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Recommend Me a Tunnel Light


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One that produces a diffuse flat , rather than pencil, beam.  Not too bright. 

Generally you have to sort out your own mounting.

 

Tunnel lights that dazzle the oncoming steerer are  all too common and a bloody nuisance too.  The LED ones are worst.  Lots of examples on ebay/ Amazon.  Repurposed searchlights are nearly as bad.   An old  style car fog lamp with tungsten lamp, mounted pointing up is a Good solution and does not dazzle.

 

N

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Please avoid the LED stage blinders sold as tunnel lights, they live up to their festival and theatre name they blind the guy coming towards you, you will see him cover his eyes, slow down probably bounce off the wall before he hits you because he cannot see you. LED lights also emit more blue / UV light which like sunlight destroys night vision. As the engine is running and your alternator is probably only lightly loaded a good old fashioned halogen fog lamp is perfect. Aim the beam to the right and up, then you  steer to keep the horseshoe of light in the centre of the roof. Tunnels are dark places so even a small light makes things visible if you want to see the brickwork etc then a bright light at the stern, which you can switch off when a boat approaches, will give you a good view.

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1 hour ago, Detling said:

Please avoid the LED stage blinders sold as tunnel lights, they live up to their festival and theatre name they blind the guy coming towards you, you will see him cover his eyes, slow down probably bounce off the wall before he hits you because he cannot see you. LED lights also emit more blue / UV light which like sunlight destroys night vision. As the engine is running and your alternator is probably only lightly loaded a good old fashioned halogen fog lamp is perfect. Aim the beam to the right and up, then you  steer to keep the horseshoe of light in the centre of the roof. Tunnels are dark places so even a small light makes things visible if you want to see the brickwork etc then a bright light at the stern, which you can switch off when a boat approaches, will give you a good view.

If you can find a good old halogen accessory fog lamp (Cibie, Marechal, Lucas, Hella etc) these have a wide flat-topped beam which is diffused downwards, but beware that many so-called "fog lights" sold today don't do this. Depending on what you want to see lit up you then have two choices:

 

1. Mount normal way up with beam cutoff at top, point slightly downwards. Doesn't blind oncoming steerer, lights up water and bottom of tunnel walls, tunnel roof is dark.

2. Mount upside down with beam cutoff at bottom, point slightly upwards. Doesn't blind oncoming steerer, lights up roof of tunnel, water and tunnel walls are dark.

 

Or you could go bonkers and install both, so everything is lit up except a dark band at oncoming-steerer-head-height. Most people would say this is complete overkill even if you spend part of every day in tunnels... 😉

Edited by IanD
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I'm with Ray here, all you need is a low power lamp, the one on Helvetia was a 1930's Lucas King of the Road fog lamp bought in a boot sale for a fiver.  Originally a 6volt unit, I modified it to take a 12volt 45watt tungsten bulb. Ours was angled upwards so that it shone on the tunnel roof, and was more than adequate.

 

 

 

image.png.0666382b9345d1316558b8470c999ae3.png

 

 

 

 

image.jpeg

Edited by David Schweizer
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Not aware of anyone who makes an LED light marketed for inland boat tunnel use that isn't insanely bright. Using one will not make you any friends. Am sure there area suitable lights around, but they will be marketed for something else. A cheapo magnetic base LED work lamp might do the trick. Or glue magnets on to a suitable lamp. Unfortunately, they tend not to give a proper indication of the light output, or beam pattern, so buying one sight unseen is a bit hit and miss.

This is why people are pointing you in the direction of old fashioned filament bulb fog lamps and the like. They are much less anti-social to other boaters than the LED tunnel lights that are actually being used by the clueless.

Jen

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There is a reasonable selection on eBay listed as tractor headlights, a much better lamp than the chandlery offerings as they are designed to operate in harsh conditions. If not, go the traditional route as suggested above but please avoid LED, much more social and unnecessary for a running light. 

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3 hours ago, BEngo said:

One that produces a diffuse flat , rather than pencil, beam.  Not too bright. 

Generally you have to sort out your own mounting.

 

Tunnel lights that dazzle the oncoming steerer are  all too common and a bloody nuisance too.  The LED ones are worst.  Lots of examples on ebay/ Amazon.  Repurposed searchlights are nearly as bad.   An old  style car fog lamp with tungsten lamp, mounted pointing up is a Good solution and does not dazzle.

 

N

I have a 55W car fog light. Plenty bright enough for tunnels and general cruising in the dark. I've been thinking of getting an LED bulb for it, (for a few years :) ), but, as the engine will almost always be running when it's on, power useage isnt really an issue.

 

I previously had one of those LED spotlight things.... lit the world up like daylight, but blinded oncomers - as soon as I realised what a bad choice it was, I replaced it with the fog light.

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2 hours ago, IanD said:

If you can find a good old halogen accessory fog lamp (Cibie, Marechal, Lucas, Hella etc) these have a wide flat-topped beam which is diffused downwards, but beware that many so-called "fog lights" sold today don't do this. Depending on what you want to see lit up you then have two choices:

 

1. Mount normal way up with beam cutoff at top, point slightly downwards. Doesn't blind oncoming steerer, lights up water and bottom of tunnel walls, tunnel roof is dark.

2. Mount upside down with beam cutoff at bottom, point slightly upwards. Doesn't blind oncoming steerer, lights up roof of tunnel, water and tunnel walls are dark.

 

Or you could go bonkers and install both, so everything is lit up except a dark band at oncoming-steerer-head-height. Most people would say this is complete overkill even if you spend part of every day in tunnels... 😉

1. mounted like this, causes the beam to be reflected from the water surface, causing blindness for on-coming steerers.

2. is the better way for all concerned. The light mounting can be either way up, but the beam is aimed above horizontal, and to the right.

As a fairly regular user of the Crick tunnel, I've suffered from all types of miss alignment, and had to have strong words in passing to the worst offenders.

 

Bod

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We have a  1920s Fowler traction engine light. Unfortunately it no longer has the paraffin lamp inside. I have modified it to have an LED lamp. the bulls eye lens does diffuse the light well but as I don't want to blind oncoming boats it is angled to the right and upwards onto the roof of the tunnel. It is mounted on a CCTV bracket which has good adjustment - it is similar to this. We remove the light when not required as it is very collectable.VIDEOTEC PRODUCTS

IMG_2157.JPG

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36 minutes ago, Chris John said:

Nothing wrong with an LED light on a Narrowboat if it’s pointed upwards to illuminate the tunnel roof. 

 

Rubbish. Even when correctly adjusted, the bluish light destroys peoples night vision and the power saving is irrelevant because the engine is running when the tunnel light is on and thus powered by the alternator.

Edited by cuthound
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I have my tunnel light (about 30W halogen, I think) at the rear of the boat. It shows you where the roof is in relation to the walls which is what you need to know. You know what is 400 yards ahead of you - more tunnel.  I also have a low power light at the bows so that oncoming boats can see where the bows are. 

PS this light is also good for night time cruising. Most of the time I would just use navigation lights but this is handy if I want to work out if an object in the water is a swan or an unlit fishing boat, or while mooring.

headlight.png.6ed30ff45d922bdcf1f4a2bcaa72d55b.png

Edited by Scholar Gypsy
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19 minutes ago, cuthound said:

 

Rubbish. The bluish light destroys peoples night vision and tbepower savig is irrelevant because the engine is running when the tunnel light is on and thus powered by the alternator.

But most car headlights these days are LED and it's only if you come across an oncoming misaligned headlight that your night vision will be destroyed. Otherwise it's not an issue. So I agree with Chris John, it's misalignment of LED tunnel lights that's the problem.

 

Also, whether one needs a powerful light or a low powered light really depends on what one is using it for. A lot of people on this forum only stay on canals and so will only need a low powered light for tunnel use, but I've been on the Thames in pitch black conditions where your night vision won't help and you point your light towards the bank so you can navigate. In that case a powerful light is essential.

Edited by blackrose
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Just now, blackrose said:

But most car headlights these days are LED and it's only if you come across a misaligned oncoming headlight that your night vision will be destroyed. So I agree with Chris John, it's misalignment of LED tunnel lights that's the problem.

 

Also, whether one needs a powerful light or a low powered light really depends on what one is using it for. A lot of people on this forum only stay on canals and so will only need a low powered light for tunnel use, but I've been on the Thames in pitch black conditions where you point your light towards the bank so you can navigate. In that case a powerful light is essential.

 

Many of the older motorists I talk to complain that modern car LED headlights are blindingly bright and destroy their night vision, even when correctly adjusted.

 

Perhaps It is an age related issue?

 

Certainly many boaters fall into the 50 plus bracket.

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1 minute ago, cuthound said:

 

Many of the older motorists I talk to complain that modern car LED headlights are blindingly bright and destroy their night vision, even when correctly adjusted.

 

 

Are they LED headlamps of the new fangled high voltage gas discharge things? The ones where the "bulb" (unit) fails and it costs you hundreds of pounds.

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5 minutes ago, cuthound said:

 

Many of the older motorists I talk to complain that modern car LED headlights are blindingly bright and destroy their night vision, even when correctly adjusted.

 

Perhaps It is an age related issue?

 

Certainly many boaters fall into the 50 plus bracket.

 

Well I'm nearly 60 and lots of car drivers fall into the 50 plus age bracket too. If LED headlights were that bad then they wouldn't have been approved by the DVSA

Edited by blackrose
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2 minutes ago, blackrose said:

But most car headlights these days are LED and it's only if you come across a misaligned oncoming headlight that your night vision will be destroyed. So I agree with Chris John, it's misalignment of LED tunnel lights that's the problem.

There's a world of difference in speed of progress and what is being illuminated.  What is totally unnecessary in a canal boat tunnel light is the high lux power LEDs tend to project. LED headlights can be brilliant (pun entirely intended), but none of their advantages are useful in a tunnel light and, worse, can be an enormous nuisance to other boaters.

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35 minutes ago, cuthound said:

 

Many of the older motorists I talk to complain that modern car LED headlights are blindingly bright and destroy their night vision, even when correctly adjusted.

 

Perhaps It is an age related issue?

 

Certainly many boaters fall into the 50 plus bracket.

As someone also of that age, I agree. When calling someone on in congested streets I now "de-flash" my lights, ie turn from headlights to sidelights and back to call them on.  When they get close to me then give me a blast of full beam, ostensibly to say Thank you. Grrrr.  I will continue my campaign to stop people flashing full beam headlights at each other, but I am not confident of success.

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1 hour ago, blackrose said:

 

Well I'm nearly 60 and lots of car drivers fall into the 50 plus age bracket too. If LED headlights were that bad then they wouldn't have been approved by the DVSA

 

Engineers can design and implement things much faster than lawyers can legislate against them.

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I've got a small LED light on the front, angled well up.  However my main light in a tunnel is a LED torch (from Screwfix).  This has a remarkable output from its 5mm square lamp, and is brighter than a good car headlamp; - how LED lamps have come on in the last couple of years.  This I keep at the back just sitting on the roof, but easily picked up to highlight anything.  The battery lasts for ages - just as bright after an hour, but I have a 12V outlet on the back (semi-trad) which I could plug it into if I had to.

 

ETA:  I only come across narrow tunnels in my crusing range, so dazzling oncoming boaters is not really an issue.

Edited by dor
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