Owning the van is sort of like owning a boat, there is always something to be worked on or upgraded. I've been adding some new LED lights over the past few months and decided to summarize them in a post.
The first lights that I added were some LED strips from Ikea 'Dioder' that fit perfect under the rear bed supports (we have an EB-50). The strips run on 12 volts, so I threw away the included power pack and wired them to an empty fuse on the van fusebox. There is a switch the cabinetry that is exposed when the rear doors are opened. These lights come in packs of 4 and I have 4 under the rear bed, 2 in the underfloor storage (which is really handy) and 1 in the long side storage compartment next to the bed.
My next upgrade was to replace the two reading lamps with the Flexi-LED fixtures from www.taskled
mounted in a small project box in the same location. These lights are nice in that they have 5 brightness settings and by holding the button for 1/2 second they will start at their dimmest settings so you aren't blinded in the middle of the night. They also will turn themselves off after 90 minutes so you don't need to worry about leaving them on while the van is empty.
The next lights I tackled were the the dome light and some step lights, these step lights were something I picked up at Bass Pro shops, they are the basic totally sealed light.
and the domelight is a 3 watt LED from Innovative Lighting
( I've also seen them at West Marine) that I mounted on the ceiling of the penthouse.
Wiring these lights was the most work, because I wanted a manual override for the door switch, as well as a manual override for the dome light timer. I tracked down the little black switch plates that SMB uses and installed a pair of ON-OFF-ON switches about the side door, where the down ON position is tied to the door switch and timer, OFF is always OFF and the upper ON position is always ON.
I then just wired the little spotlight fixture that SMB installed between the front seats to an always hot power source. I found it annoying to hit the button on the light and then realize that I needed to also open a door or twist the headlight knob to get light.
The last light I added was a reading lamp for the lower bed, this is the nicest light that I have found, from http://www.littlite.com
. I had used these in the theater sound/lighting business years ago, but they just started selling them with LEDs, and a two position switch with dim red LEDs, then brighter white LEDs. They come in 6/12/18 inch lengths, this is an 18" one with a small clip at the top to keep it from bouncing around. They are available in a dozen or so different configurations, this is the L5/18LED.
So far this has been a pretty nice hobby, and unlike a boat it is in my driveway so it is very convenient to work on.