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Old 08-20-2009, 02:49 PM   #1
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Totally confused about LED's?

I did some research including a very careful study of a whole PILE of old posts about LED light fixtures. I just need a couple clear answers before I dump a bunch of money.
I want to (or THINK) replace bulbs in my many ceiling light fixtures with LED's. I guess I can just unplug the little bulbs and plug in LED's, but how do I know WHICH LED's to order?
I mainly think I can get better lighting over the stove, in the hallway/closet area etc.

By the time I read a zillion posts on the subject my mind was mush! Up? Down? Horizontal? Three LED? Twenty LED? Please mind is going to explode. Is there a simple answer? The lights in place now are the plain old fixtures that came with a 1988 Excella. The same fixtures that are common as dirt in boats and truck campers etc.

Please help before I turn to drink!!

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Old 08-20-2009, 03:02 PM   #2
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

I have tries a whole bunch of different LED configurations on Lucy, both interior and exterior with mixed results.

On Lucy's exterior, I have replaced all of the clearance light bulbs with 9 element LEDs. These work great. I leave these lights on all the time when Lucy is underway. I also leave them on sometimes in the evening at campgrounds. They run cool and are brighter than the OEM incandescents.
I have also put LEDs in the scare light, step light, and tag light. These are also all good.

It it a different story on the interior. I tried several different LED configurations. I have not been satisfied with any of them. They just did not provide sufficient light.


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Old 08-20-2009, 03:17 PM   #3
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I'm with you on this. I didn't realize how confusing this subject was until I started researching it. Now I consider myself fortunate that I can even spell LAD.


Whoops I mean LED.

"You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do."

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Old 08-20-2009, 03:54 PM   #4
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This company has direct replacement LED boards for 1157 bulbs. They should be able to give you a comparison idea as to lighting levels. Remember color level is a major consideration with interior lighting.

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Old 08-20-2009, 04:00 PM   #5
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LED bubls


If the light fixtures in your trailer use #1141 incandescent bulbs you can readily replace them with LED lights. I have replaced six of the twelve incandescent in the main cabin and bath of my trailer and am very pleased with the results! I choose a wide variety of LED bulbs because I had no prior experience with them and was trying to find the best for my needs. I bought from two different companies, and and was pleased with both.

Want I have learned is that the more expensive LED bulbs produce more light but also use more wattage and are best used where you need intense light. The less expensive LED bulbs produce less but still useful amounts of light at less wattage and work well in the bath and parts of the galley. Links to LED bulbs I am using are listed below:


S25 20 Super Flux LED Light - Automotive LED Lights - LEDLight

S25 12 SMT Tower LED Light - Automotive LED Lights - LEDLight

S25 27 Ultra Bright SMT LED Light - Automotive LED Lights - LEDLight[/quote]

12 SMT Tower S25 LED Light - Automotive LED Lights - LEDLight
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Old 08-20-2009, 04:59 PM   #6
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Yup, know what you're saying ...

Well, you are just where I was a couple of months ago. So what I did, was to order quite a few different kinds to try them out. Several (most?) direct-replacement bulbs that fit right into an original equipment automotive bulb socket are "end-firing" if you will, intending to project the emitted light directly toward the opposite end from where the plug goes into the socket. In my trailer's fixtures, that means the light shines parallel (more or less) to the ceiling, whereas I want them to shine more or less toward the floor. I've tried several combinations of those, and have simply created small, temporary, aluminum foil reflectors to redirect the light. This has worked in a marginally acceptable fashion.

The ones that I got that are the most direct replacement for the incandescents in terms of color temperature, amount of light output, etc., are the 1156 PCB WHP9 in warm white from these folks: but you will also need some double sided tape or create a small bracket to hold them in place inside your light fixture (assuming that your fixtures are the cheap ones as in my '99 Safari) ... and they're $22 each.

These draw about 1/10 the amount of current as an original incandescent bulb ... and the light output "looks" about the same ... I haven't yet gotten around to using a light meter to actually measure. They're enough for my purposes.

The others that draw less current - and guess what? They put out less light! (even with my little foil reflectors trying to send the light where I want it. But they also draw a lot less current yet than the brighter ones. There are tables at the above website giving lumens output, current draw, etc.

In the end, I haven't made up my mind. The cheaper LED "bulbs" put out a high color temperature (bluish) light that some find unacceptable. I don't mind so much and am all for longer battery life when boondocking. I think you pays your money and takes your choice ...
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Old 08-20-2009, 06:03 PM   #7
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I buy LED lights for parade float illumination aand also for my AS. I use the same company that AIRSDREAM mentions. Super Bright LEDs - LED Products and Accessories
They are a good company and quick to respond to a dumby like me. They gave me all the info I needed and the more expensive lights will give you a better light that looks more like what you are used to in the incandecent bulbs. I have a fixture over the dinette table that uses four 1157 bulbs and I have 4 LEDS to replace them with.

ONE IMPORTANT ITEM . You MUST use the same color LED as the lens or a clear lens. In other words, if you put a white LED inside a RED tail lite lens, you will get no LIGHT. So use the RED LED inRED tail lenses. Use white LED's inside the interior fixtures. This is why a lot of the new cars have clear tail lite lens'.
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Old 08-21-2009, 04:58 AM   #8
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Ahhhh yes! too huh?

I feel so much better now fellas. All this time I thought it was just my poor old weary mind causing me all the confusion. I shall use the links you gents provide to find the LED's best for my purposes.
Then again, I may meditate on the fact that my life in the trailer has been without trial or pain just the way it is and save myself the mental anguish of fighting with something new and confusing. I don't want to create little foil things inside my light fixtures and I do not want to modify anything and I do not want to rewire my trailer.
But I may buy some just to see if they improve things in the galley and over the dinette.
I appreciate your thoughts gentlemen.
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Old 08-21-2009, 08:38 AM   #9
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Post Let there b light


I to have switched ot ALL L.E.D. lighting a year ago.

I went with the warm (3500 degree) SuperBrite L.E.D.s.
As a boondocker, I'm very pleased with the power savings results. As a lighting designer with unlimited power, I would not be.

You mentioned "IMPROVEMENT" remember the only improvement will be your POWER CONSUMPTION, at the cost of your wallet. Examine your motives for considering L.E.D. lighting, if it's for power saving, yes, if it's for improved lighting, maybe not.
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Old 08-21-2009, 09:13 AM   #10
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We replaced a lot of our lights for two reasons: save battery for boondocking and the ceiling lights in our Safari were too bright. Comparable bulbs are not as bright when they are LED's. The question is what is bright enough. For example, there are in our bathroom two cheapo fixtures, each with 2 bulbs. Each fixture can have one or two bulbs lit. We replaced one 1141 incandescent bulb in each with the most powerful LED. Normally only the 2 LED's are used. That passed the hardest test of all—my wife said it was bright enough. They are not as bright as the 1141's, maybe 60-70% as bright.

Though you may have 1141's, to find the right LED, you look up 1157 instead. The Superbright site is confusing. They carry a lot of different bulbs and sorting through it all takes some time. LED's are a card with bunch of little bulbs on them and some electronic stuff on the back. The more bulbs, the more light. There are different colors, but warm white is closest to what we are used to in indoor lighting. The color rendition on the ones we got are fine. The base is the bayonet type found on an 1141 bulb, but it is attached to two wires that go to the card. You can attach the card to the inside of the fixture with two sided tape or just let it lie on the lens. It does not get hot, so it will not burn or melt the lens. I think eventually the card will be attached to the base as it is on LED's to replace halogen bulbs (they have two pins and are used on a lot of fixtures on newer Airstreams; we got those from lewster, but I haven't seen any posts from him lately so I don't know if he's still around).

There is a noticeable difference in battery consumption when we have boondocked with the LED's. We are still careful with power use, but can have more lighting than before even if each fixture isn't as bright. The cheap ones are said to not last very long. LED's are expensive though over 20 years (good ones are supposed to last that long) they may pay for themselves.

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Old 08-22-2009, 04:51 AM   #11
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LED Decision

Well gang, here's a follow up on my post regarding LED's.

After reading all the helpful posts I visited my RV guy. We concluded that in my case it was not worth the effort and cost. We don't boondock as much as we used to for one thing and I can boost lighting in a couple areas of the trailer without the LED's.
In short: I did as one of you suggested and carefully considered my reasoning and my options.
Thank you.

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