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Sav'h Steve 06-28-2003 09:20 PM

Florescent 12V ThinLite?
I remember reading some time ago a member upgrading the ceiling lights to florescent.

I'm considering the one especially overhead the sink. Would 16 or 30 watts be better? ThinLite makes so many versions that it can be confusing to make the better choices.

I also noticed that the going prices are around $40-$50 each. They have different "color" - ie cool or warm (like incadescents). Do the twin tube lights have a switch to turn on one or both florescents like the OEM lights do?

Someone have experience with these?


RoadKingMoe 06-29-2003 09:01 AM

Airstream put TWELVE of these in my 34. I originally thought they were 30s, but they're all 16W, 8 recessed and 4 surface mount. There are two in the living room plus one over the couch, two (one on either side of the AC) in the dinette/galley area plus one over the sink and one over the appliance garage, two in the dressing area (one on either side of the skylight), two over the bathroom mirror, and one in the bedroom.

In general, it takes two 16s spaced apart for really bright lighting over a wider area, but using one is adequate and a great option for boondocking. The 16s draw 1.4A, about the same as ONE incandescent bulb and put out about twice the light. One 16 is adequate over the sink.

The other thing to consider if you let the trailer get cold at night when boondocking is that they put out much less light at 50 degrees than they do at 70. Two 16s put out about the light of one when it's this cold.

You cannot turn one tube on by itself. They're both on or off.

Hope this info helps.

Sav'h Steve 06-29-2003 10:54 AM


Thank-You very much for your reply.

As usual you are most knowageable in every RV area and answered my questions most graciously.

It sounds like the 16 watt is the way to go. And I understand that 'both lights' come on at the same time in the same fixture.

I suppose these are special order (or standard in the Limited) so most people don't have them. Cost is considerably higher. has this: "The Thin-Lite #114 is a 28 watt (2.0 amps) special purpose light fixture designed to fit in the vent panels of post-1980 Airstream vents. 15" x 11" x 1". Uses two F14T8/CW fluorescent tubes (furnished). 1350 design lumens. Special order only, minimum quantities may apply." I don't think I have 'vent panels' in my Excella 25...

And they come standard with one choice of tube - the CW (cool white). On rv-net, one man complained of all his lights flickering. Not seen that as a problem.

Looks like I'll order the #112 (with brown stripe) vs the #130 (plain and 1/4" thicker).

Steve in Savannah

59toaster 06-29-2003 12:59 PM

You might look into Halogen under cabinet lighting as well. The have Puck lights that will surface mount. You can get these at Home depot for about $12. They are 12v already and put out great light. I have 5 of these installed in my home kitchen and 3 in my European desk.

My complaint with Florecent is you can't get a "Warm" light with them. to get day light you have to mix and match the bulbs. Even with that the color of the light washes out the color in the surounding materials they are lighting. I also find that light stressfull on the eyes in a fixture where you can't see the bulb.

The halogens put out a nice warm light. 10 watt puts out a lot of light and depending on the fixture you can concentrate where the light goes and doesn't i.e. light just the counter. Two 10watt pucks I would think would put out as much or more light then the 16 watt floreccent AND draw less power because there is no transformer needed.

Silvertwinkie 06-29-2003 02:53 PM

I always thought that halogens took more power since the ran hotter and also have a filiment.

I thought that florescents took less power (depending on size), but just had a much colder light.


59toaster 06-29-2003 05:11 PM


Originally posted by Silvertwinkie
I always thought that halogens took more power since the ran hotter and also have a filiment.

I thought that florescents took less power (depending on size), but just had a much colder light.


A Watt is a Watt.
Also remeber that at Florecent needs a ballast to run it so the draw is more then just the bulb wattage would indicate.

Part of the heat this is a halogen is using a metal filimant just like a regular incadecent. It's MUCH smaller then a florecent bulb. The florescent has no filiment. It's the gas that when subjected to a electrical charge becomes luminecent. The initial start of a florecent takes a couple thousand volt jolt and then it backs off to a lower voltage.

RoadKingMoe 06-29-2003 05:29 PM

Airstream also put four of these puck lights in our trailer, two under the front and rear overhead cabinets. They're great for reading lights, but do cast shadows, so we use the flourescent's more even lighting when working on something with our hands.

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