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Old 02-23-2006, 09:39 AM   #1
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5 Watt bulbs in CCD

I've just reduced the lighting load in our 16' Bambi CCD by about half! I tried replacing a couple of the 10W halogen bulbs used in almost all of the CCD's lights.

I was expecting some reduction in apparent brightness, since the actual lumen output of the 5W is somewat less than half that of the 10W. But thanks to the miracle of human visual non-linearity, neither wife nor I could detect _any_ reduced brightnes from any single bulb.

So, we replaced every bulb we could (all 21 of them in the 16'!), and are very happy with the result. We did notice a slight decrease in what I'll call the
"overall impression of brightness" in the coach when ambiently lit, but it's certainly not enough to either impede use nor does it detract from the beautiful look of the interior at night.

Given our energy use patterns, this 50% savings in juice consumed by lights should reduce our overall 12V consumption by 25%. Fantastic for boondocking.

I encourage all CCDers to try the experiment if you camp away from generators or AC hookups.

Also, we now have 24 unneeded G4 12V10W halogen bulbs. 5 are new in box, 19 are of unknown age, since they came with our 2004 Bambi, purchased in Nov 2005. They'd cost about $40 including shipping from bulbs.com, I'll mail 'em to the first Airstreamer who wants 'em for 15 bucks.

Later,
jon
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Old 02-23-2006, 07:21 PM   #2
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Hello Jon
You are out ahead of me on this - could you post the part number of the 5 W bulbs, and where you got them? I checked my local A/S dealer last fall to see if what you have done was possible, but they didn't have any 5 watt bulbs, nor could they provide a part number.

We also have a 16' CCD, and are doing some other things for 12 V power management. We've got a Honda generator, I just bought a rapid-charge 3 stage charger, and will add a 2nd battery to make our boondock camping easier. Reducing the load like you've done is a great idea.

I was thinking about experimenting with dfifferent combinations of 5 & 10 W bulbs - maybe setting up some switches with all 10s, and others with all 5s. With your comment about it not making a huge difference in the light levels, it would be easier to just switch them all like you have done.

Thanks in advance for any info you can provide -
Bob
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Old 02-23-2006, 08:14 PM   #3
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Hi Bob,From bulbs.com:
http://bulbs.com/products/product.as...ucts&class=875

JCD12V5WH20 Light Bulb
Product Number: W-JCD12V5WH20
Specialty Brand 5W, 12V Halogen Capsule Lamp with G4 Base, 2000 Hours Rated Life, (0.36 inch / 9.0 mm diameter, 1.22 inch / 31.0 mm length), 2900K color, Sold Individually.

1.98 a pop currently, 1.78 for 18-26.

I had the same idea about mixing them, but once we saw how little difference they made in light level, I just switched them all out. YMMV.

By my measurements, they consume just a little less than half of the 10W bulbs.

Good luck!
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Old 02-23-2006, 08:22 PM   #4
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Thanks for the tip. One thing; can you explain how to get the 4%#*)! things out, and did you have any difficulties re-installing?
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Old 02-23-2006, 08:25 PM   #5
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Funny you should bring it up

Speaking of lighting........

I'm currently experimenting with a 1 watt Luxoen LED. This thing is unbelieveably bright and will last virtually forever (100,000 hrs.) and the emitter is about the size of a pencil eraser. I have two that I'm working with:
the first is 40 lumens and is cool white and the other is 25 lumens and is warm white.

I'll keep you posted on the visual satisfaction level and perceived brightness vs. the stock bulbs. The only drawback is the cost $25 each.....ouch .
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Old 02-23-2006, 09:11 PM   #6
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Jon
Thanks for the quick reply, I just ordered enough to change out all of my CCD lamps. My dry camping just got better, I won't have to keep after everyone to turn out the lights (at least not so much).

I added a TM500A battery monitor last year, so I can monitor the battery condition. I recorded the amperage readings on each switch, I can hardly wait to change the lamps and compare readings. Those little bulbs in the CCD are a great designer feature, but they sure draw a lot of current if you're trying to conserve, especially with the single Group 24 battery on the 16' trailers.

This is a great website - every good idea I can come up with has already been figured out by someone else first! Saves me so much time....

Thanks again
Bob
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Old 02-23-2006, 09:33 PM   #7
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Thanks for sharing

Great suggestion, Jon -

After spending last weekend boodocking - and having battery issues
which required bringing out the flashlights for our last night:
we'll certainly be changing out all those bulbs in our CCD.
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Old 02-23-2006, 10:31 PM   #8
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Great Work!

I'm going to give this a try. In my opinion they're a little too bright anyway.
Thanks,
KL
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Old 02-24-2006, 07:46 AM   #9
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Hello Frozen -

yeah, they're a pain to remove and an even bigger pain to get back in. i kept a bottle of rubbing alcohol handy for cleaning the bulbs, which are hard to install without bare-skin contact. i also kept a bottle of beer handy to provide the patience to keep cleaning off the bulbs i touched. i have no other suggestions.

Hello Lew -

please keep us updated on your Luxeon experiment! i tried making an array of "high-output" LED's with totally disappointing results. didn't find out about the Luxeons until after i'd changed out all my bubs. enough Luxeons to replace all the lights in a 16' CCD would cost over $500 - ouch!

Hi Bob -

the halogens are indeed killers, but seem as good as ya can do in incandescent technology. IMO the CCD compounds the problem because so much of the lighting provides ambience rather than function, and CCD owners tend to value ambience pretty highly.

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Old 02-24-2006, 08:05 AM   #10
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Jon--We had the same problem with our 04 Bambie--Small single battery, lots of load ,was a constant problem especially in cold weather when we needed all the battery we had to get us through the night. We've since traded for another but before I was trying to figure a different switching arrangment so as not having so many turned on at once. It seems that with you low wattage bulbs if you could put a few lamps on seperate switches it would help even more.----Pieman
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Old 02-24-2006, 10:28 AM   #11
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Jon.

Thanks. This is great info. I am going to consider doing this as well. I wonder if cutting the wattage in half actually uses half the power?

Jonathan
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Old 02-24-2006, 10:49 AM   #12
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Hiya Jonathan,

It posolutely does. Wattage is power. And Wattage = Volts * Amps, at least in resistive loads like incandescant lites.

In my case, the "10W" halogen uses .91 A @ 12.5 Volts, consuming 11.38 Watts.

The "5W" halogen uses .41 A @ 12.5 Volts, consuming 5.12 Watts.

jon
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Old 02-24-2006, 12:14 PM   #13
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The bulbs on this site sure don't look like what's in the ceiling; are these just covers inside of which these smaller bulbs plug into a socket? Does the cover unscrew or did you lever it out with (a screwdriver?)? Naturally, my manual provides nothing helpful here. Thanks.
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Old 02-24-2006, 12:26 PM   #14
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Frozen, I have some pictures or both bulb and housing on my website. Those are the correct bulbs.
http://www.avalonsystems.net/gallery/LED

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