s/v Faith

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Re: New LED bulbs draining batteries (help)
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2017, 01:57:30 PM »
The thing I see that is the clue is that they are automotive tail light replacemtbs. While it seems like a bulb is a bulb, tail lights are different. For a normal cars flasher to work, it requires a higher current flow (flasher works by drawing a current across a bi-metallic strip that heats, opens, then cools and closes....  that is why when you have a burned out bulb it flashes twice as fast)....  a led bulb does not draw enough to operate the flasher. these bulbs use a resistor to intentiallly draw more current.

  Return the bulbs, find replacements that you can ensure won't be designed to mount in an automotive application... 
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Offline misfits

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Re: New LED bulbs draining batteries (help)
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2017, 04:25:52 PM »
The thing I see that is the clue is that they are automotive tail light replacemtbs. While it seems like a bulb is a bulb, tail lights are different.

Ya know that thought crossed my mind when I first saw Dan's post so maybe you're on to something.  Battery voltage @ 10? Those batteries are cooked. Hard saying if they'll ever recover. Also if you use voltage as an indication of soc, they need to rest with no draw on them for at least 24 hours,  maybe longer.  At 11.5 volts my trojan's are only at 10% soc...
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Offline lastgreatgeneration

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Re: New LED bulbs draining batteries (help)
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2017, 09:09:41 PM »
Thanks so much for the insightful replies. I'm returning them and starting over. Any reccomendations for marine led bulbs? I have bought a few things from marinebeam and have been satisfied. However they wanted $18 for one bulb. I found these off Amazon 2pack for $13. I'm sending them back.

Dan
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Offline Cyric30

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Re: New LED bulbs draining batteries (help)
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2017, 10:18:25 PM »
If your looking for a 12v LED bulb for lighting, you might check out some RV LEDs. i will leave the discussion of Marine vs RV to those who know much more than i.

Ive used this web site to look up bulbs in the past as a reference when looking for solar cabin lights, But i have not purchased anything from them.

https://www.superbrightleds.com/cat/rv-led-lights/