LED rope light is the only choice for yachts. Lower energy consumption, longer lifespan and very low heat. In the past, LED rope light has gotten a bad rap, here’s why.
1) If you want the same color (color temperature) as traditional incandescent rope light, make sure you order “warm white” not “cool white”
2) This is important, there are two ways LED rope light is made. First, let’s start with the most common and cheap ( THE WRONG STUFF). This stuff has the LED’s at a 90 degree angle to the rope and this causes problems if projecting beams of light. You will either drive yourself crazy trying to twist the rope so that all of the LED’s are projecting in the same direction, or just end up with an uneven glow.
The proper LED rope lighting for our purpose is hard to find and it’s even harder to find in 12 or 24VDC. In the photo below you can see the LED’s shoot this light along the rope, which casts an even glow around the rope.
After about 6 years of use on our 2003 Marlow yacht, all of our rope lighting is due for replacement. In the photo, you can see the plastic is actually burnt and the wiring is dripping with green rust slime. Compounding the problem, the power source is 110VAC which makes it a real fire risk.
The burning color is simply due to the age of the rope light and I’m sure today’s plastic is better suited for this application; yielding a longer and safer lifespan.
Green slime? Yes! The dripping green slime is because of the high humidity in the marine environment. Many boats have problems with accelerated corrosion in the ship’s electrical system, which is mainly attributed to poor grounding.