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Old 02-01-2015, 10:09 PM   #1
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1979 31' Excella 500
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Dimmable Recessed 12v LED Lights?

Hello,

I'm considering adding some overhead lighting to our '79 Excella 500 while it's under the knife (gutted at this point). There are some areas where I'd like to install Dimmable 12v LED lights.

I've read that LED lights, unlike conventional non-LED or CFL bulbs, require special circuitry in order from them to be able to dim. So my questions are these:
  1. Has anyone installed dimmable LED lights in their AS? If so, can you point me to a brand or model number?
  2. I'm guessing I need a special 12v wall switch for this... perhaps something like this one (below) from LEDSupply.com.
  3. Are there any other components (external power suppliers, converters, "drivers", etc...) that I need to use a dimmer with LED lighting? I'm totally new at this...

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Old 02-01-2015, 10:24 PM   #2
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Contact Dan at led4rv.com
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Old 02-01-2015, 10:28 PM   #3
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Many 12V puck lights contain internal circuitry to insure a constant light output as the input voltage varies over a great range - sometimes from 8 to 30V. These will not work w/ dimmers. You need a simpler setup, where a dropping resistor is used. These lights can be dimmed w/ the standard pulse width modulated dimmers. Some also have more sophisticated circuits that take input voltage into account and directly vary the LED current to control light output. I've not used puck-style lights - our vintage Airstream got indirect LED strips and recessed task lighting LEDs - so I don't have sources for these.

I've used the following dimmer (from a different supplier) with good success:

http://www.amazon.com/Dimming-Contro.../dp/B007V1B0W8.

- Bart
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Old 02-01-2015, 10:28 PM   #4
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Bump to follow...


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Old 02-02-2015, 05:46 AM   #5
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Try Thin Lite 12 v dim able LED lights. I bought 4 of them. All of the dim feature is internal. I connected them to existing wall switch. They have a memory and go back to where you set them. Dimmer is on the fixture. Nice warm white light. A little pricey but includes every thing and very thin


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Old 02-02-2015, 08:42 AM   #6
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Some of the factory installed LED's on our 2014 are dim-able so I know it's possible.
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Old 02-02-2015, 09:17 AM   #7
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I second contacting Dan at LED4RV. I was in a Lance TT this weekend that had LED flush mount lights on a dimmer. No clue as to what brand.

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Old 02-02-2015, 09:24 AM   #8
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"Barts" is on the right path. I have installed 3 of these in our AS ... they are "LED Driver" circuitry.

You do NOT have to keep them inside the plastic box... I did.. but you don't have to.
I have pics of the installed items, along with some shots of the flexibility of this lighting. PM if interested.
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Old 02-02-2015, 02:21 PM   #9
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Thanks for the replies everyone. Because I have a blank slate for the interior restoration, we opted for:
  • An LED Flex Strip (12v, Dimmable) either diffused or not directly visible
  • Not sure on the dimmer switch yet (either this one or this one)
  • And for the lights destined for cabinets that don't require dimming we'll use magnetic switches (like these or these) to just turn on the LED lights when the cabinet door is opened.
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Old 02-02-2015, 04:27 PM   #10
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Those are nice. However, you realize you will need adequate depth to mount those? It appears they are similar to the ones we referenced as 'surface' mount... But, they do look much 'cleaner'...so I can see why you are attracted to them.

If mine, I might mount a shallow surface box so you don't have to cut a huge rectangle in the wall.

The 'magnetic' switches also have 'limited' power handling capability.. I did not see how much they can handle.. but... I may not have been able to read well enough and just missed it.
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Old 02-02-2015, 06:52 PM   #11
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FYI, my '12 28' Intl CCD had several sets of dimmable lighting in the overhead puck lights. They worked well. My new '15 Classic also has LED's in the ceiling but there isn't a single dimmable light in the entire trailer. Interesting.
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Old 02-04-2015, 06:01 PM   #12
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I am installing LEDs from IKEA... they are already 12Volt.can be chained together and offer dimmable puck size units. Prices are from $14 to $49.
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Old 02-04-2015, 09:30 PM   #13
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Take a looksee over on Amazon, lots of LED bulbs and fixtures and many are fairly cheap. Wiring LED lights is one step more complicated than standard 12v bulbs, you just have to get the polarity right since they are diodes and wont work if the + and - are backwards.

They have small puck lights, recessed lights and my favorite, strip lights. Here are a couple of examples, they are all under 10 bucks each. Search amazon for 12v led recessed lighting.







I just picked up an exterior LED flexible light strip that I'm going to try and use right below the awning for 10 bucks that came today. It has a plastic coating on all the LED's and hopefully will be fairly durable and is supposed to be waterproof and I hope weatherproof. For that price I dont think I could go too far wrong. When installed it should look something like this



I've used the strip lights on the inside to provide a diffuse wall wash effect, here are a couple of photos:

Over the two side windows:


On the right, above the cabinet and below shining down on the counter:


I'm planning on putting the strip lights on top of all the cabinets to wash the ceiling with light and on the inside of the closets. BTW, use a microswitch to turn them on and off, not a magnetic switch. A microswitch can handle the current just fine and has a small throw. You can get these at Amazon or at a local radio shack or electrical parts store for a couple of bucks each. Even if they are rated for 110v, no problem all you have is 12v. Just make sure they are normally open when there is no pressure on the lever.

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Old 02-05-2015, 04:36 AM   #14
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Great pics. That looks very nice
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