One of the quickest ways to upgrade the look of your RV and give it a more modern appearance is to switch your incandescent, halogen, or fluorescent bulbs to LEDs. LED bulbs have come down in price over recent years, making it an even easier decision to upgrade your lights. Of course, you don't have to change every bulb all at once, as motorhomes and coaches have a lot of interior lights! You can make the transition by switching out a certain section or certain type of bulb at a time. Here are some reasons why investing in LED bulbs is beneficial for your RV:
1. Lower energy consumption - LED lights use only a fraction of the electricity that other types of bulbs use. This is especially important for RVers, particularly when boondocking. This is especially important for RVers, particularly when boondocking. There is less draw on the batteries or solar systems, and if you are staying at a campground, you won't be using as much of their electricity. Keep in mind that you will need to check your fixtures and make sure the LED lights you choose are compatible. LEDs that are made for RV use (10-30V) will not use as much energy as those made for home use.
2. Less heat dissipation - In most types of bulbs, especially halogen, a lot of their energy is given off in the form of heat. This makes them unsafe to touch until cooled off and it can cause damage to walls or ceilings in the form of burn marks. LED lights remain safe to touch even when lit. By giving off less heat, this also helps keep inside temperatures lower, which is an added bonus in the summer when you want the RV interior to be as cool as possible.
3. Long life expectancy - LED lights last much longer than traditional bulbs so there will be little need for replacement. LEDs can last over 25,000 hours, compared about 1,000 hours for an incandescent bulb. Most standard bulbs will instantly fail when they reach the end of their lifespan, however LEDs will instead gradually fade over time. To maximize the lifespan, an LED light should have a heat sink that will draw away whatever internal heat is created and disperse it.
4. Vibration resistance - LEDs are made for greater durability than they were in the past. Unlike a stationary setting like a home or office, vibration becomes a factor for light fixtures in a moving vehicle such as an RV. When driving in your RV, the vibration resistance for LEDs means less potential for internal bulb damage.
5. Color temperature options - Color temperature is measured in Kelvins and refers to the warmth or coolness of the light. The higher the number, the closer the light is to natural daylight. Lower numbers give a more yellow light, higher numbers give a white to bluish light. LED lights typically come in three color types: warm white, cool white, and natural white. Cool white is better for task lighting due to its brighter tone. Warm white is better for smaller areas such as your RV's bathroom or bedroom. Natural white lies in-between warm white and cool white.
6. Lower costs - While still more expensive than other types of bulbs, in the long run they will end up costing you less. Initial costs on LEDs also continue to go down as technology improves. Over time, maintenance and replacement costs are lower than with fluorescent, halogen, or incandescent bulbs. Less draw on the electricity means you won't be paying as much for electrical power at the campground.
There are a number of interior and exterior LED lights available for your RV, including decorative floor lamps, under cabinet tube lights, task lights, and reading lights. See our
RV LED lights section to view all the options.
Reasons to Switch to LED Lights in Your RV