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Old 07-29-2019, 05:32 PM   #1
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THOR #3353
12V Lights pulsate/flicker when on generator power

I've noticed that some, but not all of my 12V DC LED ceiling lights pulsate or flicker when I have the generator on. All is well when on shore power....

My first thought to check connections and fuses at the fuse box. Anything else I should consider?
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Old 07-29-2019, 05:46 PM   #2
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THOR #4735
sounds like the variation in voltage output of your generator is not something that your LED's like, as is pretty common with LED lighting... sorry.

remember, too, that your LED's are commonly on the 12v side of the RV, meaning that while the Generator or Shore Power are in play, the Battery still provides support, but the CONVERTER takes that 120v power and brings it down to 12v for all your onboard 12v items and devices.... but, more than likely, since they work fine on shore power, your Generator is putting out variations that they don't 'like' so much.

There's nothing much you could do about it other than maybe try to add some type of Voltage 'conditioner' that 'smooths out' the variations.
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Old 07-29-2019, 09:55 PM   #3
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So, a few questions and "what ifs" are in order:


1. Did this just start to happen? If so, has anything changed from when there was no flickering on gen (like new LED|ís installed that happen to flicker now when on gen only)?
2. Are all LED lights the same make and model.......or are the ones that flicker different than the ones that do not flicker?
3. When running the gen are other 120vac loads turned on like Air Conditioner(s). Try running only the gen feeding converter to see if anything changes with flickering.
4. Are your coach batteries fully charged or low on charge? Heavy or low loading on converter (depending on converter manufacturer and age of unit) may cause pulsing......but you said shore AC power is not a problem. So likely converter is OK unless it is allowing some electrical noise through from gen.
5. Both shore and gen feed the converter (120vac side) so flicker seems to be only an issue on gen.....test gen AC output voltage and frequency for stability. Might require an Onan AC output checkup if you donít have the test equipment.
6. Check the transfer switch connections coming from the gen side are clean and tight (all shore 120VAC disconnected; gen off when doing this of course).
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Old 07-29-2019, 10:42 PM   #4
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THOR #7035
You probably have a loose connection to the lights which is aggravated by the vibration of the generator.
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Old 08-01-2019, 02:39 AM   #5
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Thanks everyone for the input. I greatly appreciate it! Purposely waited for the responses before I commented.

Mr T; I'm thinking the same thing.

javelin; It just started. Lights are factory installed, LED and original. I noticed the pulsating 2 trips ago, so it just started. Isolated to the main coach ceiling lights, bedroom lights are not affected. I have a tester to check for 60 hertz. Other than the refrigerator, no other loads. Batteries are charged. I'll be checking all connections.

12ACE27; I'll be checking connections at the ATS and generator too.
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Old 08-01-2019, 02:03 PM   #6
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Hi, well if all LEDs are the same factory units and the ceiling lights are the only 12vdc circuit affected (on their own fuse, separate from the bedroom lights) then 16ACE27 is probably right on the money here. Loose connection in ceiling light circuit somewhere; possible flaky light switch contact or that specific circuit fuse needs to be re-seated.
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Old 08-03-2019, 02:28 PM   #7
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Tracking down and checking connections this week! Thanks for the input. I'll provide an update....
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