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Old 11-18-2008, 05:46 PM   #1
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LED Lighting Conversion

I finally got rid of all of the power hungry incandescent lights on the interior of our SMB. My goal in replacing them was to find LED's to replace the original bulbs in the original fixtures without sacrificing performance. I purchased all of the bulbs from www.superbrightleds.com. There are several good websites to purchase LEDs from but I found they have a good selection and the best technical information.

The first bulb I replaced was in our exterior porch light. I wanted the brightest light I could get that would fit in the original fixture but also wanted a low current draw so I could leave it on for long periods without worrying about battery drain. The bulb I used is part #1156-PCB-CHWP9, $21.95



To mount the bulb I cut a piece of foam board insulation (any styrofoam will work) so that when it is against the van body the light will point slightly downard. I then used double sided tape to attach the foam board to the fixture and the back of the bulb. It work great a puts out more light than the original bulb with a current draw of only 190ma. The light does have the blue tint that is usually associated with LED lights.

Next I replaced the interior spot/reading lights. For these I used the 1156-PCB-WWHP9, $21.95 which is the same bulb as above but putting out a warm whitet light. This bulb emits about the same light output as the original bulb but it is more diffused which actually makes it better for reading. This bulb and the one for the exterior both have a 120 degree beam pattern which is the widest I could find for an LED bulb. Again this bulb draws 190ma.



To mount them I took a tooth pick and used it to apply a small amount of clear adhesive caulking to the edges of the bulb. I then used a small block of styrofoam and masking tape to hold it in place until the caulking dried.



In the rear light over the bunk I used two different bulbs. We wanted good light for reading but also a dimmer light we could turn on at night that would not be blinding while laying in bed. In the center I used Part #4211-WW6, $1.95, current draw 18ma. In the outer bulb I used 4210-WWHP6, $14.95 current draw 163ma. These bulb fit in the original fixture with no modifications.


I hope this helps anyone trying to make a similar conversion. I would be happy to answer any questions.

John
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Old 11-18-2008, 07:00 PM   #2
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John, thank you so much for posting your experience, what bulbs you actually used and how you mounted them. This is definitely on my short list. Did you look into replacing your flourescents with a LED solution?
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Old 11-18-2008, 07:49 PM   #3
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Great info and a great writeup John.

One question, is there a particular reason that you used the board-mounted LED arrays, instead of the bulb style LED arrays?


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Old 11-18-2008, 08:39 PM   #4
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Ditto.... GREAT info...

Being able to just replace the bulbs with no rewire for the PH lights is great.
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Old 11-18-2008, 08:42 PM   #5
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Herb,

I used the board mounted LEDs because they have the best light output. You can get close to the light output with a 3 watt luxeon bulb at 80 lumens but only in a blueish light. The warm white board mounted LED puts out 92 lumens. For the outdoor light the board mounted LED puts out 120 lumens which was the brightest I could find.

Sdwindansea, I didn't look at replacing the florescent lights because for the amount of light they put out they are nearly as efficient as LED lights.

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Old 11-18-2008, 10:19 PM   #6
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Awesome John. Thanks for the write-up. We converted ours with the bulb- like LED. However, they are not that bright. I may change a few lights in the near future. Thanks again.

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Old 11-18-2008, 11:39 PM   #7
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Thanks very much John.

After reading this, I will likely just order the same parts that you did. Saves me time from research-so thanks again.

A quesiton: or the rear light over the bunk were you happy with the result? Is the light on both settings as good as it was before the upgrade?

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Old 11-19-2008, 03:49 PM   #8
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Steve,

I have been very happy with the light over the rear bunk. The two bulbs I installed in the outside positions 4210-WWHP6 have comparable light output to the incandescent bulbs. The bulb I installed in the center position, 4211-WW6 is about 1/4 of the light output of the original bulb, which is what we wanted. I find that the two outside lights give more than enough light for reading. If you find it is not enough light you could installed the brighter bulbs in all three places.

John
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Old 11-19-2008, 05:25 PM   #9
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John, thank you for posting this. I want to switch over to LED's purely for the no bug factor. That way we can leave our doors open in camp more often.

When you say that the florescent bulb draws almost the same as a LED.. what kind of #'s are we talking?
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Old 11-19-2008, 05:50 PM   #10
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Adventurduo,

A florescent lights puts out about 90-95 lumens per watt of electricity used. Most LEDs put out between 60-70 lumens per watt. However the LED light is more focused so the usable light is very similar.

John
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