Monday, April 12, 2010

RV Electrical : Outdoor Light Bulb

[ Updated with clarifications ]

From RV Park Review videos, RV basics, and travel stories with Sheri and Marlan

One of the interesting and NEAT things about an RV is that everything on one hand is simpler (maybe) and everything is different from what you might know about lighting based on a typical house or car.

For example, an RV has a DC (direct current) system (simpler) and a familiar AC (alternating current) system. I find it interesting to learn which is used in different ways.12V DC lighting is probably the most obvious use of the DC system. You can run off the rv battery without power or a generator for your rv lights (and hot water ignition, water pressure via rv water pump, and finally your refrigerator).

Recently, we had a light bulb burn out in our 'porch'. Well, really, that was the light that goes under neath the awning and would be an outside light for when you have guests over and are sitting outside but don't want to be in the dark.

My (uneducated) expectation would be that the light was a normal light bulb. However, when I took off the cover or diffuser, I was somewhat surprised to see a little tiny 'baby' bulb which is I have pictured.

That is a 12 Volt DC bulb which is really widely available in any automotive section in Target or Walmart. So it was cheap and easy to replace (Sylvania 1141 LL). To replace, it is simply a press-twist-release and then push the bulb in - twist - and let up. The twist-in rv lights are called bayonet style lights. By the way, you can find excellent replacement rv led lights that have bayonet connections. Oh and put back on the diffuser. 

My assumption is that DC was chosen so you could have a tiny bit of rv outdoor lighting while on battery. At least that makes sense to me. Most of the lighting is DC.

Which brings me to another idea. RV's will be great candidates for using rv LED lighting which will provide a nice degree of added luminance at really no cost in power. More on that later!

1 comment:

BBC said...

Four Radio Shack LED bulbs, part number 276-0017, wired in two groups of four in series would make a good porch light and use a lot less power than that bulb you selected.

It would cost you eight bucks to make it but I would last your lifetime.