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Old 05-19-2014, 12:12 AM   #1
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Finally got my LED strips installed in my florescent fixtures!

Well today I finally got around to installing my LED strips in my florescent fixtures. What a difference, brighter & whiter than the old power suckers. As a test I hooked up the negative wire from the fixture to the supply wires then touched the positive wire with the LED light turned on and couldn't even get a spark to occur at all, now that's saving battery power! Without testing with a meter I do believe that with all 5 of the LED fixtures turned on they draw less power than just one of the original fluorescent ones turned on. That I like. I bought a 5 meter roll of double 5050 SMD strips off E-bay and they work great! Took the entire fixture down to install the strips as it was much easier to work on the table than reaching over head. As you can see by the pictures I gutted the ballast's and bulb holders then the tricky part was soldering the wires onto LED strips after cutting to length. Glued them in with clear silicone and since I had some strip left over I installed a third strip in 2 of the fixtures, one over the kitchen and one in the hall outside the shower. Was a fairly straight forward install just time consuming. (please forgive the jumble of pictures, they are not in very good order)
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Old 05-19-2014, 12:19 AM   #2
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Looks great. You are going to really like the LEDs.
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Old 05-19-2014, 01:06 AM   #3
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Oh yeah! I am a LED junkie, had outfitted our previous coach with LED's and bought a stock pile of bulbs to take with me when I picked up this one. One of the first things I did was change all the regular 1156 & 194 style bulbs. Even put HID bulbs in my driving lights! Have LED's in all my cars even LED projector "Puddle Lights" in the bottom of the doors in all three cars that project the manufacture's logo on the ground, maybe a bit corny but I like them. Now that I have the fluorescent fixtures done "All" my lights with the exception of the one over the stove (it's a dim-able that doesn't get used much) are LED, even the outside and basement lights. Next on the list is ripping out the carpet and installing laminate flooring. Who ever came up with the idea of carpet in an RV should be shot, we like to boon-dock in the bush and everything gets tracked in so carpet has to go!
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Old 05-19-2014, 01:18 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdpuff View Post
Oh yeah! I am a LED junkie, had outfitted our previous coach with LED's and bought a stock pile of bulbs to take with me when I picked up this one. One of the first things I did was change all the regular 1156 & 194 style bulbs. Even put HID bulbs in my driving lights! Have LED's in all my cars even LED projector "Puddle Lights" in the bottom of the doors in all three cars that project the manufacture's logo on the ground, maybe a bit corny but I like them. Now that I have the fluorescent fixtures done "All" my lights with the exception of the one over the stove (it's a dim-able that doesn't get used much) are LED, even the outside and basement lights. Next on the list is ripping out the carpet and installing laminate flooring. Who ever came up with the idea of carpet in an RV should be shot, we like to boon-dock in the bush and everything gets tracked in so carpet has to go!
I'll keep an eye out for pics of your flooring project!
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Old 05-22-2014, 08:43 AM   #5
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I found out that LEDs need the power regulated to 12v or less, they don't like the ~14v you get from inverters/converters. I replaced my fluorescent bulbs with LED strips, but about 6 months later they were brittle and dim from the extra heat at the higher voltage.

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Old 05-22-2014, 11:20 PM   #6
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Oh, never heard of that before? I guess time will tell. I've always been of the understanding that LED's aren't too sensitive to voltage, they will work the same from 9 volts to 20 volts. Learn something new every day.

Thanks for the info.
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Old 05-24-2014, 06:55 AM   #7
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I found out that LEDs need the power regulated to 12v or less, they don't like the ~14v you get from inverters/converters. I replaced my fluorescent bulbs with LED strips, but about 6 months later they were brittle and dim from the extra heat at the higher voltage.

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I never heard that either. How would you regulate to 12v or less?
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Old 05-24-2014, 07:05 AM   #8
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Next on the list is ripping out the carpet and installing laminate flooring. Who ever came up with the idea of carpet in an RV should be shot, we like to boon-dock in the bush and everything gets tracked in so carpet has to go!

The carpet is a good insulator in the winter. You may find that the floors get quite cold in winter without the carpet. :-)
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Old 05-24-2014, 09:21 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by jherrin99 View Post
I found out that LEDs need the power regulated to 12v or less, they don't like the ~14v you get from inverters/converters. I replaced my fluorescent bulbs with LED strips, but about 6 months later they were brittle and dim from the extra heat at the higher voltage.

James
i heard of this. some people use a step down converter to regulate it on each light. my coach battery voltage is mostly in 13-13.7 as solar panels feed them well. i am worried about my led longivity.
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Old 05-24-2014, 10:18 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jherrin99 View Post
I found out that LEDs need the power regulated to 12v or less, they don't like the ~14v you get from inverters/converters. I replaced my fluorescent bulbs with LED strips, but about 6 months later they were brittle and dim from the extra heat at the higher voltage.

James
I am surprised to read this but if you are worried about it then you can put a zener diode across the input leads. It will clamp the voltage to exactly 12volts. price is not too bad 10.00 for a thousand of them.

12 volt zener | eBay

if you do this make sure that you have the polarity correct or you will be blowing fuses.
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Old 05-24-2014, 10:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
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I found out that LEDs need the power regulated to 12v or less, they don't like the ~14v you get from inverters/converters. I replaced my fluorescent bulbs with LED strips, but about 6 months later they were brittle and dim from the extra heat at the higher voltage.

James
I replaced the 194 bulbs in my trailer with LED flat panel light. Had the trailer plugged in at the house with the batteries turned off I was in and out of the trailer with the lights on they got so hot that the double sided tape melted. I took them back and the owner of the RV shop said that LED lights don't like to be on threw inverter. Always run the lights threw the batteries. I hope that made sense.



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Old 05-25-2014, 03:57 AM   #12
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That makes me a little happier! I never plug my unit in, run only off the batteries using solar power. Sure hope it doesn't cause them to over heat. While I was installing them I left them on as I was working on them and would have been on for an hour or more then felt them and they were warm to the touch but not hot. We don't use the lights all that much, just when needed as we boon dock 99% of the time.

Hope I don't have a problem.......
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:38 AM   #13
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That's odd because the inverter doesn't power up your 12v fixtures, just your 120v receptacles. I have several LED's as well and some are rated from 9-17v and others are not. The older ones are not regulated and also have no metal base to act as heat sink and cool the LED chips.
Even the new fluorescent replacements have come a long way and are all metal keeping the LEDs cool. Here's a pic.


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Old 08-14-2014, 05:16 PM   #14
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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.
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