Switching your RV’s lighting to LEDs may not seem like a priority, but it can be beneficial, especially in the long run. Using RV LED lights can easily give your RV a more contemporary look and add to its value. LED lighting continues to go down in price, making it more and more affordable, which is a big help considering all the light fixtures that motorhomes have. It doesn’t even have to be done all at once. You can upgrade the lighting to LED gradually, as your time and budget allows.
One of the big advantages of using LED lights in your RV is lower energy consumption. This means there’s less drain on your available power, whether you are boondocking or using campground power. Another is long life expectancy. While LEDs may be more expensive initially than their fluorescent, halogen, or incandescent counterparts, they prove to be more cost-effective in the long run since you won’t need to replace them very often. Not to mention LED lights will fade over time rather than immediately failing. When it does come time to replace them, they are easier to dispose of, as they have no lead or mercury. There’s also less heat dissipation. Halogens and incandescent lights give off a lot of energy in the form of heat, while LEDs remain cool to the touch. This is especially helpful in summer when you want to keep interior temperatures down. Despite using less energy, LEDs will often be brighter than their incandescent or fluorescent equivalents. They are also vibration resistant, which is ideal when you’re in a moving vehicle.
There are a few things to keep in mind when looking for LED bulbs and fixtures for your RV. One of them is the difference between lumens and color temperature. Brightness of an LED bulb is measured in lumens, while the color temperature refers to the color the bulb will give off. Typically, a higher color temperature is brighter, but this is not always the case. Lower color temperatures give off a more yellow glow, while higher color temperatures appear bluer. Another thing to keep in mind is the type of bulb you need for the fixture. T8 tube lights replace fluorescent tube lights, while A19/A21 bulbs are standard type bulbs that replace incandescent lights. Make sure that the base/socket and the wattage is compatible with your existing fixture. LED wattage will always be less, so check to see what the LED wattage replaces. LED bulbs should also be designed for RV use rather than residential, as RV LED bulbs should be 10-30V rather than 120V. LEDs work best in open fixtures. If you need one for an enclosed fixture, make sure it is approved for use in those fixtures. Be aware of the dimensions, as LED lights are not always the same size as the original bulb.
LED lights and lighting fixtures are available for both interior and exterior RV use. Whether you are looking to increase your energy efficiency, or simply give your RV a more modern appearance, there is a large variety of options to choose from.
Switching Your RV Lights to LEDs