When you get a new or used RV, there are always upgrades you can make to help your RV run more efficiently and to make it feel more like home. Replacing your factory-installed RV LED lights is one change that can make a world of difference in how your RV looks, feels and uses power.
We’ve posted before about the importance of updating from conventional bulbs to LED bulbs. But even if your RV came with factory-installed LEDs, upgrading to better quality LEDs can have many short- and long-term benefits.
Benefits of RV LED Lights
We know that LEDs are the most up-to-date choice for RV lighting because they’re more efficient, produce less heat, have a range of colors available, and of course, they use less power. That’s a particularly meaningful improvement, especially for RVers who like to boondock (camp off-grid).
But if your RV came with LED lights factory-installed, then you’ve already got the most efficient, eco-friendly, power-saving RV lights on the market, right? Not so fast!
As it turns out, RVs are often equipped with LED lights that are on the lower end of the quality spectrum. That’s a reality we’ve talked about before with many RV components — a direct result of manufacturers’ push to keep costs down.
Upgrading those factory-installed RV LED lights to those made with top-quality components can make a big difference in your experience where lighting quality, longevity, and power savings are concerned.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why this is true:
They Use Less Power
RV LED lights are efficient, but the higher the quality of the LED components, the more efficient they are. While your factory-installed RV LED lights will use less power than conventional light bulbs, upgrading to high-quality LEDs will reduce your energy usage even more.
And while high-quality LED lights may cost more upfront, you’ll need to replace them far less frequently, and that can add up to significant savings in the long-term.
If you love boondocking as much as we do, saving power at every turn is important. LED lights in general can use as little as one-tenth the power of an incandescent light, which can help you to boondock longer without firing up the generator. But upgrading your factory-installed RV LEDs can extend your boondocking joy even further.
They Last Longer
Your factory-installed RV LED lights might last longer than conventional bulbs, but when you upgrade your factory-installed lights to lights with top-quality components, the longevity of those lights increases exponentially. That means less maintenance and more long-term savings.
As a matter of fact, the single most common reason that owners of RVs that came with LEDs from the factory end up replacing them anyway is because of failures. We’ve retrofitted our entire rig with top-quality LEDs, and have never had a single bulb failure. Ever. Not that they can’t fail, but they’re far more reliable than OEM bulbs… even OEM LEDs.
Many Different Options to Choose From
High-quality LED components affect the brightness, color, and tone of your LED lights, which changes the ambiance in your RV considerably. No one likes harsh lighting. Lower quality LED components often give a stark white or yellow tone which is not only unnatural but can be uncomfortable on the eyes. Switching to high-quality LEDs can make a huge difference. We know, because we’ve upgraded our own RV lighting to high-quality LEDs, and it’s a huge improvement that we’ve never regretted.
The Problem with Standard RV LED Lights
New RVs aren’t without issues, and the LED lights that come standard with newer RVs have some common problems.
To control costs, RV manufacturers often use the cheapest lights. Low-quality lights can lead to both short- and long-term problems. And when they fail, you’re most likely going to have to replace the whole fixture, not just the failed lighting component. Under warranty, that’s mostly just an inconvenience. But after that, you’ll be paying extra to replace parts that are still fine, just to get the light working again.
Another issue we have with factory-installed lights is that you have no choice in the color or brightness. We’ve always loved customizing our RV to fit our needs and preferences, and the LED lighting we use throughout the RV is no exception.
Fortunately, factory-installed RV LED lights are upgradable, which is what this post is all about! So let’s move on to the course of action we took in upgrading the lighting in our RV.
The Solution: M4 RV LED Replacement Lights
If you’re ready to replace your factory-installed RV LED lights or if you have conventional lighting and want to upgrade to LED lighting, we have the solution for you — the same one we’ve been using for years: M4.
M4 offers the best RV LED replacement lights we’ve ever seen. They’ve developed their high standards by working to make the user experience better and better over time, and they’ve succeeded.
Steve Malm, M4’s owner, is incredibly attentive and very helpful in responding to questions.
Here’s the ticket: Steve is a fellow RVer, and he designed quality products expressly to fit the unique lifestyle of those of us traveling in and living in RVs.
Many companies don’t provide information about finding the right color and brightness. You’re left guessing how your lights will look after you’ve paid for them. That can be a pricey guess, especially if you have to try multiple brands to find the right fit. M4’s website provides all of the necessary information for your purchase before you’ve set your money down.
Critical to M4’s success is the fact that their RV LED replacement lights are superior with regard to heat dissipation. Heat can damage your lights over time. But M4’s aluminum heat sinks help protect and extend the longevity of your lights.
M4 LEDs come in three unique color ranges: cool white, natural white, and warm white. M4 also offers various fixture options so you can decide what look you want in your home-on-wheels.
AND, most importantly, Steve offers options that specifically replace original factory-installed LED modules. You can use them to upgrade many of the standard brands of fixtures RV manufacturers use for their lights (like ITC, Command Electronics, and SunLink)… WITHOUT having to replace the entire fixture!
You can check them out on M4’s website, under the category “Better LEDs For Factory RV LED Fixtures“.
Should You Upgrade the Factory-Installed LEDs in Your RV?
If you’re reading this article, you’ve probably been thinking about replacement lighting for some time. Why wait? Especially since M4 is still offering a special double discount for RVgeeks viewers, good through the end of May, 2022.
But if you miss the special, you can still save using our regular discount code.
We’ve replaced virtually all of the incandescent, fluorescent, and halogen bulbs in our RV with high-quality M4 LEDs. In addition to the power savings while dry camping, we haven't had a single...Show More
We’ve replaced virtually all of the incandescent, fluorescent, and halogen bulbs in our RV with high-quality M4 LEDs. In addition to the power savings while dry camping, we haven't had a single LED bulb fail since upgrading.
Check out our M4 LED videos here
Use the discount code listed here to save 5% on your entire order!Show Less
We upgraded our entire rig to M4 LED lights and just love them. They use less power, last longer, create less heat, and have very pleasing color and tone. See our complete list of LED retrofit videos.
M4 LED lights are our choice because we like a high-quality, long-lasting product. If you’re thinking of giving your RV a lighting facelift, we highly recommend M4 RV LED replacement lights.
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Monday 15th of March 2021
Have you replaced any of the fixtures? Specifically wondering about any of the fluorescent tube lights Newmar used in the early/mid-2000s. In our case, the whole fixture is yellow and finding some suitable replacement LED fixtures is proofing to be a challenge.
Monday 15th of March 2021
Hi Jason. We haven't had to replace any of our existing fixtures (we upgraded the bulbs) and they still look OK. In all likelihood, your RV has the same Thin-Lite brand units our Mountain Aire came with. Thin-Lite DOES make LED versions of those exact lights (which SHOULD be a direct drop-in replacement for what you already have, but be sure to check measurements carefully). There's the LED412P (on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/30L4n7Y) that should replace the smaller fixtures with the 12" fluorescent bulbs (under the kitchen counter and in our toilet room on our floorplan) and the LED416P (also on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3bOiFLc) that should replace the larger 18" units (all the rest of our ceiling fluorescent lights in the living room, bathroom, and bedroom).
You could also take a look at some of the fixtures that M4 offers (https://m4products.com/light-fixtures/) to see if they're sized properly to cover the spot the old fixture was in. Just be aware that the M4 units appear to be Cool White, which might be brighter and/or "more clinical" than what you're replacing.