Converting RV Lights to LEDs: Part 2 – LED Color & Brightness

TheRVgeeks Electrical, Great RV Products, LED Conversion, Updates & Upgrades 23 Comments

Last week’s video about our ongoing conversion to cool, energy-efficient LED lights generated a lot of interest, plus some questions. Today we’ll provide some additional details about the exact choices we made regarding color temperature, brightness and style of LEDs.

The majority of light fixtures in our RV came with the following types of bulbs:

  • Incandescents, with wedge bases
  • Halogens, with pin bases
  • Fluorescent tubes, in two different sizes

Last year, we demonstrated an inexpensive way to convert 12-volt fluorescent lights using strips of adhesive LEDs (you can see that video here). In an upcoming video, we’ll show you how to upgrade your fluorescents to a more elegant alternative. Today we’re going to focus on the lights we talked about in last week’s video: wedge-base incandescents and pin-base halogens.

A special thanks to Steve at M4 Products for helping us finally get our LED conversion sorted out. We’re happy (but not surprised) to see so many enthusiastic comments about Steve, his company and his products, both here and on forums like iRV2. He does a great job and deserves the accolades.

If you haven’t seen our last video about LEDs, you can find it here, where you can also enter our contest. On April 14, 2014, we’re giving away a $250 M4 Products Online Shopping Certificate, so if you haven’t already entered, hurry up!

If you missed the contest, or if you’re ready to go ahead and outfit your RV with LEDs, be sure to use the code “RVgeeks5” at checkout to get a 5% discount on  your entire order from M4.

www.M4Products.com

We’re marking three milestones this week… 11 years of full-time RVing, our 18th anniversary and reaching 20,000 subscribers! Thank you all for making us the most-subscribed-to YouTube channel about RVing. smile


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We're handy RVers, not professional technicians. We're happy with the techniques and products we use, but be sure to confirm that all methods and materials you use are compatible with your equipment and abilities. Regardless of what we recommend, consult a professional if you're unsure about working on your RV. Any task you perform or product you purchase based on any information we provide is strictly at your own risk.

We sometimes receive products for evaluation at no cost, and The RVgeeks are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. But our opinions are our own, you won’t pay an extra penny, and we only link to products we personally use, love and can recommend to friends with complete confidence.


Comments 23

    1. Post
      Author
  1. Pingback: $300 LED Giveaway! Plus a 5% M4 Products Discount Code

  2. Thanks for putting together a great video explaining the differences between the colors. I already contacted Steve and getting ready to place an order.
    I’ll let you know how they worked out.

    1. Post
      Author
  3. This video series is outstanding! It gives the viewer the exact information needed to make an informed decision regarding lighting quality. The recommendation to use M4Products.com is not to be taken lightly (pun not intended :)), either. Immediately after watching the two video series, I went my motor home, got bulb types and counts, then ordered. My order was processed Monday. I am happy to report all bulbs arrived yesterday (Wednesday–free priority shipping), are installed and working exactly as I expected. I am now literally chomping at the bit to replace the fluorescent tube bulbs with LED equivalents, but I will wait until RVGeek’s next LED production! M4Products and howtorvgeeks.com are a great combination!

    1. That’s awesome Scott! So good to hear, and thanks for the nice comment. We’re excited about our fluorescent tube upgrade, and will be working on that video pretty soon. Before that one, we’ll be announcing our next contest next week… the biggest one yet. Stay tuned! ;-)

    2. Thanks for the compliments Scott.

      I personally care about every customer, and we do our best to treat you like we like to be treated (something that has definitely faded in this day of the Internet). M4 isn’t perfect, on occasion we have defects, mis-ships, or other errors, but when it happens we communicate and seek quick resolution.

      I actually am on a Central California road trip loop this week, but am monitoring shipments whenever I can check in, and as you noticed the warehouse is doing a great job getting things out.

      Thank you everybody for all of your support!

      1. Don’t want to give you a swell head or anything Steve… but you deserve it. We made such an enthusiastic big deal about you and M4 because we get tired of dealing with companies that don’t take pride in their products and services. You say what you mean and mean what you say, we love your products and we’re really happy to have met you. Thanks for making us look good by being even better than we’ve told everyone. Hope your trip is going well. Best Regards, Peter & John

  4. Have you tried the “Tube lights” to replace Florescent lights? I have a fixture which has quit working but still has 12 v. I would need 4 bulbs to replace the bulbs in two fixtures. Just wondering if it is worth it and how well they work.

    1. We’ve gotten some beautiful tube LEDs from M4 to replace our fluorescent lights and we’ll be installing them real soon. They’re more expensive than the cheap strip lights, but they’re beautifully made and look much higher end. We’ll of course be doing a video all about them. ;-)

  5. Great Videos. Question: Our coach already has LED’s installed. However, it appears they did not use twisted shielded pairs or some type of filtering so thus I have a lot of “buzzing” (crosstalk) coming out of my surround speakers. Any thoughts on how to correct this and rewiring the entire coach is not a viable option. Thanks.

    1. On rare occasion noise can happen. First I am curious if these are M4 brand LEDs, another brand, or factory installed LEDs.

      Lower frequencies such as AM and especially HAM radios are more susceptible to noise. Also over air TV signals can get noise.

      A few possible tips. Ensure the radio is on a different power circuit than the lighting. Ensure any powered antennas and plugs are a few feet from the LEDs. Finally, you may consider adding Snap Chokes to some of the supply lines to the radio, and/or the lighting feed, this can also help.

      You have probably seen snap chokes on things like Computer Cables before, they are essentially a coil with two halves that simply snap around the wire, sometimes with a loop. They are inexpensive and can sometimes help.

      1. Thanks Steve. They are factory installed LED’s on Dimmers. I call them hockey pucks installed in the ceiling liner. Reducing the dimmer will reduce the amount of crosstalk. I haven’t seen snap chokes before but will certainly do some investigative work. Thanks for all your input.

  6. i think it could help if you could show the amps used in a full RV setup from stock to leds

    i think that would help alot of ppl as i seen the amps drop in my RV with just a few of them

    1. The draw is a lot less with LEDs for sure! Every RV will be different of course, depending on how many lights you have, so some math might be needed. LOL! I think we might have some video from our visit to M4 that shows the amp draw with LEDs. We’ll see if we can get that together for a new video.

      1. i think having a
        TriMetric Battery System is needed in every RV

        i have the 2025 i think and had it for many years

        having one can show all amp hrs amp loads and having this would show all the info you need for tests like this

        a good video could be made just over this small unit and how handy it really is

        http://www.bogartengineering.com/products/TriMetric

        i have it installed more for my solar system

        but i am the RV fire post guy you see that had the fire in the Rv and saved it

  7. Great article! We’re planning on replacing all our inside bulbs. One thing… Can you give us your advice on when to use the various temp/color of bulbs (e.g,, cool white, warm white, etc.)?

    Thanks!

    Ron

    1. Thanks Ron! Color is a personal preference to some degree. That said, we have a few thoughts. First, the closest thing we’ve found to our original incandescent lights are the “Warm White” LEDs. The have a warm yellow cast (the slightest bit more toward the green end of the spectrum then toward the red end), and would probably be okay in most situations. We originally thought we would do just that (use all Warm White LEDs), but Steve mentioned that Natural White is a more popular color choice. So we decided to use the Natural White in certain spots, such as over the sink in the bathroom where we need more light (we used the Elite Series 17-LED Natural White there, and LOVE them… makes shaving, etc easier because the light is so bright and clear). We also used the Natural White in many of our puck lights to replace the halogens, especially over the kitchen counter (those three we showed in the video). One thing we don’t get is the Cool White lights. Not our taste, as they seem more suited for a real work area, like the back area of a toy hauler maybe. Again, please keep in mind that color is a very personal choice, but we like the Warm White for “mood” lighting, such as our sconces, and Natural White for more utility type areas. We even have Warm White in the living room sconces with Natural White in the puck lights directly over them, giving us choices, depending on whether we’re entertaining, watching TV, reading, etc. Hope this helps!

      1. Spot on answer from RV Geeks. It is definitely a personal preference. Half the time I explain the colors I like the customer chooses it, half the time they choose something else.

        People in general are getting used to whiter light now just because it is growing in use around us. Natural is a nice compromise to “ease” you into a whiter light without jumping in all the way to Cool.

        That being said, I have a lot of people who choose Cool and like the choice. I do have to say I have heard more comments about the “aging eye” choosing Cool to get more visible light, and more contrast at what they are looking at.

        And “that being said” again…. many don’t like anything but the traditional yellow light of Warm White.

        This video is a phenomenal representation of the colors. We also have some color choice pictures and information on this page as well. Specifically look at the dinette comparison photos.

        http://www.m4products.com/bulb-cross-reference-and-color-range/

  8. Bravo to you again on your video. I enjoy all of your videos, they are full of information. They come in handy for a 3 year veteran myself. My new 2014 Salem will be supporting some M4Products soon. Congratulations on yall’s milestones.

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