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Old 08-29-2012, 08:29 AM   #1
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LED / interior light report

After a major battery failure last year, I decided to update the lighting. Following is a comparison of various lights.





A: 1430 milliamps - original overhead lamp
B: 80 milliamp - LED dome lamp
C: 830 milliamp - halogen reading lamp
D: 100 milliamp - LED replacemt for C
E: 130 milliamp - 3 LED reading lamp
G: 128 milliamp - Marine LED berth lamp, not shown

I eventually replaced the most used overhead lamps with a "chart" lamp from a large national marine supplier as show below. It draws 360 milliamps in white mode, red is about 250. I also bought two "berth" LED lamps that have about 20 LEDs, simial to E but much brighter. Each of these lamps was about $80 - a bit pricey but worth it if it works.


I am hoping that these changes will significantly extend battery life. The original lamps use 1141(?) bulbs and draw a lot of current, in my opinion the replacements give as much or more light and are a significant improvement.

I also measured current draw going INTO the converter when disconnected from shore power, about 10 milliamps. The Dometic refrigerator draws about 60 - but I did get one reading of 900 when the "climate control" switch was on, later I checked and it was only 660. Still, the climate control takes alot of current and may have been a major cause of my problems last year.

Hope this is helpful to some of you.

Whit Nash rwnash@charter.net
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Old 08-29-2012, 09:16 AM   #2
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Recently I cut the ballast wires on our overheads, removed the tubes and replaced them with LED strips. While we like the bright white option for now, it was nice to see that the LEDs also come in a soft white should we ever return some of all of the fixtures to the softer light.
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Old 08-29-2012, 10:18 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZoominC6 View Post
Recently I cut the ballast wires on our overheads, removed the tubes and replaced them with LED strips.
I bought similar replacement strips for the 2 fluorescent lights that we use most at the Airstream store during Alumapalooza. I really like them. Instant on and really bright. I intend to get two more and that will cover all of the fluorescent fixtures that get any use. There are three more florescents that almost never get turned on and not worth spending money on.
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Old 08-29-2012, 11:49 AM   #4
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Where did you get led strips?
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:53 PM   #5
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Where did you get led strips?
As I said in my post previous to yours, the Airstream Store at Jackson Center has them. They work great and the instructions are good.
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:38 PM   #6
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If you dont mind my asking, who was the supplier for the chart lights?
I know I am a little weird-my wife says a lot weird!, but often while camping and hunting I do not want to affect my night vision and the red light option sounds interesting.
tim
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Old 08-30-2012, 09:38 AM   #7
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LED source

Tim,

Hope that I am not violating any forum rules but I got both the chart lights and the berth lights from West Marine. In a fromer life I used to spend more time afloat and became familiar with various boating sources. In many ways, boats and travel trailers have similar requirements so the Marine people can have products that are helpful - if not cheap! Last year I bought a battery switchfrom them that allows me to have separate banks or combine the two. Should give me some warning that I have a few days to find shore power. Will see how it works starting next week.

If you need it I can probably hunt down the part numbers; but as I recall their web site is pretty good. We used one chart light last year over the sink and it worked out well - hope the more recent changes are as good.

Whit Nash
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Old 08-30-2012, 09:51 AM   #8
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Thanks for the reminder about West Marine. When I was a boat owner I utilized them often and they are a good source for a variety of RV and boating needs.
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Old 09-01-2012, 09:40 AM   #9
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thanks Whit for the info. I have used West Marine in the past for electrical panels and such, forgot about lighting. I agree completely about the quality of marine products vs Rv in general there is no comparison, but as you said they aint cheap.
tim
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Old 09-01-2012, 10:14 AM   #10
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I used Dan (a member here) at LEDs4RVs.com for all my LED needs. All lighting inside the AS are LEDs, plus the scare light, and the outside step light. Of course the OEM LED taillights started failing, so I replaced with Dan's product as well. His support and service has bee exemplary.
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Old 09-19-2012, 11:46 PM   #11
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Ceiling LED Lights

My wife and I didn't like the blue-white LEDs that came with our 2011 FC. Too bright, too cold. I tried a couple "warm white" replacements sold by AS, but they were too fragile to be useful. Eventually, we ended up populating the ceiling w/ 10w halogens. I also upgraded our batteries to grp 26s. Since then I've been on the lookout for suitable LED pucks with a warm color temperature.

I was in Lowes this afternoon and saw that they carry a small LED array that's offered as a replacement for low voltage halogens. They look pretty sturdy, have a color temp at 3000, and are priced at $8.98 each.

Has anyone out there tried one of these in their AS? I'd be interested in your experience/advice, etc.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:54 AM   #12
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I got warm LEDs with a bit lower light output (and electric consumption) from leds4rvs.com for the two lights above the table in our 23FB because we didn't like the blue-white light either when having dinner or reading. That made it all very nice for us. The bright ceiling light is still nice when we need max light. The table lights are good in the evening. And the inside-cab lights anyway have varying color depending on what's inside...
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:39 AM   #13
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LED light report

Just returned from three weeks on the road; LED lights worked out about as expected. We were able to go a little over 4 days on one battery; I switched when the voltage dropped just below 12 volts. At 12 volts things were working very well, did not want to repeat last year when the refrigerator quit at 10.5 to 11 volts.

I agree that the LED "color" is a bit blue, but OK by me for reading. And well worth it if it allows more time in the woods and off the grid.

Now to fix the skylight leak and sticky door lock and who knows what else - there is always something!

Whit Nash, the more or less happy camper.
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:53 PM   #14
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New LED's

Got mine from Dan at LED4Rv's.com. Extremely helpful gentleman in my purchase process. I have not yet started to replace the flourescents but decided to take a shot at replacing all the old 1141 bulbs with new LED pads. Here is a shot of a new bright white pad next to the old bulb in the same fixture (interior). Also a couple shots of the new pad for outside over the door. I think I can scare away a racoon now! We got warm whites for the reading lights over the head of the twin beds.
All the rest of the order showed up today. Plan to put those in tomorrow.

Dan, if you are reading this at all, thanks so much!!
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