LED lighting in Casita - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-27-2008, 08:41 PM   #15
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Thanks Roy and Pete for the replies, the link was very interesting, I am concerned about mosquitoes mostly...I saw a Coleman mosquito trap designed to trap the little devils in camp and it appeared to have L.E.Ds. as bait and a hormone packet, it stated the lights attracted them into the trap where they were zapped...I live in Arizona, the out break of west nile has hit us hard every monsoon season for a few years now...I try to be cautious camping and generally use the gas lamp in the cabin which seems to work well for me but is warm on summer nights although it is deadly if a stray gets two near the mantle...I set a gas lamp just on the edge of camp so the insects home in on it to be safe just as was suggested...I had read once that mosquitoes were infra red heat seekers and wondered what was the emitted spectrum an l.e.d. put out?
Or if a different color l.e.d. was invisible to them. New technologies are wonderful and I am curious what the group experiences were with these lights...I will defiantly try the soft whites.

Again thanks for taking time out to reply.

Harry

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Old 11-27-2008, 11:08 PM   #16
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One thing I have learned diddling with LED lights over these past few months is the fact that they do grow DIMMER as they age, and I'm talkin about every day usage and turned on for 6/8 hours at at a time, so r/v usage may vary somewhat.

Regular (incan.) bulbs WILL last considerably longer under similar usage.
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Old 11-28-2008, 12:58 AM   #17
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Well . . . yes and no.

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One thing I have learned diddling with LED lights over these past few months is the fact that they do grow DIMMER as they age, and I'm talkin about every day usage and turned on for 6/8 hours at at a time, so r/v usage may vary somewhat.

Regular (incan.) bulbs WILL last considerably longer under similar usage.
Here's the poop on LEDs and lifetime. If used in the right voltage range a set of LEDs should last many, many thousands of hours, but the bulb's life (and brightness) will decline rapidly if you exceed that range. Here's why:

LEDs are a special type of diode, a device that is very good at allowing electricity to pass through in one direction, but not the other. You can think of it as a very thin wire with a one-way valve in it, if you like, one that glows when it lets electricity through.

I said very thin wire, didn't I? And thin wires can't carry a whole lot of electricity through them, can they? So here's the problem: as the voltage applied to the diode goes up, it tries to let more and more electricity through. That makes the LED glow brighter, but it also makes the LED get hotter, too.

And that's the basic problem: by the time the LED starts visibly glowing, you're already getting very close to the LED's voltage and current limit. Apply just a little more voltage to the LED, and it gets warm enough that that the heat damages parts of the bimetal conductor inside the LED, reducing the amount of electricity that can pass through and the amount of light the LED makes.

Most of the LEDs I use are designed to operate at 12 volts, plus or minus a small amount. Problem is, most of our trailers have converters or battery chargers that often juice up the battery at 14.5 volts, sometimes more.

14.5 volts is way more than the LEDs I buy can handle, so I install a 12 volt voltage regulator in all my LED light circuits to prevent them from being damaged when I'm at a full hookup site. That way they'll last for the 50,000 hours they're supposed to.

(Some LEDs come with regulator circuits built in, by the way, but most do not.)

(Edited to correct some factual errors I let slip through. I tried to over-simplify some things and presented my information incorrectly. Thanks to Brian for pointing that out. )
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Old 11-28-2008, 01:50 PM   #18
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Skeeters also home in on the carbon dioxide that mammals exhale...
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Old 11-29-2008, 02:54 PM   #19
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Most of the LEDs I use are designed to operate at 12 volts, plus or minus a small amount. Problem is, most of our trailers have converters or battery chargers that often juice up the battery at 14.5 volts, sometimes more.

14.5 volts is way more than the LEDs I buy can handle, so I install a 12 volt voltage regulator in all my LED light circuits to prevent them from being damaged when I'm at a full hookup site. That way they'll last for the 50,000 hours they're supposed to.

(Some LEDs come with regulator circuits built in, by the way, but most do not.)
Could you elaborate on the voltage regulators that you used? Also do you know which LEDs come with built in regulators? I have all Superbright LEDs. Stores that handle electronics parts come few and far between down here. Radio Shack has been a joke for years so I have to order via the internet and would appreciate some guidance.
Thanks
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Old 11-29-2008, 03:27 PM   #20
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You mean, the LEDs aren't retained by the socket, rather they dangle against the fixture? That sounds less than optimal for their longevity if they're going to be subjected to motion stress all the time during travel. Please elaborate.

Michael,
Most of us attach the PC board to the top of the fixture with that sticky stuff (like silly putty) that you use to stick stuff on walls. One brand is DAP.. it comes in blue and yellow and you can get it walmart and online. Velcro might work if you clean the surface real well before attaching it. They don't "dangle" at all nor do they have to lay on the bottom of the lens. Don't forget to replace your lenses with the clear ones as the translucent ones that come in the Casita don't let enough light through.

After reading the discussions of trying to justify paying that much for LED lights (yes, they are expensive at $22 each at SuperbrightLeds.com), everyone is right. It's not a mod for everybody. For those of us that don't go to bed until late, stay up and watch TV or read and like to have the camper lit up, it's a great mod. Especially if you plan on running the furnace all night. I can attest to the fact that if you run your incandescent bulbs for four hours, you won't be able to run the furnace all night. That darned furnace fan draws a lot of current. I wish someone would come up with a real RV vented radiant gas heater to replace these forced-air furnaces like my old Diamond Class "C" motorhome had. However, if you go to bed at dark, don't invest in the LED lights. Some people wondered about the LEDs drawing flying insects. Yes, they will, the frequency they operate on has no affect. A light is a light to flying bug, and yes, it's the carbon dioxide you give off that attracts mosquitos. If you put an amber lens on your outside light with a cool white or warm white LED behind it, it acts just like an amber lens with an incandescent bulb behind it. Most people find it cuts down on the bugs, but it doesn't eliminate them.
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Old 11-29-2008, 04:10 PM   #21
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What's happening is that they navigate by the light from stars or the moon, always keeping one side pointing at that distant light -- When we introduce a closer light, they start flying in circles around the light, eventually getting to it and being very confused.

http://archives.stupidquestion.net/sq72601.html
Now that I've had a chance to read the link and think a bit. The LED's should not attract as many bugs, nor keep them circling around. If the theory is that they are using a single light as a directional beacon of sorts. Most LED lights have multiple sources of light. From a distance it may look like one light but the closer they get, they sources become further divergant to the insect. Therefore the lights cease to be a "beacon".

Does that make any sense?
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Old 11-29-2008, 06:24 PM   #22
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Could you elaborate on the voltage regulators that you used? Also do you know which LEDs come with built in regulators?
I use "7812" integrated circuit regulators. They're a standard fair in electrical circuits; you can buy them from Radio Shack stores that sell components for about $2.00 each or order them in lots of 20 on eBay for around $5.00 (including shipping). I solder them in-line between my light switch and my LED-equipped lights.


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One of the Home Depot track lights I converted to use LED lighting. Here's a wiring diagram.



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There are two little catches, though. The first is that these little regulators will fry in less than a second if you wire them in backward or hook your battery up backward. You can tell when it happens: they get very hot to the touch, smell like fried electronics and usually let off a tiny puff of smoke. Not that it's ever happened to me . . .

You can avoid the backward wiring thing by adding a rectifier diode into the circuit, but doing so means your lights will dim slightly sooner when your battery runs down below 12.4 volts.



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The second thing is these regulators can only handle one amp of current before they overheat . . . I tend to assume they shouldn't be pushed beyond half an amp. The problem with being limited to 1 amp throughput is that your average 1156 incandescent bulb, the ones our trailers tend to come with, draw 1.5 to 1.8 amps. So if once you solder in a voltage regulator you're stuck with using LEDs in that spot. (Not a problem for us: All our interior trailer lights are LEDs.)

How can you tell which bulbs use voltage regulators? Very few LED lights have regulators, but here's a simple test: Charge (or discharge) your trailer battery so that it has about 12.4 volts of power (about half charged), turn all the LED lights in your trailer on, then stand inside while someone else plugs your trailer's converter (or battery charger) in to shore power. The lights that get brighter do not have built in regulators.
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Old 11-29-2008, 07:08 PM   #23
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I'm still reading, but one more question. I had a florescent lantern that interfered with AM radio reception. You could hear the thing cycling on the radio. Any problem with LEDs interfering with other devices?

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Old 11-29-2008, 10:26 PM   #24
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I'm still reading, but one more question. I had a florescent lantern that interfered with AM radio reception. You could hear the thing cycling on the radio. Any problem with LEDs interfering with other devices?
No. Fluorescent lights use a high-frequency oscillator circuit that can create radio interference. LEDs, on the other hand, are a pretty straightforward circuit: just a battery, a resistor, one to three LEDs and maybe a voltage regulator, nothing there to create interference.
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Old 11-30-2008, 12:40 AM   #25
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I use "7812" integrated circuit regulators.
One of the Home Depot track lights I converted to use LED lighting.
Good Idea Peter ! I use a empty 1141 socket and insert a 7812 regulator (isolate from the socket) inside put a G4 ontop and seal with Heat shrink to fabricate a Halogen socket last mounth here a picture of all I use for my testing.

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I already start a threat about 'indoor lightning' (Casita Forum) and made lot of testing using Halogen (10/5W),1141 bulb,1003bulb and 36 leds board from Honkong ($5 each) .The best result I obtain are from the 36Leds board using a clear lens instead of the white OEM. (263uA/90Lumens)
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From Peter ""The second thing is these regulators can only handle one amp of current before they overheat . . . I tend to assume they shouldn't be pushed beyond half an amp. The problem with being limited to 1 amp throughput is that your average 1156 incandescent bulb, the ones our trailers tend to come with, draw 1.5 to 1.8 amps. So if once you solder in a voltage regulator you're stuck with using LEDs in that spot. (Not a problem for us: All our interior trailer lights are LEDs.)""
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Well maybe you can try to install the regulator inside the socket of the led like I did for my Halogen adapter ,no more retrofit problem this way!

I wil do this test soon !
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Old 11-30-2008, 06:53 PM   #26
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To Peter & Gilles
On the Superbright led site they warn not to cut the bulb base off the circuit boards and wire direct because it contains a buck driver circuit which is required to maintain warranty and they also mention that their bulbs have current limiting resistors as well. They claim the bulbs will work on anything from 8 to 30VDC so they can be used in either 12 or 24VDC applications. It would seem they have all bases covered. I've been watching for a solution like this for some time now and hope to order some of these tomorrow. We want to be more energy efficient so we can run our furnace without shore power in the off season(no campgrounds open) while traveling south to get to warm weather. We will test them on our way to Texas at the end of December.
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Old 11-30-2008, 10:13 PM   #27
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Thank you all for the further information. I've ordered our goodies and hope to have them installed shortly. (We only have two lights in the CJ - one over the hob and another at one couch end. With all this electrical "savings" I plan to install a second fixture over the other couch, and one outside! WOO HOO!

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Old 11-30-2008, 10:13 PM   #28
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OH! Where would I find the clear lens for the existing fixtures in a '71 Compact Jr.?

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