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Old 05-04-2011, 11:41 PM   #1
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LED Interior lights

Hello everyone,

I have been looking to upgrade my interior lights to LED's for quite some time. Honestly I have not been impressed with any of the replacement bulbs that I'm finding online. I ran across a new kit the other day that I have never seen before and I just wanted to get some feed back from everybody.

Here is the link:

Rigid Industries RV LED Kit 315 Lumens | eBay

I really want to pull the trigger and replace all of my interior lights with these but I just want to see what you folks think. If I can extend my battery life and decrease wear and tear on my generator I don't see any down side.

Let me know what you folks think.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 05-04-2011, 11:52 PM   #2
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Welcome to the Forum.

Hi. Like solar panels, I really like the idea of LED's in/on my trailer, but I can't justify the cost. I won't and don't want to spend about $2,000.00 [exaggerated] to replace all of the lights in my trailer, and there are a lot of them.
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Old 05-05-2011, 12:04 AM   #3
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Quote:
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Hello everyone,


Rigid Industries RV LED Kit 315 Lumens | eBay


Let me know what you folks think.

Thanks in advance!
With 315 Lumens on 3 SMD LEDs??? To get 315 Lumens on 3 LEDs it would have to have a very large heat sink.

It sounds like you have a motor home. Are you sure your alternator is not putting out any more than 13.4 VDC. Voltage coming off your alternator will be something to consider.
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Old 05-05-2011, 12:20 AM   #4
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I had this problem with my trailer and varying voltages - I found a simple 2A 7812 voltage regulator and a large capacitor would give me a smooth, consistent 12V with any input from 13-26V, and was sufficient to run all the LEDs I had at the time. Of course, a 78XX regulator is most efficient at higher loads so using the right rated regulator for the load is important - there are other regulator circuits that work more efficiently - switch mode plus capacitor systems that are 95%+ efficient and put out almost no heat and have no current draw at no load...
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Old 05-05-2011, 12:33 AM   #5
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From the specs in the ad it list's a 3 watt draw. Do you think that small draw would generate enough heat to require a "large heat sink"?

Spending $2k would be insane to replace the lights inside my rig but if you do the math that would be about 100 of these LED lights. I dont have anywhere near that number in my rig. If I figure the cost of having my generator rebuilt, fuel, and oil changes. I am not far off considering the 2 year warranty.


Hmmmm......these are looking better and better the more I think about it.
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Old 05-05-2011, 12:41 AM   #6
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3 watts is a lot when you consider the very small surface area of the heat-generating part of the LED - it is quite difficult to remove the heat because it can only be passed out through one side - the back.

I have a GE LED spotlight that is maybe 1/4" square and needs to sink 10W. It has a 1 lb lump of aluminum on the back of it, shaped with a large surface area, and with fins to allow it to radiate and convect heat regardless of the angle it's mounted at.

The LEDs made for RV use are designed to passively dump the heat without a bulky heatsink and this did at one time shorten their life. We have a lot more experience with them now and they are much more durable. Look for the costs to come down a little in the next few months as they become more mainstream.

That said, it really helps to not use an LED in an enclosed light fixture - good ventilation will go a long way to extend their life - which is already far better than conventional filament bulbs. Remember, filament bulbs don't care about heat since that's how they work - by glowing white hot.
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Old 05-05-2011, 12:42 AM   #7
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What kind of problem did you have with the input volts?
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Old 05-05-2011, 12:54 AM   #8
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heat sink

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From the specs in the ad it list's a 3 watt draw. Do you think that small draw would generate enough heat to require a "large heat sink"?
Without having the light in my hand I don't know what the watts would be. Amps x Volts = Watts LEDs in the RV and car industry are not normally reported in watts because the volts change if the power is coming from the battery or alternator.

The part about the lumens on this light is, to get the much light from those 3 SMD chips they would have to turn up the power and the only way the LED will last is to be cooled with a heat sink. That light does not have a heat sink to product that amout of light.
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Old 05-05-2011, 12:56 AM   #9
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problems with too much

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What kind of problem did you have with the input volts?
If the the volts are higher than the LED light is designed for then the LEDs won't last.
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Old 05-05-2011, 08:50 AM   #10
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High quality LED replacements will often include constant current drivers to insure that excessive forward voltage doesn't adversely affect LED life. This also helps keep light levels constant over the full voltage range. This will keep one from using a dimmer on such devices, though,
unless specially designed. Note that LEDs have a relatively constant forward voltage drop once turned on.

The simple approach is to include a resistor in series with the LED; this wastes some power, but permits the voltage to vary somewhat w/o generating excessive device currents. This will work with dimmers.

- Bart
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Old 05-05-2011, 09:15 AM   #11
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High quality LED replacements will often include constant current drivers to insure that excessive forward voltage doesn't adversely affect LED life. This also helps keep light levels constant over the full voltage range. This will keep one from using a dimmer on such devices, though,
unless specially designed. Note that LEDs have a relatively constant forward voltage drop once turned on.

The simple approach is to include a resistor in series with the LED; this wastes some power, but permits the voltage to vary somewhat w/o generating excessive device currents. This will work with dimmers.

- Bart
Supposedly the 2012s have a dimmer built in.

Do you have any idea if a dimmer exists or will come into the marketplace anytime soon?
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Old 05-05-2011, 09:21 AM   #12
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I got these lights and have been happy with them... They color is a bit green, but for the energy savings I am all about the switch. I replaced every bulb (inside and out)on my trailer for about $800 and worth every penny. I'm gonna get LED's for my running lights on the TV.

Forget energy efficiency these things are cool! Literally! Our a/c doesn't have to work as hard in the middle of the day to keep up with the added heat of halogen lights. Big plus for me cause I run hot and even more plus as a safety factor for our upcoming new addition to the family. No one loves burnt baby fingers.
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Old 05-05-2011, 10:49 AM   #13
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Hi Arstream

Welcome to the forums

People have had, overall, mixed results with LED conversions. Much depends on the kind of lighting you have now. The halogen lights in the CCD, for example, are notoriously power hungry and are therefore better candidates for LED conversions.

By contrast, the fluorescent lights in the Classic are about as efficient as most LED conversions so there is little to gain by changing them.

There are several drawbacks of LEDs to keep in mind:
- The overall experience on the forum has been that retrofit LED lighting using existing fixtures is short lived and will require periodic replacement. Those with an engineering mindset have said that the problem is heat dissipation.
- In nearly all cases the light output of retrofit LEDs is lower than the incandescent lamps they replace.
- Lower wattage incandescent lamps are available which draw less current and which can be fitted to existing fixtures. When these are used as a reference point the change in amp draw becomes less significant.
- LED lights have a different color cast which some people find objectionable.

Dedicated fixtures designed from the ground up for LED applications will work better but are costly and are really only suitable for people redoing the whole interior:

Apeiron Warm White LED
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Old 05-05-2011, 01:51 PM   #14
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We have not had mixed results with our LED's. Started changing the incandecents out almost 4 years ago and they are still going strong. Yes, the originals have a blue/green tint. So what, doesn't bother us at all. Recently finished replacing the remaining bulbs with the warm white clusters from: LEDs 4, Recreational Vehicles, and put them where we might do nite time reading.

We boondock a lot and the extended battery life is very noticeable.
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