Lighting concerns

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Lighting concerns

Postby jonesnforcampin » Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:54 pm

Hey all my boss makes led lighting for truckers and rvs. I told him about teardrop campers and he asked what r some of your lighting concerns. So other than price what can you come up with . Anything from how it installs to were you most need extra or better lighting .

Thanks!
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Re: Lighting concerns

Postby GuitarPhotog » Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:05 pm

All the lighting in my teardrop is LED. What I want is brighter light at less power and cheaper, i.e., more lumens per watt per dollar. Simple as that.

When I installed my lighting, I used marine fixtures from West Marine. They failed in an annoyingly short time. I have replaced them with puck lights from www.superbrightleds.com. My only issue with the puck lights is they don't have a local switch, which those from West Marine had.

I think you'll find that most, if not all, teardroppers are using LED lighting. This isn't something new.

My $0.02 worth

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Re: Lighting concerns

Postby Socal Tom » Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:53 pm

I'm using an LED replacement bulb in my cabin, and LED strip lights ( IKEA Dioder x2) in my galley area. I also have some Solar LED motion sensing lights on the sides. I recently upgraded my TV to use LED headlamps ( projection style). As long as people know where to find them, I think they are happy to use LEDs and reduce the power demands.
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Re: Lighting concerns

Postby jonesnforcampin » Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:43 pm

Thank you for your 2 sence. :D . We replaced our old bulbs with LEE'S too. My husband want them to be less expensive .
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Re: Lighting concerns

Postby Cosmo » Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:33 pm



I still sometimes spot a rare camper with an incandescent flash light, and film camera with a pocket full of flash bulbs trying to find their way back to their cave. I usually put down the glass and ask my guest what year it is.

When I took deliver of my trailer I replaced 2 incandescent porch lights (one port and one starboard) on my teardrop (the only incandescent on board) with an LED replacement bulb.

The incandescent bulb drew 1.25 amps. The replacement LED bulb only drew .25 amps (1/5 the energy) and produced about 20% more light. I went from 2.5 amps an hour to .5 amps an hour when lighting the outside lights. I use them setting up camp on a late arrival. Inside the trailer is all warm whit LED lighting. Easy on the eyes when I need to tone it down and bight enough for projects when I need it.

Red lighting for preserving night vision, stealth, bugs or when the girls are working. I use an old AA Mini Mag light with a Niteize red LED conversion thingy that is super bright red. I have used it many time at Astronomy gatherings. Also sets good mood lighting when needed.

I love LEDs ESPECIALLY when paired with a dimmer.

Only negative on LEDS is they produce RF (Radio Frequency) noise. I can hear them if the Audio entertainment is too close to the light. Especially when trying to pull in a weak radio station (AM or FM).

On that subject USB adapters (12V to 5V) are the biggest RF noise generators on board. You can forget Broadcast radio if these 12V to 5V things are plugged in and jamming the frequencies. I charge my USB stuff when I am not using audio entertainment equipment. If you have an RF noise problem in the trailer or galley, try unplugging these filthy little buggers.

My only defense so far for RF noise is to carry a huge MP3 music and podcast library on a tictac sized 64GB storage "stamp" for the gum stick sized MP3 player to enjoy when I have to charge crap when I need entertainment. The direct connect (wire not Bluetooth) is unaffected by the RF noise - so far.

I get my visuals from nature, night sky and companions - no TV on board (horrors). I do pack a tablet for a video fix if I need it.

=Cosmo
Last edited by Cosmo on Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:18 pm, edited 31 times in total.


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Re: Lighting concerns

Postby Shadow Catcher » Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:27 pm

10037959508 All of our lights are LED all are marine.
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Re: Lighting concerns

Postby bdosborn » Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:02 pm

I wish someone would sell a good LED light, something with a Cree emitter, 2700K color temperature and an 80 or higher CRI...
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Re: Lighting concerns

Postby KTM_Guy » Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:43 pm

I would like to see low profile flush mount cabin and porch leds with dimmers and on-off switches. The darker it is the less light you need. I find most leds are way to bright.

The other is a high led break light that would mount high on the hatch and be at the right angle so the light isn't facing up.


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Re: Lighting concerns

Postby Esteban » Fri Dec 01, 2017 4:07 am

:thumbsup: I bought LED reading lights with built-in dimmers and a blue night light from marinebeam.com. Marinebeam sells a big selection of LED light fixtures and LED replacement light bulbs. Several light fixtures provide two, or more, lighting colors. I bought light fixtures that can be switched between white or red light to use in the sleeping cabin's ceiling and under the galley hatch.

Where you see "choose options" under a fixture's description is where you often can choose your preferred color(s) of the light.

Marinebeam LED lights have chips that control the current without creating Electro-Magnetic-Interference (EMI) This link describes how they work: http://store.marinebeam.com/controlling-emi-1/

This Youtube demonstrates the reading lights I bought.
http://store.marinebeam.com/3w-led-bulk ... h-dimming/
Last edited by Esteban on Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Lighting concerns

Postby bdosborn » Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:19 pm

Boom, there it is. Thanks for the link, I'll probably be buying on or two or these...

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Re: Lighting concerns

Postby Pinstriper » Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:20 pm

Pretty much all been said.

My TD came to me with incandescent fixtures (1 porch, one OH dome, one wall, all switched on the fixture).

I replaced all 3 with LED and corrected the jacked up wiring.

Do I wish I had dimmers...yeah probably.

Beyond that, I suppose my aspirational requirement statement would be "I would like adjustably bright lights with power consumption characteristics so low that it can be ignored".

Since the only things in my TD that can consume the battery are these 3 lights, plus a 12v lighter socket, I guess I'm in the situation where lower power draw = more time I can ignore my consumption.

Move the point at which I have to worry about battery recharging/capacity out, while driving the cost down (I think my new fixtures were all under $15, so they were already so low that I didn't bother remembering what they cost), and then make the lifespan so long that it is a once-per-life purchase.
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Re: Lighting concerns

Postby Cosmo » Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:45 am

Hard to think of a camping technology that is evolving faster than lighting.

Galley motion detector "curtesy light" was a great addition for me. Adds that Je Nous Se Qua. https://youtu.be/mg_EOcn_iCs

If I was starting over I would consider LED strip lighting. You can put it anywhere easily and quickly and cut to the exact length you need. Takes up zero space and eliminates the fixture. https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R ... t&_sacat=0

I installed 12V LED tape lights in my home living room and home office to learn more about it (experimental - not primary lighting). It installs super quick (peal and stick). Just connect the positive and negative (with a press fit connector) and cut with a scissor (at the right spot which is marked every few inches). I used an AC to 12V power gizmo at home. Mine has a 3m tape backing. You could staple it if you are careful.

It comes in a totally waterproof (submersible) version which is sealed in silicone. Not all LEDS are Dimmable You have to check when purchasing. Comes in many color temps and even multicolor. Might be nice for galley hatch lighting.

Keeping it simpler and for portable lighting I like the white Luminoodle (non dimmable) for lighting up the dinner table. https://www.amazon.com/Luminoodle-Origi ... luminoodle

I am not crazy about the dimmable color Luminoodle - The warm white color setting on the color seems not quite right. When you sweep your eyes with that light you see individual colors that they are blending to make the warm white. Maybe I am fussy but it tells my brain something unnatural is going on.

Copper wire lights - I was a sceptic at first - but after using them a few times I now carry 2 strings in the trailer in case I need them. I use them if I need soft lighting under the canopy. These baby's run 168 hours continuously (7 days) on 3 AA batteries Nice soft lighting I have used these at home in power outages, tested while tent camping. Its good for camp lighting and very cheap - better than candles. Creates a nice mood. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01J7 ... UTF8&psc=1

The good news is most LEDs do not attract bugs because they do not output UV. I have read this - but the bugs still show up.

=Cosmo


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Re: Lighting concerns

Postby LMarsh » Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:10 pm

No enough choices in stainless steel. Most bezels are fake chrome plastic or too ugly to be on a teardrop.

Also according to DOT regulations you need reflex reflectors in the appropriate places. I'm pretty sure many teardrops, even manufactured ones, either don't have them or they're hard to spot in the photos from their websites. The lenses on most LED marker and stop/tail/turn are not reflective like they were in the old incandescent ones. I have no clue why they're not but I had a hard time finding some that did. Again the plastic lenses on almost every LED light I looked at do not serve the dual function of being reflectors. The obvious easy solution is to use a stick on reflector, but if you're building a teardrop with style who wants a sticker reflector?
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Re: Lighting concerns

Postby LMarsh » Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:19 pm

I also second KTM_guy with the high brake light that can be seen at the proper angle when mounted on the curved profile of a teardrop. Mainly a red LED that can be used up on top for either the triple marker lights required for trailers over 80" wide or as a third brake light. I looked at truck cab roof lights which almost worked, but they were all like yellow, orange, "amber" or whatever, never red. Well, maybe I did find a few red ones but they were ugly and bulbous or something. I'm kind of OCD on my projects. I never did find suitable stainless steel stop/turn/tail that I liked, just a pair with cheap plastic bezels.
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