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Old 02-20-2010, 12:46 AM   #1
Bus Nut
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Lethbridge, AB, Canada
Posts: 637
Year: 1981
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Ford B-600
Engine: Ford 370 Propane
Rated Cap: 48
12V bulbs and current draw.

Anyone have a chart of common automotive bulbs and their respective current draw? I am trying to figure out an estimate of my electrical needs and this would help. Also, has anyone replaced their interior lighting with LED bulbs and does it work well? All of the LED bulbs I have seen in the past have been quite directional and I don't think that they would be suited to interior lighting. Of course LED lighting takes much less energy than conventional incandescent lights. Hopefully I can come up with a reasonable setup, I would like nothing better than to be able to be completely off the grid for a week or two at a time.

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Old 02-27-2010, 10:20 AM   #2
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Location: Adirondack Mountains NY
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Re: 12V bulbs and current draw.

I saved some power in our boondocking camper by replacing turn signal bulbs with dimmer marker light bulbs. I also added a pair of LEDs in one fixture at reduced current to act as as always-on "night lights."

LEDs are the future, but the quality of what assemblies you can buy today is variable. There is no way to tell how well the individual LEDs in an assembly are powered, unless you wire them yourself. Price is no guarantee of quality at this point. Unless they are wired with voltage-independent current regulation, they will either:
1. waste power in heating up current-limiting series resistors
2. be efficient, but get dim fast as the battery discharges
3. be bright, but burn out on over-current when the battery is charged

I discussed this further on this thread:
Someone said "Making good decisions comes from experience, experience comes from bad decisions." I say there are three kinds of people: those who learn from their mistakes, those who learn from the mistakes of others, and those who never learn.
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Old 02-27-2010, 04:42 PM   #3
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Location: near flint michigan
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Re: 12V bulbs and current draw.

if you compare watt/lumen compact florescent bulbs are far superior to led's

led's use less energy because they create less light....however that light can be in an intense focused beam.

cf bulbs are probably only a good option if you have an inverter that is already running other appliances.
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