When I started playing around with conserving power,
my son the engineer told me I better go look at LED's.
Light Emitting Diode. A single LED looks
like a blob of clear plastic on the end of two wires.
We are used to seeing them as indicator lights on practically everything.
They are nearly indestructible and last practically forever.
They use much less juice than an incandescent lamp: 1156 lamp incandescent=1.5
amps, same With LED= .5 amps and make less heat. A 12v fluorescent
lamp uses even less juice.
LED’s come in various colors, some will change color depending
on the current being supplied. Many traffic lights and truck or bus
taillights are now made with LED’s’ And of course there are many
flash lights available. White LED’s are a bluish pure white,
unlike the yellower light from incandescent lamps. Combining white
and yellow LED’s in one array might produce a warmer light.
You can buy LED fixtures already assembled, lamps on common bases,
or DIY arrays wired onto a tiny circuit board including the necessary resistors.
You can also buy them individually and use your own resistor or make a
regulator to supply a number of them.
In the bathroom, I replaced a 1156 with
a made up LED bulb that has ... LED's. (12, I think)
Since all the light comes out of the top of the LED, in this
fixture I wasn't getting much out. First I tried making a reflector, with
limited , nsuccesseeds to be a real mirror. Then I bent the mounting
tab on the socket so the lamp pointed more down.
The diffusing cover on the fixture seemed to kill a lot of the light,
so I made a hole for it to look out. Since this is a one bulb "night light
circuit, I left the incands in the "see the eyelash" circuit.
Now it lights up the bathroom well enough to do your bathroom stuff,
even Ok on reading on the can.
Above the door to the bathroom , I mounted this, aimed at the closets.
It is an array with reflectors mounted on a circuit board.
I ran wire from the bathroom light . The fixture itself is a plastic
drinking cup cut to fit into the corner, I had to trim the circuit board
to fit into the cup..
There are two of these lights over the sink and stove area.
Although LED's don't create much heat, because this one is big and sealed
in acrylic, I found that the laminate above where I mounted it was getting
a little bubbly. I cut apart two small tart pans to make a funky
fixture that gives a bit of air space.
These are wired right into the existing over the sink light. As
they are really bright, I just took out the bulbs in the fixture.
Cove light in Living area
This is a strip light tucked up under the "valance" that would have
a curtain, now has a venetian blind.
It is wired to the street side "reading light" over the sofa, and has
a line switch to Control it. This lights up the table nicely, nearly
enough to read by, and also gives general lighting to the area.
LED"s encased in plastic, wired right into wires from old light , removed
This is completely waterproof, I think i got the 18 LED. it's plenty
to see the step, the latch and a big area around the door of the trailer.
There are two of these coming off the ends of the overhead kitchen light/vent.
I wired them to the the two lamps that come on with the first click.
The 1156's are still in the other click.
I rounded off the board and took the guts out of two night lights to
make a housing.
Now I can actually see inside the fridge at night.
The Bedroom lamp.
This is an oriental shade hiding a 12 LED array and a utility
strip light from Cabela's:
This is a regular lamp, with an adapter that turns the regular
plug into a 12V plug
From Gaiam http://www.gaiam.com/retail/product.asp?product%5Fid=26104
I can't find the lamp , but this one is close. I have a 12, but for reading
18 would be better.
There are plenty of 12v edison base LED's out there. If you plug in a 12v
LED to 110v it will fry. Expensive omelet.
Edison base 12v fluorescence are probably the best for reading /task lighting.
In addition, there are 1156 style LED's in the bedroom and sofa reading lights.
After I finish the dinette project, I will put another strip light under
the front window valance.