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Replacing bulbs with LED's


maximillian121

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I have 9 X G4 halogen bulbs in our Hymer, so I bought a pack of 10 X G4 LED's. I have tested them all and they work fine in 5 of the lights but not in the other 4. These are all in different areas of the van and 3 are on different switches, some on the same switches as ones that do work

The old halogen bulbs still work OK in these 4 sockets

Anyone any ideas? :-S

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It's 99% likely that they are not working in those fittings because on those four light fittings the live (red) wire is attached to the bulbholder's side , and the black (negative) wire is attached to the centre contact of the bulb holder.

 

LED bulbs need to have the live feed going to the centre contact.

 

So, just remove the light fitting from the panel, swop the wires over.

If they are soldered, just cut them a few inches back from the fitting and join them, once swopped, with screw connector blocks, then a covering of insulation tape around the blocks.

 

Then switch on the light, and the LED bulb should work just fine.

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As far as I'm aware all G4 halogen bulbs have the same design - a glass 'capsule' with two emerging prongs.

 

http://www.energylightbulbs.co.uk/halogen-bulbs/g4-halogen-bulb-clear-12v?id=active&gclid=CMLx5YK93LECFeYhtAod8lgArg

 

The exact design of LED bulb needed to replace a G4 halogen bulb will depend on the particular light-fitting, but all LED replacements will have the two prongs.

 

http://www.ultraleds.co.uk/capsule-c-100_153.html?page=1&sort=2a

 

There's a piece on LED replacement bulbs here

 

http://www.ukcampsite.co.uk/articles/view.asp?id=483

 

that says

 

"SMD units usually have a full wave rectifier on it so its not polarity conscious, in other words, plug them in any way. There are some SMD’s that are not fitted with a rectifier. You can check to see if this small black rectifier is on the back of the SMD. If this is not present, it will mean that the SMD will only work when plugged in the correct way ie. Postive SMD to positive supply."

 

This suggests that maximillian121's LED bulbs are not fitted with a rectifier and, consequently, are polarity sensitive. As has already been advised, reversing the 12V connections of the inoperative light-fittings should do the trick.

 

(A 'ploy' is suggested here where (as I understand it) the prongs of the LED bulb are siutably bent to reverse the 12V connection. And the best of luck...)

 

http://www.motorhometoday.co.uk/index.php?/topic/3945-chapucillas-to-change-polarity-led-lamps/

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  • 7 months later...

This http://www.ultraleds.co.uk/mr11-12v-dc-1x1-5-watt-led-metal-case-cool-white-with-cover.html looks like the bulb fitted to my lounge 'spotlights' which (my current ones) I'm guessing are LED.

One of the bulbs seems to have failed, but not completely, in that it gives out about 20% of what the other 3 do.

I wanted to change the bulb, presumably complete with holder but could not remove it. My dealer says that the whole unit has to be replaced?? I tried unscrewing the whole unit but it would only drop about an inch before the lighting cables were taut. Also, I couldn't see how the wires could be disconnected as the lockers are really tidily finished with no visible cabling.

Any ideas for bulb exchange?

I also want to swap over bulbs in two reading lamps in the cab which are horrendously bright and hot so must be halogen.

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I would have thought that identifying whether or not a light has a conventional or LED bulb should be straightforward, but your statement that one of your spotlights has partially failed strongly suggests that it has LEDs.

 

It wouldn't be too unusual for lights to be 'disposable', particularly if the light-source is LED-based. So, if your dealer tells you you'll need to replace the defective light in its entirety, he may well be correct.

 

I can't advise you how to remove the light - it's going to depend on how Swift fitted it when your motorhome was constructed. Coachbuilt motorhomes are normally built from the inside out, which (in principle) could mean that cabling for your lights is very inaccesible. Hopefully Swift has not been too bloody-minded though, so look for cable-trunking within the lockers near the light unit. If the light's electrical cabling is genuinely 'buried', you may have to cut the "taut" cables where you can and then fit connectors to those cables before replacing the light. But I'd be surprised if that proves necessary.

 

If the cab reading lamps are hot, they probably have (as you suspect) a halogen bulb. You'll need to identify the bulb type and, if you want less light-output and less heat, replace the halogen bulb with an appropriarte LED one.

 

Ultraleds has a webpage showing the types of conventional bulbs one might expect to find in caravan/motorhome lights.

 

http://www.ultraleds.co.uk/led-product-catalogue/caravan-motorhome-leds.html

 

Once you know which bulb your cab reading lamps have, you should be able to decide which LED equivalent can be fitted and which will be most suitable.

 

It might be that, if the lights have, say, G4 capsule bulbs and, on inspecting them, you find they are 20W, swapping them for 10W G4 halogen bulbs would be an easier option if you want a lower light-output and are not overly concerned about the heat. Certainly, going from a 20W G4 halogen to a 10W one would be a lot cheaper than opting for a LED G4 equivalent.

 

If you want focused Bolero-related hands-on advice, "Swift Talk" should be your best bet.

 

http://www.swift-talk.co.uk/main/authorization/signIn?target=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.swift-talk.co.uk%2F

 

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maximillian121 - 2012-08-09 3:45 PM

 

I have 9 X G4 halogen bulbs in our Hymer, so I bought a pack of 10 X G4 LED's. I have tested them all and they work fine in 5 of the lights but not in the other 4. These are all in different areas of the van and 3 are on different switches, some on the same switches as ones that do work

The old halogen bulbs still work OK in these 4 sockets

Anyone any ideas? :-S

 

The old glass G4 bulbs will work whichever way they are fitted in the bulb holder.

If they are replaced with bulb shaped G4 LED's then if they don't work when inserted, simply removing them and rotating them 180 degrees should get them working.

However the disc type G4 LED replacements with the prongs at the edge will only fit one way in the light unit and have a tiny circuit onboard which sorts out the polarity.

There is also another G4 LED disc type with the prongs which are on the back but in the centre, I have never used these, so can't comment.

 

If you are using the ones that are polarity sensitive, I would try swapping them round before altering the wiring.

 

B-)

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  • 1 year later...

LED lighting can be more efficient, durable, versatile and long lasting. An electrical current passed through a semiconductor material illuminates the tiny light sources we call LEDs. LEDs are now being incorporated into bulbs and fixtures for general lighting applications. LEDs are small and provide unique design opportunities

 

 

 

 

point light source

 

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Over my 8 years of ownership, I both replaced and added LED bulbs in our IH Tio R. The aim was two fold, to reduce the energy consumed, and to increase the level of illumination.

 

Original fitting was 10 off 10W G4 ceiling lights with a further 7 identical bulbs in tubular reading lights. Four off 5W festoon bulbs in the Heki rooflight added a glow to the rear lounge.

 

A Hymer owning site warden once remarked that he wanted sufficient light to be able to distinguish between a grub and a grain of rice!

 

The 5W festoon bulbs in the Heki were replaced with multi LED units. Not a great success, as the light level was hardly improved, and over time individual LEDs started to fail. The solution was to modify the Heki unit take twelve festoon fitting LED bulbs instead of the original four. Improved festoon LED bulbs with buck / boost electronics offering an 8V to 30V range were fitted. Result - dazzling!

 

The ceiling lights were fitted with 10 LED G4 bulbs from several suppliers over time. A word of warning. On some of these bulbs, the contact pins were incorrectly spaced. They should be at 4mm centres, but were supplied with pins at 0.2", or 5.08 mm, as the makers had used printed circuit board wiring pins. Difficulty was encountered in fitting the bulbs into the G4 holders. The faulty bulbs needed the pins resoldering to allow correct fitting. The pins were also given extra support with generous beads of epoxy resin adhesive applied over the soldered joints. No failures to date.

 

Two of the tublar reading lamps were replace with new LED fitings, but as suitable LED bulbs are now available, I would not repeat this exercise. However the two fittings removed from the rear lounge have now been fitted with the new LED bulbs, and recycled as mirror lights.

 

The front ceiling lights were incorrectly positioned as they were not over the fold down table flaps. New fittings were installed over the centre of the table flaps, with the original units left in situ to fill the holes in the holes ceiling. The switch was changed to 2 gang to allow separate switching for LH and RH sides.

 

 

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Sorry Alan - nothing personal but gee whiz - all that paranoia and faffing about over saving a few watts of bulb power - why not simply add another battery - a cheaper, easier and all round more useful solution in my ever so humble view - or better still only use the lights you need at any given time instead of all of 'em all of the time!

 

Don't be miffed by my response - it's not you I'm having a go at - it's the principle of spending a fortune to save so little power that I find so hard to accept.

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