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Old 12-06-2013, 11:42 AM   #1
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llamadave's Avatar
Join Date: May 2012
Location: West Lafayette, Indiana
Posts: 185
LED bulb for outside porch light

SMB North installed this porch light on our Sprinter:

This is an Attwood marine stern light. If you Google that you will see that most come with LED lights now, but SMB must be using up a stock of them with filament bulbs. All of the other bulbs in Vanessa, delivered Feb 2013, are LED.

So this light quit after using it a few times. We leave it on at night for extended periods to find our way back. When I took it off to change the bulb I found that the plastic base had partly melted from the heat of the bulb and the bulb, not burned out, was not making contact. I complained to SMB and they admitted this was a problem with that light and gave me a new light assembly.

So I set out to find an LED replacement bulb to use in the new lamp since this would save power and not get so hot. The bulb is a BA15d with dual contacts. The 12 volts is across the two contacts on the end, not between one of them and the base. Most of the bulbs I found were either not wired like this or were too large to fit. Then I found this on eBay:
which was $6.60 including shipping for two of them. It turned out that this LED panel is a perfect fit and makes lots of light.

To install it, I first removed the sticky foam backing. When plugging the base into the socket you need to try both ways until you get the polarity right. The lens on this lamp is designed to have some space between it and the base. The circuit board fits inside this space. I tried cutting off the corners of the circuit board for a better fit but it turned out that wasn't necessary and in fact it stopped working when I did that.


Vanessa: Sprinter 3500 170 EB with RV interior and lots of unique features including water below 0 degrees, screen door, diesel generator, huge rear storage compartment for 2-person kayak and much more. See my web site for all the details.
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Old 12-06-2013, 04:49 PM   #2
JayBea's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 59
Re: LED bulb for outside porch light

Thanks Dave,
I just ordered one for The Mercury. I see that SMB located your's low on the rear quarter panel, just like mine. I would have preferred high above the passenger door. Oh well, that's one for the next build!

The Mercury

-light of the morning, looking for shelter in this thunder and this rain

2012 SMB Sprinter, 2500 EB Tall, Brilliant Silver Metalic
12vdc no inverter, 180 w Permanent Solar, 120 w Portable Solar
Queen platform bed
(Delivery Taken 7/23/12) NM 31357RVB
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Old 12-06-2013, 04:57 PM   #3
JJSporty's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: SoCal
Posts: 89
Re: LED bulb for outside porch light

Thanks, Dave, from us as well. We already replaced almost all of the bulbs and have had a devil of time finding anything that fits this odd, difficult to remove little bulb. It is so handy to find your way back to the van when out visiting after dark with our local camping club but easy to forget to turn off which takes a toll on the batteries when boondocking.
Janna & Jeff Guide Dog "Fodi" & Slacker Dog "Russ"
Jeff and Janna
2014 Brilliant Silver MB Sprinter 3.0L V-6 High-Top 144 WB Modified RB-153S Espar D-5 SC Hydronic 200W Zamp Solar
SOLD 2006 White Ford E250 5.4L V8 4X2 RB-31 Modified, PH Full Length Garageable
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