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View Full Version : What is the best way to connect 12V LED strip awning lights?


wayfun
08-12-2013, 02:22 PM
I recently bought a reel of LED's to use as awning lights on EBAY, similar to this http://www.ebay.com/itm/Warm-White-5M-500CM-Waterproof-3528-SMD-Flexible-LED-Strip-Lights-600-leds-/380693061917?pt=US_String_Lights_Fairy_Lights&hash=item58a313211d

Any clever ideas on how to connect them So far, I plan to place them on the side of the trailer just under the awning with the power connection to the point. Right now I'm thinking I will put a disconnect plug near the end of the lights with a some type of stick-on strain relief. Then run a wire set from there to another disconnect plug at the battery with an in-line switch. The wire would just hang down the side of the trailer and then run it along the ground under the trailer. Flip it on and off as needed.

Any better ideas?

Dennis

Doug
08-12-2013, 03:14 PM
The only thing I would caution is any pigtail hanging loose while traveling.

I have mine attached to the awning tube. The pigtail end gets folded in and wrapped up in awning.

Once I left that pigtail hanging outside the awning and the wind torn it apart before my next stop.

I believe some people have put clear packaging tape over installation on the sidewall.

Best regards,
Doug

RoyBraddy
08-12-2013, 03:24 PM
Doug how do you hook yours up to 12VDC. You have a MALE-FEMALE plug hanging on the outside somewhere? Just curious... I would think you could tap into the porch light 12VDC somehow to get the 12VDC you need on the outside of the trailer... Then you could turn the LED lights ON-OFF from that switch inside?

Roy

Doug
08-12-2013, 04:21 PM
Roy,
It has a female plug on the pigtail that is just at the end of the strip.
The 12V power supply just plugs into outside outlet, slide it up the awning arm and plug it in. 2 minutes max.
It has a remote so you can turn it on/off and change color or dim lights from anywhere.

Best regards,
Doug

krackeer
08-12-2013, 04:37 PM
Remember that only the lights are waterproof, nothing else. I found out the hard way! What I did was order some of the male/female adapters. They where like $5 for 20. They are delicate. I also ordered a 10 foot extension. I believe that was about $10. I connect the extension to the lights and run it to my fridge cover where I have the transformer and the remote rf. I leave the remote rf end barely sticking out, and the run the transformer plug to the outlet. No problems with water now.

wayfun
08-12-2013, 09:24 PM
The lights I have don't have their own power adapter. They just use the trailer's 12v system. I like the idea of somehow connecting to the porch light. I'll have to check that out.

Thanks,
Dennis

Timberghost
08-13-2013, 04:33 AM
Is there a way to convert the 110v led's over to 12v?

tnchuck100
08-13-2013, 06:20 AM
Is there a way to convert the 110v led's over to 12v?

These LED's are 12V already. The only way they work on 110V is by the 110V to 12V power supply. Just don't use the power supply and hook them up to 12V directly.

RoyBraddy
08-13-2013, 08:28 AM
For me I use alot of 12VDC connections from a BLUE SEA 12VDC SUB PANEL that is primary powered from a Separate direct battery connection. This is mainly for my radio comms connections but is useful for other 12VDC connections. I was never happy with using the 12VDC CONNECTIONS from one of those flip lid cigarette lighter type scattered around the trailer. Even trying to always use the high end connector/plug models was always a NOT SO SAFE situation for me. The best method was to purchase a matched pair of of socket and plug like those offered on BLUE SEA to get around the problem of using all of the different 12VDC plugs that are used from the various appliances. Unless they are properly designed for the plug you are using for me always ended up in generating heat and ultimate socket/plug damage - sometimes bad enough to melt down wiring and solder connections etc with just a 5AMP requirement.

I just hardwire all of my 12VDC connections now using crimp-on ring terminal type connections either from my 12VDC Power Distribution panel or an installed 12VDC sub panel. All connections are properly fused...
http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTMwW38576YKtCxPpyUhDnZevIWdIoyJ 9-7suWGVbCAi5U-l3kA

This is all probably abit over kill but just what makes me feel safe with 12VDC circuits running all the place... Got to do something to protect the 12VDC wiring from melting down due to shorting out.

I am pretty well setup for almost any new temporary or permanent 12VDC circuit that might come up on the inside of the trailer but will have to admit not that much setup for outside 12VDC connections like the LED AWNING lights.

Even hanging a drooping pigtail male/female type hookup turns on a red light to me. Would certainly have to be fused circuit to guard against melting 12VDC wiring if accidentally shorted out...

My OFF-ROAD POPUP is currently using a 120VAC type ROPE LIGHTS that are held in place all around the underside of my awning frame using tie wraps. Takes five minutes to setup everytime we stop and of course uses new tie wraps every time. They are cheap enough not to be a problem. My 120VAC drop cord comes thru my tent windows near the roof line so all is out of the weather per say. Mine are controlled by a remote controlled 120VAC drop cord from local True Value hardware store... This is super handy to have around the trailer.
http://www.truevalue.com/assets/product_images/styles/large/710210.jpg

Looking like I may have to come up with some safe 12VDC permanent connections on the exterior of my trailers.. My normal method is just use shore power or inverter when off the grid 120VAC trailer connections and then use extension cords for things like this...

Roy Ken

19H F250
08-13-2013, 08:42 AM
In our 19H we have a row of cabinets tight to the ceiling on the interior wall from the door to the end of the tt right behind were the awning sits in the closed position. I was thinking of going thru the wall, along side of the awning power wire, then going through the cabinets( behind the radio & microwave) to where the inside & outside light switch's are located. Tap the 12V feed for those switch's and install another switch ( or get a 3 switch set up) for the led lights. Please advice if any body has any input, pro or con tx. Larry

jwstewar
08-13-2013, 09:13 AM
Remember that only the lights are waterproof, nothing else. I found out the hard way! What I did was order some of the male/female adapters. They where like $5 for 20. They are delicate. I also ordered a 10 foot extension. I believe that was about $10. I connect the extension to the lights and run it to my fridge cover where I have the transformer and the remote rf. I leave the remote rf end barely sticking out, and the run the transformer plug to the outlet. No problems with water now.

This is about what I did, except I didn't use the transformer. I just tapped into the 12-volt that supplies the power to fridge.

RoyBraddy
08-13-2013, 09:45 AM
I think the idea of finding where to safely hookup to 12VDC is only part of the issue.

How are you going to handle the 12VDC connection on the outside of the trailer.

Are you going to terminate into some sort of 12VDC PLUG arrangement... A Flip lid type weather tight connection? Maybe just a MALE-FEMALE pigtail type connection like you see with the Radio Shack versions...

I don't think you will be able to permanently wire the 12VDC into your awning lights - I might be wrong here... I would want a disconnect on the outside even if it is only used just for maintenance...

Roy Ken

james.l.devore
08-13-2013, 09:51 AM
If the lights have there own remote, why not tap into the 12v from a electric awning? Throw some shrink wrap tubing on the connections and install the lights on the awning tube?

jwstewar
08-13-2013, 10:27 AM
I think the idea of finding where to safely hookup to 12VDC is only part of the issue.

How are you going to handle the 12VDC connection on the outside of the trailer.

Are you going to terminate into some sort of 12VDC PLUG arrangement... A Flip lid type weather tight connection? Maybe just a MALE-FEMALE pigtail type connection like you see with the Radio Shack versions...

I don't think you will be able to permanently wire the 12VDC into your awning lights - I might be wrong here... I would want a disconnect on the outside even if it is only used just for maintenance...

Roy Ken

This is actually my second attempt at an install. The first set I installed on the awning roller. I couldn't figure out a nice way to connect/disconnect the lights so I bought some of the extension cables and just used that to plug into the lights attached to the awning roller. I then ran the wire up the awning poles, over the roof and down the fridge vent. I would then just plug/unplug as I rolled the awning up. Me being vertically challenged I usually had to have something to stand on. I wasn't thrilled with this set up. Once half the set quit working (I'm assuming from me breaking one of the "cut" lines) I decided I was doing it different and mounted this set to the side of the camper. I'm super thrilled with this set up. Just point the remote at the fridge vent and turn the lights on and off. We can use them while the awning is rolled up and everything. So much happier, this is the way I wanted to do it originally, but the wife didn't want them stuck to the side of the camper. This time I did it my way and everyone is happy.

Doug
08-13-2013, 10:37 AM
I think I would prefer to hook them to side of camper.
1. The window and awning does not have enough space to run the lights between them.
2. I would have to find a secure way to protect pigtail
3. It would be high enough that I would need something to stand on to connect/disconnect.
4. I am uncomfortable with the 3M adhesive withstanding the travel wind over time.

Right now, I can reach the connection on my manual awning and the connect/disconnect is quick and easy enough.

I have not had any weather related issues during use. I have put the controller/12V box in a small zip-lock baggie, but have also left it out unprotected. Seems like all connections if oriented correctly do not get subject to water damage.

Best regards,
Doug