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limecc

LED conversion of 8w Strip Lights

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I'm having great fun renovating an old 1998 Bailey. Our big Fleetwood is quite boring in comparison, there's nothing to do.

I wanted to modernise the light fittings but needed to keep costs down for the owner. It wasn't possible to do a straightforward bulb swop as the original lights were based on 12v 8w fluorescent tubes. Hopefully the pictures tell the story. A 5m reel of 5050 waterproof led strip costs less than £5 and is enough to do many lights. In addition I used some aluminium tape, heatshrink and a bit of hot glue.

Old vs New.jpg

8w 12v fluorescent.jpg

Unsoldered circuit board.jpg

Applied Aluminium tape.jpg

Self Adhesive 5050 led.jpg

Rear connections made.jpg

Conversion complete.jpg

Direct comparison.jpg

Led filtered.jpg

Fluorescent filtered.jpg

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I did a similar job in my mate's boat - you now need sunglasses in the cabin when they are on :D

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:goodpost:

 

Now added to Quick find index under lighting.

 

If you have the time, could you give any tips or advice for anyone without electrical experience concerning this conversion. Thanks.

 

 

Edited by BOAC
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12 hours ago, BOAC said:

:goodpost:

 

 

 

If you have the time, could you give any tips or advice for anyone without electrical experience concerning this conversion. Thanks.

 

 

Buy a spare to practice on, before wrecking an original!

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I think its far better to have tips and advice rather than waste £10 odd on doing that. Each to their own though  ;)

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I decided to redesign the conversion after I left the light on for four or five hours. The LEDs did not have sufficient heatsinking and were starting to get a strange tint although still working and shining very brightly.

On EBay I found some 3mm aluminium flat bar, 50mm wide which was being sold for £9.28/m which was perfect for my four 10" lights. I affixed it with 50mm double sided foam tape.

This time I only used one strip of LEDs as these 5630's (600 led/m) are so bright and it halves the current usage and hence heat output. I had the idea to use some luminous tape next to the switch so it's easy to locate in pitch black. Here's a photo:

mk2 with heatsink.jpg

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I have to give another update to this topic in case anyone is following in my footsteps. In short, don't buy 5630 LED strips.

 

The heatsinking is working reasonably well but I've had problems using the same strip stuck directly underneath the kitchen overhead lockers to the wood and a couple of individual leds on a converted light. After an extended period of being used, the 5630's get too hot and get a horrible yellowy tint which may have been hastened because the van was on mains hookup and had 13.9v from the charger instead of 12.5v from the battery. It appears they put out too much heat to be of practical value. I've spent another fiver and have switched to 5050 led strip so it's not a disaster in terms of cost but it means I've got to revisit jobs that I thought were complete.

 

Here's a useful table:

LED    Dimensions                Chip Surface Area   Lumen              Power

3528, 3.5 mm x 2.8 mm,   9.8 mm²                          6 lumens,       20 mA,         0.06 Watt

5050, 5.0 mm x 5.0 mm,   25 mm²                           18 lumens,    60 mA,         0.18 Watt

5630, 5.6 mm x 3.0 mm,   16.8 mm²                       50 lumens,    150 mA,      0.50 Watt

 

A 5050 LED actually contains 3 sets of 3528 LED chips inside. So a 5050 LED is actual a combination of 3x 3528 chips in 1. The 5630 (5730) LED is basically a stretched 5050 LED with a much wider viewing angle. Making the 5630 (5730) LED the brightest of all 3 with the lowest power consumption per watts. The wider angle makes it easy to emit a brighter output with the same wattage

https://www.12vmonster.com/blogs/product-questions/7698543-so-what-the-the-difference-between-a-3528-led-5050-led-and-5630-5730-led

Edited by limecc
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For LEDs to run that hot suggests that they, or the voltage reducing components, are running well over voltage. It might be worth trying two lengths in series.

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22 minutes ago, limecc said:

I have to give another update to this topic in case anyone is following in my footsteps. In short, don't buy 5630 LED strips.

 

 

 

 

:goodpost::Thankyou:

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7 hours ago, Stevan said:

For LEDs to run that hot suggests that they, or the voltage reducing components, are running well over voltage. It might be worth trying two lengths in series.

Impossible to do.

 

The strips consist of dozens of sections each consisting 3 leds then a SMD resistor - all daisy chained together in series. You can therefore cut them to length, minimum one (~40mm) section, or use the entire 5m reel in one go. They are designed to work at 12v and are not being overdriven. You could underdrive them but would have to work out the correct resister value to place in the supply cable each time or else they would not be a consistent brightness.

Edited by limecc

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you could use one of these to control and  limit the voltage - https://www.amazon.co.uk/LM2596-Converter-3-0-40V-1-5-35V-Supply/dp/B01GJ0SC2C, they are cheap and work well.

 

I use a couple to run 12v LED strips  and a 5v Raspberry Pi  from the 24v power supply on my 3D printer

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15 minutes ago, matelodave said:

you could use one of these to control and  limit the voltage - https://www.amazon.co.uk/LM2596-Converter-3-0-40V-1-5-35V-Supply/dp/B01GJ0SC2C, they are cheap and work well.

 

I use a couple to run 12v LED strips  and a 5v Raspberry Pi  from the 24v power supply on my 3D printer

You still have to guess the undervoltage to get the correct dimming. Could just buy a variable resistor? In any case the supply voltage is already correct at 12v.

Edited by limecc

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9 minutes ago, limecc said:

You still have to work out the value/voltage to get the correct dimming. Could just buy a variable resistor? In any case the supply voltage is already correct.

The voltage across a resistor will vary according to the current flowing and the voltage applied to the circuit, so if the applied voltage varies between 13.8  and 12.5, the voltage across the resistor and the strip will vary in the same proportion whereas the buck converter stabilises the voltage. All you need to do is adjust the output voltage to say 11.5v and it will stay at 11.5 even if the input voltage varies.

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For anyone new to this thread, or new to LED’s SOME are polarity sensitive so they will only function if connected a certain way. If you connect them up and they don’t light up, simply swop the polarity of the feed wires around.

 

Andy

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19 minutes ago, matelodave said:

The voltage across a resistor will vary according to the current flowing and the voltage applied to the circuit, so if the applied voltage varies between 13.8  and 12.5, the voltage across the resistor and the strip will vary in the same proportion whereas the buck converter stabilises the voltage. All you need to do is adjust the output voltage to say 11.5v and it will stay at 11.5 even if the input voltage varies.

It might be worth a try but I think unless a more efficient chip design comes along, probably better sticking to 5050's in the first place? Waterproof vs non-waterproof may be a factor as the waterproof version sees the strip encased in clear flexible resin which may impede heat loss. Brighter is not always better.

 

I am installing some 3528 300led/m strip around the rest of the van which will be ok for general use but want something brighter in the kitchen area

Edited by limecc

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On 18/11/2019 at 08:04, matelodave said:

you could use one of these to control and  limit the voltage - https://www.amazon.co.uk/LM2596-Converter-3-0-40V-1-5-35V-Supply/dp/B01GJ0SC2C, they are cheap and work well.

 

I use a couple to run 12v LED strips  and a 5v Raspberry Pi  from the 24v power supply on my 3D printer

I fitted one of those into the twin light fitting but there wasn't enough space to use them in the singles. Therefore I purchased a 5A dc-dc converter to use in the lighting feed from the charger. This isn't for everyone though, on the Bailey it's easy to intercept the wire to the roof in the wardrobe, not so sure about other vans.  I still feel the best option is to use 5050's instead of 5630's, still waiting for the delivery though. Will report here long term findings.

5Adc-dcConverter.jpg

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On 18/11/2019 at 08:30, Mr Plodd said:

For anyone new to this thread, or new to LED’s SOME are polarity sensitive so they will only function if connected a certain way. If you connect them up and they don’t light up, simply swop the polarity of the feed wires around.

 

Andy

 

:goodpost:  The above explained fully HERE together with a simple to understand explanation of LED's and where to buy them.

 

 

 

Edited by BOAC
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On 23/11/2019 at 01:47, limecc said:

Will report here long term findings.

After fitting the dc-dc converter I have determined that this is the complete answer to overheating led strips. I replaced the yellowed and burnt 5630 strips under the kitchen cupboards and now that the lighting voltage is set to 12.0v (for the entire van) they barely get warm. Still extremely bright. All credit to Matelodave! Thank you for the idea!! The excess voltage when connected to EHU will destroy higher wattage led strips, anyone thinking of using them had better incorporate individual resistors or a dc-dc converter into the design. Even 12.7v from a fully charged battery might be detrimental? The dc converters with led display are good in that you can toggle the display on/off or see the input/output voltage which can be set without the use of a multimeter.

DC2DCinfo.jpg

Edited by limecc
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32 minutes ago, limecc said:

After fitting the dc-dc converter I have determined that this is the complete answer to overheating led strips. I replaced the yellowed and burnt 5630 strips under the kitchen cupboards and now that the lighting voltage is set to 12.0v (for the entire van) they barely get warm. Still extremely bright. All credit to Matelodave! Thank you for the idea!! The excess voltage when connected to EHU will destroy higher wattage led strips, anyone thinking of using them had better incorporate individual resistors or a dc-dc converter into the design. Even 12.7v from a fully charged battery might be detrimental? The dc converters with led display are good in that you can toggle the display on/off or see the input/output voltage which can be set without the use of a multimeter.

DC2DCinfo.jpg

Sounds reasonable, running 12v led strips at 13.9v was asking for trouble, but I would not have expected it to be quite so extreme.

The same issue arises with using some cheap G4 LEDs in caravans, some are rated at 12v, and do not like 13.9v, but the better ones are rated 12-30v and are fine. Presumably they also contain proper voltage regulators, not just dropping resistors.

 

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9 hours ago, limecc said:

After fitting the dc-dc converter I have determined that this is the complete answer to overheating led strips. I replaced the yellowed and burnt 5630 strips under the kitchen cupboards and now that the lighting voltage is set to 12.0v (for the entire van) they barely get warm. Still extremely bright. All credit to Matelodave! Thank you for the idea!! The excess voltage when connected to EHU will destroy higher wattage led strips, anyone thinking of using them had better incorporate individual resistors or a dc-dc converter into the design. Even 12.7v from a fully charged battery might be detrimental? The dc converters with led display are good in that you can toggle the display on/off or see the input/output voltage which can be set without the use of a multimeter.

DC2DCinfo.jpg

the units I suggested ( https://www.amazon.co.uk/LM2596-Converter-3-0-40V-1-5-35V-Supply/dp/B01GJ0SC2C?tag=carav-21) aren't quite so posh (they don't have an LED display), they are about half the size and you get six of them for £8.75 delivered (if you are an Amazon Prime customer). You don't really need the extra gubbins if all you are doing is reducing/stabilising the voltage (but you would need a DVM to enable you to adjust them)

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5 hours ago, matelodave said:

the units I suggested ( https://www.amazon.co.uk/LM2596-Converter-3-0-40V-1-5-35V-Supply/dp/B01GJ0SC2C?tag=carav-21) aren't quite so posh (they don't have an LED display), they are about half the size and you get six of them for £8.75 delivered (if you are an Amazon Prime customer). You don't really need the extra gubbins if all you are doing is reducing/stabilising the voltage (but you would need a DVM to enable you to adjust them)

As mentioned I purchased the units you suggested but although small could only get one in the double light fitting. Therefore went a cheaper and easier route intercepting the lighting feed exiting the fuse board.

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As an addendum to this topic, the 5050 strip finally arrived and I used two 10" strips to replace one strip of burnt 5630 leds in a single light fitting. I'm really disappointed with the brightness now I have the over-voltage sorted. Therefore I've gone full circle and recommend members buying 5630 leds not 5050's.

 

I'm really happy with the 3528 strip in warm white though. Nice soft lighting under the overhead lockers is perfect at night and is easy on the eye.

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