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Old 01-11-2016, 10:08 AM   #1
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DC or AC/DC 12V G4 bulbs?

So I started swapping the G4 halogens in our coach for LED bulbs and the first "test" bulb had a bit of a meltdown.

The Amazon vendor says I should have used 12v AC/DC instead of 12v DC. Is this correct?

Thanks!
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Old 01-11-2016, 10:34 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bronccat View Post
So I started swapping the G4 halogens in our coach for LED bulbs and the first "test" bulb had a bit of a meltdown.
The Amazon vendor says I should have used 12v AC/DC instead of 12v DC. Is this correct?
Thanks!
Methinks the correct answer is this:
If the light fixtures in your coach are powered by 12VDC you need to use 12V light bulbs in those light fixtures, (either "incandescent" or "LED").
If you have any light fixtures powered by 120VAC in your coach you need to use 120VAC bulb(s) in those fixtures , (either "incandescent" or "LED") in those fixtures.
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Old 01-11-2016, 10:42 AM   #3
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Methinks the correct answer is this:
If the light fixtures in your coach are powered by 12VDC you need to use 12V light bulbs in those light fixtures, (either "incandescent" or "LED").
If you have any light fixtures powered by 120VAC in your coach you need to use 120VAC bulb(s) in those fixtures , (either "incandescent" or "LED") in those fixtures.
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That's exactly what I thought and why I bought the 12v DC - but it did melt and he does sell both 12vDC and 12vAC/DC

I think this is a specific LED thing and not an consideration with incandescent G4 bulbs but I am clearly a bit in the dark on the subject ()
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Old 01-11-2016, 11:12 AM   #4
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LEDs are real diodes - one-way current flow. Did it light up before it melted? If your lights are on an inverter circuit that isn't "smoothed", LEDs may have a problem.

I don't understand the nomenclature AC/DC for an LED, unless it has two diodes in a single enclosure wired in opposite polarity or maybe an electrically stronger diode that can withstand the negative half of the AC waveform.
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Old 01-11-2016, 11:19 AM   #5
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Hi Frank

One ran for 5 hours or so prior to melt down, the other made it overnight.
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Old 01-11-2016, 11:42 AM   #6
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I've had a similar experience. Automotive bulbs are designed for voltages up to 16 volts whereas bulbs intended for household use rely on an accurate power supply - 12 volts exactly. If you use 12v bulbs in an rv you will be running them over their intended voltage. A 12v ad/dc bulb will handle a peak voltage of about 16 volts, because AC voltage is measured at its RMS value, and peak voltage is about 1.4 times that value. The better LEDs have a more substantial regulation circuit built in.
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Old 01-11-2016, 11:43 AM   #7
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This makes NO sense to me.

12 A/C? In a RV? A/C stands for alternating current which is not going to play well with a LED (which stands for light emitting diode). Diodes are used to permit current to flow only in one direction only and block the other.

Maybe somebody who owns a RV similar to yours can comment if they have a 12 A/C circuit in their coach.
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Old 01-11-2016, 11:51 AM   #8
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I don't know that I have 12v AC/DC - but that's what the vendor is sayng and why I am asking lol

Here are the AC/DC bulbs:

Rayhoo 6pcs Set G4 base 48-LED Warm White Light Crystal Bulb Lamps 3 Watt AC DC 12V Non-dimmable Equivalent to 20W T3 Halogen Track Bulb Replacement LED Bulbs - - Amazon.com
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Old 01-11-2016, 11:54 AM   #9
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This makes NO sense to me.

12 A/C? In a RV? A/C stands for alternating current which is not going to play well with a LED (which stands for light emitting diode). Diodes are used to permit current to flow only in one direction only and block the other.

Maybe somebody who owns a RV similar to yours can comment if they have a 12 A/C circuit in their coach.

Does this make sense?

12V AC vs 12V DC - The Garage Journal Board
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Old 01-11-2016, 12:04 PM   #10
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Best I can tell one of the bulb types is surged protected for running unregulated DC (that will spike) and one isn't that requires a AC/DC transformer to control the flow.

Based on this logic however, the DC would be protected and the AC/DC wouldn't - which seems bass-ackwards from my experience.
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Old 01-11-2016, 12:12 PM   #11
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Bronccat, please post how the 12 ac/dc work, if you go that route. I tried replacing my halogen with the G4-9 SMD disk. I have several that the diodes flicker on and I'm not big on the straight down direction of the light in the kitchen area. They are fine in all other areas if they don't flicker.
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Old 01-11-2016, 12:20 PM   #12
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This offers some insight (some)

Boondocking Made Easy -> LED Lighting – Wheeling It
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Old 01-11-2016, 12:27 PM   #13
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If your lights are powered off of the house batteries, then the current is 12 v DC and a standard LED buld should work perfectly. If You're operating off of shore power that's been converted to 12 v and not the batteries, then it's AC power and a regular LED won't work, you need one that's capable of running on AC power. AC/DC bulbs will run on either DC or AC.
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Old 01-11-2016, 12:36 PM   #14
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If your lights are powered off of the house batteries, then the current is 12 v DC and a standard LED buld should work perfectly. If You're operating off of shore power that's been converted to 12 v and not the batteries, then it's AC power and a regular LED won't work, you need one that's capable of running on AC power. AC/DC bulbs will run on either DC or AC.
So when hooked to shore power AC is converted to 12vDC - or it's stepped down to 12vAC (which is why the bulb blew)
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