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Old 01-31-2019, 07:52 PM   #1
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LED Dimming solution story

Hello all,

Recently I bought a Surveyor and noticed that both the interior and awning LEDs were bright enough to be unusable in certain situations, like night... when you need to use them.

The interior lights made watching TV at night painful, and the awning lights were bright enough that i felt they would be a nuisance to the next camper in closer quarters.

I read a lot online and found many who had suggestions with varying degrees of success. Thought I would share my success story.

Found a great dimmer on Amazon, and although not cheap ($30), it works PERFECTLY on both the interior and awning LEDS, and it is clean and simple looking. To be clear, I purchased two separate switches, one for each set of lights, and wired them inline with the existing factory switch. I mounted the rotary knobs above the existing panel by drilling two small holes in the paneling, and I think they look as good as they work. There is a simple install where you wire two wires to the load and one to the line, and as long as you get the polarity correct the dimmer functions perfectly. This switch even has a full off-click position, so it can be used exclusively to control the lights. I prefer to leave the dimmer on, and use the original switch to toggle on/off.

Here is a link to the switch.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It is rated for up to 4.2A of draw. I measured and the inside and outside leds were each drawing less than 2A so this switch worked great. Can't upload the video of them working, but here is a shot of the install. I purchased the "long shank" version, and the locking nut had plenty of room to secure it to the panel.

The switches are more expensive than most, but the company is VERY responsive online and claims to use a "true pulse width modulated" process which gives a full dimming capability and has no flickering. I can attest that it works well.

PIC OF INSTALL - KNOB ON LEFT IS FOR INTERIOR LIGHTS, KNOB ON RIGHT IS FOR AWNING LIGHTS:
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Old 01-31-2019, 08:07 PM   #2
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Great idea and looks good!!
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Old 01-31-2019, 08:34 PM   #3
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I have tried this before but don't have access to the ground. Did you wire with the ground or did you only wire the + side of the light?
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Old 01-31-2019, 08:38 PM   #4
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Looks nice. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 01-31-2019, 10:54 PM   #5
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LED Dimming solution story

Here's what I bought. $29.95. Comes in white, black or brown. Though you do need a neutral/ground.
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Old 01-31-2019, 11:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbledan View Post
I have tried this before but don't have access to the ground. Did you wire with the ground or did you only wire the + side of the light?
Just in line on the positive wire. The switch documentation gives you a method to run inline without a ground. On our coach there is a fuse on the positive leg already, so I spliced it in after that so it would still be functional and blow should there be any problems.
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Old 02-01-2019, 09:11 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kraushad View Post
Hello all,

Recently I bought a Surveyor and noticed that both the interior and awning LEDs were bright enough to be unusable in certain situations, like night... when you need to use them.

The interior lights made watching TV at night painful, and the awning lights were bright enough that i felt they would be a nuisance to the next camper in closer quarters.

I read a lot online and found many who had suggestions with varying degrees of success. Thought I would share my success story.

Found a great dimmer on Amazon, and although not cheap ($30), it works PERFECTLY on both the interior and awning LEDS, and it is clean and simple looking. To be clear, I purchased two separate switches, one for each set of lights, and wired them inline with the existing factory switch. I mounted the rotary knobs above the existing panel by drilling two small holes in the paneling, and I think they look as good as they work. There is a simple install where you wire two wires to the load and one to the line, and as long as you get the polarity correct the dimmer functions perfectly. This switch even has a full off-click position, so it can be used exclusively to control the lights. I prefer to leave the dimmer on, and use the original switch to toggle on/off.

Here is a link to the switch.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It is rated for up to 4.2A of draw. I measured and the inside and outside leds were each drawing less than 2A so this switch worked great. Can't upload the video of them working, but here is a shot of the install. I purchased the "long shank" version, and the locking nut had plenty of room to secure it to the panel.

The switches are more expensive than most, but the company is VERY responsive online and claims to use a "true pulse width modulated" process which gives a full dimming capability and has no flickering. I can attest that it works well.

PIC OF INSTALL - KNOB ON LEFT IS FOR INTERIOR LIGHTS, KNOB ON RIGHT IS FOR AWNING LIGHTS:
If it helps what I did was to find a neutral on the control panel next to where I installed my switch.
I always thought that a PWM dimmer must be installed for led's or they will heat up and PWM's have grounds. Though there may be new devices on the market now.
Do your dimmers have 3 wires or 2?
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Old 02-01-2019, 09:28 AM   #8
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That is what I used, inline with the existing factory switch:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
No flickerin, works perfect!
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Old 02-01-2019, 01:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kraushad View Post
Hello all,

Recently I bought a Surveyor and noticed that both the interior and awning LEDs were bright enough to be unusable in certain situations, like night... when you need to use them.

The interior lights made watching TV at night painful, and the awning lights were bright enough that i felt they would be a nuisance to the next camper in closer quarters.

I read a lot online and found many who had suggestions with varying degrees of success. Thought I would share my success story.

Found a great dimmer on Amazon, and although not cheap ($30), it works PERFECTLY on both the interior and awning LEDS, and it is clean and simple looking. To be clear, I purchased two separate switches, one for each set of lights, and wired them inline with the existing factory switch. I mounted the rotary knobs above the existing panel by drilling two small holes in the paneling, and I think they look as good as they work. There is a simple install where you wire two wires to the load and one to the line, and as long as you get the polarity correct the dimmer functions perfectly. This switch even has a full off-click position, so it can be used exclusively to control the lights. I prefer to leave the dimmer on, and use the original switch to toggle on/off.

Here is a link to the switch.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It is rated for up to 4.2A of draw. I measured and the inside and outside leds were each drawing less than 2A so this switch worked great. Can't upload the video of them working, but here is a shot of the install. I purchased the "long shank" version, and the locking nut had plenty of room to secure it to the panel.

The switches are more expensive than most, but the company is VERY responsive online and claims to use a "true pulse width modulated" process which gives a full dimming capability and has no flickering. I can attest that it works well.

PIC OF INSTALL - KNOB ON LEFT IS FOR INTERIOR LIGHTS, KNOB ON RIGHT IS FOR AWNING LIGHTS:
I have but one word so say about your idea and your installation.................SWEET!!
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Old 02-01-2019, 01:41 PM   #10
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This is just what I have been looking for.

Now I can dim the LED lights on my 2019 Heritage Glen.

Thanks.
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Old 02-01-2019, 01:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loefflerh View Post
That is what I used, inline with the existing factory switch:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
No flickerin, works perfect!
X2 on these.
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Old 02-01-2019, 01:49 PM   #12
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If you don't mind just having the circuitry exposed, you can save some money and just use something like this:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/6V-90V-15A-...PlvU:rk:3:pf:0

Way cheaper than $30.

There are a lot of these around. That's just one example. I have a couple I use on my boat for its LED lights. Going to mount one to control my stove hood fan too.
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Old 02-01-2019, 01:51 PM   #13
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I used this item as well and it works great. The only caveat with these is you need a clean ground. In my installation the builder had combined multiple grounds so it dimmed every item on the ground including my AM/FM stereo. I had to run a new ground.
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Old 02-01-2019, 01:53 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by lhuff35204 View Post
I used this item as well and it works great. The only caveat with these is you need a clean ground. In my installation the builder had combined multiple grounds so it dimmed every item on the ground including my AM/FM stereo. I had to run a new ground.
Sounds like something was wired incorrectly. Should be no problem having multiple grounds as long as the ground can carry all the current without voltage drop.
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Old 02-01-2019, 03:21 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrapperman View Post
If it helps what I did was to find a neutral on the control panel next to where I installed my switch.
I always thought that a PWM dimmer must be installed for led's or they will heat up and PWM's have grounds. Though there may be new devices on the market now.
Do your dimmers have 3 wires or 2?
It is a three wire, however the instructions include a method for combining the red/white in case of no ground usage. If you follow the link in my OP, you can see the pic on Amazon of the wiring diagram on the package.

Not sure how PWM works, but the simple install works.
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Old 02-01-2019, 05:52 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loefflerh View Post
That is what I used, inline with the existing factory switch:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

No flickerin, works perfect!
I have those and the one I installed does NOT work. Not sure what to do. Haven't been able to spend much time on the issue.....
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Old 02-01-2019, 09:49 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by kraushad View Post
It is a three wire, however the instructions include a method for combining the red/white in case of no ground usage. If you follow the link in my OP, you can see the pic on Amazon of the wiring diagram on the package.

Not sure how PWM works, but the simple install works.
Thanks kraushad, I learn something new everyday. The earlier dimmers use to heat up the LEDs to a point of overload and burnout. They must have improved them. Enjoy your new dimmers, they sure make it easier on ther eyes in the evening.
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Old 02-02-2019, 09:05 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loefflerh View Post
That is what I used, inline with the existing factory switch:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

No flickerin, works perfect!


I have these. The problem I have with them is that when I first turn on the battery to the trailer the lights come on automatically. If I donít remember to turn them off it will drain the batt. Any of you have this problem?
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Old 02-02-2019, 09:27 AM   #19
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I put a dimmer on mine as well for $2.29
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Old 02-02-2019, 10:27 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by lhuff35204 View Post
I used this item as well and it works great. The only caveat with these is you need a clean ground. In my installation the builder had combined multiple grounds so it dimmed every item on the ground including my AM/FM stereo. I had to run a new ground.
Sounds like your multiple grounds are actually above ground. Check with your volt meter (positive lead) from the wires going to ground and the negative lead to ground structure and see if you get a voltage reading (should be "0" volts). If you do get a voltage reading you have a poor grounded connection.
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