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Author Topic: LED Lighting  (Read 4538 times)
youknowwho
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« on: January 04, 2009, 11:34:15 AM »

How bright and how efficient are 12 volt led rope lights? Will they make decent lighting for a whole room in my bus? And can I make a decent reading or work light for under counter lighting by clustering led's? Next how long can led lights run on the small hand crank generators? I found some plans on making hand crank generators out of cordless drills which I have 3 that don't I have batteries for or they are shot. I am working on making my bus about 90% green and capable of running off grid for very long periods.
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« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2009, 11:52:55 AM »

How bright and how efficient are 12 volt led rope lights? Will they make decent lighting for a whole room in my bus? And can I make a decent reading or work light for under counter lighting by clustering led's? Next how long can led lights run on the small hand crank generators? I found some plans on making hand crank generators out of cordless drills which I have 3 that don't I have batteries for or they are shot. I am working on making my bus about 90% green and capable of running off grid for very long periods.
>
Not sure Ron but I think How long is a China man not sure about verylong.
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« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2009, 12:19:37 PM »

How bright and how efficient are 12 volt led rope lights? Will they make decent lighting for a whole room in my bus? And can I make a decent reading or work light for under counter lighting by clustering led's?


LEDs, in general, are very efficient.  But the efficiency of any particular light, including various makes of rope light, depends greatly on how the manufacturer chose to build it.  More LEDs and fewer (and/or smaller) resistors is more efficient than fewer LEDs with bigger resistors, but resistors are cheaper than LEDS, so many 12-v fixtures are not as efficient as they could be.  You can fix this by rolling your own.

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Next how long can led lights run on the small hand crank generators?


Umm, for as long as you are cranking the generator.  A better set of questions would be how long can a specific set of LED fixtures run on a specific amount of battery, and then how much hand-cranking would be needed to add that amount of energy to the battery.  Again, this varies widely with the efficiency of the fixtures involved, and the output of the hand-crank generator.  I'm afraid there is no substitute for developing the numbers and then doing the math.

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« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2009, 04:26:53 PM »

Ok a different approach. What would be a good start battery wise and hand crank generator ? I found last night a website that had LED rope lighting for $2.00 per foot with a led every 2 inches I believe but did not bookmark the page and now I can't seem to find it. What I would like to do is possibly have one battery/crank gen. for each length or segment of rope light in each room or a way to switch off some of the unnecessary lighting. Which ever is better. Then for each section of work area have their own battery/crank if necessary. Then I would do this in the 3 sections of my bus. Kitchen/LR Bath and Bedroom. This may be just unpractical but  a thought I'd like to know if it would work and how well. There are several spot lights that work on this principle so those may be a starting point or source of the crank generators.
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« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2009, 04:34:03 PM »

Instead of rope lights, check these out. I just put some in my bedroom along with three 12v dimmers from ebay and they are no less than amazing.
The strips are RGB so you can instantly control the color of the room, and it's both bright and beautiful!

15' strips RGB:  http://www.lck-led.com/p330/5M-Ultra-Slim-5050-SMD-RGB-Flexible-Led-Strip/product_info.html

Dimmers (takes three): ebay     Item number: 360121569075   

Both companies are reliable, I've used them many times and they ship quickly, product is high quality
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1962 Crown
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« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2009, 06:30:59 PM »

I have a roll of rope from  www.1000bulbs.com

12VDC clear bulbs.  with connectors.  roll provides many applications.
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« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2009, 06:38:11 PM »

How bright and how efficient are 12 volt led rope lights? Will they make decent lighting for a whole room in my bus? And can I make a decent reading or work light for under counter lighting by clustering led's? Next how long can led lights run on the small hand crank generators? I found some plans on making hand crank generators out of cordless drills which I have 3 that don't I have batteries for or they are shot. I am working on making my bus about 90% green and capable of running off grid for very long periods.
humans don't pollute a much as nature by far, one volcanoe dwarfs the whole history of industrial revolution & more. currently there aer more than 80,000 active plus undersea gas vent , & anthills. insects which out weigh man 72 -1 by lbs put outway more co2.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2009, 07:00:34 AM by HighTechRedneck » Logged
WEC4104
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« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2009, 07:27:20 PM »

LED rope lighting, or for that matter LEDs in general, are very efficient. However, most of the reasonably priced stuff will produce modest light output.  It is great for general room lighting, enabling you to see where you are walking, or as background lighting while watching TV, etc.   Think of it as "mood lighting".  Most rope lighting (LED or conventional) is decorative or for producing a soft glow.  Not the type of lighting for you to use for reading.

Step up in price, and you will find high output LEDs, with a spot beam that is suitable for reading and close work.  Not too many folk are going to brightly light an entire room with LEDs, however.  I think the key would be to strike a balance.  Rope light for for general lighting, with a few high intensity units added in for reading and close work.

As mentioned in a previous post, the battery is the key to determining the light output that can be supported. Hand cranking a retrofitted hand drill?  While I appreciate your desire to be green, I am having difficulty reconciling it with the real world conditions.  Firing up your engine for 15 minutes, you could produce the equivalent of hank cranking for many hours.  I don't get it, and I think I'd install a solar panel before I would sit around hand cranking a drill.

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« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2009, 08:41:09 PM »

LED rope lighting, or for that matter LEDs in general, are very efficient. However, most of the reasonably priced stuff will produce modest light output.  It is great for general room lighting, enabling you to see where you are walking, or as background lighting while watching TV, etc.   Think of it as "mood lighting".  Most rope lighting (LED or conventional) is decorative or for producing a soft glow.  Not the type of lighting for you to use for reading.
I know it is not for reading as I mentioned that in the original post. I'm just wondering is it enough lighting for general sight and not too dark to see the remote buttons and that type of thing.

Step up in price, and you will find high output LEDs, with a spot beam that is suitable for reading and close work.  Not too many folk are going to brightly light an entire room with LEDs, however.  I think the key would be to strike a balance.  Rope light for for general lighting, with a few high intensity units added in for reading and close work.

I mentioned the cluster type led's for that

As mentioned in a previous post, the battery is the key to determining the light output that can be supported. Hand cranking a retrofitted hand drill?  While I appreciate your desire to be green, I am having difficulty reconciling it with the real world conditions.  Firing up your engine for 15 minutes, you could produce the equivalent of hank cranking for many hours.  I don't get it, and I think I'd install a solar panel before I would sit around hand cranking a drill.

Solar panels are expensive and don't work at night. I may play with them at a later time.
It's not about convenience it's about doing something different. I think some of you do some oddball things to or on your bus but it's not my call to question why. I want to experiment with some things. some of those lights like the spot light with a crank works 30 minutes on 1 minute of cranking, I don't find that too inconvenient for 30 minutes of work light in my bus. And the whole idea of this is to keep from running my bus for even 15 minutes adding to the carbon footprint and everybody knows running an engine for that short period is not good for them. By the way, Who is Hank and how can I get "Hank cranking for many hours?"  Wink By the way there is a bigger picture here that I'm aiming for and then it will all make sense then.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2009, 08:45:08 PM by youknowwho » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2009, 05:18:14 AM »

Gentlemen, I cleaned this thread up to get it out of a danger zone and back on topic.  It is an interesting topic, so let's keep it on track.
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« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2009, 06:55:37 AM »

Agreed!,too easy to get distracted Kiss.YKW ,I have a rope light set up in my shop ,strictly for ambient lighting but seems to give off enough light to see my way around(20x30) without flipping on the overheads.I would imagine in the confines of a bus the illumination would be substantial,i'll have to try that. Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2009, 07:30:43 AM »

youknowwho
I have LED lights in my bus and so far I love them. I have most of them set along the ceiling for ambient or indirect lighting. At the points that I need brighter lights like over the stove or sink I used more. There are soo many types of LED's you will go broke buying each type and trying them out.

I like the LED rope lights for indirect lighting or mood lighting, they light up enough to see everything in the bus and watch tv or just visit just fine.

I went one step further and placed the lights (pics in link below) throughout the bus for enough lighting to be able to see a little more than the rope lighting. From my testing the led's i used are about 2-3 times the light as the ropes lights were. I can do anything I need to other than tasks that need a lot of light like reading or cooking with just LED's

Keep in mind if you go the route I did for ease of installation there are numerous styles of MR16 LED bulbs, I used the wide angle for the general room lighting, for task lighting you want the spot lights, they produce much brighter light in a much smaller footprint. You have to buy one or two of each and experiment to see what fits your bus.

The nice thing about the LED's is that I can turn them all on at once and only use the energy of what would amount to one 40 - 50 watt incandescent bulb and I have more even lighting than I would have if I had one conventional bulb in the middle of my living area. ALso, with the LED's I am working directly off the house battery and not through the inverter. As far as the wind up generator, give it a shot, it could work great. There is another thread on LED's below.

http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=5407.msg50485#msg50485

Jim


 
 
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« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2009, 10:00:13 AM »

I found last night a website that had LED rope lighting for $2.00 per foot with a led every 2 inches I believe but did not bookmark the page and now I can't seem to find it.

Do a ctrl-h on your browser and show the history. Find the section for Jan 3, and you should be able to relocate the page you had found.

Then post the link here.

« Last Edit: January 05, 2009, 10:02:34 AM by gumpy » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2009, 10:39:49 AM »

Thanks Gumpy.
http://www.lightingfx.com/item--LED-Rope-Light--RL-LED
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« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2009, 07:27:57 PM »

I'm just wondering is it enough lighting for general sight and not too dark to see the remote buttons and that type of thing.[/i]

Sorry, but I have to ask the question ...  If you want enough light to see the remote, what is the remote controlling (a TV?), and what is powering that device?  Seems like the power consumption of the LEDs will pale in comparison with most electronics large enough to have a remote.
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« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2009, 08:04:28 PM »

I guess I don't really understand your question.
I was just using the remote as an example but since you want to question things that don't matter, Ipod's have remotes, video cameras have remotes and both plus laptops all run on there own battery power. I have a battery bank and a large inverter in which can be used to operate the other necessary appliances. You obviously think this is stupid. Bottom line is if you don't have a solution don't contribute to the problem.
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« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2009, 10:15:31 PM »

I really am not trying to anger you or attack your idea for the LED lighting, I am just trying to understand the big picture of what you want to accomplish and help you with info.

I have several LED lighting designs installed in my bus, including a 27 LED fixture for task lighting, a 6 foot long bar with LEDs on 4" centers to simulate light rope, several discrete LEDs tucked in various areas and a few installed in the dash to replace conventional bulbs.  All of these are items are hand built with resistor circuits I soldered in place. Bottom line, is I have a bit of familiarity with LED installations for a variety of bus applications, and tried to help answer your questions.

The basic answers to your initial questions were provided.  You can expect rope lighting to provide enough light not to trip over something, but clusters of high output LEDs are recommended for reading. Put enough of them together, and you can achieve whatever output you want.

Going beyond these answers requires additional info, and that is what I have been targeting.  No one can answer how long these lights will run on a hand crank generator, without more info.  You are talking about building something from old drill parts. The first post made no mention of using batteries or capacitors, so basically the lights will go out when you stop cranking.  The store bought flashlights with built in cranks store energy in an internal battery or capacitor to provide extended use after the cranking stops.

So your "How long will they run?" question is as much of a battery size issue as it is the LED power draw. You mentioned possibly having the lighting set up in 3 sections, each with it's own battery and crank system.  Hey, you do whatever you would like to do, but most folks would probably opt for a centralized system with one larger battery. 

Early on, you alluded to the fact that there was a bigger picture you were aiming for. My question about the remote was to try and get a better feel for the other power consumers in your coach. If you have an underlying reason to keep the crank/LED system separate from your existing house battery and inverter, I'm okay with that.

If my previous posts sounded like I was criticizing your idea or attacking you, I apologize.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2009, 10:21:47 PM by WEC4104 » Logged

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« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2009, 07:25:00 AM »

LED lighting is the next best lighting method that the industry is working very hard to perfect, since the electrical consumption is a fraction of even the curly lights.  But currently, LED bulbs are only putting out around 50 watts of equal light output of an incandescent light.  As proof that there is much research and development, the brightness of LED's are on the average doubling every year.  Personally-I'd wait a couple of years to convert all lighting to LED.  This will work out well for my truck conversion time wise.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2009, 09:29:44 AM »

I've got to echo what Tom just said.  The state of the art of LED lighting right now is that it is in its infancy.  I'm slowly converting our home over to LEDs but you can't just walk into Home Depot and plunk down your coin.  I did run into some low priced 110V candelabra base bulbs in WallyWorld the other day.  They are doing a fine job of lighting up the bathroom vanity now and a moderately good job in the living room fixtures.  I've also got some individual LEDs on order and I'm going to use them to fashion some kind of a replacement for the power hungry halogens that currently light our sunshine ceiling in the kitchen.  There's been a few suggestions of late that unless you mold your own tires out of raw rubber and beat your own rivets out of a lump of SS then you aren't a worthy busnut.  Well I'm here to tell you that there's plenty to keep you busy keeping a "finished" conversion on the road and doing an LED upgrade will consume a chunk of time all by itsownself.
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« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2009, 11:03:36 AM »

I have regular rope lighting in my bus now and even being behind a valance the ones in my bedroom do an amazing job. (I'll post a video later) Just haven't seen the LED ones to know if they are comparable. I know there's a lot of improvements to be made in LED lighting but I need to get my project done in the next few months. As far as the cordless drill generator that may never happen just thought it was a cool reuse of old ones. I do plan on pursuing the hand crank generators though. If I can get 30 minutes of light for 1 minute of cranking that's pretty cool and not much of an inconvenience. I would still keep my bath mirror light as it is but think the rest would be bright enough with proper LED placement and arrangement.
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« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2009, 11:06:18 AM »

I personally do not like the white light that most LED's have; just like the fluorescent.  You can see if you can get them in soft white which is 2700k - 2800k in color temperature.  That would be the same yellowish tint you get with incandescent and halogens.  We had fluorescent indirect lighting that I wanted to change, looked into LED and thought it would be too expensive for what we needed.  I made strings of sockets and used 14 watt, 2700k compact fluorescent bulbs.  It is a big improvement to my eye.  I may have put too many on the string, but unscrewing a few bulbs is within my skill-set.  Of course, this only works because all the lights are hidden behind a valence.
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« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2009, 02:24:44 PM »

Lin makes a valid point regarding the color of white LEDs.

I originally started out with a 6 foot length of conventional (12V) rope light behind each of my two window valences.  I was very pleased with the lighting effect, as it gave a soft warm light that was perfect for what I wanted.  Unfortunately, the rope lighting had a very short life, and sections of the rope went dark.  It was like a bad string of Christmas lights.

Eventually I decided to replace one of the valences with LEDs.  I picked up a 6 foot length of aluminum U-channel (3/4").  I drilled holes on 4" centers and mounted white LEDs with resistors. I've had that installed for about three years, and it has worked flawlessly.  The only thing I do not care for is the color of the light. It has a cold bluish-white tint, which reminds me of moonlight.  It just isn't as pleasant to the eye for the soft indirect lighting I want.

Eventually I want to build another light bar for the other valence.  When I do, I want to explore a few additional options.  I might try using yellow LEDs, or maybe build the light bar with an alternating yellow-white-yellow-white... pattern.  I also want to check the latest LED technology, as I believe they are introducing some white LEDs with a warmer wavelength.   When I find the right combo for the new light bar, I'll retrofit my first attempt.

I have also found that the cooler white light of the LEDs is just fine in other applications I have installed in the bus.  Some locations the bluish-white looks great, but not in my valences.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2009, 06:31:10 PM by WEC4104 » Logged

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« Reply #22 on: January 06, 2009, 03:01:39 PM »

You guys don't seem to have paid much attention to my post about the 15' RGB led strips.  I light my entire bedroom with them, they're bright, in fact one strip is brighter than a few hundred watts of incandescents were; you can change the color to whatever you want, and they are amazing.
They kick the ars off of incandescent ropelights ~and~ led ropelights.
  Finally, the time has arrived  where they (Leds) can make things very practical that even last year, weren't...
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« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2009, 03:30:46 PM »

You guys don't seem to have paid much attention to my post about the 15' RGB led strips. 

I did and they are cool as hell but at $10 per foot plus controllers you lost my attention quicker than you gained it.
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« Reply #24 on: January 06, 2009, 04:16:54 PM »

I was also attracted by Boogie's RGB led strips until I saw the price - having said that I am beginning to realise that not all leds are equal, and a lot of cheap ones are not suitable for lighting use. I did some experiments a couple of weeks ago with cheap Christmas-tree type leds and found they do not give anything like enough light to be used for anything other than 'effect'. As attractive as the idea may seem, it's probably worth disregarding all those shops currently selling heavily discounted Christmas lights as a source of cheap leds for your lighting project - which is not to say that suitable, high-power leds cannot be bought cheaply, as I'm sure they can.

On the 'harsh light' issue, I have seen clear perspex (or similar plastic) with a matt surface used to great effect as a diffuser for leds. It's definitely worth experimenting with some scrap pieces of plastic. I first saw this idea used on some led lights sold by Ikea, and have since seen it elsewhere as well.

Jeremy

 
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« Reply #25 on: January 07, 2009, 08:15:33 PM »

Have you seen the 7" LED headlights that Truck-Lite has developed?  They have been used in the military to test them and they are available right now in 24v.  12 volts are coming along soon.  I haven't seen pricing but they brag about lasting 25-30 years of military service.

Quoting: Each headlamp uses ten LUXEON LEDs as its light source. The LED light output is brighter than traditional glass beam headlights, resulting in greater light projection. The LEDs in the headlamp produce a crisper, whiter light output than even the brightest halogen sealed or bulb-replaceable lamps available today. While a typical headlamp may be rated to last 400 hours, Truck-Lite LED Headlamps are expected to exceed that by as much as 50 times. The LUXEON technology used in Truck-Lites Headlamps will offer improved visibility over conventional incandescent as the color temperature of the assembly is around 5000 degree K, far closer to the sun light than incandescent or halogen lamps.

I have no dog in their hunt, but I want a pair of 12v.'s for my T-2000.

http://www.truck-lite.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/GenericView?pageName=/new/PressReleases_en_US/LEDHeadlamp.html&storeId=10001&langId=-1
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