LED interior lites - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-04-2006, 12:35 AM   #1
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Has anyone found LED 12 v interior lights for campers?
Now that I have my little Burro I am going to be able to get into areas of the Sierras that I could not go before. I do have a Honda generator but I would like to leave it home.
I put a LED back up light in my last trailer for a reading light and it worked very well and the draw on the battery is much less than a conventional bulb.
I am thinking of solar panels in the future but other things have priority at this time. My shop/garage needs a new roof before winter.

John Perry
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Old 08-04-2006, 01:18 AM   #2
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John, check out this thread. Cold cathode flouresant lights 12 volt
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Old 08-04-2006, 08:48 AM   #3
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Has anyone found LED 12 v interior lights for campers?
Now that I have my little Burro I am going to be able to get into areas of the Sierras that I could not go before. I do have a Honda generator but I would like to leave it home.
I put a LED back up light in my last trailer for a reading light and it worked very well and the draw on the battery is much less than a conventional bulb.
I am thinking of solar panels in the future but other things have priority at this time. My shop/garage needs a new roof before winter.

John Perry
John; you might try a search on LED using the search function. There was quite a discussion about LED interior lighting 6-8 months ago. I saved some of the source info but can't find it right now.
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Old 08-04-2006, 08:58 AM   #4
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Yes, a search for "Led Lights" will bring a miriad of discussions on this.

I am pleased as punch with my LED dome lights AND my cold cathode fixtures.

I am working on a web page that highlights (Excuse the pun) my systems and how I run using alternative electrical items and methods without a genset.

Just as a tease, I sometimes wonder if I have gone overboard. I saw a plane trying to land in my campsite one nite. I think he thought my site was a lit up landing strip in the middle of nowhere. And NONE of my lights had a glass bottle or tube.

Another alternative is El Wire. This type of lighting is intenteded for highlighting shapes, but also gives off a glow that can be used for general lighting good enough to see dogs on the floor and where you left your glasses. If anyone walked by my tent at nite at the oregon rally, it looked like a lighted bubble. This was done completely with a 6 foot line of El Wire run of a invertor the size of a Chunky chocolate cube.

The intent of the page I am doing is to provide general examples without getting too geeky. I am a geek, so this requires thought! (Something geeks are not good at )
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Old 08-04-2006, 12:53 PM   #5
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Oh, I can't wait to see your geeky website!!


Donna (closet geek)
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Old 08-04-2006, 10:13 PM   #6
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gina, are you talking about the stuff that is a plastic hose with tiny light thingies inside? i have three or four of those and have never opened the packages. somebody told me they need a special connector to work. there must be 30 feet out there in the workshop with at least a half inch of dust on top. i keep hoping to find someone handy enough to do something with all this stuff that has accumulated but though i hire lots of guys to do various things, nobody has an interest in most of it.

can i use them on the edge of the awning? (which i have never unrolled)
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Old 08-04-2006, 10:24 PM   #7
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Those sound like rope lights, not El wire

I am not sure what special adaptor you need. Rope lights usually run of 120v and come with the cords. I have no idea how they actually work.

Is it thin like wire, or ina hose like tube?
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Old 08-05-2006, 12:21 AM   #8
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Those sound like rope lights, not El wire

I am not sure what special adaptor you need. Rope lights usually run of 120v and come with the cords. I have no idea how they actually work.

Is it thin like wire, or ina hose like tube?

Electro luminescent has been around for quite a while. I've seen it used to light buttons and indicators on display/control panels. One electronics show had mock up of a proposed automobile dash panel using electro luminescent. It was really quite pretty.

Now to answer some questions about the wire. It appears that there is two sizes, 2.3mm (.09"), 3.2mm (.125") and 5mm (almost .2") in diameter. (.125" = 1/8") It requires voltages of 100+volts to excite the phosphor. The voltage has to be AC.

It works almost like florescent lights. An AC voltage excites the phophor which produces light.

Someday I might have to get some this stuff just to play with. Here's where you can get the whole thing or parts.

Such fun....
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Old 08-05-2006, 12:28 AM   #9
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Now this something for the pink flamingo person. Make an outline form, put EL wire in pink around the form. Glowing pink flamingos all night long.
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Old 08-05-2006, 10:19 AM   #10
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El wire I understand.

Rope Lights are different. They are a chain of bulbs vs. a solid line.

Never having given one an autopsy, I see a 120v cord and bulbs only. I always just assumed they ran off 120 with no conversion. What kind of bulbs etc, I have not looked into.

I own one short section of rope light, but because it is 120v, I rarely use it.

Yes, Alice, lots of folks use it to highlight thier awnings. I used mine in my LITTLE pop up with a small invertor when I had no AC available, but doing it that way is really inefficient.

They make 12v versions of it, but I also.. have no experience with that.
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Old 08-05-2006, 10:41 AM   #11
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John, here is a cruddy close up of one of my LED domes. It is 24 "white" (more on that later) LEDs behind a focused and magnified plastic bubble.

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I have 4 of these domes. This one is actually part of a switched pair on one end of my trailer, over my new front dinette conversion. I tapped off the existing 12v lines to my big traditional florescent fixture and used the switch from it. I can still use the florescent, but I have popped the bulb out. (You can see it riding in the diffusor there) If I want to use it, I just remove the diffusor and pop it back in. I never use it anymore tho, unless I have full AC and want a floodlight for working. You can see I have tried to mellow the florescant by lining the diffusor with a lighting gel. It works to bring down the harsh factor, but even so, it is still too bright for regular use.

I have two other domes on the other end of the trailer, over the bed. They are individually switched. I also tapped off of existing lines. In the center of the picture, you will see a fancy fixture that used to house a 194 type incandescant bulb. They make direct LED replacements for these. Plug and Play. Replacement LED bulb fixtures
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Old 08-05-2006, 10:50 AM   #12
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"White" LEDS are actually pale blue when they are on. It's more a daylight type of blue, or like your headlights..in color, not brightness, and it takes a bit of getting used to. Once you get over the initial dissapointment of not having a big bright landing light, it is actually quite nice. And calming.

Cold Cathods are indeed white, as is El wire.
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Old 08-05-2006, 11:49 AM   #13
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"White" LEDS are actually pale blue when they are on. It's more a daylight type of blue, or like your headlights..in color, not brightness, and it takes a bit of getting used to. Once you get over the initial dissapointment of not having a big bright landing light, it is actually quite nice. And calming.

Cold Cathods are indeed white, as is El wire.
"White" LEDs blue LEDs with white phosphor coating over the actual LED. The LED then excites the phosphor. LEDs are a single wavelength light, since white is all wavelengths a white LED is not possible, hence the phosphor. (Now you know more than you ever wanted to know about LEDs.)

Rope lights are nothing more than miniture Christmas lights in a vynal sleeve.
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Old 08-05-2006, 02:29 PM   #14
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(I know more than you ever wanted to know about LEDs.)
Which is precisely why said page will be non geek
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