There are multitudes of regular, old fashioned 12V bulbs in use in any given RV. Wedge bases, Pin bases, Screw in bases, Festoon bases, Bayonet bases...the list goes on and on. There's also the old power consumption champion, the fluorescent bulb. Every one of them can be replaced with a L.E.D. version.
That's where the choices begin, cool white, warm white, day light. Direct bulb replacement or flat plate, stick on style. Lumens, output, power, etc.
For me, I like the Warm White versions. Their color temperature is between 2700 and 3400 Kelvin. The lower the number the more "orange" in color the light is. The average regular bulb is around 3200K. While they put out slightly less light than the Cool White or Bright White versions I find it's more pleasing to look at. Especially when replacing regular bulbs or halogens. If you want a "bluer" light, more like daylight, then by all means go that way. Many people feel that it's a better task light. I agree it is better to work (and perhaps read) with a daylight (5600-6300k) bulb.
It is much easier now to find an L.E.D. bulb that has the same light output, measured in Lumens, than the original bulb.
Any way you look at it L.E.D. bubs will significantly reduce your power consumption over incandescent versions. They also generate a lot less heat for a given amount of light.
After replacing most of my incandescent bulbs with L.E.D. versions I started to look at my fluorescent fixtures.
|ThinLite 732 Fluorescent|
2.8 Amps is a lot of power when the other fixtures with LED's draw less than 1/10 the power! Yes, the fluorescents put out a lot of light (400 Lumens per fixture) but I found a way to have my cake and eat it too!
|Waterproof 5050 SMD strips|
You can cut and trim these to fit in your fixtures or other locations. They put out A LOT of light: They have self adhesive peel and stick backing.
I'm still coming up with creative places to install these. It's going to be hard to NOT turn my RV into an old style disco!
I decided to add these strips to my existing fixtures AND leave the fluorescent bulbs in place. I'll add a same-type rocker switch to the other side of the fixture so I can choose which one (or both) to activate.
Cost. Most L.E.D. bulbs do cost more than the existing old style bulb. However, they do last much longer and the benefits in power saving are large. If you are hooked up to shore power that may not be as critical to you as say, the folks that prefer boondocking. For example, the 5 meter (15 ft) roll of 5050 SMD L.E.D.s that I received cost around $28. I used about 10 feet to supplement all my fluorescents. Pretty much on par with the cost of the fluorescent bulbs. Another example, the BA-15R bayonet base led bulb was around 29 dollars, much higher than a regular 1141 bulb if I wanted to match the light output of the existing bulb. MUCH less expensive if I went with a slightly lower output.
Be Seeing You....Down The Road,
Rich "The Wanderman"