Converting RV Lights to LEDs — PART 3 — 18" Fluorescent Tubes


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Convert your RV’s fluorescent bulbs to LEDs! It’s easy and we’ll show you how. We switched our incandescent and halogen lights to LEDs and now we’re converting our fluorescent fixtures too.

Our previous videos about LEDs have generated so much interest that we wanted to share the details about the new way we’re upgrading our fixtures. This video covers the steps needed to convert 18″ fluorescent tubes to beautiful new LEDs.

M4 LED Products is offering a special discount for RVgeeks viewers. Visit their website at http://M4Products.com and enter the discount code “RVgeeks5” at checkout to receive a 5% discount on your entire order!

Watch the other videos in our LED Your RV series:
Part 1 – Incandescent & Halogen: https://youtu.be/3KF_Ig8sutg
Part 2 – LED Color & Brightness: https://youtu.be/jDYcODgaC_0
Part 4 – 12″ Fluorescent Tubes: https://youtu.be/82xbqZXeBro
Part 5 – Docking & Patio Lights: https://youtu.be/fVl-gPaoZhA
Part 6 – Security, Entry & Reading: https://youtu.be/eajXathp57I

Our complete playlist of LED conversion videos:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL57sd9ryLVgPQyoip80QRxQdApGrSbKkC

If you saw our original video about converting our RV’s fluorescent lights to LEDs (if not, you can view it here: http://youtu.be/SAMPQrAu0aI ), you may have noticed that it was quite a while before we shared any more tips about switching to LEDs.

The reason for that is because we were experimenting with converting our RV’s other lights (halogen, incandescent and even other fluorescent light options). But it was a bit frustrating, since options for LED color and brightness can be confusing, and many suppliers don’t accurately convey the information you need to choose the color temperature and brightness you want.

Then we heard about a company on the iRV2 discussion forums called M4 Products. The information on their website was really thorough, and the owner’s fast, detailed response to our questions made us confident that his lights would be the right color and brightness.

After so much trial & error, buying from M4 was the best experience we’ve had so far. Since we were heading toward southern California, where M4 is located, we made an appointment to stop by to see about upgrading more of our lights.

Being a fellow RVer, Steve, M4’s owner, was incredibly knowledgeable about LED applications for RVs, and the quality of his products was obvious. We’ve looked at, and tried, our fair share of LED bulbs, and Steve’s are the best quality and best value we’ve found so far.

Click here to visit M4 Products:
http://M4Products.com

The piano music is my own performance of Scott Joplin’s Maple Leaf Rag from 1899.

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Full-Time RVers since April, 2003, we share DIY (do it yourself) RV maintenance, repair, travel, upgrade and operational tips & tricks.

Many RVers are eager to learn more about using, maintaining and caring for their rigs. We hope our experience can help others go DIY, saving time & money, plus the satisfaction of a job well done.

We’re handy RVers, not professional technicians. We’re happy with the techniques and products we use, but be sure to confirm that all methods and materials you use are compatible with your equipment and abilities. Regardless of what we recommend, consult a professional if you’re unsure about working on your RV. Any task you perform or product you purchase based on any information we provide is strictly at your own risk.

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25 replies
  1. The Crazies
    The Crazies says:

    So I am losing my mind. I have a 2003 Gulf stream Yellowstone. All I did was turn off the power from the batteries so they did not get drained and now the generator will not put the sides out or run the AC. When I try to put the sides out the generator just quits the second I touch the button. Could this be bad batteries?

    Reply
  2. SpookyEng1
    SpookyEng1 says:

    Good video. One caveat, wire nuts have no place in an RV. I know numerous manufacturers use them but they do a bunch of other substandard work as well. A properly crimped butt connector will never come loose from vibrations and is a much more secure way to do the job. Leave the wire nuts at home.

    Reply
  3. Jim & Micki Dion
    Jim & Micki Dion says:

    I am confused. I can't seem to understand how your power is coming into this fixture when you cut the ballast out of the loop. The way I see it is you have the hot (black) wire connected to one side and the white (ground) wire connected to the other side but no power source. ??? I did what I thought you did today and blew a fuse. ??? By the way, love your videos.

    Reply
  4. mel rich
    mel rich says:

    My unit has two jumpers at one end and two wires into each other end and all are white wires??? I wonder if this is to light one bulb if the other goes out???

    Reply
  5. Ed
    Ed says:

    Guys, can you describe why you chose natural white vs soft white?  I understand it's personal preference, but would like to hear your thoughts before I place an order.  Thanks!

    Reply
  6. William Smith
    William Smith says:

    Followed your clear video (18"), wiring worked fine. But then I bought an LED tube locally, when opened the pkg, found a quick-connect lead coming out the side of the tube. Can I just ignore this lead, or must I somehow incorporate it into my wiring? Please advise, and many thanks!

    Reply
  7. Rick Huff
    Rick Huff says:

    Thanks for the video. Based on this, I took the plunge!

    The purchase and installation were pretty seamless. I especially liked the little sticker that came with the bulbs reminding a future owner (or me) that this is now a special LED installation and that florescent will no longer work.

    One thing not mentioned yet is the extreme radio frequency interference (RFI) that these bulbs give off. It's so bad, that when the bulbs go on, the over-the-air TV goes completely blank. It does not affect DVD or satellite. This seems to be a common problem in LED designs.

    Reply
  8. RVgeeks
    RVgeeks says:

    + TdoubleU The flat strips are okay, but for us it was kind of like comparing a Chevy to a Mercedes. They both get you where you want to go, but one is undeniably nicer. 😉

    Reply

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