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Old 10-28-2014, 10:00 AM   #1
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General outdoor lighting upgrades?

The outside of our '15 28FC comes with a small step light and a large broad-side light. The large side light is powerful but its straight direction makes it better for lighting up the neighbours site or the woods beside rather than as outdoor task/eating lighting. We are considering options for adding extra hardwired and OEM "looking" outdoor lighting. Although we have a powerful inverter and lots of battery capacity we aren't all that interested in pulling out extension cords and stringing temporary lights. The current thoughts are an LED strip across the awning and someone mentioned retrofitting the 'Classic' over the door LED light.

Due to the shape of the AS body the LED strip would have to sit very high and only could be useful when the awning is open. That's not Ideal, but could work some of the time. We don't tend to deploy our awning for aesthetic reasons (like many seem to) but rather only when we actually need to block sun/rain. This light location would force us to open it more often and not have light when it's windy. While looking at options our dealer also thought of installing the LED strip slightly under the belt-line but we aren't completely sold on that spot.

The other option that someone brought-up was retrofitting the over the door light that is standard on Classics and (I believe) Internationals. Does this light location light-up the side of the trailer nicely for meals/entertaining or is it mostly just at the door? Is it bright or more of a "mood" light?

Any other options I'm not thinking of? What do you use? Your input/experience is appreciated.
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Old 10-28-2014, 10:30 AM   #2
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Outside Lighting

We had the "Classic/International" light installed over the door on our 2015 30' bunk. We did it for door lighting. Makes it much easier to find the door lock when it is pitch black out. The LED in the middle of the side seemed pretty useless to us. I can only guess it was for lighting the sitting area under the main awning, but it's positioning and brightness make it virtually worthless for that.
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Old 10-28-2014, 10:49 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigmikeeb View Post
We had the "Classic/International" light installed over the door on our 2015 30' bunk. We did it for door lighting. Makes it much easier to find the door lock when it is pitch black out. The LED in the middle of the side seemed pretty useless to us. I can only guess it was for lighting the sitting area under the main awning, but it's positioning and brightness make it virtually worthless for that.

Good to hear I'm not the only one that sees the design flaw. . FWIW, while we did our orientation it was described to us as a "scare light". We tend not to use it unless we are very secluded so we don't bother neighbours.

Perhaps a combination of both would be best. The over the door from the Classic and an LED strip.

Do you mind sharing the approx cost for your light retrofit?
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Old 10-28-2014, 11:06 AM   #4
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I too hate this "scare light"...our 2014 bunk has the same issue here with outdoor lighting....I hook up a rope light and taper it around the awning, but as the OP pointed out, I too do not prefer to put out the awning unless there is utility for it. Why on earth did airstream put that goofy usless odd directional light there like that?? They have been making trailers for like 1000 years, so you would think they would consider that light design more so...

Anyway, bigmike...what is this "classic light fixture" being discussed? Could you take a photo or someone else take a photo for me?

I love simplicity and ease...and I love my rope lights and will continue to use them, but often I just would like something that I just hit the button and have decent light for being in that area.

My other thought is to add some sorta light modifier, a diffuser, or some sorta addition to that one that changes the directionality of that fixture...but I am not all that handy and the result I suspect would look crappy.

I love the permanent LED strip idea somewhere as well...but where to place it.

You can buy outdoor LED strip lighting for very very cheap...my contractor at my house put a similar indoor style one in our kitchen renovation last year under all the cabinets and it lights all the counters so nice.
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Old 10-28-2014, 11:19 AM   #5
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PharmGeek, the small light above the door is what is being discussed (you can only really see the small hood)....



Also, see here:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f516...ml#post1506052



Another member ran the LED strip and it looks nice. My only thought was to bring it one step further and have it hardwired instead of having to deal with the hanging transformer etc. The kit I would use is made by Dometic and the colour/intensity/"show" can be changed via RF remote. I like toys
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Old 10-28-2014, 11:40 AM   #6
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I'm thinking of making or modifying something aluminum to form a brow over the "scare" light to direct the lighting downward and making it more pleasant and useful as you describe. Maybe half of a stainless steel bowl the right size.
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Old 10-28-2014, 11:48 AM   #7
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The small light outside and above the door is nice. It brightens up the entry and prevents us from stepping on any critters that might be passing through.
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Old 10-28-2014, 12:09 PM   #8
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I changed out the lens on the scare light for a blue one. That's our "party light"- when on, it's OK to drop in, we're being sociable. When it goes out, don't be knockin'! Even if the Airstream is rockin'!

For area light, we tie a battery LED camp light to the awning strap...
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Old 10-28-2014, 12:17 PM   #9
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The "scare Light" on our '98 Excella is especially useless as it is on the street side....who thought that up....
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Old 10-28-2014, 12:28 PM   #10
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there is a 1/2" gap in the metal channel when I close my steps. I put a waterproof LED strip there, and ran the wires up into a closet where I put a switch. I had planned to have have it light sensitive and come on at night, but the light switch I ordered was huge. Anyway, when the light is on, it illuminates the step and the area around and beneath it.

I also ran a strip the full length of the trailer underneath. It's remote controlled and does colors. So, it's kind of fun, but it also can be dimmed so I get a soft glow under the trailer, and I can brighten it if needed to see if something's under there, or if I have to check something at night.
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Old 10-28-2014, 12:31 PM   #11
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Pic of my step

Looks better in real life
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Old 10-28-2014, 01:28 PM   #12
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I used a plastic pot hang on the fan vent, and style bother the neighbour I had to put blue tape on it. I'm trying to figure a kind of deflector fix on fan cover's screw. but not done yet.
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Old 10-29-2014, 10:58 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PharmGeek View Post
I too hate this "scare light"...our 2014 bunk has the same issue here with outdoor lighting....I hook up a rope light and taper it around the awning, but as the OP pointed out, I too do not prefer to put out the awning unless there is utility for it. Why on earth did airstream put that goofy usless odd directional light there like that?? They have been making trailers for like 1000 years, so you would think they would consider that light design more so...

Anyway, bigmike...what is this "classic light fixture" being discussed? Could you take a photo or someone else take a photo for me?

I love simplicity and ease...and I love my rope lights and will continue to use them, but often I just would like something that I just hit the button and have decent light for being in that area.

My other thought is to add some sorta light modifier, a diffuser, or some sorta addition to that one that changes the directionality of that fixture...but I am not all that handy and the result I suspect would look crappy.

I love the permanent LED strip idea somewhere as well...but where to place it.

You can buy outdoor LED strip lighting for very very cheap...my contractor at my house put a similar indoor style one in our kitchen renovation last year under all the cabinets and it lights all the counters so nice.
The light I am referring to is the standard, over the door light, found on the Classic and International models. If I recall, it cost in the neighborhood of $600 to have it installed, and they did a very good job. Especially since it wasn't wired for that placement.
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Old 10-29-2014, 11:00 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cory_can View Post
Good to hear I'm not the only one that sees the design flaw. . FWIW, while we did our orientation it was described to us as a "scare light". We tend not to use it unless we are very secluded so we don't bother neighbours.

Perhaps a combination of both would be best. The over the door from the Classic and an LED strip.

Do you mind sharing the approx cost for your light retrofit?
Seems like it was in the $600 range installed.
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