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Old 10-31-2012, 08:22 AM   #1
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All 12VDC for lighting

So I havent started on my conversion yet but thinking about all the decisions I have.

Is there any reason to have 120VAC lighting in the bus? It seems that pulling wire and wiring lights for DC and AC lights is a waste of time. Why not pull only DC and run them with LED's? I know you lose efficiancy going through the charger and such but with the small wattage LED's take that shouldnt be a problem.


What does everyone else do?



Thanks In Advance
Tony
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Old 10-31-2012, 08:53 AM   #2
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Re: All 12VDC for lighting

I pulled 120 throughtout the bus so I would have recepticles everywhere anyways
I use 120v lamps so I can plug them in where ever light is needed.
At home I plug the bus in to 20 amp circuit(right now)
and can have lights, heat and run tools easily w/o extension cords everywhere

only 12v lights I use are the original lights with leds in them.

When I get battery bank up and running I will use 12v led lamps in a few places
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Old 10-31-2012, 09:52 AM   #3
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Re: All 12VDC for lighting

I like Glenn's strategy of combining 12vDC with 110vAC lighting. If I had really wanted to "do it right" I would have done the same, but to keep things simple and get the job done quickly and cheaply as possible I ran all 110vAC wiring. I may still have the opportunity to retrofit some 12vDC stuff into the bus. I suspect that most of our camping will happen at places where we have at least 30 amps of AC power to draw upon, so I wasn't overly concerned with efficiency, but if it turns out that we do more boondocking than I expected, then I will likely add more 12v stuff. But so far we have not had any problems running off house battery power (through an inverter) during the day when we are travelling and then using shore power in the evenings when camping to provide power and recharge batteries. If I were to run a predominantly 12v system I would certainly buy a power converter so I could run my 12v directly from shore power when I have the opportunity. No point cycling your batteries if you don't have to.
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Old 10-31-2012, 10:07 AM   #4
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Re: All 12VDC for lighting

all my lights are 12 volt, i have a converter, with 3 stage battery charger, keeps house battery charge when pluged to shore, or on board genny, all 12v stuff and 120v comes out of it as well, IMHO, a converter is the way to go for your electric needs.

just my 2 cents
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Old 10-31-2012, 11:58 AM   #5
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Re: All 12VDC for lighting

I don't even have a converter in my bus. What I do have is my old Trace inverter with built-in 3 stage charger that switches in automatically anytime the shore power input is hot. If the batteries are fully charged, it goes into float charge.
With this setup, I don't like to draw a lot of current from the batteries while on shore/generator power for fear of confusing the charger. A few LED lights or a couple of incans are fine.
When I am not on shore/generator power, I have two modes: full 110 volt lighting with the inverter powered on, and low-current mode with just a couple of LED lights directly off the battery.
One of the advantages of 110 lighting is that the inverter will protect the batteries by shutting off if the voltage drops below a set level; while DC lights will continue drawing current until the battery voltage reaches zero. But it is nice to read by DC light sometimes late at night, in the dead silence you only get when the inverter is off.
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Old 10-31-2012, 02:41 PM   #6
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Re: All 12VDC for lighting

I have 110v outlets on one wall. I also have an Iota power supply. Everything on the bus is 12v. When we park overnight we plug the 110v in and we are able to run everything 12v on the bus. This is how we run our Webasto too. I have a master power switch which I throw to keep it from using any battery at all.

Multitasking, home that made sense.
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Old 10-31-2012, 02:46 PM   #7
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Re: All 12VDC for lighting

I will be wiring for 120VAC throughout for plug ins and such. For general room lighting and built In fixtures I am thinking all 12vdc its something you can use while boondocking as well as when you are hooked to shore power.

Any huge downside to this or something I am missing?

Which converters are you using?


Thanks
Tony
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Old 10-31-2012, 02:57 PM   #8
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Re: All 12VDC for lighting

This is what I have: http://www.iotaengineering.com/dls75.htm

I love it!
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Old 10-31-2012, 04:00 PM   #9
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Re: All 12VDC for lighting

I started with a wfco 4500, it comes complete with the spots for your 120v breakers, and the 12v flat fuse, complete panel like you see in campers. then the converter part packed up, I think it was cause there was a voltage spike, then i got another converter and a hardwired a surge protector, then a year later the converter packed up once more, I got on the phone again and talked to the guy at best buy converters(that where i been getting this stuff from) hes that yes the wfco converters are not the good and suggested i up grade to a progressive dynmaics with the 3 stage battery charger. so far so good you can tell its better build the the last 2 i had, it fits right into the wfco fuse panel

all good
gbstewart

http://www.bestconverter.com/
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Old 10-31-2012, 05:49 PM   #10
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Re: All 12VDC for lighting

I have all 12 volt lighting in my conversion and like others, 110 outlets for plugging in lamps if needed. I have two 50 watt Solar Panels on the roof that recharge the battery bank for everything that runs on 12 volt. In the process of coverting the bulbs to the new LED style.
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