It has become very popular to upgrade RV light bulbs to LED bulbs. There are two advantages to using LED bulbs, much lower power consumption and reduced heat. Here are some things you need to know about LED bulb replacements.
First let me tackle the heat portion. We all know incandescent bulbs can generate LOTS of heat. The bulbs actually melted parts of the ceiling fixtures in my Argosy motorhome! When RVing in the summer, the last thing you want in the RV is more heat! You also don’t want to return to your RV and discover a melted light fixture!
The reduced power consumption is the main reason. Most RV lighting runs off the 12 volt DC system. When you are not connected to shore power, the 12 volt system runs off your house batteries. By using LED bulbs, you can dramatically reduce power consumption and extend your battery life. This could add a day or two to your boondocking!
The first set of LED bulbs that I ordered for the RV were a very bright white color. Most of the early bulbs on the market were a bright white color. If you like a softer white, search for “warm white” bulbs. The color of the light is usually given in a Kelvin Scale. The number usually runs from 2,000 to 10,000 with the lower number being the warmer light.
We prefer a softer, warmer interior light in the RV. It gives the motorhome a more home-like feeling. My suggestion is to error on the side of too low (warm) for interior lighting and use higher numbers (bright) for tail and running lights.
If you are buying bulbs for the exterior of your unit, you may need waterproof bulbs. While your lenses may keep most of the water out, they are not waterproof! In most cases, the waterproof bulbs have a traditional looking plastic cover on them to protect the LED lights.
One common complaint of auto LED bulbs is that they can break when installing them into the base. Just be careful when putting them in and don’t apply too much pressure!