Thursday, June 23, 2011

Replacing RV Incandescent Light Fixture with LED Light Fixture

It's EASY to modify your RV to reduce your lighting power consumption by UP to 75-85% over your current lighting.

It's EASY to do.

Background articles on RV Lighting

Before going further, read my starting article on all of the different types of RV lighting that exist - it's quite amazing at all the lighting apps there are for an RV.

You don't have to change an entire fixture, you can change the RV bulbs from incandescent to led by simply swapping out the bulbs with an LED made to fit in the fixture.

Changing an entire RV Light Fixture

I wanted to swap out an entire RV light fixture.


  1. Because I have never changed a fixture.
  2. Because the LED lights I was examining required a custom fixture.
  3. Because the current fixtures were too hot with standard 921 incandescent lights.

Tools you will need to replace your RV Light Fixture

Steps to change your RV Light Fixture

Replacement RV Light Fixture w/ Bezel
On the left, you'll see the fixture I bought. This fixture has a custom fit to the LED light that is in it. Therefore a straight LED replacement won't make sense for this fixture. I wanted to try this different size LED light so I just ordered the fixture. Replacement RV lighting fixtures are about $10 or so. The link is an Amazon link to purchase a fixture so you can see what I'm saying.
Here I'm showing the same light fixture with the Bezel attached. Don't get this without the Bezel. I bought this from LED Trailer lights DOT com.

It is a little bit hard to see, but there are 25 white LED's in their light. This allows them to user CHEAPER individual LED's instead of more expensive LED's with higher light output. Since a good benchmark for LED's is that 10-15 will replace a standard 921, you can see that they doubled the amount of LED's to get about the same light. This means that the LED's they used are less than 1/2 as bright as the industry standard led light (as of this writing). That might be a good trade-off - If you have control of the plastic FIXTURE - like this project does have.

If you pop off the plastic diffuser (the plastic thing that helps spread the light everywhere) you'll see there are screws you can unscrew.

Go ahead and unscrew them!

Old RV light fixture held on only by wires

Here the screws are unfastened.

My "wire nuts" - the things holding the fixture to the RV wires - did not come unscrewed - they were crimped.

So I simply clipped the wires on this OLD fixture (not the RV wires - the ones going into the fixture) and then stripped the insulation back about 1/2 inch.
I went ahead and wired in the new RV light fixture.

New RV LED based light fixture almost installed

Now you can connect your new RV light fixture.

In case you are wondering ... you fasten black wires to black wires and white to white.

Now I simply screwed in the four screws which I "borrowed" from the old fixture. These don't need to be long or strong as the fixture is very light weight and the RV wall/ceiling materials are not very thick.

RV Lighting : LED lights on the left - Incandescent on the right

Here is the final project.

The LED lights put out a much cleaner light. Since this is above the headboard on the bedroom, the area is NOTICEABLY cooler using the LED's.

You can see the Incandescent light on the right.

My wife loves her new LED light fixture.

Conclusions on swapping your RV Light Fixtures

  • Swapping light fixtures is easy.
  • Anyone can do it with a screwdriver and wire stripper/wire cap
  • Get the fixtures you want.
  • the LED lights are awesome - we love them.
  • The new fixture has a better button placement.
  • What are you waiting for!!!
If you are nervous tearing into your RV's electrical, here is a highly ranked book on Amazon you can get :

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