Cheap interior light LED mod. - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-21-2015, 08:15 PM   #1
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Cheap interior light LED mod.

When it came to putting new interior lights into my trillium this summer I could not get over the high cost of LED lights. I love the low current draw and the low temperature but the cost was quite high. So I bought the regular incandescent light fixtures and went on ebay for some LED bulbs.

They were less than $4 each and came with a bunch of bases to fit what ever style of bulb you were replacing. Or so I thought. Turns out that the bulb style I had was not included so I modified the original bulbs. I could have hard wired the leds but I like the thought of changing back easily if they should for some strange reason ever fail.

I purchased the warm white version but it was still too cold for me. I like a nice warm light in my trailer when I cosy down for the night. So I cut up a light orange coloured divider that my son had and taped it over the LED panel. Works great.

The old incandescent drew 1.5A and the new pannel, that is just as bright, draws less than 1/5 A (200mA). That means I can have all of my LED lights on for less power draw than one old light for the cost of about $20
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Old 09-21-2015, 08:16 PM   #2
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Here is where I got the LED panels...

As always, thanks for looking.

Colin
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Old 09-22-2015, 07:42 AM   #3
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Name: Joe
Trailer: 1999 Casita 17' SD
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I used the same 48 led panels in my Casita

My current meter indicates they use .25 amp each, very low draw.
I used the "PURE They call it super white now) White" ones but "warm" and "cool" white are also available.

Here's the vendor I got mine from and they are currently 10 for $15.29 including two styles of adapters, including the BA15S we need, and shipping from the US. Make sure to order the shade you want. At the bottom of this listing the quantity and shade are listed, click on what you want.
10x Cool White RV 1141 1156 BA15S T10 921 194 48 SMD Panel Interior LED Lights | eBay




The only problem I had was the double sided foam tape came off the panels

I used 3M automotive double sided tape but RTV would work too.

Joe
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Old 09-22-2015, 07:54 AM   #4
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Trailer: '88 Scamp 16, layout 4
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I bought some similar panels and they partially failed in just a few weeks. After that lesson I bought a new LED fixture and swapped the whole thing out. Liking that I just bought more of the same here: Amazon.com: Gold Stars F3528001 LED Dome Light Fixture Single 921 Wedge 150 Lumens 12v Natural White (3): Automotive Three for $23. I also bought three of the double fixtures for use in the Scamp and another (cargo) trailer.
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Old 09-22-2015, 08:51 AM   #5
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Hi Tim and Joe

Thanks for your replies. I think I will try a burn in test for a few days to make sure they are up to the job. I wonder if it is worthwhile peeling the double sided tape away from the resistors on the back to help them stay cooler.

Thanks for the info and the links

colin
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Old 09-22-2015, 09:15 AM   #6
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Colin.

Mine passed the burn test with flying colors other than the foam tape on our 14 day boon docking trip in August and I've turned them on several times while pluged into shore power at home and no flickering.

I previously had some LED bulbs that fit the socket that would ocassionally "blink" when I was connected to shore power but these didn't.

DON'T TRY PEELING OFF THE FOAM TAPE, let it come off naturally, the resisters are very fragile, ask how I know. I'm trying one of those with 2 resisters off on the "porch" light to see how they hold up outdoors.

The 3M automotive trim tape I used is narrower and I did as you suggested avoiding the resisters. Were going on a 4 day rally tomarrow and I'll know for sure one way or the other.

Joe
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Old 09-22-2015, 06:33 PM   #7
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Well, I had the light on for 8 hours today and nothing melted and the tape stayed stuck. A good sign for now. I have ordered some low dropout voltage regulators and will have some pictures soon.
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Old 09-23-2015, 10:03 PM   #8
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Parts came in today so I put together this circuit. The diagram shows the 5v regulator but I am using the 12 v version. I used 0.1uF for CI and 100uF for Co.

The regulator is a 278r12 regulator and only needs 0.5 V of headroom. That means it will keep its 12V output even if my batteries discharge to 12.5V. The normal LM7812 needs 1.5V so it would stop regulating at 13.5 V.

Any how, The bits have been soldered and installed in the old light base and filled with epoxy. I will post pictures tomorrow once the epoxy has cured.

Cheers
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Old 09-24-2015, 06:37 AM   #9
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Nice mod Colin. Love the pics and source link. Very helpful.

John
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Old 09-24-2015, 06:29 PM   #10
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So my cheap lights are no longer quite so cheap... $3.50 for the panel and about $4 for the reguator, capacitors and shipping.

Any way, I am still quite pleased.

With the epoxy cured you can see the regulator and both capacitors
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Old 09-26-2015, 04:18 PM   #11
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Project is done.

Here is a shot of the final install ( minus the cover ). I wrapped the coloured sheet around the LED panel so the double sided tape will hold on the sheet and do double duty. If it should fall off I will try something else

Total trailer lighting for the interior is less than 1 amp. It used to be 6A and the new lights are equally bright.

With all of my lights on, including my LED porch light, and my furnace running my current draw is 3A

Thanks for looking.
Colin
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Old 09-27-2015, 10:53 AM   #12
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Colin,
We just returned from a 4 night rally with electrical hookups. The lamps got pretty warm running on the converter but no blinking and the 3M automobile trim tape held them on fine.

So I'm a "Happy camper" with the birght white 6000k panels.

While gone my second set of super whit 10 for $15.27 arrived in the mail.

Joe
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Old 09-27-2015, 12:28 PM   #13
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I am glad your lights and tape worked out for you.

The prices have sure come down for leds. I remember wiring up 20 discrete through hole leds to make a light many years ago.
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Old 09-27-2015, 12:36 PM   #14
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Colinn

I'm not sure how many circuits and what else might be on them but if the lights in my Casita are all on one circuit (fat chance) I'll put a 7812 on the circuit making them run cooler when on shore power. I have not measured the 12 volts when on shore power but it's derived from half wave rectification.

Recently I think I paid $10 for ONE bulb.
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