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Thread: Trailer Interior LED Light Upgrade - Rigid RVLED 450

  1. #1
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    Default Trailer Interior LED Light Upgrade - Rigid RVLED 450

    For those that have an enclosed trailer, or RV, you know that you can never have enough light. However, when you add more light you often make trade-offs - namely higher current draw, which can overload wiring, run down batteries, increase heat in places you don't want it to, etc. I set out on a quest to improve the lighting in our trailer, while trying to minimize the downsides.

    The SLEDSPACE.COM trailer is an enclosed that has three single bulb dome lights installed from the factory. These lights each utilize a 921 series automotive bulb, similar to what is used in the vastly underpowered back up lights in many vehicles. These lights are powered off of a 12v automotive battery that is installed on the trailer, which is charged from the truck while towing.

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    To easily add more light I had two options:

    1) Add additional lights.
    2) Replace the existing lights and/or fixtures with something brighter.

    Adding additional lights was a less than ideal option, as it required more install time and some possible re-engineering of the existing lighting system, could possibly overload the wiring that was installed when the trailer was built and would reduce the available run-time of the lights.

    One option I considered was changing the existing single bulb fixtures to two-bulb fixtures, but this presented similar issues - as I would be doubling the electrical draw and possibly facing the same challenges as above. The best bet was to look for a brighter bulb, one that would not adversely affect the trailers wiring and power supply.

    With this in mind I looked at some incandescent bulb options, which turned out to be a no-go for a variety of reasons. I started looking at some of the LED bulb offerings, but was not impressed with the end-result many people reported. It seemed that the LED 921 bulb replacements were no better than the incandescents, and in many cases worse in real-world applications.

    After doing a fair amount of research, I found an RV interior LED retrofit lighting kit from Rigid Industries. I actually couldn't find much information on this particular product and lighting application, but I know that Rigid makes the best LED light bars in the industry, and backs their products 100%, so I went for it.

    The Rigid RV interior lighting product is a PC board with high-power surface mount LED's. It comes in two versions: a three LED 315 lumen model - RVLED 350 LUMEN - and a six LED 450 lumen model - RVLED 450 LUMEN. What makes the RVLED lights even cooler, is that they come with a generic electrical lead off the of the board, and you tell Rigid what kind of bulb you are replacing and they send you the correct adapter for you plug/base type. They have bases for a number of different bulb types.

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    Wanting to get as much light as possible in the trailer, I went with three of the RVLED 450 LUMEN models - with the 921 base adapter.

    Installing the lights was as easy as changing a bulb. I simply removed the light lens, removed the bulb, plugged the base adapter into the bulb socket, affixed the board to the inside of the light fixture with the included double sided foam tape and replaced the fixture lens. Retrofitting all three lights took me less than five minutes.

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    The Results....

    I wanted to perform a fairly objective test between the two, as I knew that the lighting types would be a bit different (incandescent vs. LED). Before I performed the lighting changeover, I made sure it was dark outside and hooked my truck up to the trailer, leaving it running. I wanted to eliminate variables related to power supply or ambient light when I compared the before and after. I also set up a light meter near the center of the trailer, a little more than two meters away from the nearest light (floor to ceiling) and in between two fixtures (so the light from any one fixture would not shine directly into the meter). Here are the results:

    Incandescent: 24 LUX
    LED: 30 LUX

    This works out to a 25% increase in measured light output. A hugely successful result in my opinion.

    However, the added light output is not the only benefit. The new LED's also have an advantage in that they draw 1/5th of the power of the 921 bulbs they replaced.

    921 Incandescent Bulb: 1.4 Amps (Sylvania specification)
    RVLED 450: .28 Amps (Rigid specification)

    With three bulbs I was drawing about 4.2 Amps with the 921. Three of the Rigid RVLED 450 units only draw about .84 Amps - the three LED's draw less than one of the 921 incandescent bulbs. While these specs are somewhat theoretical, it illustrates that the LED's are much more efficient - making things easier on the power supply and trailer wiring. By significantly reducing the power draw of the existing light fixtures, I actually have the flexibility to add additional lighting or accessories down the road.

    Other huge advantages to the LED's:

    On cold days with a battery that is a little drained, I am likely to have even more light than the incandescents - as it will be easier for the battery to run them at full brightness.
    LED's do not lose some of their luminosity over time like incandescents do.
    LED's are less prone to burning out or damage from rough handling.
    LED's produce less heat than incandescents.

    Overall I am very pleased with the end-result, and feel that this was a worthwhile upgrade. I like the bright white light that they emit, and my trailer seems much less "shadowy" than before. As an added benefit, the white lighting also seems to make the interior of the trailer "pop" a little more.

    You can get the RVLED 450 LUMEN - PN RGDRVLED6 - at:

    http://www.rigidindustries.com

    Before
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    After - The camera may have adjusted the shutter speed for the lighting conditions, but compare the light on the ramp to get a sense of the additional light output
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  2. #2
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    Cost? And Vern you buy them local, or order them on the internet?

    Great writeup, thanks!
    '13 800 PRO RMK 163

    "Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment." ~ Will Rogers

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kilroy View Post
    Cost? And Vern you buy them local, or order them on the internet?

    Great writeup, thanks!
    $25 each for the 450's, which is close to the same price as the no-name junk out there. You can order them off their site. At www.rigidindustries.com.

  4. #4
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    Thanks, I'm in for 2!
    '13 800 PRO RMK 163

    "Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment." ~ Will Rogers

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Default

    Very helpful post were going to replace the lights on my buddies trailer, another great solution for LED lighting is superbrightleds.com
    2015 Yamaha MTX Turbo Viper

  6. #6
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by okaymatt View Post
    Very helpful post were going to replace the lights on my buddies trailer, another great solution for LED lighting is superbrightleds.com
    Those were some of the ones I looked at. The brightest I could find from them with a 921 base was 190 Lumen for $20 - compared to the 450 Lumen from Rigid for $25. Since the superbrights also use an oversized bulb pattern, they would have mounted with some of the LED's facing up, further reducing brightness. Given that a standard 921 bulb is over 250 Lumen, my guess is that these would have been much less bright than the incandescents they would have replaced - something the FAQ on their website seems to confirm. The Rigid lights were the only ones I could find that would appear to increase the light output in this application.

  8. #8

    Default Trailer Light LED Upgrade - Rigid RVLED 450

    I redid most of my trailer lights also with l.e.d.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    good ol prineville
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    Default

    that is alot better. now only if i had a enclosed trailer. someone wanna relocate one? if so i would be glad to take it off your hands. lol

  10. #10
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    My 26' trailer has only two lights so I'm going to be checking into this mod. Thanks!

  11. #11
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    Just to let you guys know... I'm a RIGID INDUSTRIES dealer... So if you are looking to buy some stuff, let me know! Possibly hook a brother up with free shipping too.

    I'm going to use there products for my mod sled
    Wes Adams
    Mr.Triple
    Gotta have a Triple in the crowd!
    2000 Yamaha 700 Mountain Max
    2000 Polaris 1200 Triple Mod Sled
    2001 Polaris 600 Edge X
    2001 Polaris 500 SP
    ***2005 RMK Mod Sled, Triple, Homemade Tunnel***

    http://www.hillsideauto.org/

    www.facebook.com/HillsideAuto1

    http://www.amsoil.com/index.aspx?zo=1987784

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ford428CJ View Post
    Just to let you guys know... I'm a RIGID INDUSTRIES dealer... So if you are looking to buy some stuff, let me know! Possibly hook a brother up with free shipping too.

    I'm going to use there products for my mod sled
    Great brand, all my air tools are RIGID

  13. #13
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    Not the same CL! Ridgid tools is spelled different, then the people who make the lights. LOL www.ridgid.com/

    This is Rigid Industries for lights www.rigidindustries.com
    Wes Adams
    Mr.Triple
    Gotta have a Triple in the crowd!
    2000 Yamaha 700 Mountain Max
    2000 Polaris 1200 Triple Mod Sled
    2001 Polaris 600 Edge X
    2001 Polaris 500 SP
    ***2005 RMK Mod Sled, Triple, Homemade Tunnel***

    http://www.hillsideauto.org/

    www.facebook.com/HillsideAuto1

    http://www.amsoil.com/index.aspx?zo=1987784

  14. #14

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    Your right, my mistake
    Quote Originally Posted by Ford428CJ View Post
    Not the same CL! Ridgid tools is spelled different, then the people who make the lights. LOL www.ridgid.com/

    This is Rigid Industries for lights www.rigidindustries.com

  15. #15
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CrescentLake View Post
    Your right, my mistake
    I'll give you an "A" for effort! LOL No harm, no foul
    Wes Adams
    Mr.Triple
    Gotta have a Triple in the crowd!
    2000 Yamaha 700 Mountain Max
    2000 Polaris 1200 Triple Mod Sled
    2001 Polaris 600 Edge X
    2001 Polaris 500 SP
    ***2005 RMK Mod Sled, Triple, Homemade Tunnel***

    http://www.hillsideauto.org/

    www.facebook.com/HillsideAuto1

    http://www.amsoil.com/index.aspx?zo=1987784

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