Observations upon installing LED interior lights - Fiberglass RV

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Old 08-04-2011, 06:22 PM   #1
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Name: Jack
Trailer: '98 BURRO 17WB
Posts: 2,548
Observations upon installing LED interior lights

The cheapskate(s) among us (me) have found a nickel-dime excuse to go LED--namely the 5-10$ apiece LEDs on eBay. I ordered 4 36smd bulbs and 2 68smd from two sellers. I paid 36.99 for the four and 9.58 for the two larger bulbs. I got the package of four from Shun Tam in California today. The others come from Hong Kong and have not arrived.

We have 4 swivel/nozzle fixtures (like the arrangement in commerical aircraft) in the aft "master suite". The PO had installed 1156s altho the fixtures are clearly marked 1139; they were very hot and yet provided a very weak yellow light. The three dome type lights in shower, over sink and on locker bulkhead in front dinette had 1141s and provided adequate illumination (probably because of the difference between reflective surfaces up front and dark bedding in the rear). I replaced both bulbs left side rear with 36smd and put the 1141s formerly in the front fixtures in the fixtures right side rear. Subjectively, the LEDs were much brighter and the light a strong blue/white.

After a warmup to max heat on the nozzle shields, I read the temperature produced with a digital thermometer. Shields with LED bulbs averaged 133 F reading off the exterior of the shield. Shields with 1141 incandescents averaged 167 F. Oddly, reading directly off the "bulbs", the 1141s were at about 210 F. and the LEDs were above the range of the thermometer. I then placed the remaining two 36smd bulbs in the galley fixtures. Reading off the translucent lenses, the temperature was 108. F.

I believe the 68s might be overkill but I may get away with them up front particularly next the front dinette which has only the single dome light. Perhaps one could be used in the "porch lite". At this time, I'm guessing that an 18-25smd might have been adequate as a reading light in the rear. One pays one's money and takes one's chances.

Because of the design of the underlocker bedroom lights (duplex fixtures with shields about four inches apart, I think it will also be possible to mix and match for a choice between a bright reading light and a romantic, incandescent sim-candle until we settle on the bread-and-butter bulb to replace them all.

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