Cheap LED Lights! - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 01-09-2011, 03:04 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Patrick M.'s Avatar
 
Name: Patrick
Trailer: 2007 Casita Liberty (Sold 2011)/ Honda Odyssey
Arizona
Posts: 705
Cheap LED Lights!

I thought this use of $1 Store tap LED lights for an auto map light was clever, and think it could be adapted to trailer interior lights by those handy with a soldering iron.

Check it out: Pete's Blog: 3$ LED Map Light Replacement
Quote:
I needed to replace the map light lamp in my car this afternoon and I thought I would go for LED replacement bulbs. The original incandescent bulb's orange glow looks dingy anyway and the last few times I needed to see by way of the map light it seemed rather dim. I figured the local auto parts store would be teeming with LED's as it seems all of the futuristic cars nowadays are jamb packed with the things. This, however, turned out not to be the case. According to the worker at the parts shop, LED's are "high performance" parts and as such, must be custom ordered. I was also told that "the internet has them". Neat. Too bad "the internet" thinks LED replacement bulbs are more valuable than McDonald's orange juice.
__________________

__________________
Patrick M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2011, 11:23 AM   #2
Member
 
Trailer: U-Haul
Posts: 38
Patrick,
Another alternative for inexpensive LEDs is this:
50x Warm White LED Lamp Light Set Pre Wired 5mm 12V DC - eBay (item 320642199019 end time Jan-13-11 09:51:37 PST)

While I would expect that this particular auction is over by the time anyone reads this, similar auctions seem to run commonly.

I "won" such an auction and the LEDs work out to be about 20 cents each and require no further alteration. Simply connect to a 12 volt circuit and one is "illuminated".

While 50 may seem like alot of lights I am planning on using them on my boat as well as my trailer. Places like lockers and engine compartment with a pressure switch so one lifts the lid and the lights go on. Should make it easier to make a quick check at night of the shaft log, fuel filter-water separator etc. In the trailer for backs of lockers and in bins. At this price on can in stall them in every locker and in every bin and the current draw is so low one could install them all on one circuit. And no risk of fire from a hot bulb accidentially left on, or later finding a flat battery.

Colored Leds are available but I prefer the warm white as it doesn't burn out night vision as bad as the bright white.

Hope this helps,
David A.L.
__________________

__________________
David A. L. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2011, 01:29 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Patrick M.'s Avatar
 
Name: Patrick
Trailer: 2007 Casita Liberty (Sold 2011)/ Honda Odyssey
Arizona
Posts: 705
Excellent idea David! I had no idea 12v LEDs were being sold like this.
__________________
Patrick M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2011, 05:22 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Rick G's Avatar
 
Name: Rick
Trailer: former Boler, now 1980 Trillium 4500
British Columbia
Posts: 366
Registry
Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by David A. L. View Post
Patrick,
Another alternative for inexpensive LEDs is this:
50x Warm White LED Lamp Light Set Pre Wired 5mm 12V DC - eBay (item 320642199019 end time Jan-13-11 09:51:37 PST)

While I would expect that this particular auction is over by the time anyone reads this, similar auctions seem to run commonly.
.
What a great idea, I love it! One of our pet peeves is that we can’t see into the upper cupboards or storage areas very well at night because most of the trailer lighting is generalized for the interior spaces. This way I could put a couple of LEDs in each cupboard. I have ordered some on eBay and will put it on my lengthy project list for the spring.

You would need “normally closed” momentary contact switches in order to have the lights go on when the cupboard door is opened and go off when the door is closed. They are not nearly as common as the standard, normally open (aka “push to make”) switches, but I found some cheaply on eBay which will do the job. However, I am thinking that for some places that I don’t go often, like the rear storage compartments, I might put in latching pushbuttons instead of momentary contact, so that you have to push the button in order to turn the lights on, then push it again for off. Although this opens up the possibility of leaving the lights on inadvertently, it eliminates the possibility of having the lights not turn off correctly if the switch is not pushed in all the way for some reason and then not checking it for a long time. Each type has advantages and disadvantages, I suppose.

Wow, this is going to be fun! Yet another reason why I can hardly wait until spring.

Thanks for the inspiration.
Rick G
__________________
Rick G is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2011, 09:08 PM   #5
Moderator
 
Matt in SV's Avatar
 
Name: Matt
Trailer: U-Haul VT16, Escape 19
California
Posts: 987
Registry
Rick,

I found some little battery operated LED lights with magnetic triggers at Harbor Freight in San Diego. (El Cajon to be precise) I don't know that they have them in other stores. They were about $3 ea and the size of a key fob. They might work well on the overhead hatches and stuff where you need just a little light. If they work out I'll post some pics.

Looks like it's in-store only and not all stores, but there is a photo on the website
http://www.harborfreight.com/magneti...ght-66354.html

Regards,

Matt
__________________
Planning our next Escape!
Matt in SV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2011, 11:55 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
peterh's Avatar
 
Name: Peter
Trailer: 2005 19 ft Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel
Oregon
Posts: 1,519
Registry
The "pre-wired" LEDs from eBay are a standard LED bulb plus a "dropping resistor" that lowers the line voltage from 12v to 3v. They're great for many applications, but aren't particularly efficient.

LEDs generally need a 3.0-3.5v DC power supply. To accommodate this when the power source is a 12v battery, most power-efficient LED products wire three LEDs together with a resistor that lowers the line voltage 2-3v so all three LEDs get the power they need without the resistor wasting away too much energy as heat.

When you have only one LED in the circuit, the resistor has to drop the line voltage down 9v, throwing the exess electricty away as heat. The net result is that one LED connected to a resistor actually consumes the same amount of electricity as three LEDs that share.
__________________
peterh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2011, 12:11 PM   #7
Member
 
Trailer: U-Haul
Posts: 38
Peter, not doubting what you are saying. However, one listing for these type of lights rates them at 20 mA. So while one may be able to save energy wiring them the way you are suggesting, if I'm understanding the data, one could power 50 of these lights on one amp at 12volts.

Or am I missing something, I'm not an electrical engineer.

Bests,
David A. L.
__________________
David A. L. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2011, 12:21 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Mike Magee's Avatar
 
Name: Michael
Trailer: Li'l Hauley
Oklahoma
Posts: 5,142
I think you could string 3 of them together as Peter suggested and each one would be as bright as 1 alone. But if you strung 50 together, each would give out a much, much weaker light. So the 50 probably would yield about the same amount of total light as the 3, I think. Sort of like having them on a dimmer circuit, because none of them are getting enough electricity to put out optimal light.
__________________
How much time do we have left? 2 Chr. 7:14
Mike Magee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2011, 12:25 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
peterh's Avatar
 
Name: Peter
Trailer: 2005 19 ft Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel
Oregon
Posts: 1,519
Registry
No, you're right on the power consumption. I just wouldn't expect a single 0.020w LED, or even a grouping of three, to be bright enough to read by.
__________________
peterh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2011, 12:44 PM   #10
Member
 
Trailer: U-Haul
Posts: 38
Peter, I wasn't suggesting light with enough intensity to read by, but rather supplying light in otherwise dark areas.

I would think that possibly one could power these lights using telephone wire. Running 6 or 8 pair cables with one LED at the end of each pair would be fast and inexpensive. Telephone wire takes 48 volts (with low amperage) without problem over reasonable distance. Considering the lengths needed in a trailer the voltage drop should not be a problem and the amperage again of the LED is very low.

Thoughts?

David A. L.
__________________
David A. L. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2011, 08:33 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
peterh's Avatar
 
Name: Peter
Trailer: 2005 19 ft Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel
Oregon
Posts: 1,519
Registry
I've done something like this, using 18g alarm system/bell wire in the 3-way light circuit I installed for our porch light. (18g bell wire is rated for 10 amps, the same size as the fuse on that circuit. 22g bell wire is rated for 5 amps.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by David A. L. View Post
Peter, I wasn't suggesting light with enough intensity to read by, but rather supplying light in otherwise dark areas.

I would think that possibly one could power these lights using telephone wire. Running 6 or 8 pair cables with one LED at the end of each pair would be fast and inexpensive. Telephone wire takes 48 volts (with low amperage) without problem over reasonable distance. Considering the lengths needed in a trailer the voltage drop should not be a problem and the amperage again of the LED is very low.

Thoughts?

David A. L.
__________________
peterh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2011, 05:55 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Rick G's Avatar
 
Name: Rick
Trailer: former Boler, now 1980 Trillium 4500
British Columbia
Posts: 366
Registry
Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick M. View Post
I thought this use of $1 Store tap LED lights for an auto map light was clever, and think it could be adapted to trailer interior lights by those handy with a soldering iron.

Check it out: Pete's Blog: 3$ LED Map Light Replacement
Getting back to the original post for a moment, I also have several of these push lights that we use as flashlights around the camp, bought at a dollar store for a buck each. They put out an amazing amount of light, so much that we can illuminate a tree 30 feet away or more at night. We are still on the original AAA batteries with most of these lights after many nights camping, although we don't leave them on all the time. However, the cold white colour is very stark and both my wife and I do not want them as main light sources in the trailer. That is why I was so excited about the warm white LEDs, which have not been available before the past few months. The warmer colour is closer to a regular incandescent bulb that we are all used to, and uses much less power.

At 20mA current per bulb times 12V, that is about one quarter of a watt power per LED. I would expect them to be noticebly brighter than LED christmas bulbs at that power level. We will see whether I can put them together to get enough light for seeing into dark compartments, hopefully so.

Someone PM'ed me about using lighted switches on the outside of the compartment, so that you would know if your compartment lights were off by looking at the switch. Great idea. You can get round hole rocker switches with LEDs built in that also use very little power which would work great for that application.

Lots to think about.
Rick G
__________________

__________________
Rick G is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
lights


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
LED trailer lights / Non LED lights on tow vehicle Kevin K General Chat 20 11-24-2010 12:05 PM
LED lights in Original light sockets - tail lights Cam A Modifications, Alterations and Updates 75 02-15-2009 11:54 PM
led lights Pat C Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 2 07-16-2008 12:22 PM
LED Lights Dave Mac Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 9 07-24-2007 05:44 PM
NEW LED LIGHTS!! Christi V. Modifications, Alterations and Updates 12 05-10-2007 10:10 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:31 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.