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Old 03-01-2019, 12:48 PM   #1
Skoolie
 
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Light Switch for LED DC lights

I'm surprised how hard it is to find a simple light switch...

I want several 3-way switches, with a dimmer on one end and no dimmer on the other that are 12-volt rated.

I can find that with AC-rated switches, but not DC. With DC, I can find 3-way dimmer switches but no 3-way switches without dimmer. Amazon changed their search to no longer sort by "most relevant results" but will only let you sort by "featured results." Google and Bing and Home Depot and Lowe's searches keep giving me 120-volt results no matter what I search for. Any help?
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Old 03-01-2019, 01:15 PM   #2
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Automotive suppliers oriented toward RV and off-road custom. And marine sources.

Individual switches that snap into a triple faceplate.

Dimming LEDs is a learning project, especially if RF interference is an issue.
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Old 03-01-2019, 01:26 PM   #3
Almost There
 
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One common RV switch supplier is JR Products.

They have many combinations of switches and bezels.

There's other manufactures that make similar looking rocker switches. In my experience, you can mix and match.



(Having trouble attaching images today. Hopefully this image link lasts a while.)
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Old 03-01-2019, 03:49 PM   #4
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You can use standard 120 volt AC light switches for 12 volt DC, just not ac dimmer switches , most AC switches are rated for DC if you read the tiny label
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Old 03-01-2019, 03:58 PM   #5
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I am playing around with this - link below

https://www.amazon.com/Volt-Dimmer-L.../dp/B01C4UBMY6

It is a dimmer for 12v led. Rotate to dimmer and to turn on & off. Mounting is the challenge, but workable, I think.
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Old 03-01-2019, 04:58 PM   #6
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Some LED's are not compatible with a dimmer. The ones in my home are non compatible, if you dim it , they start to flicker wildly. The dimple LED"s are twice the cost. Easier to dim a high voltage build than a low voltage LED.
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Old 03-01-2019, 05:25 PM   #7
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You can get led dimmers much cheaper. I just bought 4 2 different kinds for $26. Search for pwm. For light switches I use RC controlled relays. You can have a 3 way, or more, by just using more "key fob" transmitters. I have five 4 relay, one in each room. An added benefit is you don't have to string any wires in the walls for light switches. I just mount a transmitter where I want the switch. I have used various kinds of pwm dimmers.
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Old 03-01-2019, 08:13 PM   #8
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The discussion brings up an interesting point - I just assumed I would do DC wiring. Why not consider AC lighting?

I boondock right now for anywhere from 2 days to 2 weeks at a time. I will likely end up living in the bus for 6-12 months (with power hookup) after returning to the lower 48 in a year or two, then go back to boondocking trips.

I have a 2000-watt power inverter, so I'm not terribly worried about maxing it out.

My only major concern is that A/C lighting will run the batteries down faster than D/C. Is this valid?
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Old 03-01-2019, 08:26 PM   #9
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Yes, for off grid efficiency is key, native DC avoiding inverter usage as much as possible.

Of course a roof full of solar feeding a huge battery bank will compensate for inefficient consumption, a genset even more so.

But personally I prefer advising starting small & efficient, expanding only as needed.
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Old 03-02-2019, 06:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Douggy View Post
I am playing around with this - link below

https://www.amazon.com/Volt-Dimmer-L.../dp/B01C4UBMY6

It is a dimmer for 12v led. Rotate to dimmer and to turn on & off. Mounting is the challenge, but workable, I think.
I have one if these. It works well. I just ran it to a shallow box and bought a coaxial face plate for it.

Gotta read the wiring instructions for it. It can work with a common ground (bus body) or with grounds run back from lights.
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