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(Note: A reader sent me how he converted his fluorescent lights. I took his excellent writeup and added some edits. Readers words are in italics. Thanks Jerry!)
My 2007 Revolution came with (10) 18″ 2 bulb florescent light fixtures throughout the coach. Since I have owned it about 6 years, I’ve had to keep a good supply of replacement florescent bulbs as the florescent fail.
I have never liked florescent lighting!
When one goes out, is it a bulb or is it the ballast? For this reason, I’ve started converting all residential & commercial florescent to LED without ballasts and I’ve been real pleased. Pretty simple conversion on 115V AC. Not so simple on 12V DC! There are some $50 each 18″ T-8 12V DC bulbs available but you still have to have a ballast.
The conversion (from fluorescent bulbs in a specialty fixture to led light strips in a 12V-only past-tense fluorescent fixture) is more about rebuilding the light fixture than figuring out wiring but the results is perfect for me. The LED strips come in different lengths that can match your light fixture and can be cut down in 3″ increments (depends on the light strip) to give you different length options.
There are wires on both ends but only need to be wired on one end. In my fixtures, they are pop riveted together so I simply disassemble the fixture, cut the LED strip down to 16″, remove the ballast and the extra wire from the fixture, then reassemble with pop rivets using 2 of the cut down strips to replace the florescent tubes.
The initial price for converting fluorescent to LED is about twice what I was paying for that 18″ florescent bulb that didn’t last and less than a 1/3 the price of the LED bulb that still needs a ballast.
These lights (most LED lights are very long life) are said to last 5 years, they generate no heat, and they take very little power to run. (LED lights will typically reduce power consumption by around 50% over fluorescents for the same amount of light output).
I’m loving them! I’ve got the conversion down to about 30 minutes per fixture but my first one took about 2 hours.
You can find LED light strips on Amazon (disclosure) which are what Jerry would use to convert his RV 12VDC fluorescent light fixture to a straight 12VDC led light fixture that is very similar in length and lighting (except better) to fluorescents.
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