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The Benefits of LED Lighting Upgrades in RVs

This post was updated on March 15th, 2024

Even the smallest and most simple RV needs a few lights! These will help you navigate your living space at night, make yourself visible to others in the campground, and provide illumination for reading, cooking, and cleaning. Some RVs even have extra lights for their undercarriage, awnings, and more. Instead of using traditional fluorescent or halogen bulbs, why not switch to LED lighting?

What Are LED Lights?

LED stands for light-emitting diode. These lights are purely electric, so they don’t rely on burning filaments or gases. LED lights offer several benefits that traditional light bulbs do not. They’re more energy-efficient, they last longer, and they come in a wide array of colors and brightness levels. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to these diodes! If you’re curious about the benefits and want to install LED lights in your own RV, read on.

Benefits of LED Lighting

1. Extended Lifespan

Although it’s a minor inconvenience, nobody likes to deal with a burnt-out lightbulb. You usually need to go out of your way to buy a new one, and sometimes it doesn’t match with the rest of your bulbs. With LED lights, you won’t have to worry about this issue nearly as often!

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Incandescent bulbs usually last about 1,000 hours before they burn out. Fluorescent lights last longer, typically between 10,000-15,000 hours. But LED lights have been known to last for 20,000-50,000 hours each, so they outstrip all the competition. They can perform perfectly for decades before you need to replace them!

2. More Eco-Friendly

Because these diodes last longer than other light bulbs, they are also better for the environment. There’s less toxic waste when they eventually need to be thrown away. In addition, the manufacturing process does not involve mercury, so you don’t have to deal with that chemical hazard.

3. Energy-Efficient

Speaking of being eco-friendly, LEDs are also quite efficient. You won’t need to use as much power to keep them going, which means you can conserve fuel and electricity. In fact, the US Department of Energy estimates that LED bulbs use 75% less energy compared to incandescent lights. You can run them for a long time before you’ll notice a dip in your battery power.

4. No UV Emissions with LED Lighting

Ultraviolet light is dangerous to people and vehicles alike. If you expose anything to the full power of the sun for too long, it can become dry, faded, and cracked. To a lesser degree, light bulbs can produce UV rays as well. Over time, they can damage and fade nearby objects. Fortunately, LEDs operate in the visible spectrum of light, and they do not produce harmful UV emissions.

5. Low Heat Levels

Have you ever touched a light bulb and burned yourself? These little objects can get quite hot if they run for extended periods of time. If they’re left unattended, they can actually become a fire hazard. Nobody wants to deal with a fire in their RV, and even worrying about the possibility can be exhausting. On the other hand, LEDs produce little to no heat.

6. Low Voltage

This next point might sound strange, but it’s actually a benefit! LED lighting uses low voltage to operate. This ties in with their energy efficiency, but it also makes them safer for your wiring and electrical system. If something goes wrong, there isn’t a lot of power running to the lights. This reduces the risk of sparks or shocks.

7. Higher Cold Tolerance with LED Lighting

LED lights can be used both indoors and outdoors. They have a considerable tolerance for cold weather and wet conditions. Because they don’t need to burn filaments to produce heat, they can operate in freezing temperatures without any issues.

In fact, they sometimes perform even better in cold conditions! You also won’t have to worry about them getting wet because the low-temperature surface won’t crack or sizzle.

8. Durable Design

Overall, LEDs are also just more durable than their counterparts. Instead of being made of glass, many are made from sturdy plastic or other synthetic blends. This makes them more resistant to shock and vibrations. If you’re going to use them in your RV, you can rest assured that they won’t shatter every time you hit a pothole! As mentioned above, they’re also fairly weatherproof, so you can use them in all sorts of conditions.

9. Dimmable

When you think of LED lights, you might think of blinding headlights on the highway or harsh indoor lighting that hurts your eyes. Although LEDs can be quite bright, the illumination can also be lowered to suit your preference. These are electrical diodes that have the ability to brighten or dim. They can serve as perfect mood lighting for a romantic date night or brighten up the space when you need to get some work done.

10. Immediate Activation

Another benefit is how quickly LEDs activate when you flip the light switch. Some lights need time to fully illuminate, while others have a flicker or delay. This point isn’t a deal-breaker for most people, but it’s another nice perk that comes when you upgrade your RV lighting.

11. Wide Range of Size and Color Options with LED Lighting

One of the biggest things that has made LED lighting so popular is the opportunity to change the colors of the lights. Some LED bulbs can be controlled with a remote or a button. They can shift between warm and cool lighting or even change colors entirely. LED light strips can be placed within a room to change the overall color scheme.

The full spectrum of colors is at your fingertips! In addition, there are many different sizes to choose from. So whether you need a single tiny spotlight or a huge strip to light up a room, there’s an option for you.

12. Easy To Direct the Beams

Finally, LEDs are unique because of the way they direct and distribute light. With a traditional incandescent or fluorescent bulb, you get a light source that is illuminated in a 360-degree radius. This can be nice, but it’s also hard to direct if you want to keep certain areas dim.

LED lights have a smaller 180-degree radius, so they are easier to direct if you want to do that. This has made LEDs popular for art exhibits where small spotlights are necessary.

How To Upgrade Your RV Lighting

If you’ve decided that you want to upgrade your RV lights to LED bulbs, you’re in luck! It’s actually quite easy to switch to this new design, even if you’re working with an older vehicle. Many LED products are designed to work with standard fixtures, so you don’t need to pay for any complex electrical work.

The simplest method to upgrade your RV’s lighting to LED involves replacing the bulbs within your existing fixtures. Start by selecting LED bulbs that are compatible with your current setup. The swap is straightforward: unscrew the old bulb and replace it with the new LED one. This approach is quick, efficient, and requires no technical expertise. For those looking to go a step further, replacing the entire fixture with a dedicated LED unit is another option. While this involves a bit more effort, it’s a great way to fully optimize your RV’s lighting system for LED efficiency.

Wrapping Up LED Lighting

Embarking on the journey to upgrade your RV’s lighting to LED not only illuminates your space with efficiency and style but also marks a step towards a more sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle. With the myriad benefits LED lighting offers—ranging from its extended lifespan and eco-friendliness to its unparalleled energy efficiency and low heat emission—making the switch is a no-brainer for the savvy RV owner.

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