Friday, February 3, 2023


A simple explanation of installing and using RV LED bulbs

This is likely the best video we’ve come across that explains the differences between LED and the standard incandescent bulbs that come with most RVs. So many videos like this are complicated and hard to understand. This one by long-time reader Wolfe Rose  is easy to follow. It explains the two different types of bulbs including the cost of purchasing and using them.

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Irv Goomba
2 years ago

Things to consider with LED lamps:

Some LEDs can get hot. I’ve found the super super cheap lamps that come from some factory with a name like “Zing Pow” will often be a crap shoot. After you install a replacement, run it on it’s high setting. Put your hand near the fixture after 5 minutes. Not hot? Good.

Some LEDs might say “Dimmable”, but that doesn’t mean your *dimmer* can handle it, especially older dimmers. If the light flickers rapidly, it’s not really dimmable, or your dimmer isn’t happy with LEDs. Might want to try -one- before committing to a full replacement.

Next, look at life hours. Many LEDs used to be rated 50,000 hours. I guess lamp makers realized that was going to kill business, so you started seeing 25,000 hour lamps. I’ve seen some rated 10,000. Maybe this won’t matter if you only weekend in your RV a couple times a year, but it’s a consideration.

Then we have “color temperature”. That’s the number on the package like “2700k”. The higher the number, the more “blue” (and harsh) the light will be. 2700k will be more like the warm yellowish color of an incandescent light, probably a better choice for sleeping areas. 5600k will be very bright, probably better suited to living or work areas.

Yes, common thought is that’s they’re cool, last forever… but that’s not always the case.

2 years ago

Very good information. And I’ve been trying to figure out for ages how to remove the lens cover from my ceiling lights to clean them. I didn’t know they slide to the side – so easy!!

Jere L Engelman
2 years ago

Surprised you don’t have a link to Amazon to buy these?

2 years ago

Speaking of going down the road, I’ve found that on my running, tail & turn lights that when they went out most of the time the wire element inside had broken from the rough roads. Even since i’ve used LED’s on all my vehicles. I do remember that on my porch lite that the cover had melted from the incandescent bulb, that was my 99 Winnebago, LED’s were not so common back then as they are now!
2 years ago

The LED bulb does not use a small delicate wire to create light. When an incandescent light is jarred by travel down a bumpy road the wire element is easily broken. The LED bulb lasts longer, it is not affected by a rough ride.

2 years ago

I even replaced all the ceiling mounted lights in my house with led’s. No more ladders at my age.

Tommy Molnar
5 years ago

We replaced all our bulbs with LEDs. They cost a bit more but (as John above stated) if you shop on-line you can find affordable replacements. I got mine from Joe at “Cabin Bright” on-line. When you boondock as much as we do, this is a lifesaver.

Also, like John mentioned, when we removed our light covers, the sockets all had black burn-like smudges around them. Heat! Using a digital multi-meter, you can test the difference between turning on a conventional light and an LED. Huge difference in power drain.

John Goodell
5 years ago

1. Another good reason for using LED’s is to avoid the heat that incandescent bulbs produce. After a few years of heavy use I found that many of my fixtures had a ‘scorched’ appearance around the bulb. Maybe this is not too damaging, or maybe it is not important, but I think it shortens the life of the fixture. LED’s won’t generate enough heat to cause this and since the fixtures are very light weight plastic I thought this was a very good thing! This also applies to a few 110v AC fixtures in my trailer.
2. I found LED’s at the RV store to be VERY expensive, but much cheaper on Amazon, more like your prices.
3. I also found there is a difference in the light output, and sometimes the LED’s are TOO BRIGHT! You have to pay attention to the brightness by comparing the LUMENS.

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