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Old 07-24-2012, 01:39 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 25
LED conversion done today

Goal was to at least convert the lights we have on a lot, ideally all of them. We mostly run the main ceiling lights and one of the above-bed reading lights.

From reading about flashlights, I know there's differences in efficiency, cooling, and regulation. Also obviously in color temperature and less obviously in color quality.

Looking online, there are a fey types of LEDs available, like the three-way 5050 or the smaller 1210. Typical brand names like Cree or any other differentiators seemed to be missing. Apparently the RV led lights don't need regulation or heat sinks.

I ordered four round 13x5050 bulbs from seller gem-led ($2.35 each), ten 24x1210 flat from ouyou2010 ($1.50 each) and four 12x5050 flat from 2011_led ($3.58 each). All T10 sockets, warm white types. I planned the round types for the overhead lights and the flat types for the other lights.

This is 2012. With a few clicks I ordered products from Hong Kong and mainland China. Amazing. Expectations weren't terribly high but if I had to write off some of my money I'd live. Fast forward two weeks and a set of padded envelopes arrive in my mailbox.

The round 13x5050s installed easily and look about as bright, a little whiter than the incandescents they replaced. With the flat types, I had not considered they only work one way, due to polarity, which sometimes meant the banks of LEDs were facing up. D'oh! Fortunately I had ordered two types, and luckily they had different polarity (or the other ones work both ways, see below).

The flat 5050s were a little whiter than the 1210s. The 1210s can look a little yellow and I have to say I slightly prefer the 5050s I got. The $1.50 1210-24 also have a little 4-pin IC pictured where in fact they had none. I don't know enough about electronics to know if that's a missing voltage regulator or not. The flat 5050 have a small IC labeled MB6S which I take is a 0.5A Bridge Rectifier. My guess that's to fix the polarity problem.

With the reading lights, I got unlucky and the bulk $1.50 LEDs were facing up. Upon further consideration I found these LEDs were a little too bright for over-bed reading lights, and left them installed facing up, producing indirect light. The indirect light is a little whiter/bluer still probably due to the reflective surface in the lights. This totally does it for reading lights.

After learning this, I installed one pair, one facing up, one facing down, in the bathroom because that's what I had left at that point. It works out quite OK actually one LED providing ambient light and one facing down. The only downside is that here you can see a difference in color temperature despite the two LEDs being the same. This is again because the reflected light looks different.

Overall at $40 this was an easy and straightforward mod with a few minor pitfalls. Next time we get caught somewhere dry camping in bad weather, we'll be able to run all the lights, without the repercussions.

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Old 07-24-2012, 06:25 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Central Virginia
Posts: 298
Thanks for the info! I've been considering replacing some of my lights with led's but unsure what to use. I bookmarked your page for later, that is whenever I get around to changing some of my lights.


2011 Rockwood 8285 WS
2011 GMC 3500 HD 4X4, 6.0, 4.10, SRW
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Old 07-24-2012, 06:50 AM   #3
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: South Eastern PA
Posts: 19,813
There are many threads here about upgraded LED lighting.
A forum search will reveal many informative links.

Try "LED upgrade" as search terms

LED 12 volt lighting: Long term results

Interior LED Lamp Upgrade

Lou and Laura with Bella - German Short Hair Pointer
2008 GMC Sierra 2500HD Crewcab SB Allison Duramax
2010 Flagstaff 8526RLWS - Superglide 3300
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