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Old 03-23-2015, 02:53 PM   #1
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LED interior light conversion

I decided to change out my interior lights to LED after reading about how much more efficient they are. A typical 1141 bulb that is used all over my Hurricane uses 18.4 watts. The replacement LED bulb uses 1 watt. I can run all the lights in my RV using the LED bulbs for less energy current drain than 1 incandescent bulb!

I also installed a LED light strip above my slide outs to give it the high-end look that I see at the RV shows. I put a dimmer on them to tone them down a bit. They really brighten the place up!

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Old 03-23-2015, 02:57 PM   #2
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Nice! I like the look of the LED strips.

On our old 5er I did that conversion after doing the same calculation: The total current draw of all the LEDs in the camper was less than a single incandescent light. It really is a no brainer (especially if you boon dock at all).
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Old 03-23-2015, 02:59 PM   #3
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LED Light upgrade

My wife wanted different fixtures in our RV. This is the old fixture..
Note- the left bulb is a 18.4 watt incandescent and the right bulb is a 1 watt LED.

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And this is the new fixture my wife found on Ebay...

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This fixture has 3 1 watt LED's. These LED's are dimmer than the incandescent bulbs they replaced but there are 3 of them. The old fixture used 36.8 watts and the new one with LEDs uses 3 watts.
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Old 03-23-2015, 09:52 PM   #4
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Where is the best place to get 1141 LEDs
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Old 03-23-2015, 10:38 PM   #5
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Looks nice Ron. These days, LEDs should be standard equipment since they last a long time and are a lot better for boondocking.

I did the same thing last year, and you just know that I have over-thunk this project. I ordered several LEDs from different places, Amazon, eBay, etc. to compare the intensity, color temperature, and efficiency.

I finally decided on these LEDs (1141 replacements):

Amazon.com: 12 sets of Gold Stars 11568301-12W LED Replacement Bulb 1003 / 1141 / 1156 Base 120 LUMS 12V or 24V Natural White: Automotive

You get 24 bulbs for $80, which turns out to be less than $3.50 each.

Here are a few tests:



1141 = 1.476Amp @12VDC=18W






LED = 0.184Amp @12VDC=2.2W






Ambient Temperature





LED Temperature






Incandescent 1141 Temperature






Different color temperatures. The 1141 bulbs were 3,000deg K, the LEDs I bought from Amazon were 5,000deg K (essentially daylight), and the eBay bulbs I tested were 6,000deg K, which were too blue.

I re-used the two eBay bulbs I bought for testing in the storage compartments so I did not waste them.
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Old 03-24-2015, 03:27 AM   #6
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Great job. Price is really good. Thanks
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Old 03-24-2015, 03:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KNMIB View Post
Great job. Price is really good. Thanks
You can also buy them in qty of 2. You might want to consider purchasing two and trying them out first before making the commitment to buy in quantity. That way you won't have any surprises.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 03-24-2015, 03:38 AM   #8
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Don't mean to hi-jack this thread, but I also bought a different - brighter LED for the exterior "porch" light. Don't use these inside as they will probably be too bright, and may not fit in the fixtures.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 03-24-2015, 02:54 PM   #9
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LED Lights

Good work FW28z! I found that Amazon and Ebay both have good prices. You really have to be careful about the color though. It seems the color reporting is not consistent. An incandescent bulb is around 2700 Kelvin. My wife really doesn't like the blue color of above 3,000 Kelvin.

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I found some true 2700 Kelvin 1141 bulbs here..

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

but they were $40.00 for 10 bulbs.
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Old 03-24-2015, 02:56 PM   #10
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Kill a Watt

Here's a cool device for anyone interested in monitoring their wattage use. Handy for boondocking!

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Old 03-24-2015, 03:17 PM   #11
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Strip Lighting

I'm having a blast playing around with these LED strip lights. They have 100 to 300 little LEDs on a flexible circuit board (tape) that has 3M sticky tape on the back. You can stick it to anything. each end has connector wires (one side has a plug). Just hook it up to 12volts (I used a dimmer switch) and it really looks cool. Theye are actually fairly cheap and can be cut to size with a pair of scissors. Since there are connector wires on both ends, both halves can be used after you cut it.

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I put them above our slide outs as noted above but could be used under counters or in closets etc. They give off virtually no heat.

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I also bought some multi color strip lights...which I have no idea what I'm going to do with them but it's fun playing with them! There is a remote controller you can get for them that costs $9.00.

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Old 03-24-2015, 03:18 PM   #12
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Those Kill-A-Watt monitors work great for AC power analysis.

You should also consider a DC clamp meter, such as the B&K 316 which will do DC and AC current measurement. The thing I like about this meter is it has a resolution down to 1mA. Most meters of this type are intended to read much higher currents, so they won't work as well for low consumption devices.

I used a B&K 316 in those photos I posted above.

Pretty expensive though.
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Old 03-24-2015, 09:01 PM   #13
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I've replaced all the interior lights with LED lights. After reading and reading and reading some more I went with the lights from here. We are extremely happy with them. (I am not associated with M4 at all just a very satisfied customer).
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Old 03-25-2015, 03:05 AM   #14
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M3 LEDs

Thanks LisaW! That is a very impressive article on the M4 LED lights.
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Old 03-25-2015, 03:10 AM   #15
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Clamp meter

FW28Z...I always wanted a clamp meter! Maybe I'll get one!
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Old 03-25-2015, 05:12 AM   #16
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Clamp meters are handy to have around a RV. Just realize though that the accuracy is around +/- 2.5%, which is nowhere near as accurate as a standard meter, but still close enough when chasing down parasitic loads and such.

This is the one I have: http://www.amazon.com/Precision-316-...ords=B%26K+316

I recommend it or it's similar competition as it is intended for low current applications, whereas the less expensive ones you find at Lowes, etc. are designed for higher current household and commercial applications, so they won't have the same resolution.
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Old 03-25-2015, 09:18 AM   #17
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love the look of the LEDS above the slide! I have them in my kitchen in my house under the cabinets.
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Old 03-25-2015, 02:43 PM   #18
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LED Light upgrade

Thanks NursX2! I would love to put a LED strip under my Motorhome's cabinets but there is no lip under the cabinet and you would be able to see the LED strip.
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Old 03-25-2015, 02:48 PM   #19
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Clamp Meter

Thanks FW28z for the link to the B&K clamp meter. I'm going to have to break down and get one of those. I used one decades ago when I worked on RV's in the late 70's to diagnose rooftop A/C problems. The B&K 100 amp capability would be plenty for me!
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