LEDs

Light for sitting or reading in an RV is necessary and we decided to run the back lighting off the back battery.  Thinking about energy consumption leads on to LEDs.  The initial cost is higher, but they have several advantages, the biggest one is energy use, and the other major one is longevity. 

We found some examples at several stores, ones that included a transformer to switch the LEDs to 12 volts. By simply cutting off the transformer, they can be wired directly to the battery.  Don’t forget that is is more than a transformer, it also has a rectifier that converts it to DC.  That also means that if you reverse the leads, it won’t work.  It doesn’t seem to hurt the LED’s , so jut switch the leads and they should come right on.          IKEA has a set of 4 wafer shaped with 9 LEDs each for around $40.

LEDs

LEDs

 Home Depot has a set of 3 that are thicker with crome outside trim with 12 LEDs each for around $30.       We are planning to put some in the back end of the van for reading and some overhead for general lighting, maybe try a set of each. The great news is that each set uses around 2 watts.  That computes to 1/6 amphours for each hour of use. In other words, a set uses 1 amphour to run 6 hours. To put it in perspective, the large back battery has a 250 amphour capacity, so this use is about negligible. The expected life span is measured in thousands of hours.   We also have a rechargeable LED trouble light from Sears, and a some rechargeable flashlights.   LED lanterns are also available from Coleman, among others.

AFter trying them out, I made two sets of lights that are ok for late nite reading - they should only a few feet from the book. The odd shape of the wood is due to where I will mount them.

LEDs Mounted

LEDs Mounted

I will mount four more along the ceiling,  they have 8′ leads, so than be scattered around from the central distribution block.