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Old 03-13-2009, 07:08 PM   #1
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Lightbulb Interior Lighting

I own a Safari SS with the vinyl celing and am having trouble seeing. I'm old. The interior lights are the two lamp, celing mounted, center switch, standard 12 volt system. I would like to install or retrofit the standard system with halogen or led light bulbs or fixtures. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I can do to increase the light output. I called the Airstream service center in Ohio but they didn't seem too helpful. Thanks
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Old 03-13-2009, 07:17 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Shiney metal View Post
I own a Safari SS with the vinyl celing and am having trouble seeing. I'm old. The interior lights are the two lamp, celing mounted, center switch, standard 12 volt system. I would like to install or retrofit the standard system with halogen or led light bulbs or fixtures. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I can do to increase the light output. I called the Airstream service center in Ohio but they didn't seem too helpful. Thanks
There are several solutions to increasing the light.

Sort of depends on your budget, and the amount of battery drain that your willing to put up with, when running self contained.

Andt
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Old 03-13-2009, 08:04 PM   #3
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Hi Shiney metal,
Welcome to the forums!

I am not familar with the newer Airstreams...I am a vintage guy, in more ways than one

One thing I am doing on mine as part of the rehab is installing Thinlite fluorescents in the ceiling to increase overall lighting. They give a bunch of light but don't drain the battery like incandescents do. Depending on how you trailer is wired it may be possible to snag a 12v power feed pretty easily. I tapped off of the vent fan circuits and the existing lighting circuits.

Aaron
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Old 03-13-2009, 08:33 PM   #4
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Airstream put a bunch of these surface mount and these recessed mount in our 2002 Limited. As in your home, fluorescents are brighter and use less power than incandescent lights.

In our trailer, Airstream mounted them in pairs overhead. Two in the living room, two in the dining room, two in the dressing area, and two over the bathroom mirror. They used one over the galley sink (but should've used two there), one over the appliance garage and one in the bedroom. Using pairs, you can really crank up the brightness when on campground power and use half the light to save battery power when boondocking.

Thin-Lite has a large selection, including even brighter ones that use larger than 8W tubes.

That said, light falls off with the square of the distance. Wall or reading lamps that are 1/3 the distance from your book than the ceiling is need only one-ninth the light intensity of an overhead light. You might check out YachtLights.com or other places for 12 volt solutions.
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Old 03-13-2009, 11:10 PM   #5
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I've had good luck with Xenon puck lights. They put out lots of good quality light. I had to put in lower wattage bulbs to reduce the light. They can run directly off 12 volts without a transformer.

They are similar to halogen lights, but run a lot cooler.
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Old 03-14-2009, 12:58 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Shiney metal View Post
I own a Safari SS with the vinyl celing and am having trouble seeing. I'm old. The interior lights are the two lamp, celing mounted, center switch, standard 12 volt system. I would like to install or retrofit the standard system with halogen or led light bulbs or fixtures. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I can do to increase the light output. I called the Airstream service center in Ohio but they didn't seem too helpful. Thanks
Hi, I have the same set-up as you do. I have 12 light assemblies inside of my trailer. Two light fixtures under the front overhead cabinet, two light fixtures under the rear overhead cabinet, and one fixture in the clothes closet that are all single bulb units. All of the rest are double bulb units. [on the ceiling and in the bathroom] We seldem ever have more than two sets of two lights on at any time and it is plenty bright inside. Maybe what you really mean is that you need a reading lamp?
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Old 03-14-2009, 09:31 AM   #7
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A lot of folks have gone through this process. LEDs are by far the lowest power consumption, but the lumens are not the same as the 1156 or similar bulbs. They do run far cooler, but light output can be a bit light for living areas, or at least what I've tested and read from others. If such a beast exists, I would love to try another LED test as they are the perfect fit for boondocking.

I did swap out one of the main lights in the galley for a thin-lite which draws 3.5 amps less than the two standard bulb type that came with the trailer. I do boondock, but frankly with stereo (and now sub), fantastic fans running during warmer times, I simply bought a 1000 watt LP powered gen to top off the batteries as they get low. The biggest power robbers in order IMHO are stereo (and related), pump, power vents, lights. As you can see the lights take the least and if you still use the pump and fans, and if you want tunes, yer still gonna drain her down, even if you have 2 batteries. I lasted about a week before it got low enough to wonder if I would make another day. That's when I got the gen and now is not a concern because I always have at least one full tank of LP out of the two on board.
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