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Old 12-01-2023, 11:13 PM   #1
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Upgrading incandeswcent to LED

As my sig shows, I have a 1997 Eagle. I am dissatisfied with the incandescent bulbs in the brake/taillights. Especially in the daylight hours. On more than one occasion I have the left or right turn signal on to change lanes and people come up alongside as though they do not see my signal.

On a previous trailer, I simply replaced the incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs, and I could not see that it made a significant difference. I would like to replace the entire unit with an LED array panel with multiple mini-LEDs.

Has anybody done this and have any recommendations?

I have done some on-line "shopping" and it seems very confusing to me, trying to find something that is the right size.

Second afterthought question: Is there some way to "boost" the voltage to the back of the rig so I know it is getting true 12V?
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Old 12-02-2023, 08:27 AM   #2
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If the voltage is truly low according to a dc volt meter, you could try running new wiring with better splices to the existing fixtures. Corrosion can create resistance that will greatly affect the voltage at the end of a wiring run.
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Old 12-02-2023, 09:32 AM   #3
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Norty has a good suggestion that you repair or upgrade your wiring. On mine it is a tiny gauge wire and crimp connectors that are not waterproof. Same on brakes! I replaced all my exterior lights and tails with LED. I purchased a box of low temp solder connectors that have shrink tube integral shrink tubing. Much faster and easier to do and zero problems and have lasted for years already. You will need a cheap heat gun and a box of butt connectors. Amazon, search shrink tube butt connectors solder. About $12 will be enough for several RVs but smallest they have. I saw a two temp heat gun like I bought for 12.99. Also handy for softening Dicor when you need to without melting the rubber.

To use it simply have clean ends with about 1/3 inch of wire showing. Insert BOTH! ends into solder area so they overlap. A few seconds at low and melted together and shrink tube is sealed!! Simple and quick.
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Old 12-02-2023, 04:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
I replaced all my exterior lights and tails with LED.
How? That's really my question. Did you just replace the incandescent bulbs with LED?

As for the suggestions to replace the wiring, etc., thank you for that. Unfortunately, I am 1/2 crippled and cannot crawl around under the RV chasing wires. That is why I am looking for an easier solution.
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Old 12-02-2023, 04:37 PM   #5
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Sorry, I bought made for RV lights and taillights complete.

Command Electronis for tails $44 for the pair, almost perfect replacement size.

Partsam for the running, got a batch $30 that replaced all of them and a couple spares. Tossed the whole old lights and used the sealed LED fixtures. Much easier than replacing the bulbs.
Did that on a couple items and the fixtures would corrode anyway.

Total including Tails, running, butt connectors and heat gun just under $100.
After installation I noticed brighter tails and lights. Asked person following me once and they said looked better.
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Old 12-02-2023, 05:52 PM   #6
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If the wiring has some resistance in it causing the incandescent lights to be dim, things will greatly improve with LEDs without doing anything. LEDs pull far less current than the other bulbs which will reduce some of the voltage drop in the wiring. That is unless you get a tail light with a crap load of bulbs in it.

A single LED bulb may only pull 1/10 the amperage of incandescent.

I have read that when converting to LEDs in a vehicle that the turn signal flasher may not work properly due to the reduced current draw. If that happens you can change the flasher to one that works with LEDs.
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