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Old 11-09-2012, 04:39 PM   #29
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Thanks for finding these led light strips. Has anyone tried these connectors instead of soldering? They look like they are the right connectors, and would be easier than soldering. I hope my crude computer skills copied the ebay listing correctly.
10pcs 10mm Width Connector for Single Color 5050 LED Strip Lights No Need Solder | eBay
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Old 11-09-2012, 05:38 PM   #30
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Looks like they are just to connect 2 strips together. However you could cut they at the center and use them and wire nuts to connect strips to your wiring.

I just finished all the lights in my trailer and I think they would present a problem in the smaller fixtures. I put 2, 3, or 4 strips of 2 sections each in each fixture. Space at the hole where the bulb socket used to be would be a problem
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Old 11-09-2012, 05:43 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knutson View Post
Thanks for finding these led light strips. Has anyone tried these connectors instead of soldering? They look like they are the right connectors, and would be easier than soldering. I hope my crude computer skills copied the ebay listing correctly.
10pcs 10mm Width Connector for Single Color 5050 LED Strip Lights No Need Solder | eBay
I suppose you could use them, though I think they would get expensive especially if you have multiple strips in one fixture. Amazon also sells a version, seems a bit cheaper too. I like soldered connections since they dont work loose with vibration, these would have to work on some sort of sharp point making contact under spring tension. Plus it is better not to go end to end with multiple strips as the voltage drop becomes higher the longer the total length of the lights. If you wire them up in parallel, then they all see the same voltage and should be brighter.
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:01 PM   #32
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I thought I'd give these strips a try, since I'm going to retain the old vents and light fixtures in my "Burning Man" Safari. I used 1/2 of a reel of "white" (as it turns out, cool white) LEDs to populate this fixture. I modified the mechanical support for the enclosure and added a single pole double throw (on-off-on) switch in order to provide two settings, bright and dim.

The 3rd photo is the C9WW from LED4RV, a much more efficient alternative. I'm going to attempt to devise a mechanical mount for these and see how they look inside the shroud (next post).









Positive side:
  1. Provides an area light using the original fixture
  2. The yellowed enclosure does filter the cool white to an almost acceptable color
  3. Dims very nicely. A 30 ohm, 1W resistor in series reduces the current draw to 140 milliamps. I'll check the brightness to see if this amount of current provides sufficient ambient background illumination, once I get it installed. (this puts about 8 volts on the LEDs. at this low voltage level about 2% of the LEDs don't illuminate.)
  4. The illumination angle is wide, like 160 degrees, compared to the 120 degrees of the C9WW.
Negative side:
  1. The color is still very close to piercing blue, but OK
  2. The light output is a little bit brighter than a single C9WW (warm white and without a shroud) from LED4RV (and many other vendors), but uses about 10 times as much current.
  3. It's very time-consuming to cut and solder each length of LED tape
  4. The total current of the 50 segments (the strips are in short segments of 3 LEDs and a resistor, which can be cut. I used two 7-segment pieces and six 6-segment pieces) is about 1.2 amps. This is about 8 times what the more efficient C9WW draws. Although this is about a five-fold improvement over the six incandescent bulbs, it is still 8 times more current than the C9WW uses, for about the same light output. (caution: light output was estimated by eye, which is notoriously inaccurate )
Bottom line (for now) is that I think these LED strips are acceptable, particularly if you have to retain the orginal fixture.

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Old 11-25-2012, 04:09 PM   #33
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To each his own. I'm happy with them, guess my expectations aren't as high. One of those c9ww assemblies costs as much as the whole 15 foot strip of these LED's.
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:18 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquinob View Post
To each his own. I'm happy with them, ...

One of those c9ww assemblies costs [a lot]...
I agree. When I saw this thread I had to try it out right away. Now tht I've installed the modified lights, I am thinking that the strips are a bit brighter than two of the round G4 "chips," once the shrouds are installed.

That being said, the C9WW or the 10-LED equivalent are now routinely available for $3.50 to $5. Even the 12-LED or 15-LED versions are $5 to $6. I'm going to try a 15-LED version in the scare light.

The cool [blue] white strips under the shroud produce a slightly greenish color to my eye, while the warm white is yellow but appears [to me] a more pleasing white. The cool white strips, in combination with the shroud, make me feel like there's an aquarium with a flourescent light in the Airsteam. I think the camera caught the colors pretty accurately (disregard the brightness, they are pretty close by eye). I have to admit I like the way the strip illuminates the entire shroud. (My warm strip reel came today, but I don't think I'll retrofit the light I've completed.)

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Note the "puck" in the above photo. These are designed for low voltage halogens and will fit only LEDs that are small, no more than 1-3/16" diameter. I've been installing these puck fixtures in several trailers, so I didn't even consider the larger 15-LED versions for this conversion. Duh. BTW, this puck light is controlled by the switch at the door that previously turned on the over-sink light, so it can be turned on before stepping into the Safari.

The details for mounting the G4 puck light in the old fixture requires making a small bracket to hold the socket (I may extend the socket to put the LEDs closer to the shroud, with the intent of cutting a circular hole immediately below the LEDs, but I'm concerned that that won't be very attractive). This particular vent has a fan, which turns on when the vent is open only a little. I wanted to be able to turn the fan off with the vent fully open, so I added a switch for it, too.

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Old 11-26-2012, 07:56 PM   #35
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I recently replaced the 18" tubes in a Thin Lite 116 fixture with 6 strips of 60 LED/Meter (300 in 5) 3528 Warm White. I am pleased with the color of the light, it is very similar to the Phillips warm white fluorescent tubes I use exclusively. However, it seems like the tubes don't last in the Thin Lite fixtures. I've also had to replace ballasts. I bought the LED strips for somewhere else, but it dawned on me that using the LED strips would be cheaper than replacing the tubes once, much less having to replace them frequently—not to mention the ballasts.

However, I am less than pleased with the amount of light from the 6 strips in the 116 fixture. It's about the same as from a 112 fixture. Maybe slightly less.

I recently bought 3 reels of 120/Meter (600 for 5 meters) 3528 Warm Whites. These should put out twice as much light since there are twice as many LEDs. I did go ahead and get waterproof ones this time since I plan to use them in the light fixtures around the vents like you did. They weren't that much more expensive. They do look like they will be a little more hassle to deal with soldering leads, but I haven't started that yet.

I plan to do all the Thin Lite fixtures as this batch of fluorescent tubes burn out. The ones in the bathroom are going to go any time. I'm also planning on putting LEDs behind the valances over the windows, the Thin Lites there have never worked.

I'll put up photos and more complete comparisons at things progress.

BTW, if anyone's interested, the LEDs did come from eBay, but not from those links. I just found them for example. Ditto for the links to the Thin Lite 116 and 112 fixtures. Just for illustration.
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:01 AM   #36
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Could someone please show pictures of the solder work before the shrink wrap is applied. I'm a solder from way back BUT never this tiny type of application. many Thanx JC
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:26 AM   #37
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Sorry I did not take any pictures while converting my interior lights. However if you have soldered in the past it is a simple operation. Just get a small tipped low wattage iron from R Shack. The strips have clear marking of + and - at each section. Just touch a dab os solder at each solder point on the strips, tin the tip of each wire and then place them together and touch the iron to the join and it is done.

Make sure you are using polarized wire so you can maintain polarity throughout the system> I used small speaker wire again from RS.
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:05 PM   #38
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LED Retrofit for Fluorescent Ceiling Vent/Light

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim & Mitzi View Post
Could someone please show pictures of the solder work before the shrink wrap is applied. I'm a solder from way back BUT never this tiny type of application. many Thanx JC
I love a good segue. I started a new thread for my conversion because I had fluorescent fixtures rather than the 6-bulb incandescent ones. However the bases of the fixtures are pretty much the same. I linked that thread to this one, but hadn't gotten around to linking from this one.

The thread is "LED Retrofit for Fluorescent Ceiling Vent/Light." Two of the pictures in the first post are closeups showing exactly that. Like HowiE I used a small soldering iron (mine came from Harbor Freight) and small speaker wire. Instead of shrink wrap, I used liquid electrical tape for this application. I don't have pics of it in place, but I just put a couple of tick coats over the connections and also used it to adhere the small loops of wire to the fixture. As HowiE mentioned, keep track of polarity.

(On another note, this is the only use I recommend for the small speaker wire. IMHO, it's useless for speakers. Big is what you want for speakers. For LED lights, it's fine.)
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:59 PM   #39
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I don't have any pix of the joints themselves, but couple of things to keep in mind. After you strip the wire, go ahead and tin it, that will make it easier to stick it in the joint. Also, I peel a little bit of the adhesive tape back and stick the end on a small piece of wood which stabilizes the work. Then solder the wires by holding the iron tip on top of the wire on top of the solder spot on the led. It will take a half second for it all to melt then just hold the wire there for 1-2 secs and it should be solid. You may want to use some needle nose pliers or something to hold the wire if it gets too hot for the fingers. In the end you should have shiny connections and should be able to tug on the wires and not have them pull apart. And if you stick the end of the led strip temporarily to metal, it may draw off too much heat from the joint to work well, but experiment a bit to see what works best for you.

HTH.
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:49 AM   #40
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Bob, did you have to replace the original switch? The picture in post 1 looks like there are two switches there but I can't really tell.

I love this idea, I'm going to give it a try too.
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:22 AM   #41
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Bob, did you have to replace the original switch? The picture in post 1 looks like there are two switches there but I can't really tell.

I love this idea, I'm going to give it a try too.
Brad
I used the original switches. There were two, one was for the fan that used to be part of the vent. The one for the lamp was a 3 position switch so I wired the banks so you would still get the 3 levels of brightness (one bank, two banks, all three).
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Old 02-18-2013, 05:55 PM   #42
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I recently replaced all the florescent bulbs in our trailer with these LED strips from Amazon, and everything was great for a while.

Now the one in the bathroom, the 18 incher that I installed six rows in has gotten very dim. I've checked the voltage both at the switch and at the strips, and it is good.

What could have caused these LED's to go dim?
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