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How to Replace Incandescent and Halogen Bulbs With LEDs in Your RV

LED lighting is all the rage right now. 

In this article you’ll learn how to change out your incandescent and halogen bulbs and replace them with highly-functional and energy-saving LEDs.

You’ll also get a chance to read what Peter and John of TheRVgeeks have to say about their preferred LED vendor.

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Things to Do Before You Start Your LED Conversion

Before you go out and buy anything, you’ll have to determine what type of lighting you already have in your coach, and the specific type of adapter on each.

Most light bulbs in RVs are incandescents, halogens, or fluorescent tubes.

What makes things tricky is that each has their own type of base.

Here’s a handy guide provided by M4 Products that you can use to determine what type of base is on each of your rig’s bulbs.

Select Your Replacement LEDs

After you’ve taken inventory of the light bulbs in your RV, you’ll have to select replacement LEDs.

wedge base LED replacement bulbsIn order to purchase the most appropriate bulbs for your taste, you should take the following things into consideration:

  • color temperature (cool white, natural white, warm white)
  • desired brightness
  • what style of bulb you’re replacing (incandescent, halogen, fluorescent)

Unfortunately, selecting the best replacement LED isn’t easy.

There are hundreds of manufacturers and thousands of styles to choose from – each with different color temperatures, brightness, and mechanical connectors.

DoItYourselfRV reached out to Peter and John of TheRVgeeks to get the inside story on their recommended LED provider, M4 products.

Here’s what they had to say,

If we come off as overly enthusiastic about M4, it’s for good reason. There’s so much competition for the hot LED market that it’s a maze of options, and cheap (largely Chinese) bulbs have been selling a lot, due to price. After trying out a lot of different bulbs, and being dissatisfied with the color, brightness and/or quality, we ordered a few lights from M4 Products. We had heard about M4 in postings on the iRV2 forums, where the company, products and customer service received universal raves and praise.

Despite our small order, Steve, the owner (who is an engineer, and intimately involved with the design of his products), provided awesome support, quickly responding to questions with detailed answers, as if we had placed a major order. When the bulbs arrived, the quality and elegance of the design was clearly superior, with aluminum heat sinks and circuitry to prevent overheating and early failure due to voltage fluctuations, which is common in RVs.

Here’s the kind of product that we, and many others, have wasted money on by buying based on price only (video below).
Here’s the video Peter and John are referring to:
httpv://youtu.be/CsZWNM1Iuig

Peter and John continued,

We were heading through the L.A. area this past spring, and contacted Steve and made an appointment to stop by his place (he sells primarily online, but any customer can stop by for a visit by appointment… he didn’t know us from Adam). We learned a lot about what makes an LED good, and why the cheap ones are… cheap. M4’s bulbs are not inexpensive, but the prices pale in comparison to the crazy prices we’d seen at places like Camping World… and they’re better quality.

If you look through the comments on the first two videos we’ve done about M4’s LEDs, you will not find anything but praise for M4 (and we have never removed a single comment… they’re all good!). lol  If you find any thread about LEDs on places like iRV2 that mentions M4 (and many do), you will see that Steve is that rare business person who really gets it. Great products, fair pricing and customer service that people rave about. He’s also a fellow RVer, and a really nice guy to boot.

This shared experience of trying to sort through the chaff and finding a reputable company was like finding a needle in a haystack in this crowded space, where every eBayer and even places like Amazon are hustling for the dollars. Even though our first video about LEDs demonstrated a perfectly acceptable conversion using inexpensive LED strip lights from Amazon, we wanted to share what has been, for us, a very satisfying and eye-opening experience.

Now that you’ve got the inside scoop on where to buy your next LED, watch Peter and John’s video to learn how to install LEDs in your own coach.

httpv://youtu.be/jDYcODgaC_0




6 thoughts on “How to Replace Incandescent and Halogen Bulbs With LEDs in Your RV”

  1. Hi Ben,

    The RV Geeks passed on a response you see above (or below?) as I was not near a computer today.

    Interference can happen, but is not the norm for most users. I have learned over the years that every RV is different, many times even the same model and year can have different fixtures, or different systems.

    Ham radio guys have always had a big problem with LEDs and other electronics creating noise, and I have had a handful of complaints regarding TV noise, usually with low frequency channels. There are also powered signal boosters, some integrated into the antenna that make this types of problems occur. Again, these occurrences are very limited, but do happen.

    M4 is continually improving products, and our goal is to have solutions for 100% of our customers. We do offer a 15 day return policy, one open pack per sku, so customers can verify that the type of bulb (Economy, Main, or Elite), and Color Choice (Warm, Natural, or Cool White) is what they like, and for customers that have this type of interference issue with another products, will give you the opportunity to test for that.

    Thanks.
    Steve

  2. Hi Ben. I contacted Steve at M4 to ask him about the radio & TV interference that you experienced with your LED bulbs. He said that “Noise will happen with our products as we well on rare occasion and we try to work through it with the customer. Every RV is different and cetain combinations of electronics can do it.”

    If you ever have questions, Steve is always happy to help solve any with his LED bulbs. You can contact him directly through his website. Nice guy, and knows his stuff! – Peter

  3. Hi Ben. Thanks for detailing your experience. We’ve been using LEDs for a while and never had, or heard of, that happening before. I wonder if it has anything to do with the type of LED or power supply or electronics in it, or if it happens with every type of LED. We’ll see if we can reach out to Steve at M4 with a question about it, since we learned so much from him during our brief visit. If anyone will know exactly what it is about LEDs that causes that, or if ALL LEDs do the same thing, it’s him. We’ll get back to you as soon as we hear, although it might not be until after the weekend. Thanks! Peter

  4. One thing I found out is that led bulbs can interfere with radio and tv reception . We actually tested it on our last camp out. When we turned on the led lights we lost several tv stations and when we turned them off the stations came back. It only happened when an led light was turned on. A google search showed many others had the same experience. It has to do with the power supply for the bulbs. They use a switching power supply that emits rf signals. The power supply helps to regulate the voltage and keep the brightness the same all the time.

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