This article is also available in French.
How many times does the average RVer have to change the light bulbs in their RV? Once, if they are LED!
The lighting in your RV is just as important as the lighting in your home. It’s what allows you to complete your day-to-day activities in the comfort and leisure that your RV is meant to provide. There is nothing worse than having to bring out the old flashlight or better yet, lantern because one of your main light bulbs has burnt out – for the third time in one summer.
There are so many different lighting options available for your RV to choose from. The key is finding the one that lasts the longest, is easy to install, is suitable for the type of RV adventure you have planned and isn’t too harsh on your wallet. In this typical scenario we suggest coming over to the bright side and considering LED lights for your RV – here’s why!
We sat down with RV Care’s Parts and Accessories Programs Manager, Art Dack and EcoSolPlanet founder Rene Daoust (the supplier of RV Care Approved LED Lights) to discuss the advantages of LED lighting and why so many RVers are choosing to invest in this product for their RV.
Why are LED lights a good investment?
LED lighting is one of those things where you have to consider the quality before you look at whether or not you are getting the best bang for your buck. As Dack mentioned, “in this instance cheaper isn’t always better!”
The lifetime of LED lighting is one of the largest reasons that it can be beneficial to make the investment. “If you replace your RV lighting with quality LEDs you will never have to change them again” says Daoust “you end up saving money at the end of the day if you have gone to the effort to buy quality bulbs – you get what you pay for.”
The other thing that makes LED lights worth the investment is the amount of energy that they use. Both Dack and Daoust mentioned the significant energy difference between LED light bulbs versus classic incandescent bulbs. LED lights can draw up to 90% less power and use only 2 watts/hour, compared to incandescent lights that use 20 watts/hour. This is a huge difference and you will really begin to notice it especially if you enjoy doing a lot of boon docking or dry camping.
Why should you switch your unit’s lights to LED?
Other than their incredibly long life span and energy efficiency, LED lights have a few perks that will make your RV that much more comfortable.
“A big perk to LED lighting” say’s Dack “is the little amount of heat that LED lights emit, due to their great energy efficiency. Both incandescent and halogen lights use a ton of energy and as a result most of this energy is wasted in the form of heat.”
This is not good for two reasons: One, in the midst of a classic Canadian summer heat wave no one wants any extra heat being emitted in their RV. If anything your RV should be an escape from the heat, not a place you want to escape from.
Secondly, since these bulbs can get so hot, especially halogens, it ‘s very common for the lens over your light to discolour and even for light fixtures to become heat damaged.
Another great thing about LED lighting is that you can purchase bulbs that are brighter than incandescent, which allows your RV to be better lit and for a longer period of time.
Lastly, if you are relying on just your battery as your energy source, such as dry camping, LED lights won’t drain your battery nearly as much as an incandescent will.
What type of bulbs are recommended for your RV?
Different LED bulbs emit different colours of light and while there is generally no difference in price, quality or energy usage, it all comes down to the consumer’s preference. Your RV Care Dealer is very knowledgeable on the different types and is there to assist you if you are having a tough time figuring out which type of lighting would be ideal for your RV.
Will LED bulbs work in all the lighting components in my RV?
For the most part, yes! Many bulbs come with a transferable adapter that allows them to fit into at least 1 or 2 basic sockets. As Dack mentioned, “It’s smart to check all of your sockets to ensure you know what bases you are looking for and better yet, bring in an old bulb into the store with you. This will guarantee you are getting the right bulbs for the light sockets in your RV.”
It’s also important to note that some modern RVs have dimmer switches on the lights and not all LED bulbs are compatible. There are some fancier light fixtures, such as exclusive designs or chandelier styles that you may not find LED lights for.
Be sure to check this with your RV Care dealer before purchasing your bulbs!
Are LED bulbs easy to install?
Both Dack and Daoust agree that LED lights are fairly simple to install and can be done at home.
Are there outdoor LED lighting options?
Yes! Throughout this entire article it is important to keep in mind that we have been exclusively talking about space lighting, not running lights, tail lights or brake lights. These are available in an LED format, but are not very popular.
When we mention outdoor lights we are talking about lighting that enhances your campground space and makes it easier to navigate outside once it gets dark. “For a porch light most consumers would prefer a brighter glow so higher lumens bulb would be recommended here.” says Dack. “It’s also ideal to ensure you have an amber lens covering this light so it doesn’t attract as many bugs.”
EcoSolPlanet also has a line of strip or rope-type LED lights for exterior use . This gives your unit an extra punch of colour and can come in handy when late night exploring and making your way back to your RV. Ask your RV Care dealer about these for details.
Consider testing the bulbs first
If you are unsure if LED lights are for you, or you are on a budget, then it is recommended that you purchase one or two bulbs and put them in place of major light sources that you use on a regular basis. This will give you a good indication as to whether or not you want to replace all of your lights with LED. If you do decide to switch all of your lights over, consider buying one box at a time as your budget will allow, so that you’re not spending more money buying one bulb at a time.
*Art Dack is a true RV expert, as he has been in the RV business for 30 years and is a Red Seal Certified RV Service Technician and a Certified RV Service Manager – so it’s safe to assume he knows a thing or two about RVs!
*Rene Daoust started in the solar product industry in 2008 and started EcoSolPlanet in 2012 with a focus on solar products. In 2013 he realized the need for LED products and began to add these to his product offering. Today his products are sold at 100 locations across Canada and are also part of the RV Care Approved product line. He is always looking for the best quality products, at the best price that are adaptive solutions for his customers!