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Old 09-02-2015, 11:50 PM   #1
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1989 34' Excella
Austin , Texas
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 28
Under-Cabinet Light = Scorched Cabinet!

I took down the light fixture under the kitchen cabinet (over the sink) in my '87 Excella, to discover a scorched spot -- see photo. Looks like the light got too hot and burned/melted the woodgrain contact paper. (The dinette light is similarly mounted on the bottom of a cabinet, and didn't cause a scorched place.)

I plan on cutting away the damaged contact paper, but should I consider installing some sort of insulating material between the fixture and the cabinet before reattaching the light? If so, ideas regarding what to use?

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Old 09-02-2015, 11:54 PM   #2
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1989 34' Excella
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Trying again with the attachment ....

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Old 09-03-2015, 12:06 AM   #3
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Very common to find it with that light and many others because of the light bulb that was used. Many folks used the 1156/1157 ( and there was a running light one to that looked the same with a high/low wattage 2057) or something close, buts there's another push-in and twist bulbs that is a lower wattage with less heat. Since it was not uncommon during that era to walk into a car parts store and either say "hey I need one of these" and the guy thinks "oh a turn signal light" that often times when the change was made for the higher wattage bulb.

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Old 09-03-2015, 04:54 AM   #4
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You can get an LED fixture, and replace the whole thing, or you can get an LED bulb replacement. Either solution should work.
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Old 09-03-2015, 01:02 PM   #5
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I had a similar prob with my '67. New fixture mounted with a 1/4" spacer at each screw to allow air to circulate between the fixture and wood surface. Better yet, switch to LED.
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Old 09-04-2015, 06:07 AM   #6
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1990 29' Excella
Stone Mountain , Georgia
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I have a 1990 Excella and noticed how hot the lights were. They melted the plastic lens too. Probably the higher wattage that an above responder mentioned. I switched out ALL of the incandescent lights in the AS (except the fridge) to LEDs. Cost a bit, but now my battery lasts much longer and the heat load on my AC is so much less. I'd leave the cabinet alone, reattach the light fixture, and put a LED replacement bulb in. Choose bright white or our choice the more mellow yellowish glow that most closely matches the incandescent bulb it replaced. See if your plastic lens needs replacing, and you're good to go.

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Old 09-24-2015, 02:24 PM   #7
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1989 34' Excella
Austin , Texas
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Thanks for the advice, folks. The 'someone put an inappropriately hot bulb in the fixture' theory seems most reasonable. So, I've reinstalled the fixture as-is, covering the burned spot, and will replace all the bulbs with LEDs when I move the trailer out of the storage yard and have access to shore power. (The batteries are currently dead.)

For what it's worth, I pulled the bulbs out of the kitchen and dinette fixtures, and here's how they were labeled:

1141 LL

1156 LL

There was one of each bulb type in each fixture. One of these bulbs isn't necessarily the culprit; an extra-hot bulb could have been installed at any point in the trailer's life and then replaced with the correct bulb.

Here's a good thread explaining the difference between 1141 and 1156 bulbs:
1141 vs 1156 bulb....what's the difference?

Both the 1156 and the 1141 are Single eliminate bulbs using a BA15s single contact base. The glass envelope is a S8 on both. So they are physical the same size and would use the same electrical socket.

The difference is in the element. The 1156 is a 12v 2.1 amp 26.9 watts unit with 1200 hrs life. While the 1141 is 12v, 1.44amp and 18.4 watts with 500 hrs life. The 1156 produces 32 candle power while the 1141 produces 21.

The 1156 will produce more heat than the 1141 and that will require a slightly different design for a mounting fixture/lens cover/shade. Said a littel differently the 1156 in a 1141 housing may melt the lens cover/shade.

As to the use of an LED in a mount designed for either bulb I doubt that any problem from heat would be encountered using either. The LED for the 1156 would have more lumen's than one designed for the 1141.

It comes down to what is the requirements in lumen's for the application.
The LED replacement bulbs I can find on Amazon seem interchangeable with either 1141 and 1156 bulbs, and use model 5050 LED squares, which output 16-22 lumens each. These common replacement bulbs ($1.22/ea) have 15 LEDs per bulb, meaning a light output of 240-330 lumens: YITAMOTOR 20 X 1156 BA15S 18-SMD RV Camper Warm White LED Light Bulbs Tail Backup 1141 1003: Automotive

And these are 450 lumens, though quite a bit more expensive ($6.44/bulb; dropping into the $5 range in quantity): GRV BA15S 1156 1141 LED bulb 126*3014 SMD AC/DC 11-28V 4W High Bright Warm White Pack of 2: Automotive

So, I think I'll use the 240-330 lumen bulbs for most of my fixtures, and upgrade to the 450-lumen bulbs where I need more light.

Please let me know if you have different advice. Thanks!
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Old 09-24-2015, 02:47 PM   #8
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Round Rock , Texas
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Yup... someone wanted more light, so they put a 'hotter' one in.. too hot...

LED... great move... they also heat up...but, not quite as bad, usually. You will find some LED fixtures have a fairly large heat sink...for the purpose of dissipating the heat, and extending the life of the LED's..

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