suggestion for lighting trailer interior - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-07-2014, 02:08 PM   #1
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Name: outdoorman
Trailer: Casita
Georgia
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suggestion for lighting trailer interior

Among many upgrades I'd like to do to my 98 Casita LD is improve the interior lighting. I am a newby to electrical so please explain accordingly.
My trailer currently has original lights are just inside the door, another on wall alongside sink midway of trailer and a final one under the shelf above rear window. There is also a very faint hood vent light that can be turned on over the stove.
I see pictures of nicer looking light fixtures in the forum on newer trailers.
What would be the best and most do-able approach for improved lighting?
I would like to do it myself to keep cost down so am hoping I don't have to be an electrician to figure it out. Also, is LED lighting much brighter than the current bulbs? LED vs Flourescent??
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Old 06-07-2014, 02:29 PM   #2
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Trailer: 2009 17 ft Casita Freedom Deluxe
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I would choose LED over florescent any day. You might try LED in the current fixtures before adding or replacing them. Unless Casita changed the fixtures over the years, they are probably a standard auto bulb and are widely available in LED.

Dim lights makes me wonder if you are getting full power to them. You might use a volt meter to make sure you are getting 12+ volts.

2009 Casita FD - Sold
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Old 06-07-2014, 03:00 PM   #3
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Name: Chris
Trailer: Boler
Alberta
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I used LED puck lights that used 3 LED batteries. I had 3 of them and they make the trailer bright. I have a solar led light from ikea we use, so in the four weeks we spent in the trailer the batteries never died.

I am not very good with electronics, but got help from this site, took a cell phone charger from the dollar store (as it is meant to plug into 12 volts, and drops it to the right voltage for the LED lights) and ended up wiring in two of the lights so I Know longer need to worry about batteries. The one that was too much effort to wire in is still on batteries. The three lights, wire, part to drop the voltage was cheaer than buying one LED light meant for an RV from princess auto.

Costco in canada has an interesting package of battery LED lights with a remote control, I would look at that if I was starting now, and wire them in to avoid the hassle of batteries.
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Old 06-07-2014, 10:08 PM   #4
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Name: Mike
Trailer: Scamp
Virginia
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You have a couple of options. The easiest is to retrofit your existing lights with LED panels. You can find panels like this that plug in where your light bulb would go. No wiring required.



Or you could replace the lighting fixtures all together. This LED fixture is $32, it uses 5 watts of power, and it generates 520 lumens, which is roughly double what the factory lighting fixture can put out. As for the wiring, you only have 2 wires - negative and positive.



A few notes about LEDs:

Brightness: LEDs are generally dimmer than incandescents. But you can find really bright ones if you look around. If you look at the specs for the bulb, you'll see the light output measured in lumens. I wouldn't get anything less than 200 lumens. They're more expensive, but well worth it.

LED vs Fluorescent: LED is better, hands down. It has a longer life, it uses less power, it takes up less space, it's not as fragile, it's not filled with toxic gas, and it doesn't flicker when it gets old. The only reason CFLs still exist is because they're slightly cheaper.

Color Temperature: If you're converting to LED, pay particular attention to the color temperature. The "cool white" bulbs are cheap and bright, but they put out this really harsh blue-tinted light that most people find annoying. The "warm white" bulbs are the same color as incandescent lights and that's what I would recommend.

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Old 06-07-2014, 10:27 PM   #5
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Name: outdoorman
Trailer: Casita
Georgia
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Your posts have been helpful in me deciding to go with LED lights for the interior.
I think I'll try replacing the bulbs with LED screw in; also add a double LED light under my rear cabinet unit.

Thanks
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Old 07-03-2014, 12:33 PM   #6
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Trailer: 2001 Spirit Deluxe 17" K5NAN
Texas
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LED Lighting

I bought these on ebay 10 for 17 bucks with free shipping and they are awesome.

10 x White 48 SMD Panel Dome Map Interior Light Lamp BA15S 1156 Adapter DC 12V | eBay
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Old 07-03-2014, 01:12 PM   #7
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Trailer: 1984 13' Scamp named "Ramblin Rose"
Texas
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I just installed new LED fixtures inside of my 13' scamp and I'm very happy with the light output of all of them, and I only went with 150 lumen fixtures... I didn't want everything super bright, but it is very well-lit with all of them on. Power usage is VERY low as well.. I've measured about .6amps with all of them on.

I did use a 250 lumen flat bulb for my porch light, and it's super bright - I'm actually going to wire that one into a dimmer so that I can tone it down a bit when I don't need it to be quite so obnoxiously bright.... I'd rather it be visible than blinding, but full power may come in handy cooking (and cleaning up) in the dark.
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Old 07-03-2014, 09:16 PM   #8
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Name: outdoorman
Trailer: Casita
Georgia
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Thanks, my LED lights arrived but Ive been doing other things and will try to get around to installing them soon.
Hey sarahspins, I really like the paint design on your scamp.
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Old 07-03-2014, 09:47 PM   #9
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Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outdoorman View Post
Hey sarahspins, I really like the paint design on your scamp.
Thanks, but I can't take any credit for it, I bought her that way, and I love the paint job

The prior owner posted a thread about it - Ramblin' Rose
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Old 07-05-2014, 08:57 AM   #10
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Name: Denny
Trailer: Lil Snoozy
Michigan
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Just came across a string of twenty very bright (no lumen spec) LED lights at Radio Shack for $30.00. The cool part is you can cut them apart and use them in three light increments. You have to solder wires on but otherwise you can have very tiny lights stuck on with two sided tape. You can have light anywhere. These would be especially good for inside cabinets.


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Old 07-05-2014, 09:24 AM   #11
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Name: Lesa
Trailer: 1983 13' Scamp
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MCD those are great. I have a friend who uses them in his tiny home cargo van.
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Old 07-06-2014, 07:21 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MCDenny View Post
Just came across a string of twenty very bright (no lumen spec) LED lights at Radio Shack for $30.00. The cool part is you can cut them apart and use them in three light increments. You have to solder wires on but otherwise you can have very tiny lights stuck on with two sided tape. You can have light anywhere. These would be especially good for inside cabinets.


Denny Wolfe
Wanderingourway.wordpress.com

Correction, there are sixty LEDs that can be cut into twenty segments and wired individually. In fooling around in the dark with them last night one segment of three seemed about as bright as the flashlight function on my iPhone 5.


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Old 07-29-2014, 04:25 PM   #13
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Name: Jim
Trailer: Scamp 13 & TDI tugboat
Ohio
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Burned-in yet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GMike A View Post
I bought these on ebay 10 for 17 bucks with free shipping and they are awesome.

10 x White 48 SMD Panel Dome Map Interior Light Lamp BA15S 1156 Adapter DC 12V | eBay
Mike, I bought a similar bag of multi LED lights. But mine get very hot in operation after 10 minutes, so they stink (burning solder flux) and one of them got so hot the SMD dropping resistors began to melt off the board.

Have you had a chance to leave yours on, sealed up in the fixture for at least half an hour to see if there are any problems with continuous use?
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Old 07-30-2014, 01:55 AM   #14
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Name: Conrad
Trailer: Bigfoot 3000 & Barth "slide-in" truck camper
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I've bee using the bayonet the mount led replacement lamps. I have not noticed any unusual heat or odor. I have two of these types, both warm and a brighter white in addition to a few flat panels. I have not tired the flat panels for an extended time yet. Perhaps at most an hour on one of them.

I am very impressed with LEDs. I bought a few tried them out and then bought more. I have a nice supply of spares plus I kept the old bulbs in case these ever started to fail.

The one thing I did learn, is that it is nice to have subdued lighting and ways to change the look of the interior.


Sent from my iPhone using Fiberglass RV
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