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Old 08-14-2014, 08:05 PM   #15
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The actual LEDs are highly sensitive to voltage, but the package they are in has circuitry to regulate it to what the individual leds need (around 2v in most cases). Some led "bulbs" do a better job than others with the voltage regulator circuitry. I've got one rigid strip led that will happily operate from 8 to 30v, but I also had a previous flex strip that barely managed at 13.6v and died within 3 months. If you have leds that start blinking, or get dull or off-color, or some parts go out, the problem is usually voltage regulation (or lack of it). A good manufacturer or retailer will stand behind it, but not all are that good.
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Old 08-14-2014, 08:14 PM   #16
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I just converted all my florescent lights to LED tube lights in the 12" and 18" style lights. They have drivers in them to regulate the voltage.

I used a volt meter to measure the raw input voltage and got between 13.7 and 14 volts.

The conversion was not cheap, about $500 to do every single interior light in a 37' coach.

I would also advise installing those little do dads to regulate the voltage in your strip lights to protect your time and investment.
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:31 PM   #17
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I think he is probably talking about his converter/charger. It supplies 12v power and charges the battery when plugged into 120v AC.

Even if he is talking about the converter/charger the person that told him that was good old fashioned wrong. The very very very best way to filter Dc power from an AC/Dc converter is with a battery. Most RV's have a very large battery bank for the coaches. The DC coming off of them is going to be almost perfect DC. Effectively anything in the coach that is running off of 12 volts gets power from the batteries and then the converter recharges them as they are working.
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Old 08-15-2014, 12:05 AM   #18
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I guess one good thing is I always run off the batteries. In the time we've had the coach I've plugged it into shore power twice for a total of 2 days. That was before I installed the solar panels. I very rarely run the genny either, 4 times total and maybe put on 6 hours all together. I rely on my solar and 4 6V batteries to power everything, micro wave, hair dryer and entertainment system. Only fired the genny to run the convection oven once, to run the A/C twice just to cool it down after being away all day, again when the batteries were getting low because it was a rainy day and watching movies with the grand baby, running micro wave and the wife's hair dryer. Couldn't be happier with the solar and battery system I have. We haven't gone to a camp ground in years, just head into the wilderness and have fun! Nothing like being totally self contained and off the grid! That's the way we like it!
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Old 08-15-2014, 09:28 AM   #19
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I guess one good thing is I always run off the batteries. In the time we've had the coach I've plugged it into shore power twice for a total of 2 days. That was before I installed the solar panels. I very rarely run the genny either, 4 times total and maybe put on 6 hours all together. I rely on my solar and 4 6V batteries to power everything, micro wave, hair dryer and entertainment system. Only fired the genny to run the convection oven once, to run the A/C twice just to cool it down after being away all day, again when the batteries were getting low because it was a rainy day and watching movies with the grand baby, running micro wave and the wife's hair dryer. Couldn't be happier with the solar and battery system I have. We haven't gone to a camp ground in years, just head into the wilderness and have fun! Nothing like being totally self contained and off the grid! That's the way we like it!
I would love to see some pictures of your system if you can post them. The batteries and how it's wired.
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Old 08-15-2014, 10:09 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by jherrin99
I think he is probably talking about his converter/charger. It supplies 12v power and charges the battery when plugged into 120v AC.
You're correct I read that wrong, sorry. The converters will cause problems with the older LEDs as they are designed for 12v. My solar system will push up to 15.1v in cold weather and I've had a few older LEDs squeal, blink and shut off at that voltage and lower. But my lights usually aren't on too long during peak solar hours since the suns out. I've replaced most of the older ones, and all the overhead fluorescents I installed can handle up to 17v.

Again, those are old technology/lesser expensive LEDs.
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Old 08-15-2014, 05:19 PM   #21
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The solar system I installed uses 2 high voltage panels for a total of 500 watts, they put out 73 volts on a cloudy day tied in series. They are run through a MPPT charge controller with a max output of 13.6 volts @ around 35 to 40 amps. Works great! These high voltage panels "Wake Up Earlier" and "Go To Sleep Later" than the 12 volt panels so you get a longer charge day and more steady current. I have 4 6V batteries that have served me well but just acquired 6 more 6V batteries that are newer than my old ones so I am going to build another battery box so I can run 6 batteries instead of 4, can't have "Too Much Power"! I will try to take some pictures this weekend and post them. Stay tuned!
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Old 08-15-2014, 10:57 PM   #22
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To the OP. I am curious why you used 5050 LED strips. I have been doing research and although the 3268 LED's are older they are smaller and you can get more of them on the individual chip. Some of the research I have read said hi density 3268 strings actually produce more light than the 5050. Was there a particular reason you used them.

I just bought a used enclosed gooseneck trailer. I ordered a pair of 5050 5 meter strips to put on the ceiling of the gooseneck trailer for light in it. If I like the way they work in it I am going to order more for the MH
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Old 08-16-2014, 01:49 AM   #23
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From what I researched the 5050 chip is larger and brighter, even though you can put more chips per inch with the smaller chip they don't always put out more light. I have found through trial and error with LED bulbs that more isn't always better. Compare a 1156 bulb with say 40 small chips they aren't any brighter than a 250 lumen bulb with 27 5050 chips, allot of the time they aren't as bright. I found some new style 5730 chip bulbs with 42 chips on an 1156 base that put out a retina burning 520 lumen's. They work great, they are a bit more expensive but well worth the money. Used them in our rig and got them for our friends and they love them, one friend even took out the 5730 bulb for the 5050 bulb cuz it was too bright! I've attached a picture of the bulbs to show you. The bulb on the right is a Canbus 42 5730 chips at 520 lumen and the ones on the left are Canbus 5050 chip bulbs, much higher quality than a regular bulb. The one centre right is a regular bulb with 27 5050 chips at around the 250 lumen range. Love my LED's! Even got them in my stick & brick!
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Old 08-16-2014, 07:02 PM   #24
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From what I researched the 5050 chip is larger and brighter, even though you can put more chips per inch with the smaller chip they don't always put out more light. I have found through trial and error with LED bulbs that more isn't always better. Compare a 1156 bulb with say 40 small chips they aren't any brighter than a 250 lumen bulb with 27 5050 chips, allot of the time they aren't as bright. I found some new style 5730 chip bulbs with 42 chips on an 1156 base that put out a retina burning 520 lumen's. They work great, they are a bit more expensive but well worth the money. Used them in our rig and got them for our friends and they love them, one friend even took out the 5730 bulb for the 5050 bulb cuz it was too bright! I've attached a picture of the bulbs to show you. The bulb on the right is a Canbus 42 5730 chips at 520 lumen and the ones on the left are Canbus 5050 chip bulbs, much higher quality than a regular bulb. The one centre right is a regular bulb with 27 5050 chips at around the 250 lumen range. Love my LED's! Even got them in my stick & brick!
OK thank you for your answer. I am just starting to study going to LEDs and the more I learn the better my decisions are. Could you share where you found the 5730 chip bulbs on the 1156 base. That might be something I can use.

I have started using LEDs in my rental houses. In one kitchen that had a 4 foot fluorescent fixture I replaced it with a 4 ft LED fixture. I could not believe the difference. In another house I replaced two kitchen fixtures with round LED fixtures. I am going to go with the round fixtures in my personal stick and brick house also. A lot more light. AS I said before I bought a couple of strings of lights to go in a gooseneck trailer that I am going to put all of my tools in for working on the rental houses. I am curious to see how well they light that up. My next project is going to be to replace the fluorescent lights with LED light strings. I have started replacing some of the lamp light bulbs in my stick house with LED light bulbs but they are still a bit pricey. I am using the 7 watt bulbs. A few months ago I bought an LED trouble light for use when I am in attics or under a house or where ever I needed more light. A couple of friends of mine that have done some work for me were under the house replacing floor studs and used my LED light. They wanted to know where to get one.
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Old 08-16-2014, 07:51 PM   #25
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There's a lot of good information here and some misinformation. This has been mentioned above but it is worth repeating. For anyone looking to switch to LEDs, do not buy 12V LEDs. Charging systems in RVs can be much higher voltage. Many LEDs are now sold with a voltage range of 8 to 30v. These are what you want so they will work on the full DC voltage range your batteries and converter/charger produce. No need to add anything to reduce the voltage. LEDs especially older ones rated at 12V may not last long at 14+ volts.
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Old 08-17-2014, 12:47 AM   #26
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I found my bulbs on E-bay from China. Just search 1156 5730 canbus LED and you will find a pretty good selection. Just takes about 3 weeks to get them.
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Old 08-17-2014, 07:11 AM   #27
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I have many of the halogen "puck" lights in my Panther, which bulb do you guys recommend I get for that. I always plug in and run off shore power but I do have a solar panel to charge my 8 batteries.
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Old 08-17-2014, 09:26 AM   #28
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I have many of the halogen "puck" lights in my Panther, which bulb do you guys recommend I get for that. I always plug in and run off shore power but I do have a solar panel to charge my 8 batteries.
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