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Old 07-13-2011, 02:12 PM   #1
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To LED or not to LED?

I'm in the midst of renovation and just got my interior skins back in so need to get some lights real soon. I have a few of the original fixtures that will probably need new lenses (expensive, $26+shipping) that I could convert to LED. Since I am not trying to keep original have considered buying all new lights and LEDS are a consideration.... but so is cost. Don't anticipate boon docking very much. Is the main reason people spend the substantially higher cost for LED's due to there low power consumption? I like the look of recessed lights so am leaning towards not using the old square ceiling lights but recessed round halogen, incandescent, xenon or LED. My wife cross-stiches and quilts so we need some good light available in at least some areas. I guess another thought I had was to go with something other than LED and then if advantageous change the bulbs out later as LEDS come down in price. Oh, I did go LED exterior running and taillights.
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Old 07-13-2011, 02:25 PM   #2
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My reason for going LED was strictly power consumption since we boondock most of the time. 6 lights now use the power one used before.

While I like them, I probably would not have spent the money if I wasn't boondocking and charging from solar most the time
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Old 07-13-2011, 02:41 PM   #3
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We installed LEDs (mostly custom replacement fixtures) because we 1) boondook and 2) don't like the 70's style center light fixtures. Note also that the incandescent lights yield a lot of heat.... our three central fixtures are good for about 180W of heat, so if you're somewhere warm the AC is going to have to work harder if the lights are on.

Overall, by the time we're "done" we'll prob. have $200 in LEDs - a lot cheaper than increasing the amount of solar panels we've got installed.

W/ the LEDs, 200W of solar panels lets us not worry about power when boondocking - plenty for lights, fans when warm and my CPAP machine at night.

- Bart
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Old 07-13-2011, 03:02 PM   #4
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LED!!!! I put 8 in the ceiling, 4 under the kitchen cabinet and two in the bathroom. Its nice and bright. I also retained the original lights. (in my 58). I don't care for the lights from the late 60's.
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Old 07-13-2011, 03:05 PM   #5
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Dearest Silverhoot:
First, LED lights are always cheaper than they were yesterday, a month ago, a year ago.....

Second, the power drain is FAR less than with any other types of lighting including florescent.

Third, and most of all, LED lights for the most part emit NO HEAT either thru the light "bulb" itself or through the wires pulling the load. This is important if you are trying to cool down your trailer on a hot day. This is also important if you have a pet you may leave in the trailer from time to time while you are out... LED bulbs won't turn your trailer and pet into a smoking pile of ashes.

Fourth, they are an investment that will be an attraction to the next owner as they last for years and their value in energy savings will only be come more and more important.

Lastly, as Bart just mentioned, reducing demand will allow you to spend less later to meet that need so keep that in mind as well.

It sounds like you're doing a significant renovation so don't go cheap on the LED's, the insulation or sealing of the walls/windows!
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Old 07-13-2011, 03:18 PM   #6
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I'm not a fan of the 67 square fixtures either.

Bart,

Where did you get your LED's? Hope the CPAP is for nothing more serious than snoring....
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Old 07-13-2011, 03:23 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by GREENovaters View Post
Third, and most of all, LED lights for the most part emit NO HEAT either thru the light "bulb" itself or through the wires pulling the load. This is also important if you have a pet you may leave in the trailer from time to time while you are out... LED bulbs won't turn your trailer and pet into a smoking pile of ashes.
Just wondered, do you leave all the lights on so your pet can read, or what?
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Old 07-13-2011, 03:25 PM   #8
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Our model is the type that also has lights in the overhead cabinet. We replaced all of the lights everywhere except the cabinets w/ LED for power consumption reasons. We figured that the overhead bin lights were more decorative, so they could just stay off when power was a consideration. Then we started packing up those overhead bins and realized how close those SUPER HOT halogen bulbs can get to the items in those bins. We didn't want our food cooking or our clothes catching on fire when we have those one, so I just ended up ordering LED replacements for them too.
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Old 07-13-2011, 03:29 PM   #9
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Eight?

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Originally Posted by ddstech View Post
LED!!!! I put 8 in the ceiling, 4 under the kitchen cabinet and two in the bathroom. Its nice and bright. I also retained the original lights. (in my 58). I don't care for the lights from the late 60's.
Matt,

Which trailer did you put 8 LED ceiling lights in? I was thinking of 4 to 5 down the center and then probably another 4-5 pucks under the cabinets for task lighting and 4 reading lights 1 for each of twin beds and 1 at each side of dining booth area.

Michael
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Old 07-13-2011, 03:37 PM   #10
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Dogs can read, cats just watch TV

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Just wondered, do you leave all the lights on so your pet can read, or what?

Why yes, don't you? I can always tell a well-read dog as they are so much better behaved! Can't you?
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Old 07-13-2011, 04:34 PM   #11
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I switched all my interior lights to LEDs for under $100. They fit in the old fixtures, are WARM white (yellowish not the bright blue tint), and make an enormous difference in the timeframe between battery recharges (days).

I ran the risk of ordering directly from China to avoid the almost $700 it would cost to source domestically. I bought a few samples, then committed whole hog. Here is a sample link to acquaint you with how it can be done: 36-LED SMD Warm White Interior Room Dome Door Car Light | eBay
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Old 07-13-2011, 05:32 PM   #12
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Dearest Silverhoot:
Second, the power drain is FAR less than with any other types of lighting including florescent.
I tried to figure that out a while ago and came to the conclusion that for diffuse lighting (not spotlights) fluorescent lighting and LED lighting systems performed about the same, for "warm white" sorts of lights that provide a reasonable color spectrum.

Quote:
Third, and most of all, LED lights for the most part emit NO HEAT either thru the light "bulb" itself or through the wires pulling the load.
LEDs do produce substantial amounts of heat, albeit not as much as incandescent lights.

I think it's important to realize that the overall experience of people performing LED upgrades to the interior lights has been mixed. Many of the LED retrofit kits have failed over time and with use, whether due to heat or defects, and some people have been dissatisfied with the amount or quality of the light produced.

I am extremely happy with the fluorescent lights in my trailer and would not want to change to LEDs. On the other hand, fluorescent fixtures are expensive as well, typically around $70 plus tubes. And fixtures designed from the ground up for LED uses, that have been engineered to deal with the heat produced by the LEDs and their support circuitry, are going to perform better that the retrofit devices.
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Old 07-13-2011, 05:51 PM   #13
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Jammer,

Thank you. I will not be retrofitting the old fixtures with LED bulbs or strips, but buying fixtures with LED's. I use a LED reading light for home use and the light is very directional which is good since my wife is usually sleeping, but would not be so good if the light from a LED ceiling light is also as directional. I'll see what I can find as far as fluorescent.
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Old 07-13-2011, 05:57 PM   #14
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I'm not a fan of the 67 square fixtures either.

Bart,

Where did you get your LED's? Hope the CPAP is for nothing more serious than snoring....
We got LEDs from:

www.LEDwholesalers.com - LED Bulb Mounting Bracket
www.LEDwholesalers.com - MR16 240 Lumen 15 SMD LED Wide Angle Flood Light
www.LEDwholesalers.com - 300 SMD3528 LED Lighting Strip 16.4ft/5m w/ 3M Tape

all in warm white; these work very well. We used ribbon on top of overhead cabinets, aimed at the ceiling, to provide indirect light. I bought ribbon on sale for $45 IIRC. Looks like a 767 cabin; much nicer than central fixture. All Edison bulb units are being replaced w/ 3.5 W LED floods above.

CPAP is for sleep apnea; machine fixed problem nicely. Now feel rested after 6.5 -> 7 hours of sleep, lots of energy. If you have sleep issues, get that checked. It takes a bit of time to get used to cpap machine, but well worth it.

- Bart
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