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Author Topic: replaced interior lights with LED and they only work on 120V  (Read 2212 times)

mehony3785

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replaced interior lights with LED and they only work on 120V
« on: October 17, 2016, 08:08:45 PM »
i have a 1987 sportsman that i just purchased this summer and I'm preparing to take it out boondocking for the first time.   i replaced the interior incandescent bulbs with LED replacements from amazon.   the lights work great when on 120V but when its running off 12v battery the lights won't even give a hint of light.   if i swap the bulbs back to incandescents those work fine on the 12v battery.   is there any way i can fix the LEDs to run off the battery power, like adding resistors? i like the idea of them drawing a lot less power when off the grid.   

thanks for your time

sfpcservice

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Re: replaced interior lights with LED and they only work on 120V
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2016, 09:07:17 PM »
Sounds like your batteries are disconnected or a main fuse is blown between the batteries and the distribution panel...  or the batteries are just dead.  I think your lights work on 120v because the converter is active and supplying the lights with 12v.

Quillback 424

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Re: replaced interior lights with LED and they only work on 120V
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2016, 09:13:44 PM »
LEDs are polarity sensitive. Try reversing the way one LED is plugged in and see if it will light on battery power.
Larry --  Olathe, Kansas
2012 Winnebago Sightseer 33C
2005 Trail Rated Jeep GC 4.7 L

"Only an insane society would restrict the liberties of healthy people based on the actions of the disturbed." 
John Hayward

mehony3785

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Re: replaced interior lights with LED and they only work on 120V
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2016, 05:04:15 AM »
Sounds like your batteries are disconnected or a main fuse is blown between the batteries and the distribution panel...  or the batteries are just dead.  I think your lights work on 120v because the converter is active and supplying the lights with 12v.

but when i replace the LED bulbs with the incandescent bulbs that were there those work off battery power only just fine

mehony3785

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Re: replaced interior lights with LED and they only work on 120V
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2016, 05:09:34 AM »
LEDs are polarity sensitive. Try reversing the way one LED is plugged in and see if it will light on battery power.

i dont know how the reversing the bulb will reverse polarity.  it is a 1141 base which looks like below.  i guess i will give it a try just to make sure



Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: replaced interior lights with LED and they only work on 120V
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2016, 08:01:57 AM »
1. Leds are very voltage sensitive, whereas an incandescent will give some amount of light in almost any voltage. If your batteries are producing only moderate voltage, maybe barely 12.0, the leds may not light at all. When on shore power, your converter is putting out 13+ volts, so plenty to light the leds. Some makes of inexpensive leds lack enough voltage regulation to work across a range of voltages and may only work in a narrow range, e.g. 12.6 - 13.6v.

2. Reversing a 1141 bulb changes nothing, but reversing the wiring on the socket does. However, since the leds work when shore power is used, you can be sure the problem is NOT polarity. The polarity doesn't change just because the converter is supplying it instead of the battery.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2016, 08:05:50 AM by Gary RV Roamer »
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

mehony3785

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Re: replaced interior lights with LED and they only work on 120V
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2016, 09:31:42 AM »
1. Leds are very voltage sensitive, whereas an incandescent will give some amount of light in almost any voltage. If your batteries are producing only moderate voltage, maybe barely 12.0, the leds may not light at all. When on shore power, your converter is putting out 13+ volts, so plenty to light the leds. Some makes of inexpensive leds lack enough voltage regulation to work across a range of voltages and may only work in a narrow range, e.g. 12.6 - 13.6v.

2. Reversing a 1141 bulb changes nothing, but reversing the wiring on the socket does. However, since the leds work when shore power is used, you can be sure the problem is NOT polarity. The polarity doesn't change just because the converter is supplying it instead of the battery.

Time to get out the volt meter and see what output the fixtures are giving on battery alone

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: replaced interior lights with LED and they only work on 120V
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2016, 03:03:15 PM »
I have some led strip lights in the ceiling for decor & mood lighting. They often blinked or refused to light on battery power alone, even though the voltage was in the 12.2.12.5 range.  A solid 12.6 seemed to be the bare minimum. I fixed the problem by powering them from a small plug-in AC/DC converter (sold by most led vendors) and plugging that to my inverter circuit. The inverter and the AC/DC box handled the voltage variations and the light worked perfectly thereafter.

A friend had a similar problem with blinking leds. He had 4 sets of 2 lights in ceiling fixtures, wired in parallel of course. The two pairs closest to the power source always worked even when the battery voltage declined a bit, but the second two pairs would lose brightness & color and then start blinking after a short time.  Running a second wire direct to the DC power center corrected that.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

mehony3785

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Re: replaced interior lights with LED and they only work on 120V
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2016, 06:06:28 AM »
is there any way to get the voltage up high enough from the battery if that is the case?

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: replaced interior lights with LED and they only work on 120V
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2016, 08:56:20 AM »
Depends on what the problem is. If the batteries are low, replace the batteries, If the battery voltage is good but the voltage reaching the lights is poor, find and fix the poor quality connection or inadequate wire in between.

I suppose one could add a voltage increase transformer, but its probably cheaper to buy a better quality bulb that handles a wider range of voltage.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Len and Jo

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Len & Jo
The Green Tardis
We 'B' RVing   Berkley, Michigan
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robertusa123

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Re: replaced interior lights with LED and they only work on 120V
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2016, 10:05:18 AM »
I been Burn by Amazon LED bulbs myself first thing to check are they 12 volt DC bulbs they maybe 24 volt AC or even 110 volt AC bulbs which obviously will not work on 12 DC volts.... I also bought a set of bulbs that although we're bayonet bulbs the bases had to heads similar to a tail light brake light bulbs want it was positive on one tip and negative on the other tip. which  obviously did not work in my socket..... with that said the first thing I would check is is your battery charged and are the cables that connected to the battery cleaned and tight
« Last Edit: October 20, 2016, 10:18:51 AM by robertusa123 »
1996  26ft. 3 kids 2 dog and the wife too

Len and Jo

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Re: replaced interior lights with LED and they only work on 120V
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2016, 01:30:12 PM »
I am sure my 'B' wiring is far simpler then you rig but I wired all my lights to run directly of off the house batteries (12 volt DC).  That avoids while dry camping having to run an inverter  to generate 120v AC.  I have had no problem with any of my lights doing this. My house battery voltage can fluctuate between 12.4volts and 14.4 volts.
Len & Jo
The Green Tardis
We 'B' RVing   Berkley, Michigan
Van Development:   https://youtu.be/5Xqk_G6k95M
12 Years of Travels:  https://youtu.be/UMIf17CzdZo

mehony3785

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Re: replaced interior lights with LED and they only work on 120V
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2016, 09:12:08 AM »
ok i finally had time to look into the lighting.   when checking the voltage at the fixture i was getting 13+ volts with 120v plugged in and 12.28 volts when on battery.   i know from battery the voltage was running in reverse ( the positive was going into the side of the base and not the single point at the bottom of the bulb.   i reversed the wires and the LED bulb now only works on battery and not 120v which is opposite of what it was doing  before the wires were switched.   

Im starting to wonder would the battery converter/charger be able to run using the battery if it was connected reversed???   when i bought the camper the owner were only using the 120v connection so the battery wires (white and black) were just hanging up by the front of the trailer.  I figured the positive was white and the black was negative.   could i be wrong in how the battery is connected?

Kevin Means

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Re: replaced interior lights with LED and they only work on 120V
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2016, 12:06:37 PM »
It kind of sounds like someone made some modifications to the electrical system. Just for your info, if that battery voltage measurement you took is accurate, your batteries are only at about a 65% State Of Charge. If you were plugged into shore-power before you took the reading, the charger portion of your converter may not be working.

Kev
2011 Winnebago Tour 42QD
Towing a Jeep Rubicon Unlimited LJ or an Acura MDX
RVI Brake 2, Minder TM-66 TPMS, 970 watts of solar
(Can't wait to spend more time RVing)
Lakeside, California

mehony3785

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Re: replaced interior lights with LED and they only work on 120V
« Reply #15 on: October 25, 2016, 06:28:29 AM »
It kind of sounds like someone made some modifications to the electrical system. Just for your info, if that battery voltage measurement you took is accurate, your batteries are only at about a 65% State Of Charge. If you were plugged into shore-power before you took the reading, the charger portion of your converter may not be working.

Kev

hooked up my smart battery charger and the battery which was reading 12.28 volts with a volt meter wasnt even registering at 25% of a charge.  left the smart charger on overnight and its now topped off.  going to mess around more with this issue tonight

Great Horned Owl

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Re: replaced interior lights with LED and they only work on 120V
« Reply #16 on: October 25, 2016, 09:09:16 AM »
It kind of sounds like someone made some modifications to the electrical system. Just for your info, if that battery voltage measurement you took is accurate, your batteries are only at about a 65% State Of Charge. If you were plugged into shore-power before you took the reading, the charger portion of your converter may not be working.

Kev

Try measuring the voltage directly at the battery terminals. Do it while plugged in to shore power, and again when not plugged in. The first reading should be substantially higher than the second one. If it is not, you either have a malfunctioning converter, or you have something wired wrong.

Joel
Joel & Dorothy
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2011 Silverado 2500HD, Duramax, 4x4,crew cab, 8' bed
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1994 19' Class B Horizon / Chevy

mehony3785

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Re: replaced interior lights with LED and they only work on 120V
« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2016, 10:54:45 AM »
problem solved.  in the process of connecting the battery i was thinking in terms of 12v wiring where black is negative and the other wire is positive i hooked up the white and black trailer wires to the battery that way.   the trailer was wired using the residential hot being black (+) and white being neutral.  once i switched the wires on the battery it worked like a charm

 

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