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Old 07-27-2013, 10:20 PM   #1
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LEDs vs Incandescent

I would like to hear the pros and cons of replacing original incandescent clearance and brake/tail lights with leds. are they realy that much brighter? Any other reasons?
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Old 07-27-2013, 10:40 PM   #2
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The LEDs are brighter and the brake LEDs will actually illuminate quicker. However, turn indicator LEDs may need a resistor added to blink correctly.
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Old 07-27-2013, 10:45 PM   #3
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LEDs last years longer as well.
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Old 07-28-2013, 01:37 AM   #4
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LET Upgrade

..
Ok, check out the below Youtube vid on LED's for RV's ...




Upgrading to LED lights in an Airstream Travel Trailer - Camping RVing Motor Homes mobile homes - YouTube
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Old 07-28-2013, 03:07 AM   #5
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you can skip being given a fix it ticket for haveing a burned out light bulb.
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Old 07-28-2013, 06:29 AM   #6
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LED brake lights seem to show up brighter when the sun is on the tail end of your trailer and illuminate a split second quicker thus the reason we installed them a few years back.
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Old 07-28-2013, 07:20 AM   #7
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They also draw less power, so the trailer lights are less of a burden on your tow vehicle's electrical system.
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Old 07-28-2013, 07:32 AM   #8
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Having changed out to LED'S on the outside a few years ago, the backup lights are 10 times brighter than the inc bulbs that were in there to begin with. Jim
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Old 07-28-2013, 12:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZoominC6 View Post
LED brake lights seem to show up brighter when the sun is on the tail end of your trailer and illuminate a split second quicker thus the reason we installed them a few years back.
Same reason why I replaced mine when these became available. I've followed too many trailers whose tail lights get wiped out by the trailing afternoon sun.

Jack
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Old 07-28-2013, 12:30 PM   #10
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They also draw less power, so the trailer lights are less of a burden on your tow vehicle's electrical system.
That's why I want my father to replace his. When I was towing his trailer for several hours with the headlights on the light switch in his truck was very hot.

Some newer vehicles have a relay for the headlight and/or for a separate circuit for trailer lights and shouldn't have this problem.
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Old 11-18-2013, 06:07 AM   #11
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I'm honestly still thinking about this topic from a cost / benefit approach. While I agree that LED are better when you weigh the costs of bulb and resistors against more commonly replaced components I think at least for the exterior I'll stay with traditional but keep some extra bulbs in my bag.
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Old 11-18-2013, 06:31 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Razinni View Post
I'm honestly still thinking about this topic from a cost / benefit approach. While I agree that LED are better when you weigh the costs of bulb and resistors against more commonly replaced components I think at least for the exterior I'll stay with traditional but keep some extra bulbs in my bag.
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Old 11-18-2013, 06:53 AM   #13
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What Bob said. The difference in battery life when boondocking can be seen (Literally). Also, in very hot climates the LED's don't heat up the trailer. The in ceiling lights I used to have in my 2005 were HOT HOT HOT.

I also have not yet burned out a LED emitter and I had some that were over two years old in the 2005.

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Old 11-18-2013, 07:51 AM   #14
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My take on the matter for tail lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by tracker View Post
I would like to hear the pros and cons of replacing original incandescent clearance and brake/tail lights with leds. are they realy that much brighter? Any other reasons?
LED Cluster Bulbs in STT lights


I'm often asked what bulb should be used for an an existing STT (Stop Tail and Turn) light which has an 1157 bulb in it. My answer is always, "there aren't any". In a rare situation a cluster bulb will work and give good light out-put, but that is the acceptation and not the rule.

Primarily, the reason why someone wants to use LEDs on the outside of any vehicle is safety. The reason why they are safer is two fold. If the light is designed correctly the result is more light and thus you are more visible on the road. That is not to say that your lights should be so bright that you are a hazard, by blinding your fellow travelers, but just enough for you have good visibility when you are turning or stopping. The other reason why LEDs are a good choice is it takes many of them to make up the amount of light that is needed. If you have a failure you still have lots of light. In an incandescent bulb you have one filament and if you have a failure you have NO light.

One of the main reasons why cluster bulbs don't work well is they product about 1/3 as much light if the cluster bulb is about the same size as the incandescent bulb your replacing. The other reason is most of the STT fixtures are designed to refract and reflect light from one single location.

Below are two pictures which have a STT light and some markings that illustrate what happens when you use a cluster bulb in some STT lights.


The little blue marks on the red lens are to show how the lens is designed to refract light.

On the next picture ( below) is what a cluster bulb looks like ( as crude as it is :-) in the same light fixture.



Many points of light being refracted and reflected has a result of the light going in many different directions. In the event that your cluster bulb was to produce more light (they seldom do) than the incandescent bulb, it would not be as effective ( and safe) because the light does not all show up at the intended target, the guy behind you.




One of the first projects LED4RV started was finding a fix for the 4.25 Monarch tail light. ( pictured above). We had so many people contact us who wanted a brighter light. They did not care if it was LED or not. They just wanted greater visibility on the road at night. One guy called us and he said he was going to find a fix or sell his Airstream. At the time we had a large red pad LED-kit1 that glued onto the lens. It worked very well and did make folks safer while on their travels.

As a rule of thumb, LED pads (which have all the LEDs facing outward) give more light and are a much better choice. If you notice, all the new cars have a pad style set-up that point in the same direction and thus they give more light.

The purpose of this blog post is not to promote the kit as much as it is to steer folks in the right direction, of what to look for, when trying to retrofit their older units with LED light.

For the marker/running lights it is the same. Changing the whole light fixture and not the bulb is the smart way to go.
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