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Old 01-23-2013, 09:11 AM   #61
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1973 23' Safari
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This conversion provides a huge amount of light for about half the current of the old bulb. I anticipate that it will provide a much better area/party light than the scare light. The "lens" is a piece of acrylic, cut to fit, then sanded with 400-grit paper.





You can also dim it or wire it up so that only one LED is on when you only want a porch light. Photos of the installed performance to follow, once I get it back on the Safari.

You can get it to operate on one LED if you install two dimmable and one non-dimmable LED disc (see this post about non-dimmable LEDs) by using one 56-ohm series resistor and an SPDT switch. My only reservation of this type installation is that the single LED disc might still be too bright.

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Old 01-23-2013, 09:15 AM   #62
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The following design is about as small as you're going to get a hooded "scare" light, providing you don't sink some of the fixture into the shell. The fixture is a bit smaller in height than the over-door light, 3" long, and 3.25" wide. It might crunch down a little by making the lens flanges (the strips of metal behind the clear lens) 1/4 instead of 3/8. But it's a lot smaller than that scoop in post #1.



I started off with what I call the socket tray. The back is leaned back 30 and the tabs are then bent inwards 30. The nice feature of this kind of support fixture is that one or the other tab can remain straight if you want illumination directly below the light, for instance if you put this above the front window to illuminate the tongue and also area forward of the door. In that case the left tab would remain flat and the right tab would be bent.



The flat skin needed to make the hood looks something like this, but in the end (as I folded and fit it), the original skin was also cut along the blue lines. I used a 2/x4 (again) to get the starting shape with the large radius bends.



The final fixture has good illumination to the right and left, but a bit more restricted in the "out" or "up" (away from the Airstream) direction. The socket tray can be slid back 3/8" or forward 1/4" to change the light cone. If this was mounted up as high as the over-door light (and consequently angled back significantly), I think you'd want a longer hood along the top edge in order to shield the lights. Down at the scare light level this shape is probably fine.





I think my final objective is to replace the scare light with something like this that is half-submerged in the existing scare light hole, plus one that is surface mounted over the curb side of the front window, both of them on the same switch.

This fixture would also be suitable to hang, when parked, on a window or awning and plugged into a socket near or on the scare light. I think you could brightly illuminate the whole area under an awning plus the tongue for 1.6 amps.

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Old 01-23-2013, 09:16 AM   #63
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After making the 2-disc fixture, I wanted to see if I could illuminate the front corner without too much ugly. I installed the fixture above the curb wing window and waited for night to fall to see what light pattern I got.



The following panels show the front light, the over-door light, and then the two lights together. The trailers have a burm rising on the curb side, so you'll have to guestimate what the pattern would be on flat ground. I took the photos from up on the berm, so the photos are looking down.







Note that the over-door light also has a step light on the same circuit. It's made from four 3-LED segments from the 5m LED tapes that are available lately (may cut down to two or even one segment). This one is obviously cool white. It looks way too bright when the over-door light is dim, but it's not that bright to the eye. I'm still going to dim it down a bit, however. Right now it has a 180 ohm series resistor which I'll pump up to 270 or 330. I may also dim it a bit in the bright setting.

I really wanted to illuminate the propane and tailgate area (I often use a small grill on the tailgate) and I'm satisfied that I met that objective.



For comparison, here is the over-door light on the other Safari (taken on level ground, not up on the berm). It has a slightly different arrangement of the LEDs inside the fixture, but I think it has a very similar light pattern on the ground.



The current draw for each fixture on dim is 90-100 milliamps. On bright the over-door draws 590 ma and the front light draws 380 ma. The step light on bright draws 130 ma and, on it's current dim setting, draws 30 ma. It's hard to believe that 30 ma is too bright.

The over-door light provides good illumination well aft of the door and out from the trailer at least 20 ft. This is plenty for under the awning and BBQs, particularly since the front light can illuminate a grill out from under the awning. I don't see any reason to re-install a light in the scare light hole.

I'll post some photos tomorrow on how to fish the wires and install the dimming resistors. Getting the step light installed looked impossible but turned out to be pretty easy.

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Old 01-23-2013, 09:47 AM   #64
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I thought I'd give these strips a try, since I'm going to retain the old vents and light fixtures in my "Burning Man" Safari. I used 1/2 of a reel of "white" (as it turns out, cool white) LEDs to populate this fixture. I modified the mechanical support for the enclosure and added a single pole double throw (on-off-on) switch in order to provide two settings, bright and dim.

The 3rd photo is the C9WW from LED4RV, a much more efficient alternative. I'm going to attempt to devise a mechanical mount for these and see how they look inside the shroud (next post).









Positive side:
  1. Provides an area light using the original fixture
  2. The yellowed enclosure does filter the cool white to an almost acceptable color
  3. Dims very nicely. A 30 ohm, 1W resistor in series reduces the current draw to 140 milliamps. I'll check the brightness to see if this amount of current provides sufficient ambient background illumination, once I get it installed. (this puts about 8 volts on the LEDs. at this low voltage level about 2% of the LEDs don't illuminate.)
  4. The illumination angle is wide, like 160 degrees, compared to the 120 degrees of the C9WW.
Negative side:
  1. The color is still very close to piercing blue, but OK
  2. The light output is a little bit brighter than a single C9WW (warm white and without a shroud) from LED4RV (and many other vendors), but uses about 10 times as much current.
  3. It's very time-consuming to cut and solder each length of LED tape
  4. The total current of the 50 segments (the strips are in short segments of 3 LEDs and a resistor, which can be cut. I used two 7-segment pieces and six 6-segment pieces) is about 1.2 amps. This is about 8 times what the more efficient C9WW draws. Although this is about a five-fold improvement over the six incandescent bulbs, it is still 8 times more current than the C9WW uses, for about the same light output. (caution: light output was estimated by eye, which is notoriously inaccurate )
Bottom line (for now) is that I think these LED strips are acceptable, particularly if you have to retain the orginal fixture.

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Old 01-23-2013, 09:48 AM   #65
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Now tht I've installed the modified lights, I am thinking that the strips are a bit brighter than two of the round G4 "chips," once the shrouds are installed.

That being said, the C9WW or the 10-LED equivalent are now routinely available for $3.50 to $5. Even the 12-LED or 15-LED versions are $5 to $6. I'm going to try a 15-LED version in the scare light.

The cool [blue] white strips under the shroud produce a slightly greenish color to my eye, while the warm white is yellow but appears [to me] a more pleasing white. The cool white strips, in combination with the shroud, make me feel like there's an aquarium with a flourescent light in the Airsteam. I think the camera caught the colors pretty accurately (disregard the brightness, they are pretty close by eye). I have to admit I like the way the strip illuminates the entire shroud. (My warm strip reel came today, but I don't think I'll retrofit the light I've completed.)



Note the "puck" in the above photo. These are designed for low voltage halogens and will fit only LEDs that are small, no more than 1-3/16" diameter. I've been installing these puck fixtures in several trailers, so I didn't even consider the larger 15-LED versions for this conversion. Duh. BTW, this puck light is controlled by the switch at the door that previously turned on the over-sink light, so it can be turned on before stepping into the Safari.

The details for mounting the G4 puck light in the old fixture requires making a small bracket to hold the socket (I may extend the socket to put the LEDs closer to the shroud, with the intent of cutting a circular hole immediately below the LEDs, but I'm concerned that that won't be very attractive). This particular vent has a fan, which turns on when the vent is open only a little. I wanted to be able to turn the fan off with the vent fully open, so I added a switch for it, too.





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Old 01-23-2013, 10:01 AM   #66
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Previous posts were copied from other threads (just trying to keep the modification record in one place).

The spots and bathroom light were also converted to LED.

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The lights still needing work are over the sink and in the cubby over the fridge.

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Old 01-24-2013, 11:16 PM   #67
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Ahh yes, the LED projects...

Nice work Zep!
Always looking for some ideas for my 1970 Safari, LED fixtures to replace the old three way switch square units in our rig. This is the time of the year to catch up with the interior work.
Thanks for the detailed postings partner...
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Old 04-24-2014, 06:33 AM   #68
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I thought I had posted this cost/time data but I can't find it, so here it is again. $2963 and 167 hours of labor and the Safari was ready to hit the road. Since then I've put in another 129 hours and about $300 on mostly LED lights.

To get to a like-new condition, I still need to install new axles, replace the awning fabric, water heater, and add a Fantastic Fan. These and some other small stuff will add another $2300 to the total refurb cost.

The Excel spreadsheet with all the details is attached.

Zep
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