Imtra is a name that is familiar to a lot of boat owners. They make and sell a lot of good quality products including side power bow thrusters and Glomex antennas but they also produce some excellent LED lights.
LED lights are a bit like digital cameras just when you think that you have the latest and greatest and they can’t possibly get any better along comes a new one to disprove that myth. Brand new this year is the Ventura Power LED, which is an exceptionally low profile spring mount light fixture. At first glance this is very similar in a appearance to the Hatteras lights that I fitted last year except that the overall size is slightly larger both in terms of the overall diameter, 81 mm as apposed to 73 for the Hatteras and depth which is increased by a couple of millimeters. The slightly increased size is to account for the larger sized driver required for the LEDs. The Hatteras has a power output similar to a 10-watt halogen but the Ventura ups this to an equivalency of 25 watts.
I mounted the light to a board in the workshop which was as near as I could replicate to the interior headliner on a boat so that I was able to conduct some tests of my own, radio interference, heat, power consumption and light output.
I connected up the light following the manufacturers installation instructions, which are easy to follow as you might well expect for a light. As with many of the Imtra lights the Ventura is fully dimmable so I connected in the PWM dimmer and a momentary switch. The dimmer is optional in which case the two of the wires coming from the light fixture are not required but frankly the dimmer is so worth having that I can’t see many people not opting for this, one dimmer will power up to 15 lights.
Using a momentary switch with the PWM dimmer
does away with the need for a rheostat style dimmer, push the switch once to turn the light on and push again to turn off. Holding the switch down either dims the light or turns it up, the dimmer also remembers the last setting so if the light is turned off at 50% power it will come back on at the same setting the next time – really cool.
Light output was impressive and provided a good spread of illumination, my workshop is wood lined and not very reflective but some of these lights inside a white or light colored cabin would appear even brighter. I tested the warm white, which has a color temperature in the 3,500 kelvin range although the reading that I got was actually slightly more at 3,600k when measured with my temperature meter. Cool white is also available and this has a Kelvin reading of 5,500 which is pretty much the same as midday sun although this can look pretty harsh on the interior of some boats so my guess is that most folks will opt for the warm white.
Power consumption is just a shade under five and half watts so at 12 volts you will be sucking less than half an amp from the batteries, a halogen light with a similar output will draw over 2 amps most of which will be converted into heat. I ran the Ventura all night and it never got any hotter than mildly warm halogens are too hot to touch after being on for more than few seconds. For the final test I placed the light close to various radios, a ham set, marine VHF and TV set which is not a very scientific way of testing for radio interference but scanning through the channels with the light on and off I could not detect nothing of any significance.
Incidentally the Ventura has a list price $129.