In this video, I talk about why the SHAPE of the LED light actually matters. By shape, I mean how the LED light is constructed so that light shines out from it. You’ll see that the difference can be very important.
For more resources on LED lights here are some links:
- LED Lighting Selection Guide
- Overview of RV Lighting applications
- Replacing a 921 incandescent with a wedge light
- Replacing an entire RV light fixture
- RV Lighting How to Videos
degrees. And by 360 I mean it’s out this way, out that way, out that way, all around. That’s 360-degrees.
Now, if I look at an RV light fixture, and a lot of RVs have light fixtures like this, they’re mounted up on the ceiling or against the wall, or whatever. You’ve got on-off switches on some of them, some of them on the wall. You see this light is placed in here. This needs to be white because it needs to let light that bounces off the back of the light shoot off that way. So you see this light doesn’t need 360, in fact 360-degree light is wasted. So this fixture and many fixtures, and maybe most fixtures in RVs, only require 180-degree light.
I want to show you two forms of LEDs. These both have a wedge base and this wedge base looks pretty much the same as the wedge base in the bulb. It’s important to know the base type, and know how to insert in to your fixture. And then this is what I call a 360-degree light. It has LEDs. Each one of these little, yellow dots, and I’ll show you a close-up picture maybe down here on the frame, but each one of these yellow dots emits light. These are high efficiency LEDs. They turn 12-volt power into light.
They’re just very efficient. Almost all the current you do turns into light. And that’s why they consume about one-fifth as much power as this for the same amount of light. Engineers hearing this are going to call the poo-poo flag on you, but in general each one of these LEDs, if all the manufacturers of these lights have access to these LEDs, which are made by a company called [semiconducter] manufacturers, if each one of these LEDs puts out about the same amount of light for the same amount of power, then in general the number of LEDs and the direction of the LEDs determines how much light I’m going to get and in what direction.
This has one, three, three, this has ten lights, no this one has a lot more than ten, but pretend for a minute that this just had ten LEDs on it. These ten LEDs put all their light out in this direction. So when you put power on it, the power required to light up ten LEDs goes all out this way. If I had this 360-degree light, and I said I only had ten LEDs in it, then I put the power in, five of the LEDs are going to go out that way, useful and five of the LEDs are going to bounce back into the fixture. That’s not so useful.
So when you look at the application you’re going to use lighting for in an RV, or really anywhere, you need to look at the directionality of the light. For this type of fixture you would use just a 180-degree light. There’s plenty of them out there. And I made a place for that in RV52, and that’s why one of the most important things you’ll pick with LED lights is the light-emitting pattern. 180-degree all comes out one way. This is 360-
degrees. It comes out all the way around, like that.
For fixtures that come down like this, like a fixture, this would be pretty good. That’s the difference between 180 and 360, and it’s why the direction is important on the way LED lights work. I hope you find that useful.