You Light Up My Life

 Posted by at 12:02 am  Nick's Blog
Oct 192015

One of the things that’s been on our “To Do” list for a long time is switching out some of our interior lights in our Winnebago motorhome to LEDs. Last week I ordered some replacement LED bulbs from Amazon but we were busy mailing out the new issue of the Gypsy Journal so I didn’t get to them until yesterday.

Our motorhome came with two spotlights mounted under the cabinets over my desk and two more are mounted under the cabinets over the couch on the other side of the rig. These had halogen spotlights in them, which were very hot and really sucked down the power. As you can see from this picture of the digital voltmeter I have mounted above my desk, turning just one of them on pulled our voltage down from 13.2 to 12.8 volts. If I turned on two of them the voltage would drop down to about 11.8, and all four would pull it down to 11.3.

Meter Halogen

We never used those light fixtures because they were so hot and such power drains. I replaced them with some of the LED Bulbs we got from Amazon, and as you can see, even with all four of the LEDs on there is no drop in voltage whatsoever.

Meter LED

Another plus is that they are not hot like the halogen bulbs were. The LEDs are not as bright, but again we don’t use them anyway except now possibly as mood lighting. (By the way, how many lights does it take to get in the mood?)

Terry has a three-bulb dining table fixture over her desk that did have LEDs in it, but they flickered all the time and were more of an irritation than a light source. I also ordered new replacements for them, which produce more of a yellow light than the bright white she had and preferred, but they don’t flicker like the old bulbs did. I will probably upgrade those to a brighter, whiter bulb one of these days.

There are two florescent light fixtures in the front of the motorhome, one over my desk and one over the couch, that used 18 inch tubes, and another over the kitchen table. The fluorescents were always needing replaced and cost anywhere from $8 up when we could find them. I have been told that one LED replacement tube would do the job of two florescent in a fixture. So I also ordered three Green LongLife LED Tubes.

LED tube

It was easy to install them, I cut the two 12 volt wires coming into the fixture, bypassed the ballast, and connected the wires to the LED tube. As it turns out, one LED is not equal to two of the fluorescents, so I put two of them in the fixture over my desk because I like a lot of light when I’m working. That probably gave me half again as much light as I was getting from the fluorescents, which I really like. We will order three more of them to replace the fluorescent tubes in the other two fixtures. They were not cheap, about $33 each on Amazon, but the trade-off is a lot more light that uses a lot less power, is cooler, and they will outlast the fluorescent tubes by many times so it’s a good investment. We don’t boondock much anymore, but when we do I know our battery bank will appreciate the upgrade.

Congratulations to Barry Crocker, winner of our drawing for a 3-year membership in Boondockers Welcome. We had 201 entries this time around. Stay tuned, a new contest starts soon.

People ask how we determine the winner of our weekly drawings. It’s real simple. I go to and enter the number of entries and it picks a number at random. So everybody has an equal opportunity to win. After entering the drawing, you may see a message saying that it is awaiting moderation. That means that it is waiting for me to approve it. It’s a built-in safeguard to prevent spam posts. I go in several times a day and approve all pending entries.

Some people don’t see their name listed immediately so they enter a second or third or even a fourth time. Then I have to manually delete all of those duplicate entries because only one entry per person is allowed. And if that happens too often the program immediately decides that you are a spammer and locks you out completely. So please be patient when entering, I promise your name will be included in the drawing.

Thought For The Day – I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  2 Responses to “You Light Up My Life”

  1. I’ve been using LED bulbs for a long time. When we bought our last 5th wheel I replaced all the bulbs with LED’s because we did a lot of boondocking and I wanted to reduce battery drain. It was quite pricy (about $500) at the time but they’ve come way down in price now. When you buy them, look in the bulb description and bulbs listed as “warm white” will glow yellow, and “cool white” will glow white. The higher the “color temperature” the whiter the light.

  2. In Costco last week, I saw 4′ LED shop lights. I don’t know if they would fit, but they should produce a sufficient light for both of you.

    Now for a question, are some of the books about RVing paper back or on CD/DVD?
    And how do I give someone a subscription to the digital issue of the Gypsy Journal?


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