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Author Topic: converting light fixtures to 12 volt  (Read 4061 times)
mike802
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« on: February 26, 2013, 05:23:17 PM »

Hi everyone. I have been looking for light fixtures for the bedroom and haven't found any RV type I like that are in my price range.  I did find some antique residential fixtures that I think will work very well with my buses decor.  I am pondering if I should convert the antique fixtures to accept a 12 volt light bulb taken from those white plastic fixtures that come standard in most RVs, or use a 12 volt screw in light bulb.  Most 12 volt screw in bulbs are 50 watt, I have seen some that are 25 watt.  Does anyone know the wattage of the bulbs in the white plastic fixtures?   I did convert one fixture to accept the plug in 12 volt bulb from the white plastic fixtures, not to bad a job and I can still use the original on/off switch, but a screw in 12 volt would require less work.  I am concerned the 50 watt draw would be tough on my batteries, but I am assuming the bulbs from the white plastic fixtures are far less.  I know l.e.d's would draw the least amount of watts, but those can be pricy.  Also availability on the road is a concern, how difficult would it be to find screw in 12 volt bulbs on a trip, I have not been able to locate any at my local walmart, or hardware stores.
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Mike
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« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2013, 06:07:56 PM »

Try your local NAPA store.  Theyused to carry 12volt bulbs in a standard medium base.
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« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2013, 07:30:08 PM »

 We get ours at our local True Value store, I don't recall the price but it wasn't to bad.
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« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2013, 07:40:15 PM »

FWIW you can buy 12v LED bulbs that will work in a standard base wired for 12v pricey at 40 bucks each
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« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2013, 05:02:03 AM »

I just replaced 35     12volt 10 watt halogen lights in the rv with philips led 3 watt t3  replacement bulbs =@20 watt.A lot brighter,no heat and a lot less power but at $10.97 per bulb a lot of money @ 35 lights   http://www.homedepot.com/Electrical-Light-Bulbs-LED-Light-Bulbs/h_d1/N-5yc1vZbm79/h_d2/Navigation?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053&searchNav=true#/?Nao=72&c=1          dave
« Last Edit: February 27, 2013, 05:08:19 AM by sledhead » Logged

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Gerry H
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« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2013, 06:24:53 AM »

   Mike: I found these at the local RV show this month and purchased 14 dual LED fixtures for my coach for $18 each. They are dual 2 watt led and are bright available in single or dual. 56 watts total for my coach. The dealer said they were throw aways, but I found replacement leds on ebay for 56 cents each. No name units, but light weight and in the newest camping RV's. Gerry H

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Forest Lake, Minnesota
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gus
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« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2013, 02:40:59 PM »

Gerry,

Please give us some names and numbers here, there has to be something on the labels!
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luvrbus
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« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2013, 04:31:24 PM »

LED's will becoming cheaper in the next year for sure,here in Phoenix the GREEN law has applied for the restaurant every lite with a standard base, the can lights,track lighting,low voltage 12v and pluck lighting all have to be LED to meet the code kinda sucks as they are not dim-able even if stated they are

 I love being told what light bulb to use LMAO
« Last Edit: February 27, 2013, 04:39:02 PM by luvrbus » Logged

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mike802
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« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2013, 06:31:51 PM »

Thanks for all the responses, certainly gives me some options to look into.
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Mike
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robertglines1
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« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2013, 06:44:44 PM »

For just a few fixtures you might just use small 12V to 110 inverters. 200watt example.  If you do e-bay led I suggest you use USA shipper. I have had prob with China shippers.  Happy bussin.   Bob
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Tony LEE
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« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2013, 07:15:59 PM »

Quote
as they are not dim-able even if stated they are
True for LED fittings that can handle a range of supply voltages, but the basic ballast resistor fixed voltage type can easily be dimmed by  cheap off the shelf LED dimmers.
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lvmci
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« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2013, 11:37:37 PM »

Hi, 12/24 volt led bulbs are orderable on the internet, but I found halogen bulbs on 12 volt in a rwo prong base at hd, dont remember the base name, a new base with a 1/4 turn base called a GU10 eliminates any vibration loosing the bulbs when the light hangs upsidedown, im ordering them in 12volt led, lvmci...
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« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2013, 05:14:06 AM »

I have used super bright led for years fast shipping and lots of options

http://www.superbrightleds.com/
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Doug
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Gerry H
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« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2013, 05:52:50 AM »

   Gus: There is no Mfg name on the units, sorry I've looked closely. There is a label that says, Model RVLEDPC2-008 12V DC LED 2x2W
WP10121239 CX  250797 For Recreational Vehicle use only, min 90 deg C supply conductors, Made in China. The LED driver is made by SunLink 10-28Vdc output 700ma
   The RV dealer I bought them from, put his own label on calling them Light Pancake LED 12V Double.
   If you are into making a statement with your lighting choices, these may not be for you, but this is my second go round with lighting and these solve many to most of the issues I had in round one.
   These are light weight, easy to wire and mount, low profile, low cost, low energy, bright, have a switch on each unit, operates on 12 or 24Vdc.  If they were dimmable (may be a way) they would be perfect for me, but what ever is? That's part of why we build our own isn't it? Good Luck  Gerry H
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Forest Lake, Minnesota
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« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2013, 07:05:31 AM »

You can find just about any base configuration and voltage at ebay.  I'd be careful on 50watt lamps of any kind in your bus.  They build up extreme heat.  The LED's of larger wattage will also build up some heat but not like most of them do.  Identify your base configuration on you existing lamp.......and then go search ebay using the base, voltage and LED as search words.
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Pat

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muddog16
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« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2013, 07:14:44 AM »

I ordered my LED lamps from Amazon (they came from China DHL in 4 days), they have been excellant.  I checked my total lighting load with everything on in the bus...........it was less than 2amps (18 fixtures), and they were impressive with the amount of light they gave off.  With my roof raise I had 5 inches of clearance between the ceiling and roof.  The fixtures came from Lowes ($10 each) can lights.  I took the connection box off of the top of those can lights, used a conduit punch (1/2") and just came through the side of the fixture for my electrical connections.  By removing the connection box these fixtures were perfect for the bus.  That comes out to about $25 for each fixture.  It's a little work but turned out great.
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Pat

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Lin
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« Reply #16 on: February 28, 2013, 08:12:42 AM »

The bus had about  a half dozen standard RV type fixtures with bayonet mount bulbs.  I bought LED's with the same mount off Ebay.  They were cheap and came in warm white, which is good since I don't like the bright white much.
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gus
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« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2013, 11:22:57 AM »

Gerry,

Thanks. No, I use lights only for light, no artistic ceiling lights, floors and mirrors for me! The simpler the better!!
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« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2013, 01:09:15 PM »

Gus, No mirrors!  I thought bedroom ceiling mirrors were part some sort of RV code.
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« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2013, 01:21:36 PM »

Lin, I expect those fancy ceilings and floors to go the way of tail fins!
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« Reply #20 on: February 28, 2013, 06:27:41 PM »

Gus, No mirrors!  I thought bedroom ceiling mirrors were part some sort of RV code.

 Only if ya have a pole back in there!lol
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« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2013, 06:39:27 PM »

Van, we tried that, but I hurt my back trying to dance on it.
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« Reply #22 on: March 02, 2013, 04:06:03 PM »

 i thought this was a good way to turn home lamps in to 12 volt bus / rv lamp
 looks easy to make and no damage to the antiqe lamp
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john
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mike802
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« Reply #23 on: March 02, 2013, 07:14:56 PM »

Hi Crown:  Do you know anything about the picture?  I had a similar idea but the light bulb bases I had were aluminum, so were not able to solder to.  Maybe those are old fuse type bases made from brass?
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Mike
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« Reply #24 on: March 03, 2013, 06:01:31 AM »

hi mike not sure i saved this picture about 10 yrs ago and forgot it till this tread it took about
a hour just to find the picture john
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john
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« Reply #25 on: March 07, 2013, 12:47:21 PM »

My wife wanted standard household light fixtures that we found at a local home improvement warehouse.

I picked up these bulbs for them at CW:

http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/item/15-watt-fluorescent-12-volt-bulb/44377

Seemed a simple and cheap solution.  I haven't installed them yet, though.  Am I missing something?
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Rick A. Cone
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mike802
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« Reply #26 on: March 08, 2013, 07:23:42 AM »

Quote
My wife wanted standard household light fixtures that we found at a local home improvement warehouse.

I picked up these bulbs for them at CW:

http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/item/15-watt-fluorescent-12-volt-bulb/44377

Seemed a simple and cheap solution.  I haven't installed them yet, though.  Am I missing something?


Yea I saw these during my searching, unfortunately my wife and I really dislike them, for some reason they bother our eyes and we really dont want to hassle with the mercury vapor during clean up if one should break.  Given the opportunity, we would rather go the L.E.D route even though they are more expensive.

I found an old twist in fuse at a hardware store and it had a brass base that could be soldered to, I think these could be made to accept a 12 volt light like the one Crown showed.  It would be nice to be able to replace a bulb anywhere from an auto parts store, but I like the extremely low wattage draw from the L.E.D's.
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Mike
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