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Old 03-12-2012, 07:18 PM   #1
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McLean Eletronics Inc. Fluorescent RV Lights details?

I picked up a couple of vintage Fluorescent Light fixtures for $5 of of craigslist this past weekend, both are 18" 30w units that use 2 of the F15T8 tubes.

The model is 2M15 from Mclean Electronics Inc of San Obispo, CA, manufactured in 1987. I can't find any details of the company these days, however, the Model 116 Classic fixture from ThinLite (From Camarillo, CA) looks identical to them even down to the styling on the diffuser.

My Lights:



Model 116 ThinLite Classic Fixture:



Is anyone familiar with these light fixtures? Is ThinLite the old McLean Electronics Inc. group?
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:16 PM   #2
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Bump..Anyone?
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wallaby Dan
Bump..Anyone?
Well, I contacted thinlite and confirmed that they and mclean were in no way connected, but the replacement ballasts for the thinlite 116 will work with the old mclean units.

Those cost $30 each and I can get them locally.

Sadly, I've not managed to track down anymore info on mclean eletronics.
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Old 03-16-2012, 02:53 AM   #4
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Since you've got the cool vintage fixtures, you might consider converting them to strip LEDs to conserve energy (30 watts each- yikes!)

A good thread on that here
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Old 03-16-2012, 03:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Senior Chief View Post
Since you've got the cool vintage fixtures, you might consider converting them to strip LEDs to conserve energy (30 watts each- yikes!)

A good thread on that here
30 watts, 2.2 amps total power consumed per fixture (still less than the original 921 base bulb fixtures they replaced), producing 1740 lumens of cool white (4100K color) light.

I haven't found an LED solution that can produce as much light, yet, for the same dollar amount. I can buy new Fluorescent tubes for these fixtures at any home depot/ lowes/etc... for $6 apiece with a service life of 7500 Hours per tube, but I have to still special order most LED bulbs off the net for around $8-11 a bulb for the small ones.

I like LEDs, but they're still too expensive for the amount of lumens per blub to warrant investing the money at this time.

I got 2 fixtures for $5, new tubes cost $6 apiece, so if I used both $24 total for bulbs, $29 to brighten the interior of camper up to a more comfortable light level that still consumes less power than the previous incandescent fixtures I had.
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Old 03-17-2012, 11:47 AM   #6
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If you don't camp off-grid very often, it may not make much difference to you. I believe I can turn on nearly every light in our MH for about the same AHs as your flourescent uses. Since the LEDs will likely last 10 times longer than a fluorescent bulb, and maybe 50 times longer than the halides that were standard in our new fixtures, I'm happy with the way the costs break down for us.

I paid around $15 for a 15 foot chunk of this stuff. I have a future project rigging up some ambient crown molding lighting using this.
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Old 03-19-2012, 03:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Senior Chief View Post
If you don't camp off-grid very often, it may not make much difference to you. I believe I can turn on nearly every light in our MH for about the same AHs as your flourescent uses. Since the LEDs will likely last 10 times longer than a fluorescent bulb, and maybe 50 times longer than the halides that were standard in our new fixtures, I'm happy with the way the costs break down for us.

I paid around $15 for a 15 foot chunk of this stuff. I have a future project rigging up some ambient crown molding lighting using this.
I camp off the grid alot, the current incandescent bulbs were drawing around 1.5-2amps each for half as much light as the current fluorescent fixture is drawing for 3x the brightness.

My next goal will be to replace the second wedge bulb fixture in the kitchen area with a circline-style fluorescent fixture (round tube) so that I have an even light zone in the camper.

As it is now, it's an odd dichotomy of full illumination to dim illumination walking forward to the kitchen area.

When I'm done, I will have gone from consuming 8-10amps of juice with the lights on to 4.5 amps for 3x the brightness.

When they can make a single bulb LED fixture that produces 870-1000 lumens each for $6 apiece and available at Home Depot/Walmart/Lowes, etc... (Without having to fiddle with gluing circuit boards filled with LEDs into a fixture), I'll consider investing more into LEDs, right now, I'm going with the power saving technology from the days before LEDs came out, which is fluorescent fixtures, to get the light levels I need to keep from getting alot of eye strain (A problem I had alot when using my laptop before I switched to the 1740 Lumen fluorescent fixture I have now).
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