Originally Posted by Paul O.
Is there something else to consider other than the above mentioned brightness or longevity?
Absolutely! The exterior bulbs in my Casita
looked like they might be the originals from 1992. Longevity (of the bulbs) isn't an issue.
One factor is response time - if you hit the brake lights or turn signals, LEDs are about 300 milliseconds faster to light up. That doesn't sound like much, but human reaction time under ideal circumstances is in the 600-800 ms range. Anything you can do to clue in the human behind you sooner is a good thing. That's why high mount brake lights were adopted - they were documented to reduce rear-end collisions because the people following noticed the lights coming on sooner.
But for me, what is specifically an issue is the lighting
control circuitry on the tow vehicle. Back in the day you could just hook the running and signal lights up to the TV wiring and you were done.
Then along came electronic lighting controllers. Now there's a pretty strict current limit. Go beyond it and you cook something, the computers get unhappy, or both. All this is fine if you have the factory tow package - I don't. Uhaul
will sell a little box full of relays that switches power from somewhere else with signals from the tail lights
. I've avoided that because it's one more thing to break, and they're kind of expensive for what you get.
My TV is an old enough design that it expects to use incandescent bulbs for everything itself. That's the good news, as it means that it has a pretty stout current capability. The bad news is that exceeding design specs by 50% by adding more bulbs isn't good for longevity.
The off-the-shelf solution is to put some LEDs in. Loads on everything are suddenly just about where they were before the trailer was plugged in, but the trailer is actually brighter than it was with incandescents.
No filaments to break is just another bonus. My total outlay on LEDs is about $5 right now - I bought them straight from China. Minor QC problems are figured in the price...