RV interior led lights are one of the fastest, most affordable updates you can make to your recreational vehicle. In this post, I will share a quick and easy guide to choosing the perfect interior RV lights that will be sure to last for years to come. If you’ve ever wanted to update your lights this simple step by step approach is for you! First, let’s start with a little background.
What is an LED RV interior light?
LED stands for: light-emitting diode. LED lights have been around since the early 1960’s but until recently the bulbs were fragile and expensive. LED lights give a bright, rich light without consuming a lot of electricity. LED’s are also much safer than traditional bulbs as they emit little to no heat. (in other words, you aren’t going to burn your fingertips if you touch it)
Most recreational manufacturers did not install LED’s as RV interior lights until recent years. Interior LED lights were too expensive. The good news is, today any RV owner can update their personal lighting with a huge variety of affordable LED options.
Why LED RV Lights an affordable investment:
If you own a motor home or trailer, you know just how important it is to keep your electrical usage low. RV parks usually ask rig owner to pay for electricity along side their space rent. Electric rates vary across the country. Using the average of .14 cents a kilowatt, the cost of running your lights can add expense. If you are boon docking (dry camping, off grid) managing your electrical usage is crucial.
Low wattage LED lights can offer hours of comfortable illumination. Imagine clean, bright light without draining your battery or your solar reserves.
Just how much energy will I save?
The average 60 incandescent watt bulb will cost $4.80 cents to run over a period of a year. Most bulbs will average 1,000 hours of use. In comparison, a 12 W LED light (the kind used in RV’s) will cost a mere $1.00 to run. This LED bulb will work for up to 25,000 hours providing the same volume of light as its incandescent friend.
Many recreational vehicles have fluorescent or halogen lights in their interior. While fluorescent and halogen lights are more efficient they often give “tainted” light. Tainted lights often distorts and makes things seem either yellow or green. Halogen lights run hot and while more cost-effective than an incandescent bulb they will burn your light fixture or ceiling over time. If you prefer fluorescent style fixtures look for LED copy cats such as LED Tube lights to replace your current old fashion bulb. You can also update to an all new LED Tube Light fixture produced by Thin-Lite and available at Amazon.com
Ok, take a moment to count your rv interior lights….yep that’s what I thought. There’s a ton of them. By replacing your old lights with new LED rv lights in the interior of your unit, you will save a bundle over time.
Now that you know WHY you need new LED lights here’s HOW to buy them WITHOUT all the hassle.
Step #1: First, Choose The Correct LED RV Lights For Your Interior:
Examine the base of your bulb. Some original bulbs will single filaments while others will have a pin. Examine your current bulb and use a simple conversion chart to decide which LED light is right for your rig.
M4Products provides an image based cheat sheet that can help you get started.
Be sure to take note of the number on the bulb or on the light fixture.
Step #2: Second, Choose The Right Color For You:
Believe it or not, light varies in color and this variation can affect your RV interior. In this chart you can see how the light spectrum varies. For simplification let’s divide your choices into three colors. You can choose natural light, cool light or warm light.
Natural light feels like sunlight. It is a combination most like walking in the sun.
Cool light is oftentimes the brightest light and appears the most white.
Warm light offers a gentle “blush” and provides a traditional interior color.
Step #3: Third, Choose Quality Components:
All LED bulbs are not created equal so reading product reviews and speaking to LED providers is an important step. While you can buy LED lights on sites like Ebay and Overstock, you may not always know what you are getting. Buyer Beware! This is where some basic research can go a long way. Consider trolling RV forums on the topic of RV Interior LED Lights and see what other owners are recommending. Amazon also offers a great variety of LED bulbs with accessible reviews and an easy return policy.
Here are a few places you might begin your search:
Step #4: Finally, Ask Some Questions:
- Was this light designed specifically for RV use?
- Is it rated with the correct voltage for RV use? (usually 10-30)
- Does the light use aluminum heat sinks for longer RV life?
Taking the time to talk to an LED RV light expert can help you make the correct decision the first time around. Don’t skimp on the research. You don’t want to buy bulbs all the time (that’s the point right?) so do the research now and find the right bulb for your current fixtures.
Feeling creative? Here are a few other ways to merge LED lights into your rig:
Decorative Interior LED RV Lights
Looking for something with a little flair? Decorative RV interior lights might offer the perfect bang for the buck. Here are a few creative ideas to “spark the interior decorator” in you. The following suggestions can are available on Amazon at the time of this writing.
Battery Operated LED Floor Lamps – Table top and floor lamps can add the cozy feeling of home in a dark corner of your rig. Battery operated floor lamps come in different styles and finish. They give bright reading light and usually run on 4 C batteries. Reviewers love these easy to use lamps. There are many models to choose from. Some models even offer rechargeable features so you never have to worry about running out of battery power.
Under Cabinet LED Lights– Strip lights are all the rage when it comes to LED. Why turn on all the kitchen lights when a soft strip of LED under cabinet lights will do? Strip lights come in a variety of colors and adjusted to fit your specific cabinet needs. Light ropes make great guide lights and are also used along the walk ways between your bed and bathroom. ( for those late night strolls. )
Solar Ice Rocks – Ok, so these clever glass like rocks are usually used outside. Yet today, every interior designer knows, you can repurpose anything! Here’s a tip. Charge your solar ice rocks outside during the bright summer sunshine. In the evening, bring them inside for elegant, candle like ambience. OOH. Romantic!
Fulcrum 30010-301 LED Battery-Operated Stick-On Tap Light – Simple lights where you need them, when you need them. Stick and tap, that’s it. These round lights mount anywhere your rv interior needs light. Think closets, cabinets or under the bed storage!
Reading Lights LED 12 Volt – The RV lifestyle is all about “slowing down and enjoying life.” For many of us, slowing down includes reading a good book. RV interior reading lights are easy to install and offer crisp, cool light right where you need them, when you need them. No more, using a flashlight under the covers now you can read with ease!
Decorative Exterior LED RV Lights
Home is where you park it and decorative exterior RV lights can help make a parking lot a home. Here are a few of my favorite ways to “brighten up the night.”
Exterior LED Lights – Motion sensing lights give both clarity and safety in unfamiliar surroundings. SolorBlaze exterior lights will attached to any motor home, fifth wheel or travel trailer. They provide simple, bright light when you need it most.
Christmas Comes Early – Solar powered LED string lights can transform trees, table tops and awnings into a night-time wonderland. These simple to use, affordable LED lights make camping fun again. Choose from different colors and bulb shapes.
Now it is time to update your rig. Turn those old, yellow lights into crisp, cool, efficient LED bulbs in no time flat using this simple guide. Don’t forget, while RV interior LED lights may cost more than traditional bulbs they can last for 10 times longer. They will also use a mere fraction of the energy required by your old units. Still not sure your ready? Why not divide your home on wheels into sections and replace your lights one quadrant at a time? Start with the kitchen since it is often the most used region in the RV. Update the lights over your sink and dining table. New lights create an immediate difference in the interior of your rig. Next, update the bathroom, especially the vanity lights above the sink. Wow! What a difference. Finally, update the bedroom and/or living room with led rv lights. Within a few short months you should notice the difference in your bills, and your eyes will thank you along the way.