Airstream Forums

Airstream Forums (
-   Lights - Interior & Exterior (
-   -   LED lighting retrofit for interior lights (

Westfalia 07-17-2005 01:10 PM

LED lighting retrofit for interior lights
I'm looking to see if anyone has done a successful conversion of the CCD halogen lights to a LED based bulb?

I have done this with success in my past trailer, and I love the results and the battery savings. Upon using the lights in maiden voyage on Saturday, I was shocked (but entirely surprised) how much those lights drew the battery down. We will be doing a LOT of boondocking in the future, and I need to look at the ways to conserve as much energy as possible. I want to replace the cabinet light with LED bulbs, along with the ceiling bulbs over the rear bed, and possibly other areas. I am aware of the issues of low light output and the relatively tight beam pattern, but I am not concerned with either.

Upon looking into retrofitting the CCD lights, I immediately see a problem. The CCD lights use a G4 bulb base, but at a 90 degree angle to the fixture, or roughly parallel to the floor. All of the LED G4 bases that I have found are perpendicular to the floor, in a downward facing position. It might be possible to rewire the lamp, but I really want to find a solution that is easily reversible back to stock.

So, I put these ideas out to you Airstream experts, what have you found or what have you done?

[on edit: Next statement added at request of original poster. 06.18.2008]

Originally Posted by westfalia
In 2005, I started this thread to help me come up with a LED lighting solution specific to my later model CCD trailer. It quickly become obvious that Airstreamers of all years were looking for similar power saving solutions, so I am opening this thread to discuss all types of interior LED retrofit discussions.

driftwood 07-17-2005 01:17 PM

Search ?
Did you conduct a search?

I found this thread:

There are many others ...

Westfalia 07-17-2005 01:31 PM

I did do a search, and I found no conclusive answers, and many that were looking to retrofit were going to do so in other light fixtures, not the CCD halogens, such as the thread you linked to.

If you have a specific thread I should be looking at the I haven't found, I'm all ears, otherwise I'd love to discuss the results in this thread.

silverback 07-17-2005 02:24 PM

Keep this thread alive!
We are also very interested in doing this mod for our CCD. So anybody with specific information please chime in.

Westfalia 07-17-2005 06:56 PM

Just some more info on the existing lights, for the record. I pulled one of the fixtures out of the ceiling. I didn't find much info regarding the light fixture itself, but I did find that they are made by ITC. After trying hard to find their website and online catalog, the model appears to be the Decor Halogen Lighting Systems, found here:

The closet bolt up LED light I have found would be the LED Courtesy Light:

I haven't been able to pull apart my halogen light yet to get a look inside the housing, but it looks like it will be hard to wire in a LED array without doing modification of the housing, something I want to stay away from but othesr might find acceptable.

I'll pass along more information once it becomes available, hopefully from ITC directly.

One thought, has anyone sourced and installed 5W bulbs to replace the 10W ones that are currently installed? While not a perfect solution for low draw lighting, going to half the wattage (especially for the indirects) makes sense to me and would be the cheapest retrofit possible.

Westfalia 07-17-2005 08:10 PM

Here's a picture of the inside of the light with the lens off.

CanoeStream 07-17-2005 08:22 PM

I don't know when recent announcements on brighter LEDs will actually hit the market -- a couple years before we know? I suspect there will be glacial pace on the introductions and we won't recognize much difference.

He didn't use them as a direct light source and hasn't posted recently that I remember, but JodynJeep's pictures are one example.

I also trust you've seen the thread LED Lamps for interior lights.

Keep us filled in!!

thenewkid64 07-17-2005 10:47 PM


Here is the 5 watt halogen 2 prong

Or you can go to a 5 watt xenon

Westfalia 07-18-2005 11:19 AM

Thanks Brett. A local source of 5W bulbs would also likely be HomeDepot in the outdoor lighting section.

OK, now on to the meat and potatoes, I might have found the right bulb.

I'm going to order some today!

Westfalia 07-21-2005 12:02 AM

OK, my first lights arrived. They are brighter than I though they would be, but are still dim on comparison with the halogen bulbs. However the fit is perfect, with no modification of the light housing necessary. Just plug and go.

Here are my initial impressions. I tried them in the over head lights in the main cabin. Three left it a little dark, and the fourth would have added the right amount of light. However, I don't think I would use them exclusively in task areas. I then put them in the cabinets indirects. They add a very nice glow. However, they also kill the orange reflection of the trim, if that is what you like.

My first long boondocking campout starts this weekend, so I'll let you know how I like them.

See the below link for more pictures of the install.

Turtle 07-21-2005 01:17 AM

Westfalia, Thanks for the update. Looks promising. We do like the orange glow of the indirect but might give it a chance anyway. Looking forward to further reports.


Westfalia 07-21-2005 08:26 AM

Keep in mind, you can also get these LED's in a red or a blue. Mine are 'white', but if you know LEDs, you know that white is really a light blue. Blue on the other hand is almost a cobalt blue. So there are options. Personally, I think red or blue would look great for the overhead cabinets. Of course, red has night vision properties, while any other color leading to blue has the worst night vision properties.

For me, the main purpose of this project is to reduce the power requirements from the lights, while still providing acceptable lighting standards. I will always have some of the halogen bulbs installed, but I will reduce their wattage by either going to a lower wattage bulb, or by installing a digital dimmer, like these. I will use LED lighting in key areas where the lights will probably be left on for mood or pathway lighting. Over the rear bed is a perfect example. I will also add a LED fixture to replace to outdoor light bulb, and I will likely add key fixtures under the trailer on the curbside for low wattage campsite lighting.

I expect that the future of LED bulbs is bright, and more options will become available in terms of LED quanity, color and size. This light with a slightly whiter light and about 2-4 more LEDs on the board would be perfect.

daniel 07-29-2005 04:39 PM

led vs halogens
I just replaced all original lighting with 10 watt halagons. I placed switches on each light so that I could direct the light where needed. Now I can get acceptable light with one or two halagons where I had to have 4 regular bulbs. I also will be reducing to 5 watt halagons where possible. Unless you decrease the number of bulbs halagons will save very little energy. I believe maybe .02 watts per bulb.


CanoeStream 07-29-2005 06:50 PM

There was some news a couple weeks ago about more efficient halogens coming down the pike. It may be hard for the consumer to tell what is what, even if this new development hits the shelves within a couple years. Remember the super-efficient motors announced about 10 years ago? How many of us know what we have in that regard? This link has some issues of interest but I can't tell if it is what hit the popular press a couple weeks back.

In their auto column in yesterday's Mpls Tribune, Tom & Ray Magliozzi spoke of an organization to combat the eye-searing headlights we are seeing in high end cars. This organization is "Stop High Intensity Discharge Headlights Evenings After Dark." I'll let you work out the acronym.... :lol:

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:30 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.