Wednesday, May 11, 2011

RV Lighting LED replacement for halogen G4 base bulbs

Lower your electric consumption using LED lights in your RV!

I've always wondered why there are light bulbs being sold with just two pointy leads coming out their base end. It turns out those have a name and an application.

First off, let me show off where the application is located in my RV. In our 2010 Open Range 399BHS we have a pots and pan hanging rack over an island (pretty cool). Inside that rack which the view you have is looking up at the ceiling, there exists three small recessed lights.

Each of these recessed lights contains a G4 halogen bulb. I'm pretty sure that these are 10Watt bulbs. The fixture itself is round of course with two VERY small holes. I don't think you can mount the bulb wrong with these prongs. To remove I :

  • Turned the black cover counter clockwise about 1/3 of a rotation. It just dropped off.
  • Pulled the bulb straight out.

RV recessed lighting that typically uses a Halogen G4 base Bulb - Ripe for LED replacement

Below, you'll see the original 10W Halogen I removed from the fixtures. On the right, you'll see the LED replacements I ordered.

On the LED replacement there are 6 High Intensity LED's mounted and on the backside some circuitry that makes sure that the 12V RV power is at the correct voltage for the LED's as well as fix a little problem LED's have. The problem is that while the Halogen does not care which way it goes in, the LED's do, so the circuitry is added to make sure the LED's don't care. Its a very long electrical engineering talk to explain, but just know that all LED replacements must have a little circuitry in them.

To replace :
  • I simply made sure that the LED's (the yellow things) were point out as they give off the light.
  • I them pressed the two prongs into the holes in the fixture where the original halogen bulb was
  • I then put the lens on and twisted 1/3 turn clockwise.

So - how did they perform. They were OK as a replacement. They were not as bright as the halogen in my mind, but they do perform admirably.

One important note : I noted that the halogen bulbs get very, very, very hot and that in the ceiling with the insulation and little bug dust that I feel the halogen are a fire hazard. The LED lights COMPLETELY reduce the fire hazard risk to a very, very low level. I would recommend the LED lights for halogen bulb replacement. If possible, get MORE than 6 LED's on the board for a better replacement. However, there are probably brighter LED"s available too.

RV lighting : On the left a G4 base halogen 10W bulb - On the right G4 base LED putting out same amount of light

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