RV LED bulb conversion

rvblbsMy motorhome has 12 incandescent bulbs for interior lighting.  I noticed that if I turned them all on at the same time, the voltage converter would freak out a bit.  It was reaching the maximum current load.

Partly for fun and future boondocking battery life I decided to switch them to LED.   I found a set of 12 LED bulbs on eBay for $26.00.  They literally came on the slow boat from China but I wasn’t in a hurry.  Do I feel bad about buying stuff from China?  Yes, but you can’t get this stuff in the US.  Shame on us!

First, I wanted to know how much power would be saved so I did a little test.  Connecting the old incandescent bulb to a battery and measuring the current I found it draws 1.25 amps.   The new LED bulb only draws .25 amps.  Basically it shows that one old bulb use the same power as five LED bulbs.

Now a little math for fun:


Power = 1.25A x 12v = 15 Watts on the old bulb.
.25A x 12V = 3 Watts for the new LED bulb.

12 old bulbs running at the same time used 15 amps or 180 Watts.
12 LED bulbs running at the same time use 3 amps or 36 Watts.

That’s a significant difference.  If I were to run off batteries and solar panels sometime in the future, it would be very important to use as little power as possible for maximum battery life.

The new LED bulbs are slightly less bright than then original bulbs but not noticeably different.

How awesome is that?