Saturday, December 30, 2017

Replacing Fluorescent Lights with LED Lights…

With Christmas past us we took advantage of the quiet time to install  a few new ceiling mounted LED lights. Since our RV is a bit older we still have a lot of fluorescent tube lights along the midline of our ceiling. There are four in the living room and two in both  the bathroom and bedroom. We have wanted an upgrade to LED for awhile..

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I found a nifty and quite inexpensive LED Light Fixture solution on Amazon which was a near equal footprint replacement for these older fluorescent lights. Although we don’t boondock a lot we do like to on occasion when we are out  west. Even in the east we have often pulled  into a casino or Cabela's for the night. Since we only have two house batteries and one 135 watt solar panel we felt it would be nice to have a nighttime lighting solution that would not  consume as much electricity thus conserving our batteries during boondocking.

I only ordered two of these lights to make sure they would work out and see if we would be happy with  their look, the  quality and the brightness of light emitted. Try Amazon Prime’s Discounted Monthly Offering. With Prime it meant the lights would be delivered in only two days which makes  having Amazon Prime great for that reason alone. Two day delivery is not so necessary when we are on extended stays like here but very important on shorter stays when we really need something delivered to us quickly..

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Once our new lights arrived, I removed  our existing  lights  by inserting a flathead screwdriver just under the opaque light cover to gently nudge it off its track so I could remove it exposing the two fluorescent light bulbs. Then I removed the two light bulbs to expose the four screws that attach the light fixture to the ceiling above.

After reading the reviews about our new lights (not all of which were favorable) I still decided that for a $20 replacement I would take the chance. One of the most common complaints was that the wire wouldn’t lay flush to the ceiling when mounted. However, after looking at the back of the light I saw a perfect “wire channel” in the back of the new fixture except that there was a small plastic stub preventing it from being used as such. Well I simply took my trusty power drill and used a drill bit to basically cut out the plastic. This left me with  a perfect wire  channel to stash the wires so the fixture would be flush to the ceiling. I simply used a piece of Gorilla Tape to secure them in the channel.

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Once the fixtures were screwed in all that remained was to cut the two wire leads that attach the light to the RV electricity. It is important to make sure the light switch is off (good idea is to tape it in the off position so it can’t inadvertently be flipped back on). Once it is off a small pair of wire cutters can be used to snip the wires. In my case one was red and one was black.

The new light had a red and black wire so I matched the red wires together and matched the black/white wires together. I then fastened  the matching wires with wire nuts making sure they were very secure. I had pre-drilled new holes on one of them to match the existing holes but for the second one since it replaced a slightly larger light I used the holes and self tapping screws to secure it to the ceiling.

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Once attached I installed the led bulbs and turned the power on.I really like these lights in that they have a switch for each bulb so I have the option of not using both lights at once. This is nice since the lights are a bit brighter than the ones I replaced. I slid the clear cover back on and now have two LED lights in our living room space.

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I must admit a preference for an opaque cover compared to the new light's clear cover but I am sure the clear cover allows more light to reach the floor. We feel it is just new and something we will get used to as they really aren’t that much different than before. I also had to return one light for a replacement as it came with a defective switch but Amazon's return policy is one of the best and one of the easiest to use. Heck they will even pick up the package and bring a preprinted label! Thanks, Amazon!.

Yep, we are pretty happy with these lights and look forward to how they impact our next boon docking experience on the Road of Retirement…

NOTE: We are now in our winter home for the next several months in Bonita Springs Florida at Imperial Bonita Estates RV park and Coop.

2 comments:

  1. Os the light as pleasing? We also installed LEDs and altho Fran does not light the brighter light I like it better. Easy way to gain a little more time off the grid.

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    1. the light is a bit brighter but has no off color - we love them!

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