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Old 04-28-2012, 09:30 AM   #1
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Default Pics: New LED bay lighting

ok so the pictures are crappy - (cell phone & late at night to show the lighting),
youll get the idea.

the REAR (tool & grill) bay has TWO 20inch (75 LED's each) LED strips mounted to the top/back side of the bin stiffening lip...

the COOLER bay has ONE strip in the same location but only ONE strip (instead of two)...since theres no need for lighting behind the cooler.

The FRONT storage bay (chairs, out door mat etc) uses TWO strips but one strip is on the under side of a full depth shelf that i made in that bay...this give us sufficient lighting for both storage areas. The board in the middle is removable and is there only for minor support if the top shelf gets loaded w/ heavy items.

the led strips are 12v so wiring or splicing in to the existing 12v is simple, each strip pulls less than a quarter of an amp

i used these same LED strips as replacement for my interior tow kick lighting under the cabinets in the coach.

sorry for the blur -






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Old 04-28-2012, 05:06 PM   #2
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Very cool!
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Old 04-28-2012, 06:05 PM   #3
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where did you get the lights and what did they cost?
looks great.
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Old 04-28-2012, 06:16 PM   #4
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Very nice. What kind of switch do you have? micro switch operated by an open door? little rocker inside the bay? did you wire them to a master for the bays on the dash? nice work!
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Old 05-01-2012, 03:20 AM   #5
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my bays had some cheezie (single bulb) automotive fixtures, i didnt want to rip those out so i just tapped into the existing wiring - the existing set up already had a switch on the fixtures so i can restore it to original anytime.

basically the lights are activated MANUALLY by a small push on push off button switch, they are not automatic, theres no reason to have 'em on a pin/door switch since therye only needed at night. When camping we usually have the cooler bay open & may or may not desire any (bug attracting) light.

the LED strips came from the internet (they ship outta hong kong via "air freight")....i didnt know their origin & admittedly they took several weeks (i think my order may have been on one of the cargo ships that sank)....the company made good on the mistake and in the end i they DOUBLE shipped my order.

the lights are 12v DC - 20 inches long, each strip contains 75 LEDs & they can be cut or soldered together to meet your needs.

i used 3M automotive/heavy duty dbl sided sticky tape (the kind that is used to hold body molding / badges and trim on) - the tape was the suggestion of a friend and its working surprisingly well !

12V 75-LED White Light Strip (50cm) - Free Shipping - DealExtreme
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:16 PM   #6
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They look nice. I'm thinking about doing some of these. I was thinking about using a mercury type switch on the door. But you pointed out that often you don't want the lights on. Makes sense to put a switch on each one. How did you get the wiring into the bay? My bays have no wiring in them now. Drill a hole up through the top? Or would it be better to go through the rear side panel of each bay? Then run the wire down a bit after it goes through the sheet metal? Seal the whole thing with silicone sealant? That way water won't be likely to get into the hole? Or is sealing the wire through the top sufficient? I guess the tops of the bays don't likely get too much water on them? I'm thinking about putting a master shut off switch on the wall inside the side door so it would be easy to assure none was left on. Is one of those 20" lights enough to light up a bay? Or would one near the front and one near the back work better? Or maybe one on each side running from the front door to the back of the box?
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:45 PM   #7
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my wiring already existed - id come thru the top right corner or top right side and seal it.
as for the lighting / number of strips per bay...you can see the diff in my pictures...
the cooler bay has one strip over the open side of the bay (not over the cooler since that would be a waste).

even ONE strip is a lot of light - especially if its dark.

if you look in the REAR bay (tools hoses & boards for my leveling jacks)...that bay has
TWO strips soldered together (150 leds)...the light is more uniform and consistent across the bay...i did this because of the half shelf and the need to SEE if im after tools etc.

the FRONT bay (out door mat & chairs) has a FULL (depth) shelf and so i put one strip of 75 LEDs in the center top and then one strip under the full shelf.

my factory lighting used the metal box/bay as ground, so you only really need to run one 12v (fused) wire

I would run the strips across the front along the length of the bay...its gets the lighting IN the bay and theres NO GLARE (which i believe would be the case if you ran the lights along the depth)....mine are stuck to the back side of the STIFFENING lip of the box.

I dont recall the dimensions of my bays...i know theyre 24 deep...and theyre more than 60 wide across the front (the cooler is about 30 inches wide).

IIRC the automotive bulbs were 2 or 4 watts (and they SUCKED)...they get hot and they provide zero light (in comparison to the wide coverage of the LED strips)....those automotive bulbs pulled 8 to 16 TIMES more current (iirc i measured 1/4 of an amp at 12v)...but im reading reviews that say they pulled 350ma per strip....i dont thing you have to worry about them killing your batteries (for a few days).

im reading reviews that claim each strip of light is on par w/ a 13w fluorescent tube...im not sure i agree but they are bright.

to me the master switch could be a good idea BUT...opening a bin, hitting the switch and having NO LIGHT (because i forgot to turn the master on) would piss me off, i know it !
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