Converting RV Lights to LEDs – Part 4: 12-inch Fluorescents

TheRVgeeks Electrical, Great RV Products, LED Conversion, Updates & Upgrades 13 Comments

Our previous videos about LEDs have generated so much interest that we wanted to share the details about the new way we’re upgrading our fixtures. This video covers the steps needed to convert 12″ fluorescent tubes to beautiful new LEDs.

Since 12″ fixtures are upgraded to LED in a different way than 18″ fixtures, we’re creating two separate videos.  You can watch our other video on How to Convert an 18″ Fluorescent Fixture to LED.

If you saw our original video about converting our RV’s fluorescent lights to LED strip lights (if not, you can view it here), you may have noticed that it was quite a while before we shared any more tips about switching to LEDs.

The reason for that is because we were experimenting with converting our RV’s other lights (halogen, incandescent and even other fluorescent light options). But it was a bit frustrating, since options for LED color and brightness can be confusing, and many suppliers don’t accurately convey the information you need to choose the color temperature and brightness you want.

Then we heard about a company on the iRV2 discussion forums called M4 Products. The information on their website was really thorough, and the owner’s fast, detailed response to our questions made us confident that his lights would be the right color and brightness.

After so much trial & error, buying from M4 was the best experience we’ve had so far. Since we were heading toward southern California, where M4 is located, we made an appointment to stop by to see about upgrading more of our lights.

Being a fellow RVer, Steve, M4’s owner, was incredibly knowledgeable about LED applications for RVs, and the quality of his products was obvious. We’ve looked at, and tried, our fair share of LED bulbs, and Steve’s are the best quality and best value we’ve found so far.

Be sure to visit M4 Products!  They are still offering a special discount for RVgeeks viewers. Enter the discount code “RVgeeks5” at checkout to receive a 5% discount off your entire order!

Previous & Related Videos:

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 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.

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Comments 13

  1. I have a Dutch Star and am in the UK.
    Shortly vacationing in Hatteras NC so will order my stuff from Steve when I have the US mailing address and forward onto home

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    Hi Natalie! We have never had this issue, but we do know the right guy to ask about it: Steve at M4. We’ll drop him a link to this thread so he can reply right here. Stay tuned!

  3. As soon as I watched your two videos for tube lights, I ordered four sets of 18″ and two sets of 12″ tubes for my 99 Holiday Rambler Endeavor 37WDS pusher. Converted them all today. Your video was well done and I had no problems at all.

    I ordered all of the other bulb type lights this afternoon and will easily finish this coach next weekend for about $450. It’s a lot of money to do an entire coach. But, the reduction in heat that the AC units have to fight along with the super power savings is the real reason I put out the money. Now, I can boon dock with a bit more peace of mind.

    Thanks for everything and arranging the M4 discount!

    1. That is awesome Gene! Every light on board used to throw off heat. It was hot here today, and we’re currently sitting under the 3-light fixture over our dining room table. There’s virtually no heat at all coming off the LEDs that replaced those hot little incandescents… but it’s still plenty bright. During the summer, the reduction in heat is just as, or more, valuable to us that the power savings. We love sharing things that get us excited about our RV and it’s great to hear that others are having the same positive experience. Thanks for sharing. :)

  4. Thanks Mike. Another great video, and thankfully, doesn’t sound like a commercial.

    I can’t remember how many times I watched your video on dumping the tanks before I tackled it for the first time. :-)

    One suggestion would be to use a permanent marker to mark a + on the positive side, and a – on the negative side sockets. No guessing required.

    1. The permanent marker is a great idea, Dave. :idea: Thanks. We think so methodically about things that the hot side being by the power is enough for us, but not everyone thinks that way. ;-) Glad you were careful about dumping your tanks the first time. We’ve seen some horror shows out there… like the lady at the dump station next to us in Yosemite Valley who didn’t realize that if the hose came out of the hole while dumping, the brass cap would drop closed and the concrete basin around it would fill. She found out the hard way, as we almost lost our lunches watching her wade shin deep in the brown pond she had just created, trying to find and then step on the pedal. :o – Peter

  5. Yet another great, simple explanation of what can be a tougher conversion because of the position of the 12″ tubes. In our coach, the only twelve inch tube is above the sink, under a cabinet. This makes it a stretch to get to. I lowered the fixture so it would be easier. Only a half hour of work and I had M4 LED’s above my sink. Thank you again for all your videos!

  6. I have replaced all of the bulb inside my coach and basement except the florescent tubes. I agree, the service cannot be beaten and the response when I had a defective bulb was above and beyond what I expected. I have been so impressed with M4 that I cam constantly telling others about them, especially when I see someone looking at LEDs in any camping store!

  7. Coincidentally I just finished all the Flourescents in our Coach this afternoon. It took me about an hour to do four 18″ and the 12″. It was a piece of cake. M4 LED’s products are very good quality and Steve was extremely helpful. The whole coach interior is now LED and our amperage draw is a lot lower then it used to be. Just for kicks I turned on every light and read the voltage on the solar controller. It didn’t drop at all.when the lights were switched on and off.

    Kudo’s to M4 and RVGeeks!

    1. That’s awesome Don & Carol! It’s amazing what a difference they make. As far as Steve goes, we have never heard or read a bad word about him or M4. Ever. He has great products and knows how to treat customers. Our first purchase from him was only three tiny little inexpensive bulbs, but he treated us as if we were retrofitting an entire bus. Great guy.

  8. Thanks again for another great video, i always look forward to my email notification telling me i have a video update from you.

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