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Old 08-25-2013, 08:06 AM   #1
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LED light conversion

Started looking at LED's for our T/T. I like the idea of how long they will last and the fact that they require very little power but are they really as bright or brighter than standard bulbs? Curious as to what experience anyone has had with LED's so far...
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Old 08-25-2013, 10:15 AM   #2
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LEDs are really nice, I replaced all my incondesents and floresents over a year ago.

LEDs come in various 'colors'. This color is determined in what they call Kelvin. A lower kelvin number reflects a more yellow light, which looks like the light from a regular incondesent bulb. The higher numbers will become more white and even to a bluish white.

I like the whiter lights in certain areas and the yellow ones in others, like the bedroom. Here's a link...


http://www.seesmartled.com/kb/choosi...r_temperature/


The light output is rated in lumens just as a regular bulb. So you would need to know the lumens of your present bulbs for a perfect match. I didn't do this when I started, but I got close enough. Since then I only changed out 2 bulbs.

I put 2 rows of strip LEDs in my floresent fixtures, which we used for a year. I just ordered another reel of them to add one more row. We just need a bit more light in those. The other benefit you didn't mention is the heat output of them. An LED is barely warm, an incondesent will burn your fingers. No way to measure, but no doubt helps keep the coach cooler and use the A/C a bit less.
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Old 08-25-2013, 10:32 AM   #3
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LED lights have a lot to like, but purchase can be tricky, there's a bunch of junk out there. As cylon51 said, Kelvin, the temperature color, of the light is important.

1900K Candle light or sunlight at sunrise or sunset
2000K - 2700K Blend in with fluorescent 2700K applications.
3000K - 3200K Used as a primary light source for retail applications.
3700K Used where a "softer" metal halide light source is desired.
4000K General lighting; factories: parking lots, warehouses
5000K - 5500K Daylight lamps: horticulture, aquariums, high color definition.
5600K Nominal sunlight (mid day during mid summer)
6000K Starts to get a blue tint like some automotive headlights

Lumens, or the amount of light they give off is important. A lot of LEDs are much dimmer than incandescent bulbs.

Another consideration is power regulation. Cheap LED bulbs have no resistors built into the circuit and they can be burnt out by overpowering them. Better bulbs have built in resistors to limit current flow. In the case of using strip lights, I recommend using voltage regulators wired between the fixture and the 12 v source. There is much information about this on this forum and also the 'net in general. Before spending big bucks, do a little self-educating.
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Old 08-25-2013, 12:16 PM   #4
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Yes I forgot about the heat issue. Probably solves the burned plastic cover problem on most of our overhead fixtures after getting some use.
Will definitely check out the link. Great information, appreciate the help here.....
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Old 08-25-2013, 12:33 PM   #5
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I started looking into these a little while back. It is a jungle out there. LEDs with the same Kelvin rating from different manufacturers will NOT be the same.

I was ordering one and two at a time just to see. There is a lot of junk out there. My conclusion is to buy from more standardized lines like Revolutution by Star Lights or Ming. I replaced the lights in my vanity with (3) Revolution 2099-270F bulbs. The are perfect. A little big, but perfect lighting.

I'm working on 8 new tires right now and will be continuing LED purchases when that is over. Till then my advice is to stay with those lines and just order 1 or 2 FIRST to make sure you like them. If you do, you can order more.
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Old 08-25-2013, 05:03 PM   #6
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LED Replacements

By tomorrow I will have replaced every lamp with a LED bulb. The little trailer I have has 4 different styles of bulbs. The dome
lights and reading lights have a "wedge" base. The ones I bought on Ebay have 200 lumens which may be just slightly less brightness
than the halogens but very little heat to burn the lens. The marker clearance" lights are also a wedge base but the led is a 5 led round
lamp. LEDs are polarized and if it does not light when you plug it in you will need to turn it 180 degrees and put it back in. My porch
light is a bayonet base bulb. Here is where you need to pay attentionto the existing bulb. It has pins on the base that are offset
(BAY 15S) (500 Lumen) the base has one contact. If it does not light you will need to swap the wires that go to the socket. I have two lamps
over the dressing mirror. Those two have a bayonet socket where the pins are horizontal (not offset) but has two contacts (BA 15D) (by the way the
D stands for dual contact). If it doesn't light then all you need to do is turn it 180 degrees which you can easily do. The Brake/Turn/Taillight
on the rear is a BAY 15D socket. Offset pins and dual contact. Those lights are 500 lumen each. I don't know how these will work until I
install them. Since the LEDs do not draw much current the flasher may go real fast. If that is the case you have to put a dropping resistor
across the leads of your flasher in your TV.
The 500 lumen lamps have 120 LED on them. My dome lights have 12 LEDs on them. You need to check the lumen output. More LEDs does
not mean a brighter lamp, if fact the 12 LED lamp has more lumens than the similar 24 LED lamp.
Many styles of LED assemblies. The biggest thing to understand is the type of base. Bayonet bases go this way. BAY 15D - dual contact,
BAY 15S - single contact - both have offset pins on the side. For bayonet bulbs with horizontal pins there is a BA 15D - dual contact and
a BA 15S - single contact. Offset pins BAY - horizontal pins BA. There are other bases that you may have so look at them closely.
The 120 LED bulbs were just under $5 each on Ebay. The 12 led lamps for the dome lights were just under $.90 each. And the marker lights
can be bought for about $.60 each but you have to shop around on Ebay for those prices because they vary quite a bit for the same lamp.
One other thing, the number of LEDs will vary quite a bit and again you need to find out the lumens. I wouldn't get anything less that 200
lumens for any purpose.
I hope that wasn't too lengthy but it didn't take me very long to get educated on LED lamps and sockets. Fortunately I only made one
error.
Good Luck!!
I forgot color. There are red, yellow, blue, amber, white, off white and the ones
I bought were "warm white". Some of the whites will have a slight blue look to
them.
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Old 08-26-2013, 07:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KT4Wextra View Post
By tomorrow I will have replaced every lamp with a LED bulb. The little trailer I have has 4 different styles of bulbs. The dome
lights and reading lights have a "wedge" base. The ones I bought on Ebay have 200 lumens which may be just slightly less brightness
than the halogens but very little heat to burn the lens. The marker clearance" lights are also a wedge base but the led is a 5 led round
lamp. LEDs are polarized and if it does not light when you plug it in you will need to turn it 180 degrees and put it back in. My porch
light is a bayonet base bulb. Here is where you need to pay attentionto the existing bulb. It has pins on the base that are offset
(BAY 15S) (500 Lumen) the base has one contact. If it does not light you will need to swap the wires that go to the socket. I have two lamps
over the dressing mirror. Those two have a bayonet socket where the pins are horizontal (not offset) but has two contacts (BA 15D) (by the way the
D stands for dual contact). If it doesn't light then all you need to do is turn it 180 degrees which you can easily do. The Brake/Turn/Taillight
on the rear is a BAY 15D socket. Offset pins and dual contact. Those lights are 500 lumen each. I don't know how these will work until I
install them. Since the LEDs do not draw much current the flasher may go real fast. If that is the case you have to put a dropping resistor
across the leads of your flasher in your TV.
The 500 lumen lamps have 120 LED on them. My dome lights have 12 LEDs on them. You need to check the lumen output. More LEDs does
not mean a brighter lamp, if fact the 12 LED lamp has more lumens than the similar 24 LED lamp.
Many styles of LED assemblies. The biggest thing to understand is the type of base. Bayonet bases go this way. BAY 15D - dual contact,
BAY 15S - single contact - both have offset pins on the side. For bayonet bulbs with horizontal pins there is a BA 15D - dual contact and
a BA 15S - single contact. Offset pins BAY - horizontal pins BA. There are other bases that you may have so look at them closely.
The 120 LED bulbs were just under $5 each on Ebay. The 12 led lamps for the dome lights were just under $.90 each. And the marker lights
can be bought for about $.60 each but you have to shop around on Ebay for those prices because they vary quite a bit for the same lamp.
One other thing, the number of LEDs will vary quite a bit and again you need to find out the lumens. I wouldn't get anything less that 200
lumens for any purpose.
I hope that wasn't too lengthy but it didn't take me very long to get educated on LED lamps and sockets. Fortunately I only made one
error.
Good Luck!!
I forgot color. There are red, yellow, blue, amber, white, off white and the ones
I bought were "warm white". Some of the whites will have a slight blue look to
them.
Great information, who would of thought there would have been so many variables to pay attention to. Appreciate the help, its nice to be informed before shopping for new technology....
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Old 08-26-2013, 11:01 AM   #8
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I got all my LED lights from LEDTrailerLights.com - RV LED Interior lights

They are all as bright, and some are brighter than the incandescent lamps I replaced. I did the upgrade several years ago and have upgraded my newest RV with them too.

The ones they sell do have voltage regulation circuitry in them and have a wide range of voltages they will operate at. (10-30vdc for most items)
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Old 08-27-2013, 07:23 AM   #9
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Will definitely check out that site. Have been looking around at Camping World and pretty expensive there.
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Old 08-27-2013, 11:16 AM   #10
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You can spend something like $30 each at RV dealers and vendors. I bought some 1156 replacements on ebay last year for under $5 and had no problems with them. The 1156 incandescent substitute LEDs come in flat squares with tape on the rear which makes them really easy to install. They come with a little adapter plug.

The ebay seller (in China) is "2011_led" and for as long as it stays up, the link is: http://http://www.ebay.com/itm/18070...84.m1423.l2649

The 1156 substitutes come in arrays of different quantities of LEDs in the array. When I bought them last year it was generally difficult to find out what the lumen output was but now it looks like it is easier to find. I got 36 LED arrays and in the pancake/dome light over the kitchen they were too bright to me. I'm not so sure that the lumen output they give you is all that accurate. I don't know if there are industry standards for specifying lumen output for LEDs in the lighting industry yet and I'd guess if they're from China, not. If you get the $5 ones and they're too bright or too dim, no big loss if you want to change them.

Our new TT came with a full LED lighting package. Most inside are puck lights but there are a few like under kitchen cabinets and overhead cabinets in the bedroom. Not sure why they didn't go all puck lights but that's another thread for another day. The dome lights we have inside have 26 LEDs in them to give folks an idea what works. For under kitchen cabinets, I would go with 36 LEDs and even 48 to get better task lighting over the counters.

If you have dome lights with a prismatic style of lens, which is designed to spread the output more evenly, with LEDs in them you will easily see all the "point sources" of the LEDs. It doesn't look quite right and can be a little annoying. The dome lights in our TT (with factory LEDs) have opaque lenses so you can't see the individual LEDs.

Cool white does not look good inside RVs especially with all the warm wood tones. Cool white is often used in fluorescent lamps in commercial stores but for residential use, it's just too blu-ish and harsh. Look for "warm tone" or "warm white" in the LED listings. The power awning we ordered with our TT came with an LED strip in it with a cool color. Our exterior is a warm light beige color and in the dark, the cool light does not look good against the exterior. Looks like a Mallwart or drugstore to me. Unfortunately I'm going to notice this more than most because of my background.

If looking at the lumens in some lamp types like 1141, don't expect the LEDs to necessarily put out the same level of light. To start with, the light fixtures the incandescent bulbs are in aren't designed to optimize the output by either bulb position or use of reflective surfaces behind the bulb. And when you substitute an LED, it can be fatter and/or longer and LEDs at or near the rear may not reflect the light back out as well. It's a bit of guesswork.

LED lights are a great development and perfect for RVs. Less power draw, long life and low heat output. You can cut down on wiring gauge size too.
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Old 08-27-2013, 12:32 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Stan827 View Post
Yes I forgot about the heat issue. Probably solves the burned plastic cover problem on most of our overhead fixtures after getting some use.
Will definitely check out the link. Great information, appreciate the help here.....
That melting is also probably from having a bulb with too high of a lumen rating.
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:13 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by jesilvas View Post
That melting is also probably from having a bulb with too high of a lumen rating.
While lumens and wattage are directly related, it is wattage, not lumens that you should cross reference on the fixture to make sure you are using the properly sized lamp.

LEDs are pretty expensive and regardless of matching Kelvin I believe that there is a "quality of light" issue (Maybe because I am an a professional lighting designer) that keeps me from changing everything. I only use LEDs on my exterior lights that I often leave on overnight.

The greatest benefit derived from LEDs (I believe) is for those running on batteries without shore power.
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Old 09-12-2013, 03:44 PM   #13
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As I spend most of my time dry camping I changed all my bulbs to LED s with the exception of one over the reading area. I buy the bulbs on ebay at about $22.00 for 10.
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Old 09-13-2013, 02:27 AM   #14
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As I spend most of my time dry camping I changed all my bulbs to LED s with the exception of one over the reading area. I buy the bulbs on ebay at about $22.00 for 10.
I do the same
1156 is replaced with BA-24 of 5050 warm white
921 replaced by 921. 13 of 5050 warm whites
Works for me as I have lots in stock for friends. And they area usually a bit brighter then existing bulbs.
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