1. How does an LED work?

Answer: LED means Light Emitting Diode. It is a 21st century solid-state semiconductor that was developed along with the transistors and integrated circuits now used in all our electronics.

When a positive voltage is applied to an electroluminescent semiconductor junction, the junction emits a narrow spectrum of incoherent light. 

Wattage of Incandescent Light Bulb
Light Output (Lumens)
Wattage of LED Bulb
25W
250-350
3W
40W
400-550
5W
60W
700-900
7-9W
75W
900-1100
12W
100W
1600-1800
15W

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- Differences between a Lumen and a Watt?

So what about these lumens per watt thing? A watt is a unit of electrical energy. We measure electrical usage in watts, and pay for our electricity by the number of watts we use. When we talk about lumens per watt (lm/w), we are measuring how many lumens of light are produced for each watt of electrical energy used. It's how we measure the efficiency of a light source – and now we're getting to LEDs and how they differ from incandescent and fluorescent lights.

- What are the advantages and disadvantages of LED lights?

Advantages

  • Efficiency: LEDs emit more light per watt than incandescent light bulbs. Their efficiency is not affected by shape and size, unlike fluorescent light bulbs or tubes.
  • Color: LEDs can emit light of an intended color without using any color filters as traditional lighting methods need. This is more efficient and can lower initial costs.
  • Size: LEDs can be very small (smaller than 2 mm2) and are easily populated onto printed circuit boards.
  • On/Off time: LEDs light up very quickly. A typical red indicator LED will achieve full brightness in under a microsecond. LEDs used in communications devices can have even faster response times.
  • Cycling: LEDs are ideal for uses subject to frequent on-off cycling, unlike fluorescent lamps that fail faster when cycled often, or HID lamps that require a long time before restarting.
  • Dimming: LEDs can very easily be dimmed either by pulse-width modulation or lowering the forward current.
  • Cool light: In contrast to most light sources, LEDs radiate very little heat in the form of IR that can cause damage to sensitive objects or fabrics. Wasted energy is dispersed as heat through the base of the LED.
  • Slow failure: LEDs mostly fail by dimming over time, rather than the abrupt failure of incandescent bulbs.
  • Lifetime: LEDs can have a relatively long useful life. One report estimates 35,000 to 50,000 hours of useful life, though time to complete failure may be longer. Fluorescent tubes typically are rated at about 10,000 to 15,000 hours, depending partly on the conditions of use, and incandescent light bulbs at 1,000–2,000 hours.
  • Shock resistance: LEDs, being solid state components, are difficult to damage with external shock, unlike fluorescent and incandescent bulbs which are fragile.
  • Focus: The solid package of the LED can be designed to focus its light. Incandescent and fluorescent sources often require an external reflector to collect light and direct it in a usable manner.


Disadvantages


  • High initial price: LEDs are currently more expensive, price per lumen, on an initial capital cost basis, than most conventional lighting technologies. The additional expense partially stems from the relatively low lumen output and the drive circuitry and power supplies needed.
  • Temperature dependence: LED performance largely depends on the ambient temperature of the operating environment. Over-driving an LED in high ambient temperatures may result in overheating the LED package, eventually leading to device failure. Adequate heat sinking is needed to maintain long life. This is especially important in automotive, medical, and military uses where devices must operate over a wide range of temperatures, and need low failure rates.
  • Voltage sensitivity: LEDs must be supplied with the voltage above the threshold and a current below the rating. This can involve series resistors or current-regulated power supplies.
  • Light quality: Most cool-white LEDs have spectra that differ significantly from a black body radiator like the sun or an incandescent light. The spike at 460 nm and dip at 500 nm can cause the color of objects to be perceived differently under cool-white LED illumination than sunlight or incandescent sources, due to metamerism, red surfaces being rendered particularly badly by typical phosphor based cool-white LEDs. However, the color rendering properties of common fluorescent lamps are often inferior to what is now available in state-of-art white LEDs.
  • Area light source: LEDs do not approximate a “point source” of light, but rather a lambertian distribution. So LEDs are difficult to apply to uses needing a spherical light field. LEDs cannot provide divergence below a few degrees. In contrast, lasers can emit beams with divergences of 0.2 degrees or less.
  • Blue hazard: There is a concern that blue LEDs and cool-white LEDs are now capable of exceeding safe limits of the so-called blue-light hazard as defined in eye safety specifications such as ANSI/IESNA RP-27.1–05: Recommended Practice for Photo biological Safety for Lamp and Lamp Systems.


4. How much more efficient are LED's thn other bulbs?

Answer: In the 12-volt systems of RV's and Boats, fixtures are designed to provide a specific amount of light (measured in lumens). What varies is the amount of electricity used to produce the useful light. The more heat that must be generated, the less efficient the fixture.

To a first approximation, here is where the electricity goes for various lighting. 

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Email: Customer Relations

The higher the color temperature, the whiter the light is. A lower color temperature is more on the yellow side of white. This is important to you because you have to look at how light interaction will either compliment your interior, or might clash with it. The light can change even the color of what your interior looks like. Sometimes paint on a wall will look much different under one color temperature verses another. It should be noted that the lower color temperatures like 2700K, works well on objects that have earth tones, such as wood, leather or darker colors. The warmer colors "slightly yellow", will enhances those colors and keep that incandescent-like color.



Heat
Light
Incandescent Bulbs
85%
15%
Halogen Bulbs
80%
20%
Fluorescents w/Ballast
50%
50%
LEDs
15%
85%

Thecolor of the emitted light depends on the composition and condition of the semiconducting material used, and can be infrared, visible, orultraviolet.


LEDs are very efficient in their conversion of electrical energy into light, and in a proper circuit with limiting resistor will achieve about 85% efficiency. They are also very long-lived, with expected lifetimes of 100,000 hours. However, they are also sensitive to overheating and overvoltage, so the lighting circuit is more complex than a simple plus and minus.

2. Why does one manufacture guarantee their bulb for 50,000 hours, another for 65,000 hours and another for 75,000 hours?         

Answer: The reality is no manufacture can tell you how long your bulb will last; it depends of where and how the bulb is used. We work with many experienced engineers, the key point is not how bright the LED is, but who brings the best technology. Many people have a misunderstanding that LED’s do not radiate heat. This is incorrect, when you touch a light you may not feel the heat but the heat is dissipated by what is called a “Heat Sink.” This heat sink is typically made of aluminum or copper, but new technologies are experimenting with carbon heat sinks.

It is this inside technology and how the heat is dissipated that determines the life of the bulb. It is important to realize there is a difference in the loss of efficiency and intensity “loss of efficiency” of the LED light and actual “burn out” time. That is why when a manufacture gives you a “life expectancy” it is misleading and shouldn’t be used in your purchasing decision.

EEZRV PRODUCTS does not stop with one decision or one style. We are continually working with our engineers and the factories in order to keep up with the most recent technology so we stay ahead of the market.

3. What is a Lumin?

Answer: If you put a collector totally around a lighting device and count all the photons coming out from the device, that number corresponds to the total luminosity of the device. Any photon that is produced, goes into a dark reflector, and does not come out is not counted.

A lumen is a unit of measurement that is used to express how much illumination a source of light provides. We could get all technical here and go through the entire history of lighting, but it's really far simpler than all that. A lumen is about the equivalent of the amount of light put out by a single birthday candle if you are one foot away from the candle. A lamp that puts out 1 lumen of light is as bright as one birthday candle a foot away. A lamp that puts out 100 lumens is as bright as 100 birthday candles a foot away from you.

Thus, LEDs can produce the same light lumenocity using about one sixth or better of the power of incandescent, about one third the power of fluorescents.

Incandescent bulbs use the other five-sixth of the power it draws to heat the tungsten filament which generates infrared radiation and heat.  LEDs just do not generate all that heat. Definitely replace all incandescent bulbs with LEDs in an RV.

Halogen bulbs are touted to be more efficient than incandescent. They do this by vaporizing the tunsten instead of just heating it white hot.  For a little more efficiency you get a much, much hotter bulb.

Flourescents are a different calculation. Fluorescent bulbs are driven by a 48 volt alternating current generated by the "ballast" of the fixture. The bulbs are more efficient than incandescent, but there is inefficiency in the ballast, especially in a 12-volt DC environment.

LEDs use about 33% of the current of an equivalent fluorescent in an RV.

5. What kind of light bulb do I have?

Answer: First, determine in what kind of electrical circuit the light-bulb is used. Is it 120-volt AC or 12-volt DC or 24-volt DC?

In a USA stick-house the standard electrical circuits for lights are 120-volt AC. You may find some fixtures (especially halogens) that have an AC/DC convertor that plugs into the house circuit and supplies 12-volt DC to specialty lighting.

In most RVs and boats, all the lighting is connected to a 12-volt DC circuit. That is so you have lighting even when not connected to shore (the pedestal). There are many owners who are surprised by this fact. Only in a rare few high-end rigs is there AC lighting; these are the exception.

Some older MCI bus conversions have house circuits of 24-volt DC, and since there are few 24-volt lights, this usually requires two 12-volt DC lamps be used in series in each light fixture.

Next, take the light-bulb out of its socket and look at it. You may be able to find the bulb number printed on the bulb base or on the glass. If the bulb comes from a screw-type socket (called Edison sockets), it is probably a 120-volt AC bulb. The other most common kinds of sockets are the bayonet, wedge, and bi-pin. These are all used in DC circuits.

The base for a bayonet socket is solid metal with two little ears on opposite sides near the bottom. The following FAQs discuss different bulbs with the various bases and their LED replacements.

- About Bayonet Base light-bulb.

The Bayonet Base is a metal cylinder with small ears on the opposite sides that fit into slots in the socket and rotate into place like the bayonet on a rifle. There are two diameters of Bayonet bases: 9mm and 15mm. Light Blasters only supports the 15mm base. There are three types of 15mm bases: the BA15s, the BA15d, and the BAY15d.

The BA15s Single Contact Bayonet base has a single contact for +12-volt on the bottom of the base. The base shell is ground. Incandescent bulbs using this base include: 67, 93, 1003, 1073, 1139, 1141, 1143, 1156, 1295, 1383, and 1651. We support all these types, though space limitations where the bulb is used may limit what can be done with LEDs.

The BA15d Double Contact Bayonet base has two contacts on the bottom of the base: one for ground and the other for +12-volt, though no indication is given on which is which. The shell of the base is normally not connected. Incandescent bulbs using this base include: 68, 90, 94, 1004, 1076, and 1142. Since the LEDs have a required polarity, the base may need to be rotated 180 degrees to get the LED to operate correctly.

The BAY15d Double Contact Index Bayonet base has two contacts on the bottom of the base, both +12-volt, one for one filament and the other for the second filament. Ground is provided by the shell of the base. These are dual function bulbs such as used for brake/turn signal lights, etc. Incandescent bulbs using this base include: 1016, 1034, 1154, 1157, and 1176.

6. My bulb has two contacts on the bottom. What is it?

Answer: The B15 base comes in three varieties: BA15s and BA15d and BAY15d. The last two have two contacts on the bottom. EEZ RV PRODUCTS supports only the BA15d.

7. Can my wedge base light-bulb be replaced by an LED?

Answer: Wedge bulbs are made entirely from glass, including the base, with two wires wrapped around at the bottom to make contact with a socket measuring 2.1mm by 9.5mm. Incandescent bulbs of this type include: 194, 906, 912, 921, and 922. The 194 bulb is a miniature and sometimes used in applications where there is insufficient room to fit an LED.

8. Can my Bi-Pin Halogen light-bulb be replaced by an LED?

Answer: The 4mm Bi-Pin halogen (12v10w) using the G4 base in the puck fixture is replaceable. We do not have a solution at this time for vertically mounted halogen bulbs or the 6.35mm MR16 bulbs.

9. Can my fluorescent light fixture be replaced by an LED?

Answer: Yes, it requires removing the tubes and bypassing the ballast then depending on the size of your fixture you can use either our 12 inch or 18 inch LED replacement bulb.

10. What is an amp-hour?

Answer: Quite literally, one amp-hour is one amp of electric current running for one hour. It is a surrogate measure for power used in discussing 12-volt systems commonly used in the RV and Boat environment where it is assumed the voltage is always 12 volts. One amp-hour at 12 volts produces 12 watt-hours of power.

A type-27 battery rated at 100 amp-hours contains about 50 amp-hours of useful power. You do not want to use more than half the stored energy from a battery; else you will damage the plates.

In stick-houses on the grid, power usage is most commonly measured in kilowatt-hours. 50 amp-hours at 12 volts is equivalent to 0.6 kilowatt-hours. Therefore, a bank of four type-27 batteries has a capacity of 2.4 kilowatt-hours. That means your typical battery holds about $0.06 worth of electricity. But when you are off-grid that much can make the difference between living well and sitting in the dark.

11. What is the color temperature of LEDs?

Answer: Color temperature is determined by comparing its chromaticity with a theoretical, heated black-body radiator. Got that? What people really want to know is how does the light from LEDs compared with their perceptions of light from other sources. Since the spectrum of light from a white LED does not have the same form as that of any other light source, the color temperature of LEDs is somewhat subjective.

EEZ RV PRODUCTS works closely with our LED manufacturer to produce a warmer LED, which is a blue-yellow variety with a comparative color temperature of about 3,500K, which we called a “warm” color.

EEZ RV PRODUCTS also provides what we call a "natural" color, with a comparative color temperature of about 4,100K. 

12. Are LEDs a good replacement for fluorescent lighting?

Answer: LED lighting is an excellent replacement for fluorescent lighting, for several reasons. There is a power savings of a factor of 3 when you use LEDs to produce the same amount of light as you were getting from the fluorescent.

13. Can I use LEDs in the RV or Trailer tail lights ?

Answer: LEDs are becoming more popular for lighting in automotive tail lights. However, do to different requirements for inside living electrical and traditional automotive lighting we have decided to leave these to the automotive Pro’s. EEZ RV PRODUCTS currently does not offer these, however, we are continually evaluating the market.

14. Are LED's costly?

Answer: LEDs are more energy efficient than normal halogen bulbs (around 90% less) and can cut the usage demands on an RV or boat. On average, around 90% of the electricity consumed by an LED is converted into light, whereas a standard bulb only converts around 15%.

Although the initial cost is higher, the savings in battery power and long service lifetimes, typically 25,000 to 100,000 hours will more than recapture the cost outlay and even create savings in the long run. Good LED bulbs last about 60,000 hours, compared to a 1003 incandescent bulb which is rated to last 200 hours.

15. Why do LEDs use such little power?

Answer: The Filament based "light bulb" consumes more power than the light produced because large amounts of energy consumed by these bulbs go to the production of "heat". LEDs produce very little “heat", and do not use filaments. Thus, LEDs are much more efficient in consumption and output.

16. Where is it appropriate to use LEDs?

Answer: EEZ RV PRODUCT's focus is on the interior and outside recreational area LED lighting for RV's and Boat's. Our goal is to provide lighting options that prolong battery life, increase efficiency and reduce cost to the consumer over the long term life of the bulb.

17. Are LED`s good for the environment?

Answer: LED's are very energy efficient, in fact you may never need to buy a replacement bulb again, so no more throwing burnt out bulbs in the trash. They are also ROHS compliant and mercury free, unlike florescent bulbs which contain a high amount of mercury and phosphor. This can create a health hazard if broken inside a living area or if disposed of incorrectly. 

18. Can LED lamps be used in existing light fittings?

Answer: Our LED bulbs work in standard light sockets, but since they are powerful directional light bulbs, it is up to the customer to determine if the intended end use is appropriate for their individual needs. 

19. What lighting quality can be expected from an LED bulb?

EEZ RV PRODUCT's LED bulbs produce no radiant glare and thus are of a cleaner light quality. Our lighrs are designed adirectional and not like the 360 degree angle bulbs you may be accustomed to. Their color and brightness are determined by degrees Kelvin, refer to chart below;

FAQ's (LED's)

Recreational and Outdoor Accessories for the RV, Camping and Boating Industry


EEZ RV PRODUCTS

For TPMS Questions and Support​

Phone: 559-676-5899
Email: TPMS Questions and Support

Color? Temperature
Common Example
1700°
Candle Flame
1800°
Sunlight at sunrise
2500°
60 watt incandescent bulb
2755°
500 watt incandescent bulb
3400°
White fluorescent
3600°
Sunlight, 1 hour after sunrise
4800°
Average noon sunlight
7000°
Uniform overcast sky