Low Voltage Lighting - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-16-2007, 02:20 PM   #1
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Hello

Has anyone ever tried to use low voltage lighting fixtures on the 12 volt trailer systems?

I was looking for lighting options through automotive and marine sources and remembered that the low voltage home and garden lighting systems operate on 12 volts also.

What has been anyone else's experience?

Thank you.
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Old 05-16-2007, 03:00 PM   #2
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Hello

Has anyone ever tried to use low voltage lighting fixtures on the 12 volt trailer systems?

I was looking for lighting options through automotive and marine sources and remembered that the low voltage home and garden lighting systems operate on 12 volts also.

What has been anyone else's experience?

Thank you.
You have to use a 110V transformer that puts out the 12V the yard lights. So just eliminate it and wire them directly to the battery. The landscape light output is pretty weak however. Halogen or cold cathode are much better.
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Old 05-16-2007, 03:33 PM   #3
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Home low voltage outdoor lighting systems is low voltage mainly for safety reasons. I believe the same holds true for indoor low voltage systems. As I see it there are two problems with using those systems in our trailers. One is the power usage. I checked a couple of places and it appears that the bulbs are Halogen with a power rating between 20 and 45 Watts. The current draw would from almost 2 amps to really close to 4 amps. The other is heat. These bulbs get quite hot.


In my humbole opinion one would be better off with other systems, ccfl or led would be a better choice.
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Old 05-16-2007, 04:32 PM   #4
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Home low voltage outdoor lighting systems is low voltage mainly for safety reasons. I believe the same holds true for indoor low voltage systems. As I see it there are two problems with using those systems in our trailers. One is the power usage. I checked a couple of places and it appears that the bulbs are Halogen with a power rating between 20 and 45 Watts. The current draw would from almost 2 amps to really close to 4 amps. The other is heat. These bulbs get quite hot.
In my humbole opinion one would be better off with other systems, ccfl or led would be a better choice.
I think also you'd find that the filaments are not rated for the sort of vibration that our trailers see... halogen sealed beam headlights are designed for that sort of thing but not "track lighting".

Just like regular incandescent bulbs have a "rough service" equivalent.
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Old 05-16-2007, 04:47 PM   #5
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I was online and some of the lights are led. Do you think thay might work?
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Old 05-16-2007, 07:44 PM   #6
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I was online and some of the lights are led. Do you think thay might work?
Yes, but be aware that some LED and fluorescent lamps are designed with the assumption that the incoming power is of a known and steady voltage; they may not be reliable when provided with the "12V" of a trailer battery, which could really be anything from (for example) 11V to 14V. This problem is specifically identified by at least one supplier of high-powered 12V LED "track" lighting, who has versions for regulated and varying power sources.
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Old 05-16-2007, 08:31 PM   #7
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I am running 100% LED and cold cathode. I have LED fixtures, Cold cathode tubes w/invertors and drop in replacements for my kitchen overhead fixture.

I have no issues with any at low voltage, they are just a bit dimmer, and the only problem I had with higher voltage was with my convertor.

The convertor has a breaker.. it is permanently set in the OFF position.

I run off solar most of the time, and I have never been blacked out.

I can't say enough about them. If there was a single item that is most critical to me for boondocking, these would be it. The freedom is amazing.

I hate being tied to an electrical outlet. When I have one, thats great, but I don't worry if I don't.
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Old 05-17-2007, 09:05 AM   #8
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Gena

Your set up sounds interesting. Are the fixtures you are using sold as an automotive application or are they the low voltage lighting used for home and commercial use? The home and commercial lighting suppliers I checked on line have a large selection of led and other low voltage fixtures, track, and rope lighting. If some of them would be adaptable to our applications, it would give our little trailers a lot of options for lighting.
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Old 05-17-2007, 06:00 PM   #9
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I have halogen pucks under my cupboards, had them for over 2 years now and the trailer ride hasn`t affected the filaments yet....and when I use them they are run off the trailer battery.....Benny
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Old 05-18-2007, 12:23 AM   #10
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Darrel,

The cold cathodes are actually an item the almost any computer store will have. The most common use for them iin the configuration that many of us have in our trailers is actually to "Trick out" computer cases. (Why people do this is a mystery to me...)

The backlights in laptops are also ccfls, but they are configured differently.

The LEDs I use come from a small bidnez in Arizona.. the guy seems to do nothing but LED fixtures for both auto and home use.

Here is a link to his site (Which is sometimes hard to navigate.. keep plodding)

Autolumination

There are also many other sources in the helpful links Lighting, but I have found these guys to be the least expensive, and most varied in product. They ship very quickly as well.

I get my ccfls off a supplier on eBay, they are about $7 a set, plus shipping, but the references in the links are similarly priced.
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