Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Incredibly Small, Incredibly Bright LED COB Lights!

See The Older Fog Lights IN The Lower Grill Opening?
    You know the old joke, "How can you tell when an electronics manufacturer is successful? They move to a SMALLER shop!" Well, it's true. As technology marches on, most devices become smaller and smaller, requiring less power and often provide increased performance. LEDs are a good example. First it was flashlights...then automotive/RV bulbs, then home bulbs. Recently I wanted to add some additional light to the front of my RV. Something like driving or fog lights. I wanted very low power consumption and easy to mount. I looked at all the available LED lights for cars and they were just too big to mount without some major surgery on my vehicle. I could have just mounted them UNDER the front bumper, but that's ugly and a bit too close to the ground for my taste. Then I stumbled upon these beauties. Amazing is a good description.

Tiny Magical Lights!
First, since I wasn't really sure they would even be marginally bright enough I didn't want to spend lots of money on a possible failure. But at only $6.00 for each pair (I've since seen them for less on most auction sites) they would work for just experimenting with the technology. Anyone familiar with LEDs remembers they used to be a single rounded end cylinder with power leads. You wanted more light, you had more little LEDs. Then came the SMD style. Those have little squares mounted in different configurations on different bulb bases. The more of the squares you had the brighter the light. Now comes the COB style. That stands for Chip On Board. There are no gaps and the entire flat area will light up. They can be any size or shape. The bigger they are, the more power they draw, the more light they produce. Simple. They are VERY efficient at producing light. The 9 Watts these use at 12 Volts creates a whopping 600 Lumens of light! A 55W Halogen light will produce 1400 Lumens by comparison. Since they are so small, you can mount MANY of these. I found that the 9W ones, one to a side, were plenty for fog light duty.

Only ONE Is Lit!
To install these, all you need is a 5/8" drill bit and some wiring connectors. They have a negative (can be attached to any convenient ground) and a positive, which will connect to a positive through a switch. For only 18W of power, a relay really isn't necessary. You could set it up to switch on with your other lights or ones you've already installed as extras or just add another tiny switch. Well, after you decide where you want them mounted (this took me the longest!) you drill the hole, remove the nut from the threaded bulb assembly, thread the wires through the hole and screw the nut on the back. Connect up the wiring and you are done! No brackets, no fuss.

These things are so useful (and easy to install) I am going to put a set on the back (and maybe sides too!) of the RV with separate switches to illuminate all sides so I can accomplish things in the dark. They are so inexpensive and useful, your imagination is really the only limit to their uses! Be Creative!

Be Seeing You...Down The Road,

Rich "The Wanderman"

Editor: Here's a link to some of these lights at Amazon.


  1. 85 cents each, free ship, in several colors here:

  2. Wolfe!
    Awesome sale I just ordered 20 pair of them!

    Thank you!,

    Rich "The Wanderman"


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