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Old 06-27-2009, 11:35 PM   #1
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I have a long history of lighting my rigs via LED and cold cathodes. The FAA often comes to my campsite to investigate the landing lights confusing commercial airline pilots, only to find a couple Beagles and several empty Dr Pepper cans ... and little old me.

I have several 24 LED dome type fixtures that I have been happy with, and are insignificant to my battery. When I sold my 13 foot Burro, I didn't even remove them, they cost so little (10 bones each) I just ordered more and redid the 17 footer. I even have a couple extra ones as I ordered more than I actually needed. I figured "Bigger trailer, more lights needed". The only issue I have with them is not a big deal.. they are old school and the white hue is actually blue, as old leds do.

In a fit of boredom, I snooped around autoluminations website to see if:

1. It has gotten any better (Slightly, it's still hard to navigate tho)
2. If they had anything new to offer.

I ran across these 24 LED Jumbo fixtures, warm white and went "For 15 bones, it'll be interesting to see". They are the first listing on the page.

I got them the other day, and I did a quick mock up to see how they were. Wow. I am impressed. I don't have a lumens meter, so I can only give a subjective opinion that they are about twice as bright as the smaller domes I have been using for, literally, years, and "warm" is a great description. They are much more pleasing than my incandescents. I ordered two more for the front of the coach as soon as I saw how they performed. The two I got already will replace the two in the rear for now, and the two new ones will replace the ones over my gaucho.

I will get pics when the install is done, but I thought I would post them here first. I have seen many references to LED sources here, but they always are MUCH higher priced and I have not been able to figure out why. (Other than these have to have switches installed, but that does not justify the steep increase)

I can't seem to find the current hit on these, I guess I will find out how much of a dent they make and do a measurement myself.
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Old 06-28-2009, 10:08 AM   #2
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LED's are defiantly the way to go and fun to mess with . Autolumination has great stuff and I have bought goodies there myself. My green underbody lights and others. I think also they are hear locally in Gilbert for us Arizona folk.

Underbody LED video

Inside green LED mood lighting
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Old 06-28-2009, 09:28 PM   #3
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LED lighting has come a long way in the last year and a bit. Buying LEDs for an all-LED-lit trailer still isn't cheap, but the amount of light they produce has gone up, the price has come down, and the range of products and formats available has tripled or more.
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Old 06-30-2009, 01:57 AM   #4
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i looked at those and ended up going with a switch type. i hope they look as good as yours do. i found this one for outside. i love the idea of it b/c the batteries can be taken out when not in use. nice to help find your way to a trailer in the dark, i am going to try and use it as an outdoor light up top b/c i don't have one.
http://www.theledlight.com/Wireless-LED-Step-Light.html
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Old 06-30-2009, 01:00 PM   #5
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I bought one of these 6 LED motion sensor lights to use as a porch light, but I like it so much that I kept it inside, next to the sink. It turns on as soon as I open the door and is bright enough to light up the whole trailer. It can be turned off, turned on, or left to the motion sensor. It has a light detector so it doesn't turn on during the day. I went back and got two more, one for my pantry and another one to attach as a porch light!
It comes with a mount that it slides on, so I can take it off when traveling. I don't know if it is weather proof, but for $10 I'm willing to find out!

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/disp...temnumber=99938
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Old 06-30-2009, 01:06 PM   #6
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Gina did the light have a on/off switch?
Dave
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Old 07-01-2009, 09:24 AM   #7
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Hi Dave, no, you need to wire one in. Its not hard. You just put a spst in series with either of the lines. I use the +, some use the -, but it really makes no difference in this application. You just need to break the circuit somewhere.

I bought switches yesterday and will install today. I'll take pictures.
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Old 07-01-2009, 12:46 PM   #8
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Why not just get the High Powered 24 LED Aquarium, Reptile & Dome & Utility Light on the same page . It has a switch built into it. Seems like a good price $12.99.
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Old 07-01-2009, 04:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Hi Dave, no, you need to wire one in. Its not hard. You just put a spst in series with either of the lines. I use the +, some use the -, but it really makes no difference in this application. You just need to break the circuit somewhere.

I bought switches yesterday and will install today. I'll take pictures.
Can not wait to see the pictures.
Some say you need more then the 24 leds but they do say they are 8mm that may help.
I am thinking of getting both the cool white and the warm white.
Thanks dave
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Old 07-01-2009, 05:15 PM   #10
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Dave, I have examples of the differences between the two. I actually like a combo of them both.. more on that later.

OKEY Dokey..

Lets remove stuff from the trailer. In this case, the airline style overhead incandescents. I like them and all, but they are rarely used, and that is a perfect spot for the new leds.. so out they came and into storage they went.

Attached Thumbnails
airlinefixtures.jpg   airlinefixtureremoved.jpg  

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Old 07-01-2009, 05:43 PM   #11
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I cheated and took the picture after I pulled the fixture and drilled the hole for the switch :-P.. just pretend the switch hole isn't there K?

I had to temporarily take down my cold cathodes, not a big deal, they are actually held up with office supplies I used Fancy suction cup document clips (Secured with screws from underneath) that have a round interior. When the CCs are mounted, they appear to be floating below the surface of the cabinet. So, I just removed them from the clips and let them dangle while I was doing this side of the trailer. They had to come down for the switch hole that you are STILL pretending you don't see.

Ah, here is is, you can look now.. its there.
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Old 07-01-2009, 05:46 PM   #12
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Wiring for the non Electronically inclined.

After the hole is drilled, time to start wiring the fixture. I used a pre wired Single Pole Single Throw push switch with a low profile. I prefer push to paddle, but there are no particular advantages to a push over a paddle when stuff is this small. I have both kinds, as you will see. *Normally*, I would solder and heat shrink but because most folks don't, I crimped this single connection for the masses. (And before ya start, in my 35+ years in electronics manufacturing, I have seen many crimps fail, including from corrosion, but never a *properly* tinned and soldered wire join corrode and fail. It's all in the prep and skill, just like anything else)

Attach one of the wires (Makes no difference which one) to the + side of the fixture, in this case, the red wire. The other wire on the switch will simply go to the + side of your 12v feed. You can put the switch on the negative/ground side of switch and feed as well, if you prefer. Either one works. A Single Pole Switch is nothing more the a gate to allow the electrons of a single wire to flow through. In a two wire circuit like this (+/-) all you want to do is "break" the flow of one, and the light or "thing" you are wiring will stop working because the circuit can not be completed)


Click image for larger version

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*Make note that these fixtures are prewired to DC standard, meaning the black wire is Negative/Ground. Double check your trailer wiring with a meter to determine the + line. My first Burro wire colors were to DC standard, this one is to AC standard, which is the reverse (White is the ground) Always check, never assume the wire color has anything to do with... anything.
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Old 07-01-2009, 06:06 PM   #13
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You aren't ready to hook up the wires to your 12v system yet. You have to mount your switch in that hole you are now allowed to see first.


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If you buy a new switch, it should come with all the hardware to mount it. Stick switch through the hole and install the finish nut to secure it.. no degree required. The nut on this switch recesses into the glass making a nice reasonably flush fit. (The paddle switch next to it is for the Cold Cathodes and was wired exactly as this one is)

Next, I simply attached the + and - wires to my 12v feed, secured with wire nuts along with the wires from my cold cathodes and stuff them up into the gap.

Also note that all those loose wires are not live, I pulled the fuse from my battery main feed before I started any of this... as you probably should too.
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Old 07-01-2009, 06:16 PM   #14
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Because the airline style fixtures left that huge lovely hole in the glass, I had to mount the LED fixture onto some wood large enough to cover the gap. I used scraps from my ongoing cabinet finishing project.

There are 4 nice holes in the fixture to do this with. I used short wood screws to .

I drilled a pass through hole in each corner of the wood backer and then ran long hi-low screws through to the glass. All snug as a bug. I used a white caulk to conceal some of the edge gaps between wood and glass, and will sand/scrape the over spill on the edge after it dries so the wood is seen again. Tomorrow...

Remount the cold cathodes, energize the 12v system, push the switch and *WALLA*

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