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affordable LED light

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#21 Dollytrolley


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Posted 16 January 2016 - 10:13 AM

I have jumped in and bought a bunch of great seeing LED mats with adhesive and they were great for a short while until after the small amount of heat caused the double sided tape to roll up and release and then I had mats of 48 bulbs on the lenses. not good. I ordered a single 6000k k bulb for the oddball ceiling lights in the slide and they were horribly blue. These from Amazon have gotten quite a few good reviews. I bought enough to replace all the LEDs I bought previously. So far so good http://www.amazon.co...uct_top?ie=UTF8


But read the reviews and a few folks say they have RF issues the rest, like me, none.


On those first ones I ordered ten more for $14.99 after I found we liked the color and the brightness of the first batch, and they took forever to get here, and then all turned out to be junk from the git go. They strobed, or overheated, and I mean turning the adhesive brown. Same distributor and total junk.


My advice is to never buy the double sided tape ones.


I had no issue installing them but the RV got little use as we moved into the new house only a month after getting the new ones. I bought 20 but lost $30 with the first two orders of the 48 LED double sided tape ones.


However since I received mine last September, the same product from the same people is a gamble. We switched all our new house bulbs to daylight 4000-5000 k bulbs and they are bright! Cost about $150. Prices are coming down and I bought 12 of the 2700 warm LED bulbs to see if my wife truly wants the daylight bulbs that I find to be like 4 foot daylight, not blue at all, fluorescents.


I prefer warm so with the ;lower prices now, I'll bite the bullet and replace them all.


There is a learning curve for the picky folks like me that aren't afraid to say they got it wrong the first time, and can afford to get more. I bough twice on the RV LEDs and twice more in the house decorative vanity and can lights in the kitchen and hall. She says she prefers the daylight and I say she will change her mind once she sees the brightness of the soft white bulbs. I doubt I'll have much trouble selling them on Craigslist locally for half price and chalk the rest up to getting it right. I will have then l.ost $30 on the RV and $75 on the house after all is said and done.


Caveat Emptor. The LEDs, once right temp and Lumens are much better than incandescent, any way you slice them. For me the only way is to get some and see. I have found the Chinese specs to be 180 degrees from one order of the cheaper ones to another.


I am not recommending the ones I got, I only offer a starting point along with all the others. See they could be another product entirely today. LED Prices and design are changing faster than warehouses here and pricing can keep up. For home LEDs I prefer to stick with TCL or another known manufacturer/distributor's branding.

X 2 RV


Of course the dbl-sticky-tape has been letting mankind down from the fist day it was ever used and the temps of large array LEDs are a prime example of what NOT to use the tape for.......


We have some very nice 48 array LEDs that we simply love in the kitchen and living room mostly for reading and then some 6 array leds in the second light position in the std RV overhead light fixture.....what we have found works well to hold the 48 array PCB units in the fixture is "Glass-mirror-wall-mount" brackets that you can get at many hardware stores. Simply place the mounts at the edge of the PCB and drill a small pilot where the mount hole needs to be and then secure with a small sheet metal screw....


Drive on..........(Let the light be with you........)

Edited by Dollytrolley, 16 January 2016 - 10:14 AM.

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#22 RV


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Posted 16 January 2016 - 02:05 PM

I would have had the second batch been good. But they were all defective within an hour. They overheated the tape turning it brown and shrunk up into a ball. I feared for a fire. LEDs are supposed to be cooler and those in the second shipment was a very muddy yellow, half the brightness of the first batch, and became way too hot. I have a pack of ten still unopened. It was junk. Had I ordered 20 the first time I would have had all I needed and kept them.


I tried the ones in the link above. Much better, perfect color, very bright, never more than warm, and no double sided tape.


I cut my losses and bought twenty of the ones in the link., 2 orders of ten and that filled all my fixtures on my little 28.5 foot fiver.


We also decided to replace all the lights in the new house with LEDs. Lots of can lights and plain overheads in the bathrooms and entry lights. We bought what were called daylight, 4.5k-5k color, and they are not blue at all. Very bright and daylight. More like office daylight fluorescents but without the color distortion. 12 are spotlight can lights that used 65 watt indoor spots. The spotlight LED bulbs are 8.5 watts each versus 65 watts for the incandescent bulbs that came with the house. Funny but we also had all fluorescent bulbs 40, 60, 75, 100 watt, and candelabra fan lights from the old house all still good in every size and shape. Despite the cost I decided to order 2700k soft white. The regular 40 watt vanity lights came in while I was typing this. I took a break and replaced the daylight LED bulbs with the new 2700k soft whites and it confirmed that I want to spend the extra bucks on a second  replacement of the rest in soft white.


If the RV LED lights I now have last as long as the trailer, maybe another 15 years with part time use, I'll have gotten my money's worth.


The trouble with the eBay and online discount sellers is that two orders of the same to test the waters, might, like mine, go from terrific to not even serviceable.


Like SSDs, quality LEDs are just now coming into use as they are coming down fast in price. They only way to know your color preference is to live with them for a week, with the exception of the "cool"  blue white ones, it may take a replacement or two to be happy. Remember these are rated at 22-24 years life. That is a long time to not be happy with the lighting over a couple hundred bucks.


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#23 Shadow Catcher

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Posted 24 February 2016 - 08:13 PM

All of the lights in our teardrop are marine fixtures using a G4 two pins on the side. All of them have LED arrays but I wanted to have some spares so found on Ebay 10 for 10$ from China including shipping warm (3200K) G4 arrays. Since I had them I decided to experiment and see what it would take to destroy one, how much over voltage could they tolerate. I connected two 12V gel cells (Battery back up for the computer) in series with a PWM DC DC variable buck converter to regulate voltage. I started out at 12V and took it up to 23V at which point two of the SMD's unsoldered themselves from the circuit board.

No real disadvantage in going cheap.  

#24 Dennis M

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Posted 24 February 2016 - 09:15 PM

Before buying new batteries or LEDs here is good place to start learning about your 12 volt system:


The 12 Volt Side of Life

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#25 Tom_M


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Posted 29 June 2016 - 10:25 AM

I started out at 12V and took it up to 23V at which point two of the SMD's unsoldered themselves from the circuit board.

No real disadvantage in going cheap.  

The ones I bought on eBay are rated up to 30 volt. They can handle this voltage because they have voltage regulation circuitry. Ones that are rated for 12 volt only have no regulation. One disadvantage of the regulated lamps is they tend to generate RF interference which can create havoc for TV reception.



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#26 scouserl41


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Posted 30 June 2016 - 07:37 AM

Our "Cheap" LED's installed in http://banbrv.blogsp...y-day-leds.html 2 years ago are working great. Used every day with voltages that ranged from almost dead flat batteries to fully charged and on shore power. They've been rattled, shaken and left burning for months at a time (the exterior light got left on all winter).

And no RF interference!


Edited by scouserl41, 30 June 2016 - 07:37 AM.

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#27 mrschwarz


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Posted 02 July 2016 - 12:11 AM

Our "Cheap" LED's installed in http://banbrv.blogsp...y-day-leds.html 2 years ago are working great. Used every day with voltages that ranged from almost dead flat batteries to fully charged and on shore power. They've been rattled, shaken and left burning for months at a time (the exterior light got left on all winter).

And no RF interference!



Ours, too. I look for watts and color. I buy cheap enough that if I screw up and they don't have the right color or light output, I replace them with others. I have paid as little as $0.28 ($2.87 on Ebay with free shipping) for 12 volt LEDs. I don't look for variable voltage or dimmable. In my four years full-timing, not a single one has failed. They are everywhere except closets and in the hatches. Those are not on long enough to justify replacing the bulbs. When the incandescents fail, I replace them with one of the reject LEDs.


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#28 Legendsk


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Posted 03 July 2016 - 11:58 AM

Another perspective on the efficiency of LEDs. . .

For every $1 of electricity you get $0.10 worth of light and $0.90 worth of heat with incandescent light bulbs and with LEDs, $1.00 worth of light and negligible a amount of heat.


So in the winter when you are heating anyway, the LEDs aren't really 90% more efficient, because you were going to buy that heat anyhow.  In the summer when you are air-conditioning, you not only have to pay the power company $0.90 to deliver that heat to you, you then have to pay them again (around $0.23) to take it back out.  So the LEDs are more like 115% more efficient than incandescent in the summer.  I reckon on a year-round average the LEDs are around 90% more efficient, but if you only use the RV in the summer, they are really a little better than that.


To me, the savings in electrictiy is not as significant as other factors.  In the case of RVs where 12v is converted up to 120v to run fluorescent bulbs, the bulbs are really cheap and fluorescent is much more efficient than incandescent.  The problem is the ballast or converter in the fixture which seem to fail about as often as the bulbs and are a pain to repair or expensive to replace.  I'm a little put off by the charred area in the ballast when it fails, although in all fairness, I haven't seen one actually catch fire.


On the other hand I have had two CFL bulbs start a fire around the base of the bulb when they failed.  I happened to be close to the fixture when they failed, killed the power and put out the fire with no problem, but if I would not have been right there at the time of failure, could have easily turned in to a major fire.  At this point, I wouldn't consider putting a CFL in my RV.


As the ballasts fail, I am replacing with LEDs, but not as a priority expecting the electricity savings to be significant.

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#29 Stanley P. Miller

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Posted 03 July 2016 - 03:55 PM

When buying CFL bulbs the brand really matters, a lot of the stuff we see here is quite dangerous. They may have gotten a UL label or it may be fake, even if real what they submitted for testing may not be what you are buying.


Same thing for a lot of electronic gear we see today, switches, GFIs and breakers are all worth a bit of extra care when you are shopping.


You see the same thing in other areas, bolts marked "high strength" but that snap under load and the like so shop carefully.

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