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Upgrading to LED strip lights

Posted: June 2nd, 2018, 8:28 pm
by mjb666
I have two 12V twin bulb Labcraft fluorescent lights

Imageupload a picture

and three 12V single Labcraft fluorescent lights


They all work fine & each tube is rated 8w & i think they are T5 12".


These ,i believe, are the LED direct replacement bulb rated at 5w. ... Sw1m5a-vaN

I have no idea how to work out how much leisure battery life i would gain by changing or if these are the best way to go when my next bulb 'blows'.

Can anyone suggest any other bulb or what they have done to save battery usage with LED lighting?

Re: Upgrading to LED strip lights

Posted: June 2nd, 2018, 9:01 pm
by zildjian
OK Mike well those Fluorescent's have to go definitely, you can either replace them as you say with LED 'striplight' or fit yourself some shiny new snazzy light fittings with super efficient bulbs

latter plan will almost certainly involve some redecoration as newer fittings will be smaller and leave weird pattern on panel behind

Re: Upgrading to LED strip lights

Posted: June 2nd, 2018, 9:35 pm
by mjb666
Thanks Richard

As my De-mountable has a roof lining that appears to be made of office carpet tile type material, you won't see the old screw holes so no problem there.

Having had a quick search i reckon i can replace the five units for something more modern at about £25.00 each. As the current one's all work ok, it was more about trying to find the best use of power for when i switch to solar. Obviously, as they aren't on all the time, any payback would take ages so, is it really worth the effort to switch?


Re: Upgrading to LED strip lights

Posted: June 3rd, 2018, 6:48 pm
by E Cawood
after changing most of the bulbs on our motorhome a couple of years back now the first thing we both noticed was how much cooler the interior was.
old fashioned lighting generates a huge amount of heat (so wasted energy) which is the next immediate effect we saw,
the voltage meter hardly dropped as we turned more lights on, where before the needle dropped like a stone the more lights used

Re: Upgrading to LED strip lights

Posted: June 3rd, 2018, 7:21 pm
by mjb666
Thanks E Cawood

Did you keep the original fittings and just change the bulbs to a LED alternative or change the complete light unit & bulb?

Do you have a link to which you chose?


Re: Upgrading to LED strip lights

Posted: June 3rd, 2018, 9:22 pm
by E Cawood
from memory the wall mounted fittings just accepted new LED replacement bulbs but a ceiling light in bathroom simply wasn't deep enough (some new LED lamps are slightly oversize and won't physically fit)
you have to be careful of that and possibly take a lamp housing with you and try a new LED bulb in it to make sure it will go

because they are more frugal the wiring won't need swapping but if it was me I would want to lose those fluorescent fittings.

Sorry don't know what i bought now and frankly they would probably be out of production by now and something nicer on offer anyway (and cheaper)

Re: Upgrading to LED strip lights

Posted: June 3rd, 2018, 9:26 pm
by FinAde
We replaced the fluorescent lights in our Apollo. It made a huge difference in light output and hardly any drop in voltage. We went with LED’s strip lamp with two stage light output.

Re: Upgrading to LED strip lights

Posted: August 14th, 2018, 11:27 am
by Amanda_P
I needed to do something with the lights in my Suntrekker a couple of years ago: the fluorescent tubes were going black at the ends and getting dimmer and dimmer. (The blackening is, I'm told, quite common as the tubes age and is made worse by running them at less than a healthy 12volts, which sometimes happens on a cold night with a tired battery). I looked at the cost of new fittings with LEDs which, being pretty much broke and unemployed at the time, was a bit scary.

So I got some LED tape from Ebay: ... e&_sacat=0

I stripped out the tubes and the little driver circuit from inside each fluo fitting, but kept the switch. The problem then was that the tubes were held in place by a plastic moulding inside the fitting which wasn't going to work with LED tape, and if that was removed, there was nothing to attach the LED tape to: I needed a material that was thin and ideally white or reflective, to replace the back of the light fitting and attach the LED tape to. After a bit of thought I used plastic cut from margarine tub lids. It was white, light-weight, highly reflective, and free.

I just glued that into the back of the fittings, stuck the LED tape to it in a sort of flattened spiral, soldered the pads at the end of the tape to the wires on the switch, and put the whole thing back on the van ceiling.

The lights are now far brighter, and consume a tiny fraction of the power. They don't get warm and don't interfere with the radio as the fluos used to! And they don't care if the supply voltage drops a bit. I think the whole job took about an hour and cost me about £4. The only things not re-used were the tubes - which were worn out anyway, and went to recycling - the drivers and the tube-holder mouldings, which were made from marge-tub-type thin plastic anyway. And I'll never need to replace a tube or bulb again!

Re: Upgrading to LED strip lights

Posted: August 14th, 2018, 1:08 pm
by derestrictor
Does you camper have a voltmeter on the wall somewhere Amanda?
if it does take a look at it as you tune those Led's on and it will hardly budge now.

i bet with the old lighting it would have dipped pretty sharply as even those little strip lights came on where as modern lighting hardly makes a dent in voltage

Re: Upgrading to LED strip lights

Posted: August 14th, 2018, 7:41 pm
by zildjian
I swapped out all the incandescent lighting for LED recently together with a new Low power TV set
and noticed immediately the power saving, plus you can choose softer lighting if you don't need something more harsh to read by.

Yes there is much talk about the hidden danger of Diode light source but for the amount of time I spend in camper I think I can bear it :D