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Old 02-22-2017, 05:09 PM   #1
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12V transformer

I would like to use 12v LED lights in my bus. Is there any reason I can not use some of the existing wiring and use a 12v transformer runoff the generator
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Old 02-22-2017, 05:54 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Moose View Post
I would like to use 12v LED lights in my bus. Is there any reason I can not use some of the existing wiring and use a 12v transformer runoff the generator
I am not sure exactly what it is you are asking.

If you have a house 12-vdc system you would only need to tap into the power somewhere and you would be able to power up the lights.

If all you have at this point is the 12-vdc engine start/run system then you will need to put together a separate 12-vdc system so that you can't run the start/run system down so low you wouldn't be able to restart the bus engine.

Most people are wanting to invert 12-vdc to 110-vac from a 12-vdc battery bank.

Running a 12-vdc convertor off of a genset would be a very poor use of a genset. It would be better to run the lights off of a battery bank and run the genset to recharge the battery bank.
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Old 02-22-2017, 06:06 PM   #3
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I do not have money to add battery system know. would like to run the ceiling LED lights off of a transformer that would be normally used for garden lights. Then I don't have to run AC wiring
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Old 02-22-2017, 08:06 PM   #4
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I do not have money to add battery system know. would like to run the ceiling LED lights off of a transformer that would be normally used for garden lights. Then I don't have to run AC wiring
Makes no sense to have to fire up the genny just to turn on some lights.

You already have 12V, run directly off that.

Charge your 12V battery as needed off the genny.

Have a personal power jumper pack handy in case you run down too much, but that's temporary.

Get a proper House battery / isolated Starter setup soon as you can afford it.
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Old 02-22-2017, 08:45 PM   #5
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I appreciate you response. This will not be an RV it is going to be a mobile farmers market and will have the genny running most of the time to support refrigeration. So if any one has tried the transformer to run LED lights it will help me save money. I want to wire them in with some of the existing wiring in the ceiling.

Thank You
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Old 02-22-2017, 09:17 PM   #6
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Well if your lights are tapping into the existing vehicle wiring, then it will be running off your battery. Your transformer plugging in as well **may** help keep the battery running down too much, but any 12V battery charger will have the higher voltage to do that job much better, ideally more amps as well.

The RV style "converters" designed to feed House loads same time keeping battery charged would be even better, but if you go with a cheap garage style charger, just keep an eye that the battery isn't going dry, top off distilled water once in a while.
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Old 02-23-2017, 07:51 AM   #7
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You are trying to make this way more complicated that it actually is. As others have said, use the existing wiring, convert the overhead lights to LED and use a cheap battery charger plugged into your generator. LED lights are a very small load and you will have lights whether generator is running or not.
A battery charger IS a transformer.

You can use existing wiring for what ever you want as long as you are SURE you know what you are doing.

If you really want to mess with things and possibly let some smoke out you can use a computer power supply to get a few amps of 12v for you power but you would have to isolate the wiring from the bus and you wouldn't have any lights when the generator isn't running.
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Old 02-23-2017, 08:23 AM   #8
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Yes, transformer, charger, power supply, then converter, charger.

So many terms for the same or at least similar functionality.
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Old 02-23-2017, 10:34 AM   #9
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Hey Moose,

I tend to agree with the others that having a 12v battery setup that you periodically charge with the generator is the preferred solution.

BUT... That is not what you asked about.... I understand that sometimes we have good reasons for taking a little different path to achieve what WE want or need.

The garden light transformer is likely 12v AC (or24v). You need 12v DC. The following is one option: https://www.amazon.com/Adapter-100-2...v+power+supply

I use one similar to run LED lights in mine as I have 120v wired to the location and this rig is almost permanently parked and hooked to shore power.

Hope that helps.

S.
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Old 02-23-2017, 10:38 AM   #10
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Like Somewhereinusa said, plug a cheap auto battery charger into the generator and charge the starting batteries while you're at the market. That way there's no worry about running down your starting batteries while parked with the interior lights on. LED lights draw much less current than incandescent bulbs but unless you're using a bunch of them the battery charger should be able to keep up with the draw.
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