Go Back   iRV2 Forums > MOTORHOME FORUMS > Class A Motorhome Discussions
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 03-13-2013, 09:15 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
bcbounders's Avatar
 
Newmar Owners Club
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Abbotsford, BC
Posts: 528
Option for converting fluorescent lights to LED

I've been considering "upgrading" some of the fluorescent lights in my coach to LED... but all of the options that I have found seem really expensive! I was going to go with some of the units that look like a fluorescent bulb (even though they still require re-wiring the light fixture since the LEDs don't require the ballast anymore), but just couldn't get over the price!

So I kept searching and found LED strip lights for pretty cheap online... and then found this video from the RVgeeks on YouTube about this exact same thing:

__________________

__________________
John
2005 Newmar MADP
bcbounders is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 03-13-2013, 09:23 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
LVJ58's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 2,146
Interesting, we had the ballast in one of our fluorescent fixtures go bad while down in Quartzsite AZ this year so took it over to a vendor at the big tent and had it converted to the LED set up.

The fellow selling them even did the change out for me at a total cost $58.00 I was surprised as I figured it would be much more...They're really bright..
__________________

__________________
Jim & SherrySeward

2000 Residency 3790 v10 w/tags 5 Star tune & Banks system Suzuki XL7 toad
LVJ58 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2013, 10:13 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
bcbounders's Avatar
 
Newmar Owners Club
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Abbotsford, BC
Posts: 528
Jim,

Glad to hear you're happy with your upgrade. I know a lot of people have had issues with the color and/or the brightness of LED upgrades.

Since I'm looking at doing all 7 lights in my coach, I'm a bit leery of spending almost $60 a piece to do it. With the LED strips, I should be able to get away with upgrading all of them for a lot less than $100 total! Plus... doing it myself seems like it could be a lot of fun. With the LED strip lights, I can put as many or as few strips in each individual light as I want... so I can customize the light level. For instance, the one in the bathroom could stand to be brighter... so I could probably fit 2 or 3 strips in place of each fluorescent bulb in the fixture. I may not save as much energy as using one strip per bulb... but at least I'll end up with more light (I hope)!

I'll have to report back when I order the strips and get some installed.
__________________
John
2005 Newmar MADP
bcbounders is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2013, 11:50 PM   #4
Member
 
thebings's Avatar
 
Tiffin Owners Club
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Home
Posts: 81
Just did one of mine lights with six rows of strip lights. It is way brighter than the original fluorescent tubes, maybe brighter than necessary. So I installed a dimmer control and now I can have as much or as little light as I want. Going to do all my lights this way.
__________________
Don & Carolyn Bingham
2003 Allegro Bus Freightliner 40DP ISL400
Honda Odyssey, Blue Ox
thebings is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2013, 12:30 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
bcbounders's Avatar
 
Newmar Owners Club
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Abbotsford, BC
Posts: 528
Quote:
Originally Posted by thebings View Post
Just did one of mine lights with six rows of strip lights. It is way brighter than the original fluorescent tubes, maybe brighter than necessary. So I installed a dimmer control and now I can have as much or as little light as I want. Going to do all my lights this way.
Don,

Do you have any info on the dimmer you installed? That sounds like a great idea... I'd really like to do the same thing.

Thanks!
__________________
John
2005 Newmar MADP
bcbounders is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2013, 12:36 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Mr_D's Avatar
 
Solo Rvers Club
iRV2 No Limits Club
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 28,494
I tried one of the LED bulbs in the light fixture over the table. My wife hated the color so I had to take it out.She only likes the warm white and they're kind of hard to find but getting better. May put it in one of the bay lights. Still want to convert that light as it takes 4 incandescent bulbs and takes quite a bit of power when boondocking. Four of the LED's would take about the same power as one of the standard bulbs.
__________________
2009 45' Magna 630 w/Cummins ISX 650 HP/1950 Lbs Ft
Charter Good Sam Lifetime Member, FMCA, SKP
RV'ing since 1957, NRA Benefactor Life, towing '14 CR-V
Mr_D is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2013, 12:48 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
bdpreece's Avatar
 
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Woodburn Oregon USA
Posts: 2,596
Just completed 12 florescent lights using 4 strips for each fixture $107.96 total. Light is comparable to the two florescent tubes, possibly just a hair brighter. Also switched out all the G4 halogen bulb puck lights for 190 lumen 12 SMD 5050 LED's for $1.77 ea. Originally started with White lights but they were too harsh. Installed all Warm white and all is good. It cost me less to convert each florescent lights than the cost of two new florescent tubes.
__________________
Brian, Loretta & Daisy (Golden Retriever)
2008 Holiday Rambler Endeavor 40 PDQ , ISL 400
2014 Ford Explorer toad
bdpreece is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2013, 01:00 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
bcbounders's Avatar
 
Newmar Owners Club
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Abbotsford, BC
Posts: 528
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_D View Post
I tried one of the LED bulbs in the light fixture over the table. My wife hated the color so I had to take it out.She only likes the warm white and they're kind of hard to find but getting better. May put it in one of the bay lights. Still want to convert that light as it takes 4 incandescent bulbs and takes quite a bit of power when boondocking. Four of the LED's would take about the same power as one of the standard bulbs.
You might want to check out these lights from LEDWholesalers.com:

www.LEDwholesalers.com - Brightest Tower Type T10 18 SMD LED 5050 12V Ac/dc

I put three of these in my dining table light. The color is good... and they are brighter than the 921 incandescent wedge bulbs that were there before them. Very happy with them (even though they're not cheap... trying to save my money on the fluorescent conversion, LOL!).
__________________
John
2005 Newmar MADP
bcbounders is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2013, 01:06 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
sdennislee's Avatar


 
Monaco Owners Club
Winnebago Owners Club
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 6,404
Thanks for sharing. I think I will give this a shot.
__________________
US Navy Vet, Liberty Tree Member of Oath Keepers, NRA & VFW Life Member, Alaska EMT.
2009 Safari Cheetah 40 SKQ
2009 Winnebago Chalet 231CR
sdennislee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2013, 02:01 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Dunner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Phx, Arid~zona
Posts: 11,106
I used 5 of the 3528 strips and have a switch that can be all 5, off or just 1 for watching TV. The 5m 3528, 300 SMD Cool White strip was ~$10 from China on Ebay.

All 5 lit.



Florscent



All 5 with cover.



1 with cover.

__________________
2004 32' National Sea Breeze 1311 Class A on a F-53 Chassis, CHF, TST TPMS, 5Star Tune.
If Dunner (RVM23) can't fix it, it ain't broke!
Cheap Handling Fix Poll. Click Here to vote?
Dunner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2013, 08:11 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
PyrateSilly's Avatar
 
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 2,200
We've done both. Converted the ThinLites with replacement bulbs from Marinebeam Replacement LED bulbs for your existing boat fixtures yes pricey but very bright. We ended up putting them over into the kitchen since for cooking and baking I like more light.
Then we've done the strips and it all depends on the strips you get as to how many you "need" to use for how much light you want. Some one of the rolls we used 4 strips and for the other we needed to use 6 rows for about the same amount of light.

Here are a few other sites you might want to look at:
usLEDsupply - Your source for High Tech RGB color LED lights, DMX controllers, and LED lighting supplies at wholesale prices.
www.superlumination.com Tail Light Brake Light Turn Signal LED Bulbs
__________________
Thom and Christine having fun in a 1993 Monaco Crown Royale Signature Series 40ft 300hp RV. Towing a Fiat 500 Abarth and a Harley.
Our blogged repairs and travels
PyrateSilly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2013, 08:31 AM   #12
Member
 
thebings's Avatar
 
Tiffin Owners Club
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Home
Posts: 81
Hi John, here is the dimmer that I used. the dimmer box would not fit inside the light housing so I took the box apart and inside was a small circuit board. I took the circuit board out along with the green wire receptacle, they both fit into the end cap(opposite end from the light switch) of the light housing. I used epoxy to hole the circuit board in place. I drilled a hole in the end cap (opposite end from the light switch) and installed the dimmer control knob. It was fairly easy and kind of fun to do.
DC 12V 24V 8A Manual Dimmer Adjustable Brightness for LED Light | eBay
__________________
Don & Carolyn Bingham
2003 Allegro Bus Freightliner 40DP ISL400
Honda Odyssey, Blue Ox
thebings is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2013, 08:37 AM   #13
Registered User
 
Fleetwood Owners Club
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
Posts: 1,857
Voltage Regulator

I found that the strip LED sold in rolls are designed to run on no more than 12 volts. Since a healthy automotive (and RV) 12v system is over 13v that could be a problem.

LEDs are different from most electrical devices in that as voltage goes up current draw goes up as well. Higher current = more heat. More heat = shorter lifespan for the LEDs.

When I first converted 3 of my flourescent fixtures I found that they ran very hot. Too hot to be in direct contact with the roof IMHO. I found adjustable voltage regulators on eBay for about $5 each. Once installed I turned the output voltage down to about 9.5v before there was much change in brightness so I run them at about 10.5v. No more problem with heat.

I'd put links to the LEDs & VRs from eBay but they are no longer valid.
__________________
Muddypaws is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2013, 08:44 AM   #14
Member
 
thebings's Avatar
 
Tiffin Owners Club
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Home
Posts: 81
My 6 strip LED light does run a lot hotter than I had expected. The strips are attached to the metal base of the light. I wonder if putting an insulation strip of some kind between the base and the light strip would help? But then the original florescent lights get pretty hot also. I will check into the voltage regulator.
__________________

__________________
Don & Carolyn Bingham
2003 Allegro Bus Freightliner 40DP ISL400
Honda Odyssey, Blue Ox
thebings is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
lights



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:03 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.