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Author Topic: Converting Interior Lighting To Low Power Warm LED Lighting, Very Affordable  (Read 857 times)
ron.dittmer
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Model: 2350 Ford
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« on: August 07, 2015, 02:18:21 pm »

This post replaces a large disorganized post in the general forum.

We own a 2007 2350 which was equipped with nine florescent light fixtures.   We never appreciated the ambiance they offer, and they resonate at times.  I wanted to convert the fixtures to warm emitting LED technology to improve the ambiance and reduce power.  Converting-versus-replacing was primarily chosen to control cost and to avoid imprints on the ceiling fabric and have old mounting holes visible from mounting different style fixtures.

The project is complete with results as follows.
- total investment to convert all nine fixtures was around $32 (~$3.50 per fixture)
- the original florescent fixtures used 9 watts of power, now converted to warm LED using less than half at 4.33 watts.
- added an LED night light into each of the 9 fixtures
- if not adding a night light, you can do this 9 fixture project quick and easy for only $12 ($1.33 per fixture)

How It Was Accomplished...

I bought two 5 meter long reels of self-sticking LED strips on ebay HERE for around $12 per reel.  I used only a little from the 2nd reel needed for the night light circuits.
LEDs are grouped in 3's with a shared resistor to power them.  You can see the the individual 3 yellow LEDs & 1 black resistor circuits here.


I bought 20 (but needed only 9) 3-way switches HERE for around $9.  They snap into the same hole as the original white colored 2-way switches.  The 3-ways were needed to also control the night-light.  No need to buy the switches if not adding the night light.  Just reuse the original switches.


Here is one of the nine original florescent fixtures with all the florescent components removed.  De-soldering of the switch from the circuit board was required.


Here is an assembled fixture with LED strips installed.  I selected the angled surfaces for they had a flat surface to bond to, and they aim the light better.


Note the 3-way switch in the center/off position.  Also note the tiny 3-LED night light circuit on the side.
The adhesive backed strips slowly peeled off over time at the ends, so I added a dab of clear silicone caulk on the ends (not seen) as an adhesive.  The LED strips now stay in place.


Here is a fully lit LED fixture.  They turned out to be too bright, lighting up the interior of the rig so much that it was hard on the eyes.  The contrast at night was just too much.  This fully-lit unit used 6 watts of electricity.


To reduce the brightness and power consumption, I disabled every 3rd LED group by de-soldering their associated chip resistor.  This reduced light and power by 28%.  I did this on all fixtures throughout the interior except over the bed.  The results were very good with each fixture using 4.33 watts of power.





This fixture has every-other group of 3-LEDs deactivated which reduced power & light by 45%, now using only 3.33 watts of power.  I did this only on the two fixtures under the hanging cabinets over the bed.  Given the smaller area, they provide better lighting for reading and such.  It is also much nicer just laying in bed facing less light.





Here is the single circuit 1/3 watt night light.  It is more than a glow, but much less light than this picture illustrates.
If this picture was true to reality, I would have mounted only two circuits, one on each end for a 2/3 watt light fixture. Smile


------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Another LED conversion to reduce power by 90% was very simple by replacing standard bulbs with equivalent LED bulbs.  Unfortunately I don't remember the cost, but it wasn't cheap.  I bought 3-twin packs and replaced all my regular bulbs throughout the rig, both inside and outside.  I figure it's best to do all in case I accidentally left one on for example, the outdoor storage compartment or at the Sanicon.


Here is our porch light with new LED.  Inside the fixture, I got even more light than before by adding reflective industrial aluminum to better reflect the light outward.  It is extra "outward directional" light so it's not blinding when standing underneath it.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2016, 08:10:39 am by ron.dittmer » Logged

Ron & Irene Dittmer, 2007 Model 2350 Without A Slideout
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« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2015, 02:48:21 pm »

Ron, do you have a picture of the wire diagram?   We have a 2006 2551 and I would like to do the same changes to my lights.  pcgreen
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ron.dittmer
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« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2015, 05:14:41 pm »

I did not draw up a wiring diagram, but it is very easy.  I don't think you need one when not including a night light.

1) reusing your original switch, solder a wire to the switch and run it outside the fixture to the hot wire (with wire nut) in your PC.
2) solder a wire from the other side of the switch to the "+" connection on each light strip.  You can daisy chain them.
3) solder a wire to the "-" side of the two strips and run it outside the fixture to the negative wire (with wire nut) in the PC.

When soldering to the switch, consider being consistent in regards to which way the switch goes on, and which way goes off.  Since some fixtures have the switch to the left and others to the right, I made sure the lights go on when toggling toward me, and off when toggling away from me.  But that is getting a bit particular.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2015, 05:16:24 pm by ron.dittmer » Logged

Ron & Irene Dittmer, 2007 Model 2350 Without A Slideout
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« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2015, 08:29:28 pm »

Thanks Ron, that helps a lot.   I sure enjoy your input on the forum.   Thanks again,  pcgreen
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ron.dittmer
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« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2015, 10:25:12 pm »

You are very welcome.
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Ron & Irene Dittmer, 2007 Model 2350 Without A Slideout
ron.dittmer
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PCPC
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Helpful Rating: 222
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OwnPC: Yes
NewUsed: New
PurchDate: June 2007
Model: 2350 Ford
ModelYear: 2007
Slide: No
IntColor: Green&Gray Cherry
ExtColor: Full Body Gray
Location: West Dundee, IL
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« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2016, 08:36:55 am »

Hi All,

It has been a few years since I converted my fixtures.  I wanted to provide an update.

They are great.  We enjoy clean warm light and we also appreciate all the little night lights which we use for mood lighting about the rig.  If all 9 night lights are turned on, they use less energy than one regular LED light.  So we turn on fewer regular lights.  I can tell the difference in power consumption compared to the florescent lights.  The quality of light is a huge improvement with how we feel in our PC at night.

I do have one recommendation, a deviation from my original post.  Unless you have an eye condition that requires more light, I advise to make all fixtures the way I did for the ones over our bed.  Make all fixtures with the 6 tiny pod units, none with the 4 large pods.  This done only to save more energy.  Though the large 4 pod units provide the right amount of light, the 6 tiny pod ones do too, just a little less light.  The difference in brightness is not enough to say one wins over the other.  Then why not save the energy?  One day if I ever get bored at home during the winter, I will convert my 4 big pod lights into the 6 tiny pod ones like I have over our bed.  It involves moving those little resistors around by desoldering and resoldering which should not be a big deal.

Ron
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Ron & Irene Dittmer, 2007 Model 2350 Without A Slideout
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