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Old 04-24-2014, 06:36 PM   #1
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Outside light

I'm starting my fulltime Sprinter build and trying to decide if I really want the outside light. Seems like it would just be blemish. Do others find them usefull? Would you miss it if it wasn't there?
Thanks for your imput
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Old 04-25-2014, 12:41 AM   #2
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Re: Outside light

looks like you talking about porch light. It is helpful when you camping during evening and night. If you concern about making holes in sprinter body then depend on you. If you have high top sprinter, then you can install utility or LED light on top. In this case drilling is not necessary, but do not afraid to drill it - it is RV.
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Old 04-25-2014, 09:36 PM   #3
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Re: Outside light

I really like having it, it's nice when you're leaving and returning to the van at night to have the "porch" illuminated. It's not harsh like a utility light would be, so you can actually hang out under it- I'd definitely miss having it. It's very much out of sight out of mind too, but then I have a lot of junk hanging off my van, so it's just a minor blip in the grand procession of things that interrupt the lines.
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Old 04-25-2014, 09:41 PM   #4
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Re: Outside light

I always wanted more of a dispersed light, like an LED rope light or something. Just having a single-point, somewhat bright light can be annoying as you try not to look into it. A high mounted dispersed light, together with a low mounted dispersed light would be ideal IMO.


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Old 04-26-2014, 12:35 AM   #5
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Re: Outside light

I'm testing a weatherproof light strip with a sticky side and a touch dimmer that attached to to the lip on my awning and it's worked pretty good but I need better connectors.
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Old 04-26-2014, 06:48 AM   #6
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Re: Outside light

We got a motion sensor light, but SMBN accidentally installed the puck light first. Left both, but we never use the puck light, totally useless compared to the motion sensor. The motion light has OFF/ON/SENSOR settings. When in camp we set it to sensor and leave it there. Any action around the van and it goes on. A little freaky when inside and it goes on...what's lurking outside becomes the guessing game.
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Old 04-26-2014, 06:35 PM   #7
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Re: Outside light

I hate those RV porch lights.

These days it's much better to get some sort of LED work light that you can move around. I recently picked up a Joby GorillaTorch in an outlet for $12; it's the bomb, really bright and attaches with magnets. I also have some lower powered ones for ambient lighting.

I've been on a bit of a mission about lighting recently; I do some night photography, stargazing, and other stuff and I hate getting nightblinded by all the lighting that's either too bright, too high, or pointed in the wrong direction. Many of those RV lights blast you right in the eyes, so it's actually MORE difficult to see, and depending on your age that can persist a while. A light with lesser wattage, mounted low, and pointed away from your eyes toward the ground actually works better, and you can still see beyond your campsite. Just grab a few little lights and try it before you go mounting something permanent you hate. And that the people in the next campsite hate.

There are bazillions of little efficient LED lights out there of all types. Considering how long they run I really don't see the point of wiring lights to 12v anymore. I don't even use my inside wired lights much any more; battery and/or solar lights work much better for us.

I was at a camp where someone had lit their whole site with about 100 candles. It was awesome. The camp host at Valley of Fire had his site lit with tiki torches, reflecting off the rocks. Kinda worrisome working with fire, but sure pretty. Little stake solar lights work well too. You might be surprised how little you need.
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Old 04-26-2014, 07:15 PM   #8
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Re: Outside light

On my teardrop I have a few small 12V LED lamps built into the trailer frame pointing downward (good ambient lighting), and I also have some small 12V LED "porchlights" that are mounted high on the outside walls of the trailer but they shine downward. Originally those porch lights aimed straight out, but I had them swapped out for downward pointing ones. [Pics harvested from SoCal Teardops site.] Thumbnails below.

Frame mounted lights:


As mounted:


"Porch" lights:


Just pointing these out to show there are other small LED light options out there, instead of a single, bright light, especially when it's mounted at eye level.


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Old 04-26-2014, 07:34 PM   #9
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Re: Outside light

^ Are those small lights the single LED lamps about an inch in diameter? I saw someone had put one on a mirror as a puddle light and it was amazing for the price and size!

Try looking at the fire/ambulance and towing/wrecker equipment catalogs. Some pretty interesting new stuff out there that may be just what you are looking for. Those two industries tend to beat the crap outta their stuff and use them thousands of times more often, under far worse conditions than RV'ers or boaters do.

http://www.whelen.com/auto/product.php? ... rod_id=510

This unit is what I have been looking at at about $149.00 - am I wrong to say it would be worth it for looks alone? (My wife says "no")
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Old 04-26-2014, 08:14 PM   #10
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Re: Outside light

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firetrux
^ Are those small lights the single LED lamps about an inch in diameter? I saw someone had put one on a mirror as a puddle light and it was amazing for the price and size!
Yeah, about 1" in diameter. You usually find them in red and amber to use as trailer marker lights, but these are in white.

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