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Old 07-11-2017, 10:33 PM   #1
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Hitch light possessed! Glowing when off!

Recently, I updated all the interior lights, plus the doorway and hitch lamp to LEDs on our newly acquired 2006 16' Bambi. LEDs rock. Power consumption is way down.

But this is where it gets weird. I swapped out the hitch lamp, a glass blade connector, for an LED version. It is very bright when on, but it STILL GLOWS when off. It's difficult to see in daytime (but possible), but at night it illuminates a small area. IT IS POSSESSED.

Whoa! The incandescent didn't do this. Only the LED! What's going on?

So, I pulled the LED lamp out when I put it into storage for a few weeks to minimize battery drain.

Anyone else come across this?

My theory is that there is a low-conductivity (but not zero conductivity) path across the switch due to grime and whatever, and that's enough current to cause the LED to emit visible light, though at a low level. The incandescent bulb may have bled an equal amount of current too when OFF too, but wasn't efficient enough to illuminate with it. I guess I should eventually remove the hitch jack hood, accessing the switch, and clean everything and put the LED back in. Or not.
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Old 07-11-2017, 11:29 PM   #2
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I suggest that possession is not the problem. LEDs require very little current to illuminate slightly and some other appliance/light can result in enough current flowing through the ground wire to make the LED light up slightly.

For example, last year I switched out all of our running lights, signal lights, brake lights, and backup lights for LEDs. Wouldn't you know it, turning on the signal blinker when hitched up made ALL of the lights blink. Switching back to incandescents for all but the backup lights took care of the problem.

I suspect that the floating ground of an Airstream has something to do with the LED glowing effect.

Tim
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Old 07-17-2017, 08:24 PM   #3
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If the switch for the hitch light is the illuminated type the switch neon lamp will pass enough current to cause the LED to glow.
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Old 07-18-2017, 07:25 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ITSNO60 View Post
If the switch for the hitch light is the illuminated type the switch neon lamp will pass enough current to cause the LED to glow.
That's a good point. Alas, it is just a standard switch.
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