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PostPosted: March 23rd, 2016, 1:23 pm 
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Location: Northern Virginia
I know people have converted them to LED, but was wondering if anyone just took them out all-together and put in their own fixtures. Would love pics if so.

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PostPosted: March 23rd, 2016, 6:31 pm 
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Location: Northern NJ
Great question. I'm curious about what others have done, as well.

I recently removed the flourescent over the dinette, and replaced it with a nice hanging lamp shade fixture. I also added a dimmer switch. Very cozy feeling now.

My plan is to also remove the cabinet light fixtures above the sofa and sink, and replace them with round ceiling lights... also with dimmers. Plus add movable reading lamps above the sofa.

As for the ceiling, I'm a bit stuck with the originals because of the tin ceiling tiles I put up, but I am in the middle of switching their bulbs to LED, with wireless dimmer controls placed on the sofa-sink partition. Frankly I don't think I'll be using them much after the under-cabinet lights are updated.

All of these use warm white LEDs.

Btw I also replaced all the original bulb strands inside the cabinets and closet with long bright white LED tapes. Holy moly, talk about brightly lit storage spaces when the doors are open!

Pics soon.

PS. one thing that has aggravated me is that Chinook drilled big wiring holes far offset from the center of where replacement lamps would look best. So I've had to place the new ones slightly off from where I'd like, just to cover the factory holes.

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Last edited by kdarling on March 26th, 2016, 4:37 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: March 24th, 2016, 9:12 pm 
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Joined: July 31st, 2014, 1:01 am
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Location: 1999 Concourse
kdarling wrote:

Btw I also replaced all the original bulb strands inside the cabinets and closet with long bright white LED tapes.


I'll be interested to hear more about that. I figured the tape that comes on them wouldn't stick to wood/upside down for very long, yet most of the holder-upper brackets you can buy assume you have space on both sides (mine wedge into a corner). I ended up buying LED rope lights (yet to install though) just so the form factor would be the same; but the strips are so much less expensive. I'd still like to use some of the strips elsewhere, so will be interested in how you attached them.

I painted the "walnut" (or is that "oak") center strips on my original Thin Lites, and converted two of them to LED, but.... really they are not the best fixtures ever (to put it mildly). I'll probably leave the center/carpeted ceiling ones just because I hardly ever use them and at least now they just sort of blend (all white), but... yeah.

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PostPosted: March 25th, 2016, 5:30 am 
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Location: Northern NJ
Okay, dinette lamp first.

It's a dual LED RV dinette lamp with fabric shade and brushed nickel body. Something like $25 off eBay.

I also drilled a hole and added a rotating 12V LED on/off + dimmer switch in front of it, so someone in the aisle or either dinette seat could infinitely adjust the brightness. About $29 off eBay.
Attachment:
dinette_lamp2.png
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I chose this lamp because it's short enough to not block the view from the sofa very much, and it's oblong so it doesn't stick out towards the aisle either. It really makes the cabin look a bit more domestic, which the wife likes :)

Again, the reason why it's offset to the right by about an inch off center, is because Trail Wagons put a one inch hole at the far right hand side for the original fluorescent light wires. The edge of the new lamp base just covers it. If only they had centered the hole a bit more. Some day I might just re-veneer the bottoms of the cabinets so I can move all the holes!

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Last edited by kdarling on March 26th, 2016, 4:48 am, edited 15 times in total.

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PostPosted: March 25th, 2016, 5:39 am 
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As for the storage cabinets, the original 20 year old bulbs still (mostly) worked, but I didn't realize just how dim they were until I added bright white LED strips. Now I can see everything inside those areas! (This is really going to help when I redo the forward compartment entertainment wiring,)
Attachment:
storage-lights.jpg
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I should not have said that I "replaced" the old lights in my first post, because actually I left the old plastic tube ones in to serve as the base for the LED sticky tape, as they had a flat area at top for their staples, and a rim above the old bulbs which serves to help keep the LEDs from slipping down:
Attachment:
storage-lights-diagram.png
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Btw, note the extreme difference between the "bright white" LED strips used in the cabinets, versus the "warm white" LEDs in the overhead light (replacing the flourescent tubes) and also used in the dinette lamp.
Attachment:
led-box1.jpg
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Oh sorry, almost forgot to post one of the LED strip boxes FYI. Each 16' section with 300 LEDs was a bit under $9 from Amazon Prime. Lots of choices. Bright or warm white. Waterproof or not. Waterproof has a rounded clear covering, which makes the LEDs warm up a bit, but nice to use if where people can see the strip.

PS. You also need wire nuts, and LED strip connectors that you can snip in half to make two, like a pack of these from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/HitLights-SMD3528 ... detailpage

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Last edited by kdarling on March 26th, 2016, 4:51 am, edited 5 times in total.

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PostPosted: March 25th, 2016, 8:45 am 
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Location: 1999 Concourse
Oh very clever on how you attached the LED strips in the cabinets. Why didn't I think of that?! Well, on the other hand, my rope lights were kind of "sticky" (in a deteriorating plastic sort of way) so I kind of wanted them out. I would definitely have tried your idea if I'd seen it while the rope lights were still in place though.

I guess you won't be forgetting those cabinet doors open! :lol: (I always found myself doing that with the old, power-sucking dim rope lights).

By the way, if a person prefers, those LED strips are also available in a warmer white. I bought a roll when I was considering using them (eBay). I find that something around 2800 to maybe 3400 Kelvin is warmish, then 4000 is whiter, and 6000 or so is the "blue white."

I like the lamp. I converted an IKEA table lamp I like to DC/LED, and it is kind of a fun "house like" touch vs. all the vehicle style lighting; but I have to remember to put it on the chair when driving, and it does take up table space. Also blocks the hummingbird feeder view if I forget to move it. I like your idea as it kind of takes the best of both.

On the off center hole: If your upper cabinets were made anything like mine, it's not TOO bad to get to the wiring and I think maybe you could then put the lamp on center with the base just covering the off-center hole. Maybe you already know this and there is some reason it can't work... Or yours are different... But anyway, the way my upper cabinets work is this (going on memory here, so hope I have the order correct):

1) Pry out inner/end carpeted piece.

2) Pry out back (outside wall) carpeted piece.

3) Lift up bottom carpeted piece.

These all (except maybe for #1, I forget) have some white, washer headed Phillips screws holding them in place (I guess they don't make those in Robertson drive ;) ). They are all easily visible on my rig.

Behind #2 is all the wiring that runs fore-and-aft.
Under #3 is all the wiring for the "overhead" lights on the cabinet bottoms, the 110 outlets, etc. The false floor has a fair bit of space under it (because the speaker backs stick up some inches and they are under it - at least in the Concourse).

So - at least on my Chinook - if you had panel #3 lifted up (I prop it up with a screwdriver to work under it) you could just make a new, centered hole, and run the wire through it. I wonder if it's the same or similar on yours?

Edited to add a couple of photos:

This first one shows the basic idea of the various carpeted panels I described above. At least in a '99 Concourse. In this one we're looking into the cabinet over the kitchen sink. The "wall" on the left is the one that is common with the shower.

Attachment:
IMG_1545.jpg
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Here it is with the "floor piece" lifted up. The whites are the bundled (chassis) grounds. The 110 wiring is the Romex style wires; the others are DC. The bundle on the lower right is (although you can't see it very well) going out a small hole to the Thin Lite over the sink. There are multiple wires because it continues on to the other Thin Lite over the couch, etc.

Attachment:
IMG_1549.jpg
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PostPosted: March 25th, 2016, 2:29 pm 
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Re: off center. Yep, I put the lamp as far left (forward) as it can go, so that its right (rear) side base just covers the big old wire hole. That's how much the hole was off center.

Re: cabinet wiring. Those photos should be very helpful to newer model owners. In my '94 Chinook, the cabinet internal false bottoms are plain thin paneling. They're lifted up by removing a few black Philips screws around their edges, and then you can get to the wires the same as yours.

--
As for replacing other lamps, today my eBay package arrived with a $15 three inch flush mount multiple warm white LED light with glow-in-the-dark-on/off-button. I got the 3" because I figured I'd put one over each sofa section... three lights in total. I started with just one to check it out.

Even though I had ordered it, at first I did a double-take at its small size, like a kid's pancake. I was like, whoa! That's TINY. Maybe it'll be too dim. But what the heck, I removed the original 12" flourescent above the sofa, and mounted the new 3" LED disc over the wire hole. (I will have to put a little wood putty in the old light's screw holes to hide them.)

To my surprise, to me it's bright enough to replace the old light all by itself, no need for three. I like the way it's so small and thin (less than 1/2 inch thick) that it visually opens up the space above your head. Easier to find the switch and looks more modern, too. Here it is off and on.

Attachment:
led-cabinet-off.jpg
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The round bezel snaps off so you can use screws to mount it to the underside of the cabinet (or ceiling), and then you snap the bezel back -- voila, no screws visible. Btw, the light flare in the photo makes it look rounder than it is. It's actually pretty thin and flat, as mentioned above.

Attachment:
led-cabinet-on.jpg
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I'll either get another for above the sink, or I might get a rectangular dual brightness version for the kitchen area. Undecided.

--
Oh! I forgot to take pictures of the LEDs I put in the roof fluorescent holders... along with wireless remote controls... so that I can turn them on/off from anywhere in the RV... and remotely dim them as well! This is here to remind me to post those tomorrow.

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Last edited by kdarling on March 26th, 2016, 5:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: March 26th, 2016, 4:47 am 
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kdarling, I'm looking at doing the same style LED fixtures under the cabinets as well. Any product info on the one you got on ebay? Are you happy with the quality?

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PostPosted: March 26th, 2016, 9:15 am 
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Hoosier, I got it from eBay seller "dollarled", aka http://www.12vonline.com/
Attachment:
led-circle-box.jpg
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Here's the bezel on and off. From the ad description, I had thought the button glowed from electricity, but instead it's just a rubbery glow-in-the-dark thingie that builds up a glow from the light. Which is okay with me, since that means it has no power draw for that.
Attachment:
led-circle-top.jpg
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The quality seems fine. More LEDs than I expected, that's for sure.

The only thing I'm not sure I like or not so far, is the slight light leak from the top that you can see from the side. But of course that could be easily cured with some electrical tape inside. Plus I might not have it screwed down tight enough.
Attachment:
led-circle-side.jpg
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EDIT: Today I've decided I don't like it, because it's TOO bright for me. I mean, glaringly bright if you sit under it. So I'd say you should get just one, like I did, and try it.

I'll keep it installed for when I need real light, but I think I'll go ahead and install the two dimmable reading lamps I've previously planned for each end of the sofa.

And/or I'll add a dimmer to it as well.

Kevin

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PostPosted: March 26th, 2016, 8:25 pm 
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Thanks for all the postings. Gave me some ideas and will definitely help me when ever I move forward on that. Looks great!

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