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Old 11-27-2005, 11:26 PM   #1
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LED Lighting system

We started playing around with LED Lighting for our trailer. LED Lighting is very efficient and can go a long way to improving the boondocking abilities of any trailer.

Looking at the overhead lights in our trailer we have 4 incandescent lights in each overhead fixture of 18 watts per bulb (the other 2 are LED red lights which we use for astronomy). That's over 70 watts of lighting load per fixture. And because incandescent lighting os mostly wasted energy in the form of heat it is easy to see that incandescent lighting is a waste.

Flourescent lighting is certainly an answer to improving the lighting situation but it is not the only answer.

Our goal is to see if we can convert to LED lighting and reduce our dependance on incandescent lighting to zero. If this goal can be attained I expect that we could run the entire trailer lights for less energy than one overhead fixture. A vast improvement.

I am documenting these efforts on our site (of course). Any thoughts on the subject is appreciated.
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Old 11-27-2005, 11:43 PM   #2
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Very interesting. I can't wait to see how the first conversion works out. How do you anticipate the quality of light will compare to the original fixture? Will it be as bright? Will it be a neutral color, or yellowish like the incandecents?
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Old 11-27-2005, 11:51 PM   #3
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The first project will be some accent lighting probably. I expect the lighting quality to be fine. I am using warm light LEDs which means that the light more closely resembles the warmness of incandescent lighting. They are still blueish in nature but if fluorescent light is good enough then LED lighting should be fine.

For incandescent fixtures I will go another direction - strips of LEDs of a different style. I will add those as I build them.
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Old 11-27-2005, 11:53 PM   #4
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We are still awaiting delivery of our Airstream Safari, but I've already considered replacing incandescent lighting with either LED or Xenon. I'll be following your progress with keen interest. Please let us know all the details including the costs.

We have Xenon in our kitchen for undercounter and inside cabinet lighting. While the first cost was high, the performance has been spectacular. We have no windows in our kitchen and the lights are on almost all day long. With just 5 and 10 watt bulbs we have not had a single failure in 5 years of continual use and the lighting is superb, bright, even, and dimmable.

I hope the LEDs can be as effective in your project.
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Old 11-28-2005, 12:07 AM   #5
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Mike,

I would love more info on your lighting! Xenon or what I expect is HID lighting is quite efficient.

Color temperature is an important aspect of any lighting system - especially if bright blue light disturbs you (as it does many people).

The LEDS I am using is about 6000k at the voltage I am using so they are comperable to overcast light - still quite blue compared to incandescent light at 3000K.
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Old 11-28-2005, 12:21 AM   #6
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Yes, our lighting is definitely Xenon. The 5 and 10 watt bulbs simply clip into a wire strip so they can be placed anywhere along the length. Because these are DC we have a transformer. They are 24 volt. Notation on the wiring says that it is "Ambiance by Sea Gulf Lighting."

I don't know the temperature of the light, but the color is pure white with none of the blue, yellow, or other casts noticeable with other lighting.

I'll see if I still have specs in our remodelling folder.
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Old 11-28-2005, 12:27 AM   #7
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Couldn't find anything on GOOGLE. But yes - if you find info I would be very interested!!
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Old 11-28-2005, 12:31 AM   #8
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Try Googling Xenon and you'll find many offerings. I imagine we were early adopters 5 years ago when we remodelled our house. Companies and their offerings might have changed quite a bit in the interim.
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Old 11-28-2005, 12:32 AM   #9
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I am still working it!!!
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Old 11-28-2005, 04:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myoung
The 5 and 10 watt bulbs simply clip into a wire strip so they can be placed anywhere along the length. Because these are DC we have a transformer. They are 24 volt.
We have the same under-cabinet lights in our kitchen. They have a nice warm color. I've never thought of using them in the A/S, but I definately think they are worth considering.

Below: Under cabinet 10w xenon lighting (pic 1)
Closeup of xenon bulb (pic 2)


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Old 11-28-2005, 02:03 PM   #11
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I learned something in this xenon lighting. It is not what I thought - HID lighting. HID stands for High Intensity Discharge. This is the same type of lighting found on modern cars that have that familiar bright blue glow.

In the type of lights you are talking about the xenon refers to the gas that fills the bulb. Halogen and xenon are gasses pumped into the bulb in a small amount prior to the bulb being sealed. The gas allows the filament to run at a higher temperature without burning up. This of course produces a brighter light. The gas helps remove the heat from the filament to the glass allowing the bulb to run hotter.

This is an efficient lighting system but generally still not as efficient as LED of compact fluorescent lighting. But certainly much more pleasing a color to the eye than the blueish ting of LED or CF.
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Old 11-28-2005, 03:00 PM   #12
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If it helps any the following website lists a number of LED and Xenon light fixtures that are intended for marine environments:

http://www.sailboatstuff.com/index.html

I am going to be interested in various lighting options myself when I finally can get to that point in my restoration process so I will interested in what you all find to be good solutions.

Malcolm
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Old 11-28-2005, 11:36 PM   #13
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I have purchased 8 of these http://ylighting.com/hr-86.html to install recessed in the living room / kitchen area of my A/S. I haven't installed them yet, but did a "test run" with a couple taped to the ceiling. They put out plenty of light and I think they'll work out great. They also can be installed under cabinet if desired. Nice quality product.
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Old 11-29-2005, 12:09 AM   #14
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Some fun...........Thanks for the lighting site. I just went to it and ordered 8. I have 3 light fixtures, 6 bulbs each, in my 79 overlander and they draw lots of power and my truck will not recharge the trailer battery. I wonder what goes with that?
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