Recently, I purchased a Jayco RV. One of the reasons I chose a new coach and this particular make/model were the numerous standard features that are not included on other entry-level RV models. However, I was disappointed to find that Jayco used incandescent light bulbs throughout the interior.

Why did they use technology from 1880 when the alternative uses 90% less power, generates less heat, last much longer, and is now very affordable?

Here is how I went about upgrading the interior RV light bulbs to LED lighting

Indentify the Fixture Type and Size

Old Lamp
Old Lamp

Best thing to do is to remove one of the bulbs and take a look. Our RV had T10 wedge sockets (for most of the lights).

Don’t forget the light in the cab  and in the fridge. The fridge required a Festoon base and I didn’t do the cab lights yet. I did replace the dome and maps lights in my car and they require the Festoon style as well.

When purchasing a Festoon style LED it is important to check the size you will need before ordering. For my RV fridge I used a 42mm LED and for the car a 31mm.

For RV Fridge
For RV Fridge

 

Count the Number of Bulbs to Replace

When counting the number of bulbs in the RV it is important not to forget some that are hidden. Lights may be in storage compartments, bathrooms, on the exterior, and in the refrigerator.

 

Choose a Brightness

LEDs will have a lumen rating. I found that the 288 lumen models were good replacements for the old bulbs. However, the higher lumen models can be more expensive than low lumen units. So, I mixed it up and used 100 lumen lighting under cabinets and in storage areas where I didn’t need the bright lights. It worked out great and saved me a lot of money.

Less LED, Less Bright, Less Expensive
Less LEDs, Less Bright, Less Expensive

Under Cabinet, Less Bright
Under Cabinet, Less Bright, Works Well

More LEDs, More Bright, More Expensive
More LEDs, More Bright, More Expensive

 

Choose a Light Color

Left: Warm-White LED Right: Cool-White LED
Left: Warm-White LED | Right: Cool-White LED

This is where I messed up.

The higher lumen LEDs were available in both Cool and Warm style. I didn’t think much about the difference and ordered the Cool-White style. They worked great and looked good (in my opinion). My wife didn’t agree. So, I then purchased a couple Warm-White models and back to happy life.

The Cool-White is shown in the photo on the right. It looks very white.

The Warm-White is on the left and looks more yellow and closer to the previous incandescent bulbs.

 

Find a Place to Purchase

Retail stores are usually very expensive for these type of parts so I like to shop online. Luckily, I have a family member who is in the LED light business. He has great prices on the parts I needed and super fast shipping. The website I used is WiredCo.com

Here is my parts list:
(click on a description to view pricing and specifications)

Bright Interior RV Dome Lights (the ones my wife likes)
24 LED T10 Wedge Warm-White 12VAC-DC 3.6Watt 288 Lm

Bright Interior RV Dome Lights (the ones my wife doesn’t like)
24 LED T10 Wedge Cool-White 12VAC-DC 3.6Watt 288 Lm

Less bright RV Dome Lights (much less expensive)
T10 Side Plug Wedge Base 6 LED Light 12V 5050 SMD White

LED for RV Fridge
Festoon 42mm High Power 12V 6 5050 LED SMT Bulb White Dome

LED for Car Dome and Map Lights (2015 Subaru Outback)
Festoon 31mm High Power LED SMT Bulb White Dome

Here is a link to more Low Voltage LED products

In the Future

My next project will be to add some LED lights to the outside of the RV.  I am planning to add LED strip lighting under the RV awning and a LED outdoor floodlight in a storage compartment.

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