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Old 12-30-2014, 11:14 AM   #1
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12 Volt Lights Overheating?

I have ten 12 v overhead lights in my trailer and the switch on one was burnt out and another two lights get hot.

I had a loose connection on my power converter, could this be the problem?
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Old 12-30-2014, 01:37 PM   #2
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Overheating of electrical components makes me worry about arcing, too high a voltage (incandescent bulbs can handle higher than normal voltage very well but reduces their life) or some resistance to current flow of some kind. The loose connection at the converter would make heat there, not down the line.

Check the voltage out of the converter. That would be the first thing I would suspect if it were me.
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Old 12-30-2014, 01:59 PM   #3
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The voltage out of the power converter is 13.5 v, so that is good, maybe I have some bad/intermittent connections in the wiring?

Any tips or ideas appreciated.
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Old 12-30-2014, 02:05 PM   #4
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Incandescent bulbs make light by creating heat high enough to make an element glow. 90% of the energy is made into heat. You need to take a voltage reading of your 12 v system. A loose wire could make the converter go to full power to recharge what it detects is a weak battery when it's only a bad connection. A charger must make at least 13.4 volts to overpower the resistance in the battery to charge it. If your bulbs are reading +14 v or more, check the documentation on your converter/charger to be sure it's operating within parameters. Also clean all connections to your batteries. A fully charged battery, after resting a couple of hours, should read about 12.7 v. If it won't hold a charge the converter/charger might put out more power trying to charge the battery.
Also as incandescent bulbs get older, they put out less light and need more power, creating more heat that can melt the fixture or arc the switch points.
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Old 12-30-2014, 08:25 PM   #5
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Thanks Bob and Donna,

I checked all the bulbs (at least 6 years old) and found a lot with brownish glass instead of transparent. I am going to replace and this may resolve, hopefully.

Happy New year to all.
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Old 12-31-2014, 05:44 AM   #6
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Your bulbs might be 1156 instead of 1141. 1156 bulds will ruin your lens every time. Happened to me on previous unit. Go Led and forget the heat problem. I use 24 - 5050 warm white for direct replacement brighter lights. 18 -24 have about the same brightness as 1141 bulbs.
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Old 12-31-2014, 09:18 AM   #7
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I am replacing with 921 bulbs the same as installed when I purchased the trailer new,

Thanks
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Old 01-13-2015, 02:00 PM   #8
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I find all the bulbs way too bright and started replacing them with 4 or 6 watt T5 12v landscape wedge bulbs from Home Depot. Cheap, make a nice light, cooler and use less juice.
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Old 01-13-2015, 02:14 PM   #9
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12 volt incandescent dome lights get way too hot and could be dangerous. You may want to consider switching to LED's. Here is another post with hot lights that might make you consider switching to LED bulbs Burnt Ceiling under Light Fixture
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Old 01-13-2015, 06:11 PM   #10
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Inherent issue with ceiling lights, units are just plain CHEAP. Only solution is LED's
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Old 01-13-2015, 09:47 PM   #11
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TDI Minnie, can you elaborate some, sounds interesting. Link for that particular bulb. Be great to just run too Home Depot for something like lighting.
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Old 01-13-2015, 09:57 PM   #12
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IMO, the only good application for 12 volt incandescent is on fixtures that only get turned on for short periods of time. Examples would be closet lights, basement lights, etc. Because of their use, low efficiency and heat production are not really a problem. EVERYTING else is worthy of LED conversion.
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Old 01-14-2015, 07:14 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJG20 View Post
I have ten 12 v overhead lights in my trailer and the switch on one was burnt out and another two lights get hot.

I had a loose connection on my power converter, could this be the problem?
To answer your question: NO.

However to go beyond your question and ask the next one.

a 1141 lamp is around 19 watts, a 1156 is 26, two lamps per fixture the switch is passing close to 5 amps,, Now those cheap sliders are often rated 10 amps, but,, alas,, that is very generous, thus they can fail, also if the self cleaning contacts get dirty (they do if not used) resistance goes up and capacity drops like a rock in free fall.

Also the fixtures come with 1141s but many of use replace BOBs with 1156 (BOB, Burned Out Bulb). The fixture can not take that much heat.

THE SOLUTION: LED of course.
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Old 01-15-2015, 07:27 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VTR View Post
TDI Minnie, can you elaborate some, sounds interesting. Link for that particular bulb. Be great to just run too Home Depot for something like lighting.
Philips 4-Watt Incandescent T5 12-Volt Wedge Light Bulb-416032 - The Home Depot
You find these in the landscape lighting area. They come in all different wattage.

I'm not sure if your RV uses this type of bulb, but mine does.
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