Thursday, July 4, 2013

LED Lights in the Motorhome


Tonight I finished round one of changing the camper lights to LEDs. I saw the job my friend, Brian, did on his motorhome and I was impressed. Doing my homework, I found that I could replace the lights with LEDs and save about 80% on the electricity they use. In addition, the lights are much brighter and much cooler as well. Being cooler may not seem like much, but when you’re in a very warm climate with limited electricity, less heat means less work for the A/C and it’s more comfortable, too.

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This is how the overhead lights look now. I should have taken a picture earlier when I had one fluorescent and one LED so you could see the difference, but…….

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The LEDs give the lens a distinctive look, so there is no mistaking what is inside.

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Sold on the idea of LEDs, I also tried a replacement bulb for the reading spotlights that we use quite a bit in Mexico as we watch no TV and read voraciously. The old bulb is on the left and the LED on the right. You can see that the LED is brighter using about 1/5 of the electricity of the incandescent bulb on the left.

I, apparently, do not have the manual dexterity that Brian is gifted with. The connectors for the strip lights used in the ceiling lamps were very difficult for me to work with. It’s not that I’m all thumbs, I’m all stumps. I even checked out a YouTube video that shows just how to do it and I still could not make the connectors work with any consistency. I fell back to Plan B and soldered all the connections. To be honest, the first one went OK. The second one gave me fits as I insisted on using six rows of light strip and the extra wires were a real pain. This is the single light that is at the kitchen area. After installing it and comparing the light of six rows to the light of four, I found that there wasn’t enough difference to justify the other two strips. The third light went together in a flash. Now I know what I’m doing (I think) and I found small diameter flexible wire at last.

In the top picture, the light with the six strips is the one furthest from the camera. Helen can see a slight difference, but agrees that four rows is just fine.

Phew……..It’s good to have one job mostly behing me.




  1. that must have cost you a fair bit of 'change'..we just did the two small lights in our little pop up and it set us back almost $50!

    1. Actually, I was surprised at the cost. A 16 foot LED strip with 300 lights was under $14.00 at, and I could have gotten away with just one roll if I had been a little smarter. To me, the connectors were a waste of money as I just couldn't get them to work. The LED spotlights were over $13.00 each and I bought two. I want two more as these will cover the areas where we read. There are five other spotlights, but we use them so seldom that it's not worth the expense.

  2. Good job Paul, I know you will be pleased in Mexico, and to have two blogs in such a short time,wow, you are becoming a literary giant.I know Helen will appreciate the reading lights too. B safe out there, we all miss you guys up here at the Ranch. Sam & Donna & Rigg's.

  3. I think we definitely need to make that change.

  4. Good job. hate to tell you this both those fingers are going to grow anymore at your age, afraid you are stuck with your stumps. that's why I have to do some things for sam as I have the long ones

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