A Permanent Mount for the Sensibulb LED Reading Light


A Permanent Mount for the Sensibulb LED Reading Light

By Thomas Wetherbee

I have always been a big fan of brass berth lights, but have never really liked the halogen bulbs commonly used in them. The little halogen bulbs run hot, use a lot of power, and are prone to vibrating loose. When Sailor’s Solutions (www.sailorsolutions.com) introduced the Sensibulb, I quickly ordered a couple to test in our custom built boat Suzy. They worked so well that I converted all six of our berth lights.

The original Sensibulbs were nice units, but the mounting system was iffy. I elected to bypass the mounting system by removing the ceramic bulb holder and directly gluing the bulb support post to the back of the Sensibulb. It makes for a stronger mount, and it positions the Sensibulb deeper in the lamp for a more pleasing distribution of light. It also eliminates the ceramic pin socket, which is frequently a source of trouble.A Permanent Mount for the Sensibulb LED Reading Light

The new Sensibulbs have an improved mounting system, but I still prefer gluing them directly to the fixture. If you want to do this, the process is simple. Just follow these steps:

1)       Remove the bulb support post from the inside of the lamp fixture by unscrewing the knob at the top of the lamp.

2)       Remove the two small screws attaching the ceramic bulb holder. Remove and discard the ceramic bulb holder.

3)       Use alcohol to clean the end of the support post and the cooling fins on the back of the Sensibulb. This will remove any oil that might interfere with the epoxy.

4)       Hold the bulb support post upright in a vice or clamp and drop a glob of epoxy into each screw hole and onto the top of the support post. Center the Sensibulb on the support post, fin side down, allowing the epoxy to stick to the cooling fins.

5)       Once cured, reassemble the Sensibulb and support post into the lamp fixture

Darrell Nicholson
Practical Sailor has been independently testing and reporting on sailboats and sailing gear for more than 50 years. Supported entirely by subscribers, Practical Sailor accepts no advertising. Its independent tests are carried out by experienced sailors and marine industry professionals dedicated to providing objective evaluation and reporting about boats, gear, and the skills required to cross oceans. Practical Sailor is edited by Darrell Nicholson, a long-time liveaboard sailor and trans-Pacific cruiser who has been director of Belvoir Media Group's marine division since 2005. He holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100-ton Master license, has logged tens of thousands of miles in three oceans, and has skippered everything from pilot boats to day charter cats. His weekly blog Inside Practical Sailor offers an inside look at current research and gear tests at Practical Sailor, while his award-winning column,"Rhumb Lines," tracks boating trends and reflects upon the sailing life. He sails a Sparkman & Stephens-designed Yankee 30 out of St. Petersburg, Florida. You can reach him at darrellnicholson.com.