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Old 10-14-2010, 05:28 PM   #1
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Are 1156 lights good for interior lighting?

I am doing some research for my 1953 Cruiser total restore and I am planning on changing all of the 120v light to 12v LED. I plan on keeping the original fixtures but I was thinking of installing 1156 sockets where the edisons are.

QUESTION: What would be the best type of socket to use? My 79 Arogsy has 1156 light sockets but I am not sure if that is the best way to go. A concern of mine is that it may be old style and the prices of bulbs would go up. There are so many kinds I am not sure what would be best or if it would even matter.

Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-14-2010, 05:54 PM   #2
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Nick,

There are many alternatives to consider.

First of all you may wish to keep the Edison bases. There are 12 volt LEDs available with a screw base. Here is one example:

DR. LED Bulb-led at West Marine

If you do decide to switch to an 1156 style lamp then there are converters available so you can retain the original socket and mounting hardware

ANCOR MARINE Base at West Marine

But I would not opt for an LED conversion with those fixtures. LEDs do not perform well in fixtures that are not engineered for them, and overall there are still many problems with lamp life, light quality, intensity, and efficiency. Instead, consider fluorescent lamps with a spiral tube, which are available in 12 volt configurations with an Edison base from many sources. Here is one web site, there are many others:

12 volt DC compact fluorescent lights, 3 to 30 watts in spiral, double U tube, or bulbed, soft white and daylight, quantity discounts.

In practice with the kind of fixtures you have you won't get much more useful light per amp from LEDs than with the compact fluorescents.

Finally if you do replace fixtures you might consider the Taylorbrite fluorescent lights that are used in current production Airstreams. I have them and they're great, although I had to replace the tubes with ones with better color. These take up less headroom than the old fixtures - important if you're tall - and produce a lot of light.

Taylorbrite(R)
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Old 10-14-2010, 06:32 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info Jammer. We do a lot of boon docking and had just assumed that the LED's that I put in the Argosy was the most efficient. I have a lot more reading to do.

We actually like the amber and red colored LEDs for interior lighting. not for everyone but we like it.

I want to keep the original fixtures and did not realize that I could convert the Edison base to 12v. i hope I did not cut the wiring too short, it may be safer to solder new wire anyway on the 57 year old base.

Thanks again.
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Old 10-14-2010, 06:54 PM   #4
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Nick the sockets may be the same as 1156 but you should be using 1141 bulbs. The 1141's don't burn as hot and won't melt your lenses. 1156 are for cars and burn a lot higher and brighter. I can't tell you how many trailers I have seen with holes melted into the lenses from people using the 1156 bulbs.
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Old 10-14-2010, 08:54 PM   #5
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