satboyz

Fluorescent Lights in Motorhome

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The florescent lights in the motorhome -- are they the same as the ones in the the house at home?

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Generally, yes. But pull a bulb and read the number on it-- should be able to find it at any box store.

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The ones I'm familiar with that have been used in rvs we've worked on in the last 40 years seem to be smaller in diameter and shorter that home units with bigger ballasts. Most of them are made by Thin Lite.

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All of the flourescent lighting tubes in my coach ('01 Monaco Exec) are 12v. I'm replacing them with LED tubes. Yeah, they are expensive... but they're also much brighter, have no ballast to burn out or burn up and they are said to last a lot longer.

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Tom,

Are you sure the bulbs are 12 VDC? Most 12 VDC florescent lights have ballasts so the bulbs are really not 12 VDC though the fixture is powered by 12 VDC.

Again, pull one out and read the numbers on it. Likelihood is you can find it at one of the box stores.

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I put new bulbs in the florescent lights in my motorhome and they're not working.

I notice there is no ballast. Is this normal not to have one in the florescent light?

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I put new bulbs in the florescent lights in my motorhome and they're not working.

I notice there is no ballast. Is this normal not to have one in the florescent light?

Tell us what brand and model (or bulb number and quantity) and perhaps we can help you. But, in general florescents do use ballasts.

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The ballast is definitely under the metal cover in the center of the fixture. Failure of the ballast is common.

If you replace the tubes with LEDs you can remove the ballast and easily wire in the LED tubes which depend on a pigtail for 12v power rather than pins on the end of the tubes.

Just cut out all the spaghetti next of wires under the metal cover, except for the 12v feed from the local on-off switch. Connect the pig tails from the two LED tubes while observing polarity.

You'll find the LED tubes to be much brighter and draw significantly less current.

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I'm new to FMCA. just signed up. I have a country coach allure that had 12 overhead thin-lite 15" long 12 volt fluorescent open tube fixtures. The fixtures are 12 volt but the F15t8cw lamps are the same you would use in household application. I removed these fixtures, purchased through E-bay LED Lights, I went with the warm white color. You need to be careful of color, the higher the kelvin ( color degree temp) the more blue white they are. Give off more lumens that the fluorescent, no heat and less power draw.

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Has anybody found a way to keep the plastic covers on Thinlite Flueresent fixtures, mine keep falling off? Am I the only one with this problem.

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Barkley, your not alone! I have one over the sink and I only put the cover back on when in Park...driving, it comes off! At the house, they are fine. All off mine are 120ac.

J & Tom. Be very carful with LED, make sure they don't have a clear cover (like a flashlight), or no cover (like a upside down scone. They will burn your retina, if you accidentally look at them enough times. Even one time and you will see dots for a long time. Especially harmful to children!

90% of my lights are LED & have an opaque cover!

Some medium to high end coaches have LED for high beam headlights...I pity the person coming at them! :(<_<

Carl

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Barkley, put a spot of Shoe Goo on each side, then tape the light cover in place until the Shoe Goo cures (about 4 hours). It cures clear and will not soften & let go in the heat like adhesives. Yet you can "roll" it off if you need to. It will stretch and come off cleanly under most circumstances. Available at Walmart for $4.99 in the shoe department.

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The ballast is definitely under the metal cover in the center of the fixture. Failure of the ballast is common.

If you replace the tubes with LEDs you can remove the ballast and easily wire in the LED tubes which depend on a pigtail for 12v power rather than pins on the end of the tubes.

Just cut out all the spaghetti next of wires under the metal cover, except for the 12v feed from the local on-off switch. Connect the pig tails from the two LED tubes while observing polarity.

You'll find the LED tubes to be much brighter and draw significantly less current.

Could you provide a source for LED conversion of Thinline fixtures?

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Finally put a dab of Goop glue on the four corners of my thinline covers. They seem to stay on now. Had to replace a bulb and I just cut Goop with razor knife and it can of and went on again great. Not too much Goop, just a dab will do!

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rlbarkleyii,

I just changed my entire interior over to LED from incandescent and Fluorescent. I bought everything from www.cabinbright.com. I met the owner Joe at the Hershey RV show in 2014, nice guy and a fellow RV owner.

I liked his products the most over all of the others, besides Joe is a really nice guy to talk to, he is an electrical engineer also, he designs all of his products and they are made in the USA. To make it even better the pricing was in line with the imported stuff. I had several bad light tubes and ballast units already, so the conversion was a no brainer.

I had to replace the following inside;

18 halogen dimmable pods, yes with the LED they are still dimmable

6 wall sconce bulbs

26 Fluorescent light fixtures in the ceiling with two bulbs each, most only received one LED strip due to the brightness mentioned.

4 bulbs over the dinette in the fixture

The neat part was the fluorescent tubes were two in each fixture and I could pick the color of light or lumens so the interior looks warm and cozy, not like a lab. I only installed one LED strip in their place and it's signaficially brighter inside (except over the kitchen counter I used two just to make it really bright). My fixtures are Thin lite with the frosted plastic lens. Here is how you perform the install; remove the fixture from the ceiling and gut it, the Ballast, bulbs and sockets, it all goes in the trash, wire the LED strips to the switch and the other wire from the coach (I think it was the ground) peel the 3M tape and stick it to the center of the fixture (I reinstalled the ballast cover inside and stuck the LED strip to that since it was closer to the lens and it was centered with no obstructions), reinstall the fixture and you’re done. If you cross the polarity the LED strip will not light, just reverse the wires and you have light. I don't believe you will ever have to open them again once converted.

I do not work for this co and I am not endorsed by them in anyway, I just wanted to share my experience with anyone who is considering this, I had shopped around and changed our last coach over and had problems with imported LED lighting. Anyone that knows me personally knows I am a researcher, I will dig and dig until I am convinced then I will move on something. I was very happy to find Cabin Bright, I also try and purchase products made in the USA especially from a fellow RV owner.

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+1 on CabinBright. Good company, good support, great products.

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