A Permanent Mount for the Sensibulb LED Reading Light

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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, editor of Practical Sailor, grew up boating on Miami’s Biscayne Bay on everything from prams to Morgan ketches. Two years out of Emory University, after a brief stint as a sportswriter, he set out from Miami aboard a 60-year-old wooden William Atkin ketch named Tosca. For 10 years, he and writer-photographer Theresa Gibbons explored the Caribbean, crossed the Pacific, and cruised Southeast Asia aboard Tosca, working along the way as journalists and documenting their adventures for various travel and sailing publications, including Cruising World, Sail, Sailing, Cruising Helmsman, and Sailing World. Upon his return to land life, Darrell became the associate editor, then senior editor at Cruising World magazine, where he worked for five years. Before taking on the editor’s position at Practical Sailor, Darrell was the editor of Offshore magazine, a boating-lifestyle magazine serving the New England area. Darrell has won multiple awards from Boating Writer’s International, including the Monk Farnham award for editorial excellence. He holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100-ton Master license and has worked as a harbor pilot and skippered a variety of commercial charter boats.

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