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Old 07-27-2012, 01:31 PM   #21
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Just so let everyone know, not all LED lights are the same.

The cheap ones usually just use a resistor to limit the current through the LEDs.

These are prone to fail because when battery voltage is high (when charging) there is too much current going through the LEDs and they fail.

Also it is common in cheap LEDs bulbs to push more current through the LEDs to get a brighter light. This way they can use fewer LEDs.

Better (more expensive) LED bulbs use a constant current circuit to provide a constant amount of current to the LEDs regardless of the battery voltage. The brightness of these bulbs stays the same, even as the battery weakens.

The constant current circuit does NOT overdrive the LEDs even when the battery is charging or otherwise has a high voltage. These bulbs will last many many years.

If you want a reliable LED bulb make sure it contains a constant current circuit and not just a current limit circuit (which is just a resistor).

Bean
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Old 07-27-2012, 02:06 PM   #22
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They not that far off of the incandescent color (They've come a long way since the bluish first attempt). They are a bit "harsh" when looking right at them..I don't think I get the same effect with the old lights.

Right now we are just in testing phase, we haven't made product decisions quite yet.
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Old 07-27-2012, 02:21 PM   #23
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bean, good info. It seems to me that a lot of vendors do not have sufficient tech. info on their LED lamps/bulbs. I tried to find some lumen output values for example to no avail when I was looking. I wanted to match up to the lumen output of the incand. bulbs we have and couldn't do it so guess at a 6x6 array.

How are you supposed to know if a bulb has a constant current circuit? Is there much of a cost difference? In our case, we don't do dry camping so the batteries won't get much charging. Am thinking if the $3.68 bulbs may be prone to earlier failure, maybe if they are a lot cheaper than the constant current type, that works for some RVers. I have to really hesitate spending $30 or so for LED bulbs that they have at places like CW. Are theirs the better type?

And if you buy an RV with them already installed, is the factory going to install the costlier better ones?
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Old 07-27-2012, 02:24 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by bclemens
What would you be willing to pay for LED lights in place of all the ceiling lights in a Class C?

Just an FYI, testing shows (with about 32 lights on) they last 6 times longer than incandescent lights. Not sure about the heat savings...but I'm guessing its a good amount.
I think guys numbers here are way to high considering you guys won't be paying retail for the LEDs and there's the cost savings of the incandescent's... And then I just fell back to earth... The option to add LEDs will be $1000 and change.
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Old 07-27-2012, 02:38 PM   #25
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We certainly won't be installing the "expensive ones" when everyone is so eager to pay $0.38 for 20 lights hand delivered from Uzbekistan.

We would make them a standard item, not an option and we would never do it if it added more than $100-$150. I'm more eager to see what the "perceived value is"...is it considered a "feature" that would help influence a buying decision? I know on cars it has gotten to be a pretty big feature (LED tail lights, dome, dash, etc). So far it seems people are pretty indifferent to the idea.
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Old 07-27-2012, 02:56 PM   #26
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sunseeker/forester additonal options

AGM batteries
LED light package.
Inverter-pure sine-i know 12 volt tv's don't need them

these are possible options that could be added and FR makes more money.

win/win
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Old 07-27-2012, 03:21 PM   #27
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Inverters won't happen. We used to offer them and they were more trouble then they were worth (in a Class C anyway). The 12V TV's have been WAY more user friendly.

Those are items that people have very specific & individual preferences for. We have to build for the middle of the bell curve (so to speak) so its hard for us to include every possible option that someone might want. What seems like a "no brainer" to one person...another 100 have no interest in whatsoever. We try and keep our build specs simple so we don't have 100 different version out there.
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Old 07-27-2012, 06:25 PM   #28
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I appreciate quality and that's one reason I'm going to pay $1,000 for a 2,000 watt generator as opposed to a disposable 2,000 watt generator for $150. I would like the better quality LED bulbs but can't justify 15 times the price... $2 per bulb as opposed to $30 per bulb. I suspect that because of the competition and increase in demand for LED bulbs that the expensive, higher quality bulbs will come down drastically in price over the next year or so. The cheap bulbs are cheap enough now that I can experiment with how well they work and if they don't, it's not a big loss. The bulbs I ordered do look kind of cheap but again you get what you pay for. I'll give a review of the bulbs I bought as soon as I buy the trailer that they go in.
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Old 07-30-2012, 08:42 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by myredracer View Post
How are you supposed to know if a bulb has a constant current circuit? Is there much of a cost difference? In our case, we don't do dry camping so the batteries won't get much charging. Am thinking if the $3.68 bulbs may be prone to earlier failure, maybe if they are a lot cheaper than the constant current type, that works for some RVers. I have to really hesitate spending $30 or so for LED bulbs that they have at places like CW. Are theirs the better type?
Usually if a bulb is constant current they will state it. If they don't say, then most likely it is NOT constant current. Most cheap bulbs just have 1 resistor for every 3 LEDs and the resistors will all look the same. A constant current bulb will have more parts and they won't all be the same. Usually an IC with 5 or 6 pins, a small coil, etc. I'll try to find some pictures of a bulb with constant current and post them.

I think I paid about $9 per replacement bulb for constant current modules. I only had to replace 6 (3 lights, 2 bulbs each) so it wasn't too bad. $30 sounds like the price for a household (120VAC) bulb.

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Old 08-08-2012, 12:06 AM   #30
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LEDs are a nice feature to add. I spent time replacing all of them in our rig, works great -- less power used, a lot less heat coming off. Even changed out the bulbs in the closets and in the range hood. Only bulbs that don't work great are the ones on the dimmer over the bed -- they work fine when on shore power, but once the battery isn't fully topped off, the dimmer doesn't work well...
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