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Some LED lights I'm playing with in my van:


Sir Sam
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I think I found the holy grail of LED lighting solutions for my van. I have looked for years and never found anything quite like this.

 

Costco sells these:

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With:

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Without:

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Cost $30 for a set, comes with a wireless(IR) remote to turn them on, 4 90 degree pieces and one flex piece plus 6 LED tubes. Tube, attaches to the base where the switch IR receiver is on either side.

 

Great little lights for under cabinet use, they run off of 5V so with a 5V regulator they can be run in vehicle off of 12V. The power supply is a 5V 2amp so two LM7805 5V regulators would be needed if it really pulled that much, maybe even three depending on heat issues. Now if the power supply is over designed and they pull less than 2amps then one or two regulators would probably work.

 

 

Now here is where the van comes into play, when I did my westy swap I never used the original light - it was missing bulbs and the cover, I decided in this day and age it wasn't worth messing with that ugly old light, and decided I wanted to use LED's.

 

I had a little LED pod thing that sat over the stove area - the light output was pretty feeble, but good enough when its dark out, but it always left me wanting more, I had a couple of other LED lights I used around that had far better light output.

 

One of them which I like in particular was another costco item, a 120V rechargable LED light, it is meant to be an emergency light, it comes on when power goes out, leave it plugged in and its always charged power out, light on. OF course it also has a switch on it, and two settings. Lasts about 8 hours on a charge, then I use inverter to recharge them while driving. Glued a couple of harbor frieght rare earth magnets on to the back and I can stick em around different places in the van.

 

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But its nice not to have to recharge lights, and your limited to where you can stand them up, or magnet them on.

 

 

In come the tube lights.

 

They come with 4 90 degree peices:

 

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With those you could make a rectangle, 1 tube x 2 tubes(using all 6) and place it over the rear sleeping area(below the AC unit). I have always found that to be a particularly dark area of the van, would be nice for reading etc.

 

The two options I'm mostly interested in are using the lights in a long tube along the "spice rack" and its twin "curtain track" over the slider door:

 

You could put the light switch at the back by the speaker, where its easy to turn on when sitting in the rear seat, and then run the tube forward, here is a rough illustration:

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This are(where I have my modified AC tube), would be another good place for a rectangle or square loop:

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Now these lights come with all the mounting stuff you need at home, they come with clips that hold the tubes and allow them to rotate, and are back with a peel and stick backing. However these don't hold super tight, use glue to hold them on, and would probably let the tube rattle out, get bumped by heads etc.

 

My solution to this is .5" cable clamps:

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The .5 inch clamps are a little tight, but the 3/4 inch are WAY loose, I need something in between, might run to ACE and see if they have some that are a little larger.

 

Anyways, next up is me playing around with the 5V regulators and seeing if 2-3 7805's will be enough or if I need to hunt down something else.

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