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Old 08-31-2013, 04:23 PM   #11
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I feel lucky then, this is the second fifth wheel that we have converted to LEDs have have had no such issue. I bought mine at LED Lights, Bulbs & LED Lighting Accessories - SUPER BRIGHT LEDS
I am pretty sure they were more costly than the ones on ebay.
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Old 09-29-2013, 03:03 PM   #12
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I've just replaced all of the light bulbs in my 2011 Georgetown with LEDs and suspect I know what's causing this problem. LEDs are sensitive to the voltage that is fed to them which can be a problem in an RV. If you're running on batteries, you should expect anything from just over 13V (fully charged) to 11V, the voltage you get from an almost dead battery. If you're plugged into shore power and have a multi-stage converter, you can easily have 14.1V on your DC wiring. To keep the LEDs at a constant brightness, there's a tiny voltage regulator built into the base of the bulb. These are usually DC-DC switching regulators which, if not designed to prevent RF (radio frequency) interference, can cause interference to TVs and radios.

I used 48 led flat panel replacements for my bulbs and installed a small voltage regulator in each fixture. I checked mine and found that they don't create any interference to the TV. The hardware for each fixture, two bulbs and a voltage regulator, cost me around $6 per fixture. Of course, this doesn't include my time to wire everything up.

Phil Sherman
Details on parts please?
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Old 09-29-2013, 09:04 PM   #13
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Yes yes we need details please
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Old 11-08-2013, 10:35 PM   #14
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Details on parts please?
Sorry for the delay responding but we had problems with the RV getting home (engine, furnace, toad wiring) and I've been trying to catch up with everything I need to do.

I can't give you full details because the vendors for these products change on a weekly basis. Both items used in the fixtures were purchased on eBay and direct shipped (free) from the Far East. These items are available in single lot quantities or bulk purchases of 2-10 items.

The voltage regulators are DC-DC LM2596 buck regulators. You feed power in (two wires) at one end of the circuit board and power comes out at the other end. There's an adjustment on the board to set the output voltage. If you're doing a number of fixtures, buy these from a vendor that's selling a 10-pack. I rewired the fixture so that the fixture's switch interrupted power going to the regulator, which eliminated all power draw when it is turned off. Mine are set at 11.2V, which has each two bulb fixture drawing just over 500ma, much less than the two incandescent bulbs. I also discovered that the ceiling under fixtures that had incandescent bulbs in them had turned brown from the bulb's heat. I'd prefer to set the voltage a bit lower to decrease power consumption but my travel companion insisted on the slightly brighter lighting at this voltage.

The light bulbs I used can be found by searching eBay on "48 LED panel". I purchased the cool white ones which are closer to daylight light than the warm white ones. Get the ones with the three attachments for different types of fixtures and you'll be able to use them anywhere. I was even able to put them in the round fixtures that had (very hot) halogen bulbs in them. This required a little bit of work to make connectors that fit the fixture.

The LED panels come with a double sided adhesive back. I found that they would stay in the fixtures only if the metal heat shields were removed because there isn't enough flat surface with the heat shields installed to hold the panels. Another cure for this problem is to tack the corners of the panels with hot melt glue. I used one panel without a voltage regulator and the adhesive pad shrunk and curled up because the LEDs were running very hot on 13.4V. That fixture now has a voltage regulator installed in it.

Phil
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Old 03-25-2017, 10:14 AM   #15
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Could you supply parts list, sources and instructions for the dummies among us so we can benefit from your excellent solution?
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Old 04-12-2017, 10:31 AM   #16
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Could you supply parts list, sources and instructions for the dummies among us so we can benefit from your excellent solution?
As I said in my original post, an ebaY search on "48 LED panel" will give you a wide selection of choices. I purchased a few of 10-packs of panels that included all three types of connector. If you search ebaY for "buck voltage regulator", you'll get a large selection of them. The one you want is the little circuit board with the blue, rectangular, output voltage adjustment potentiometer. Today's search quickly yielded a vendor selling a 10-pack of LM2596S 3A buck regulators for less than $10. This is also apparently a vendor with a US stock of merchandise because their ad states that it's a US ship instead of from the Far East. Somilar prices are also available from Amazon sellers, and you may even find one that is part of the Amazon Prime system which will have the items delivered in just a couple of days.

Installation is quite simple. The - input to the regulator is wired to the - wire feeding the fixture. The + input to the regulator comes from the switch. The + output of the regulator is connected to the + wires feeding the bulb sockets which were disconnected from the switch. These regulators use a feed-thru ground so the - wire from the fixtures can be left attached to the - wire feeding the fixture or you can move them to the - output connection of the regulator. If you get the more expensive version of this regulator that includes adjustable current limiting, you have to move the - wires to the sockets to the regulator's output - terminal. DO NOT BUY a regulator with a voltage readout LCD. These will not fit into the pancake fixture and the display won't be visible once it's installed. All of the wires attached to the regulator will need to be soldered to the labelled connection points on the board.

You will need a decent digital VOM (Volt Ohm Meter) which should be part of your RV toolbox to set the output voltage. The output voltage should be set before installing the bulbs.

You can get these meters at Harbor Freight for less than $8 or usually free if you have one of their coupons offering the meter with any purchase. I've purchased a 25 cent screwdriver bit for my drill and obtained a new meter. Coupons are available in many magazines including Motorhome, Trailer Life, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, AARP magazine, Sunday newspaper ads, and others. If the meter isn't offered in this month's coupons, it will be within a couple of months.

Phil
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