Horse shoe life belt lights

clyst

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Been checking my horse shoe belt over today and inspected the orange coloured floating light thingy which is attached by a lanyard . Opening it up I was surprised to find the battery "cage" was empty /forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif !! How does these lights work ? there is no manual on off switch nor automatic switch that I can see . should the "cage" be topped up with normal dry cell batteries ??
 

jb2006

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Probably a couple of size 'D' ? or U2s as I remember them /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif

There is no on/off switch, you store it light downward which is "off" - it floats light up and is "switched on" by a mercury/gravity switch in this position
 

VicS

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Yes ordinary dry batteries. I suggest alkaline type No more than suggest... vital . Don't use rechargeables they would always be flat. C size in the light I am familiar with. The lamps have a built in mercury tilt switch so that they are "off" when stored upside down and "on" when floating up the right way. Some have ordinary flashing bulbs but the better ones have a xenon "strobe" flasher. When stowing while not in use remove the batteries or at least one of them. renew the whole set every year.
 

Malcb

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For some reason, my Orange Horseshoe Life buoy light decided to completely break the lens away, causing the light bulb (with tilt switch) and battery holder to detach from the Lamp Holder and vanish, presumably to Davy Jonses Locker.

So I had to use some beer tokens for another purpose /forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif
 

clyst

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Thanks chaps !! A mercury switch --- that explains it . Thanks for your prompt replies . The worrying thing is that if i not checked it i would be happily sailing around with a duff light . /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif
 

johnkeith

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I have one of these lights but it only comes on intermittently when turned upside down (ie with light on top) What's the best thing to grease the gravity switch with?

ta

John
 

reginaldon

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Re: Horse shoe life belt lights re: Malch

Malch this happened to mine bu fortunately Lidl's came up with a cheap replacement - 4 size Ds
 

Norman_E

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Re: Horse shoe life belt lights re: Malch

I can vouch for the £6.99 one from LIDL. It is better made than a branded one that came with the boat, also uses 4 batteries, whereas the other one annoyingly took 5, and had a less reliable switch.
 

misterg

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[ QUOTE ]
The lamps have a built in mercury tilt switch so that they are "off" when stored upside down and "on" when floating up the right way.

[/ QUOTE ]

To add to the picture, mine (Plastimo, I think) has 5 'D' cells sitting on a spring. When inverted, the weight of the cells compresses the spring and breaks the contact between the top cell and the bulb. Once upright, the cells rest on the contact, and the spring completes the circuit. Mickey Mouse?? Probably. But it has worked every time I've tested it - I think keeping the whole thing well sealed is essential. I would also echo the requirement to use alkaline cells (i.e. Duracell). I check that the light works every now and again, but otherwise, I'll just replace the cells on their 'best before' date.

0.02

Andy
 

BAtoo

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Once upright, the cells rest on the contact, and the spring completes the circuit. Mickey Mouse?? Probably. But it has worked every time I've tested it -

Have a Plastimo light too - when I saw this arrangement I thought it was good - KISS - & as you say it always works - which previous mercury switched ones didnt!!
 

Dave99

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Most Horseshoe lights have a very simple gravity switch which involves a spring and a contact - best to play round with it until you get a good connection on inversion. I must say I have been very impressed with the ocean safety lights - I can't remember the product code but they have a magnetic switch instead and are much more reliable, waterproof etc.

Not much more expensive either it I recall.
 
G

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[ QUOTE ]
Once upright, the cells rest on the contact, and the spring completes the circuit. Mickey Mouse?? Probably. But it has worked every time I've tested it -

Have a Plastimo light too - when I saw this arrangement I thought it was good - KISS - & as you say it always works - which previous mercury switched ones didnt!!

[/ QUOTE ]

Apart from the McMurdo / others that have a pull out plug attached to lifebuoy cradle ... most commercial lights are the mercury type. Never found one to fail in 17yrs at sea ...

(THe pull out plug ones are saltwater activated cells similar to on a lifejackets ... the plug hole allows seawater in when launched ... and on comes light. They are of course a one-time use job .... some have a test probe contacts to check bulb ... just thought you'd like to know ! )
 
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