Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Why are RV LED Lites bulbs so much better?
Answer: There are cheaper LED bulbs on other websites that just buy generic LEDs in bulk from the Chinese Factories and you get what you pay for. RV LED Lites bulbs have been specifically designed for the RV environment by GREGG WILSON DESIGNS. RV LED Lites bulbs can be left on for long periods of time and will survive through power surges that are typical of RV power systems. You can spend more on our competitor’s bulbs but you cannot buy a better bulb. RV LED Lites contract build and import directly, which keeps our costs more reasonable and our quality high. We also offer more 10-20v rated bulbs so you won’t experience melt-down with power surges of the older rigs.

Question: LED bulbs work in some fixtures, but not others?
Answer: Most of our lights have reverse polarity circuitry, but some do not. LED lights are diodes, so the polarity of your light fixture must be correct to work with a polarity sensitive standard 12 volt LED. For example, we have found that many exterior porch lights have the wires installed with the polarity reversed and our Non Polarity sensitive bulbs will still work. If you are installing one of our small Polarity Sensitive bulbs and encounter a fixture that will not light a known good bulb, remove the fixture and reverse the positive and negative wires to the fixture or remove the bulb and reinstall it after turning it 180 degrees where you can. Our 10-20 Volt lights (work perfectly at 12 Volts) are non-polarity so this does not apply.

Question: What does the word LED stand for?
Answer: The word LED means “Light Emitting Diode”. When a positive voltage is applied to an electroluminescent semiconductor junction, the junction emits a narrow spectrum of incoherent light. The color of the emitted light depends on the composition and condition of the semiconducting material used, and can be infrared, visible, or ultraviolet.

Question: How efficient are LEDs compared to Incandescent Bulbs?
Answer: Their efficiency in the conversion of electrical energy into light is around 85% efficiency. They will also last up to 100,000 hours in some cases if placed into a housing that controls both.

Question: What effects the “Lifetime” of an LED?
Answer: They are sensitive to overheating and over-voltage, so the lighting circuit is more complex than a simple plus and minus. Recreational vehicles are subject to very common and frequent power surges so circuit design in the construction of an LED product is everything.

Question: Why does one manufacture guarantee their bulb for 50,000 hours, another for 65,000 hours and another for 75,000 hours?
Answer: It depends of where and how the bulb is used and the technology used to construct the PCB. The PCB holds the parts used to drive the LED i.e. “Driver”. As long as the LED Bulb operates within the design parameters of Voltage and Heat it will give the end user a good design lifespan. There are also those that will say anything to sell you a bulb, beware!

Question: What is a Lumen?
Answer: A lumen is a unit of measurement that is used to express how much illumination a source of light provides. A lumen is about the equivalent of the amount of light put out by a single birthday candle if you are one foot away from the candle. A lamp that puts out 1 lumen of light is as bright as one birthday candle a foot away. A lamp that puts out 100 lumen is as bright as 100 birthday candles a foot away from you.

Question: What is the Differences between a Lumen and a Watt?
Answer: A watt is a unit of electrical energy. When we talk about lumen per watt (lm/w), we are measuring how many lumen of light are produced for each watt of electrical energy used. It’s how we measure the efficiency of a light source.

Question: What are the advantages and disadvantages of LED lights?
Answer: As Follows;

Advantages

  • Efficiency: LEDs emit more light per watt than incandescent light bulbs. Their efficiency is not affected by shape and size, unlike incandescent bulbs, fluorescent light bulbs or tubes.
  • Color: LEDs can emit light of an intended color without using any color filters.
  • Size: LEDs can be very small and are easily populated onto custom shaped printed circuit boards.
  • On/Off time: LEDs light up very quickly.
  • Cycling: LEDs are ideal for uses subject to frequent on-off cycling.
  • Cool light: LEDs radiate very little heat in the form of IR that can cause damage to sensitive objects or fabrics.
  • Slow failure: LEDs mostly fail by dimming over time, rather than the abrupt failure of incandescent bulbs.
  • Lifetime: LEDs can have a relatively long useful life of 60,000 to 100,000 hours, though time to complete failure may be longer.
  • Shock resistance: LEDs, being solid state components, are difficult to damage with external shock.
  • Focus: The solid package of the LED can be designed to focus its light not requiring an external reflector to collect light and direct it in a usable manner.
  • Cooler: The RV will remain cooler inside, the converter will operate at a lower charge rate so the fan noise is less and the batteries will last longer between charges.

Disadvantages

  • High Initial Price: LEDs are currently more expensive per lumen on an initial investment over the conventional light bulbs they replace.
  • Temperature Dependence: LED performance largely depends on the ambient temperature of the operating environment. Over-driving an LED in high ambient temperatures may result in overheating the LED package, eventually leading to device failure.
  • Voltage Sensitivity: LEDs must be supplied with the voltage above the threshold and a current below the rating. This can involve series resistors or current-regulated power supplies.
  • Light Quality: The color rendering properties of common fluorescent lamps are often inferior to what is now available in state-of-art white LEDs.
  • Area light source: LEDs are difficult to apply to uses needing a spherical light field. LEDs cannot provide divergence below a few degrees.
  • Polarity: Unlike incandescent light bulbs, which illuminate regardless of the electrical polarity , LEDs will only light with correct electrical polarity.
  • Droop: The efficiency of LEDs tends to decrease as one increases current .

Question: How much more efficient are LED’s than other bulbs?
Answer: In the 12-volt systems of RV’s and Boats the fixtures are designed to provide a specific amount of light (measured in lumen). What varies is the amount of electricity used to produce the useful light. The more heat that must be generated, the less efficient the fixture.

Shown below is the electric conversion of different types of bulbs showing Heat and Lumen conversion on average:

BULB TYPES                                               HEAT        LIGHT
INCANDESCENT BULBS.........................85%..........15%
HALOGEN BULBS...................................80%...........20%
FLUORESCENT W/BALLAST...................50%...........50%
LEDs.......................................................15%...........85%

  • LEDs bulbs can produce the same light luminosity using about one sixth or better of the power of incandescent, about one third the power of fluorescent.
  • Incandescent bulbs use the other five-sixth of the power it draws to heat the tungsten filament which generates infrared radiation and heat. LEDs just do not generate the heat of its counterpart and it is recommended that replacement of all incandescent bulbs with LEDs be considered.
  • Halogen bulbs are more efficient than incandescent bulbs. They do this by vaporizing the tungsten instead of just heating it white hot. For a little more efficiency you get a hotter bulb.
  • Fluorescent bulbs are more efficient than incandescent bulbs, but there is inefficiency in the ballast, especially in a 12-volt DC environment. LEDs use about 33% of the current of an equivalent fluorescent in an RV.

Question: What kind of light bulb do I have?
Answer: See below

  • First, determine in what kind of electrical circuit the light-bulb is used. Is it 12-volt DC or 24-volt DC? In most RVs and boats, all the lighting is connected to a 12-volt DC circuit. That is so you have lighting even when not connected to shore power.
  • Next, take the light-bulb out of its socket and look at it. You may be able to find the bulb number printed on the bulb base or on the glass. The most common kinds of sockets are the bayonet, wedge, and bi-pin. These are all used in DC circuits. The base for a bayonet socket is solid metal with two little ears on opposite sides near the bottom.

Question: Are LEDs a good replacement for fluorescent lighting?
Answer: LED lighting is an excellent replacement for fluorescent tube lighting, for several reasons. There is a power savings of a factor of 3 when you use LEDs to produce the same amount of light as you were getting from the fluorescent and you can now buy Led tubes that can produce more light then the Fluorescent tubes you are replacing.

Question:Are LED’s costly?
Answer:  LEDs are more energy efficient than normal halogen bulbs (around 90% less) and can cut the usage demands on an RV or boat by an average of around 90% and give you more light than the bulb you are replacing. Although the initial cost is higher, the savings in battery power and long service lifetimes, typically 25,000 to 100,000 hours will more than recapture the cost outlay and even create savings in the long run. Good LED bulbs last about 60,000 to 100,000 hours, compared to a 1003 incandescent bulb which is rated to last 200 hours.

Question: Why do LEDs use such little power?
Answer: The Filament based “light bulb” consumes more power than the light produced because large amounts of energy consumed by these bulbs go to the production of “heat”. LEDs produce less “heat”, and do not use filaments.

Question:  Where is it appropriate to use LEDs?
Answer: On the interior and outside area of RV’s and Boat’s and our goal is to provide lighting options that prolong battery life, increase efficiency and reduce cost to the consumer over the long term life of the bulb.

Question:  Are LED`s good for the environment?
Answer: LED’s are very energy efficient, in fact you may never need to buy a replacement bulb again, so no more throwing burnt out bulbs in the trash. Florescent bulbs which contain a high amount of mercury and phosphor creating a health hazard if broken inside a living area or if disposed of incorrectly.

Question:  Can LED lamps be used in existing light fittings?
Answer: Our LED bulbs work in standard light sockets, but since they are powerful directional light bulbs, it is up to the customer to determine if the intended end use is appropriate for their individual needs and the size is correct.

Question:  What lighting quality can be expected from an LED bulb?
Answer: LED bulbs produce no radiant glare and thus are of a cleaner light quality. Their color and brightness are determined by degrees Kelvin, refer to chart below;

k-temp chart

Please note that the higher the color temperature, the whiter the light is. A lower color temperature is more on the yellow side of white. This is important to you because you have to look at how light interaction will either compliment your interior, or might clash with it. The light can change even the color of what your interior looks like. Sometimes paint on a wall will look much different under one color temperature verses another. It should be noted that the lower color temperatures like 2700K, works well on objects that have earth tones, such as wood, leather or darker colors. The warmer colors “slightly yellow”, will enhances those colors and keep that incandescent-like color.

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