LED Light Installation in UHaul CT13 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-08-2012, 04:26 PM   #1
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LED Light Installation in UHaul CT13

I wanted to add LED interior lights to my CT13, but wanted to keep the original look. So I added a 48 LED panel that I bought on eBay to the inside of the fluorescent light. Each is switched independently. I also added a small voltage regulator to protect the LED if it is operated when the system sees voltages over 12 volts and a 1 Amp fuse to protect the little wires inside.
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Old 03-08-2012, 04:26 PM   #2
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Comparison of lights.
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Old 03-08-2012, 06:59 PM   #3
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Where did you get the voltage regulator from?
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Old 03-08-2012, 07:07 PM   #4
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nice job...
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Old 03-08-2012, 07:18 PM   #5
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Where did you get the voltage regulator from?

Roger, I built it using an LM2940 voltage regulator.

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I got a little fancy and stuck a heat sink and a couple capacitors on it, but you can just use the voltage regulator as is. Left terminal is input, right terminal is output and center is a common ground. It keeps the LEDs from overheating when they see 14.5 volts during charging.
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Old 03-08-2012, 07:37 PM   #6
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Thomas, you never cease to amaze us.
Now will you please go outside and photo the light show in the sky I am seeing on the news. WOW! Can you see them?
(Northern Lights) Now that's a light.
Love your work.
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Old 03-08-2012, 07:41 PM   #7
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I just saw some strip LEDs at Costco today. For use under counters.
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Old 03-08-2012, 11:41 PM   #8
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Great led mod!

Once an engineer always an engineer! Sweet!

I replaced the 1157 incandescent bulbs in the tail lights
with amber and red LEDs bought off eBay. Got the higher
# ones (108 for amber and 98 for red) and they plug right in
(no mods) Great increase in brightness. As you know,
much more efficient etc. Only downside is initial cost is
a little more but was very happy to pay a little more for the
better lighting!
don '85 CT-13

"Sometimes the hunt is better than the catch"
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Old 03-09-2012, 07:13 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by djtriceflt View Post
Once an engineer always an engineer! Sweet!

I replaced the 1157 incandescent bulbs in the tail lights
with amber and red LEDs bought off eBay. Got the higher
# ones (108 for amber and 98 for red) and they plug right in
(no mods) Great increase in brightness. As you know,
much more efficient etc. Only downside is initial cost is
a little more but was very happy to pay a little more for the
better lighting!
don '85 CT-13

"Sometimes the hunt is better than the catch"
Great tip. I haven't gotten to my tail lights yet, as I bought my CT in December and it won't fit in my garage. No problems with tail light converters?
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Old 03-09-2012, 07:13 AM   #10
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I just saw some strip LEDs at Costco today. For use under counters.
I saw these, too. Are they battery powered?
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Old 03-09-2012, 08:21 AM   #11
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Tom, No problem with the tail light converter switching to the LEDs in the tail lights.
When testing it all out everything worked perfectly but has one one kinda neat side effect that was when using the 4 way flashers the red brakes lights would flash along with alternating amber turn signals! (an unexpected but even increased visibility when
using the emergency 4 way flashers) Did you install a converter already?
don
'85 CT-13
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Old 03-09-2012, 08:29 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Thomas G. View Post
Roger, I built it using an LM2940 voltage regulator.

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I got a little fancy and stuck a heat sink and a couple capacitors on it, but you can just use the voltage regulator as is. Left terminal is input, right terminal is output and center is a common ground. It keeps the LEDs from overheating when they see 14.5 volts during charging.
Thomas,

Would you mind posting a little schematic or description of the types of capacitors you used and how they tie to the voltage regulators? I have purchased the 48 led panels also and would like to add protection to them for the same reason you did.

Thanks,

Spanke
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Old 03-09-2012, 08:32 AM   #13
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.......... Did you install a converter already?
don
'85 CT-13

My Escape TV has a converter because it has amber turn signal lights. Ironically, I plan to install a second converter on the trailer to convert it back to amber turn signal lights. I have not rewired the CT yet.

I tow a second trailer that has combined stop / turn lights, so I need the Escape to be standardized.
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Old 03-09-2012, 08:40 AM   #14
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Thomas,

Would you mind posting a little schematic or description of the types of capacitors you used and how they tie to the voltage regulators? I have purchased the 48 led panels also and would like to add protection to them for the same reason you did.

Thanks,

Spanke
The capacitors are probably overkill, they are for AC ripple. In any case, cheap on eBay as was the heat sink. The capacitors I used are electrolytic, so short wire and marking goes to negative (center) terminal.
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Old 03-09-2012, 09:08 AM   #15
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The capacitors are probably overkill, they are for AC ripple. In any case, cheap on eBay as was the heat sink. The capacitors I used are electrolytic, so short wire and marking goes to negative (center) terminal.
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:15 PM   #16
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Just an update. I installed an ammeter in my system so I can measure power usage.

The two original UHaul florescent lights pull 2.5 amps (for both on at the same time). The LED panels draw 0.4 amps (for both on at the same time).
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:01 PM   #17
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I tried twice to replace bayonet-base bulbs in my old Illuminaire aircraft directional spots with LED. The first attempt with SMDs surrounding the stalk and on top produced heat in the aluminum nozzles nearly equal to that produced by 1141 incandescent. Second attempt with nine SMDs all on end of stalk ran cool but dim.

Recently I replaced with Bargman double dome/dual switch fixtures with flat panel 48SMD one side and 36SMD on the other. The T-10 adapters on these Neewer panels are pathetic. I discovered that the conductors can be manipulated to make a solid contact by moving the bare conductor athwart the channels in the plastic wedge base. I wanted both an independent reading light and general illumination in one fixture. I'm happy with the result. I judge that I could step down to 36 and 24 elements in future. I wish I had Tom's grasp of the over-current protection angle. Are the resistors more important than the fusing?

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Old 02-10-2013, 04:33 AM   #18
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........... Are the resistors more important than the fusing?

jack
No resistors used. I did install voltage regulators. Note that these come in two flavors. You want the ones that have a narrow separation between the minimum battery voltage and the regulated output voltage. Otherwise LEDs won't be full brightness on battery power.
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:03 AM   #19
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Sorry-- voltage regulator! Buck sixty per fixture. I think I might add these. One needed per fixture or one per light panel?

jack
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:49 AM   #20
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Sorry-- voltage regulator! Buck sixty per fixture. I think I might add these. One needed per fixture or one per light panel?

jack
Per fixture, assuming you get a large enough voltage regulator to handle the amps - not difficult as the LEDs draw so little current.
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