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Installing A 12V Single Pole Switch With Neon Warning Lamp


johnway
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Hi everyone,

 

I'm in the process of converting my halogen interior and exterior awning lights to LED - a fairly straight forward job once + & - pins have been identified in the halogen fittings via a multimeter. I also wanted to change the awning light from one with a built in switch to one with a separate switch mounted inside the 'van. This has been a test of my DIY skills however, I now have a very nice awning light, containing an LED board, installed. The original light + and - wires are re-routed through a hole inside the 'van which I cut carefully from a supplied template for the new switch. This is located above the door inside and will look quite professional when fitted, being a matching Clipsal switch. Now my concern here is the actual wiring of the new switch, which has a neon bulb to indicate when the awning light is switched on. The neon bulb holder in the switch has 2 terminals (unmarked) and the switching section has 3 (marked 2 C 1). Can anybody shed some light (no pun intended) on how this assembly should be wired please before I start best guessing?

Many thanks,

John.

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I am guessing that C is common and that 1 and 2 give normally open NO or normally closed NC.

If so try -ve as common.

Graham

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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Neon and 12 volt don't think this will work not sure on min voltage of neon but think around 50 volt mark.

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Neon and 12v definite no no.

 

Can you pull the switch apart and replace the neon with an led ? 1 and 2 will be normally open and normally closed, c being the common. I would wire it +ve into the common! either 1 or 2 to the awning light and the led indicator, -ve to the other side of the indicator and the awning light. If the switch works opposite I. e. Off when it's on etc, swap 1 and 2. If you're unsure about modifying a switch if you have a spare I could probably do it for you.

 

Ap

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Neon and 12 volt don't think this will work not sure on min voltage of neon but think around 50 volt mark.

PLUS Neon works on AC and LED's work on DC.

 

The option of replacing the neom with a low power LED seems to be the best. Try taking a trip to your nearest Maplin shop (with the switch) and their tech desk may be able to advise on a matching LED :)

"keep your motor running"

caravan: Avondale Avocet ( 2006) - tow car: Renault Laguna (2007) - play car: Mercedes 300SL (1988)

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Thanks to everyone who has kindly replied. I am pleased to say that the job is now completed and WORKING. I ran my wiring theory past a neihbour this morning, who is an electrician, before reading your replies. He confirmed that it was OK to connect both + and - to the neon fitting, which was my main concern. The wiring from van to switch to awning light is as follows : van positive to switch terminal C, van negative and negative out to awning light are joined at a neon fitting terminal (doesn't matter which one is used), awning light positive out is joined at switch terminal 2 with a wire fitted to other neon terminal. Neon light and awning light illuminate when the switch is in the 'ON' position, both are not illuminated when the switch is in the 'OFF' position. Job done !! All the best, John.

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Hi again,

To those that queried LED vs Neon I must point out that I had looked into both options and consensus seemed to say that the power useage of both is minimal. I have LED's and resistors here in my workshop which I was considering to use with an unlit switch which would have meant some modification. The matching neon switch option is readily available so I took the easier option for now, however I may change it if I measure over 1 amp on the fitting later (when it warms up a bit !!). The neon fitting is well stuck in the switch but some careful persuasion I'm sure will release it. All the best, John.

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This is the switch installed in my 'van : if it's not a neon fitting then I have been mis-led !!

 

 

CLIPSAL 10A ARCH SWITCH WITH 12V NEON IN BEIGE CLI32AN12VBG - see ebay etc.

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I see the sort you mean now, it definately won't be a neon, my guess will be a small filament type bulb. I would guess the term neon has been used in error, like people Hoover up with a dyson !

 

Neons need around 50v and above to illuminate.

 

Glad you're sorted.

 

Ap

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Interesting reading here : I will put the ammeter on the job and report back. Clipsal and other 12V "neon" switches are being sold as such on ebay, Amazon and various caravan stores I have noticed. There might be a few red faces when I get to the bottom of this. All the best, John.

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Interesting reading here : I will put the ammeter on the job and report back. Clipsal and other 12V "neon" switches are being sold as such on ebay, Amazon and various caravan stores I have noticed. There might be a few red faces when I get to the bottom of this. All the best, John.

I saw that too, I think it's the manufacturer wrongly describing the item. I'll be interested to hear what you find.

 

Ap

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Right, here is the evidence I needed to confirm that what I have fitted is what I originally wanted : my ammeter reading with neon lamp and awning light on = 280 milliamps, ammeter reading with awning light only on = 230 milliamps. Neon bulb is therefore drawing 50 milliamps on 12V supply which = 0. 6W, not bad for a nice bright awning light !! I am now a happy camper.

 

More info on neon bulbs can be found here :

 

http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Neon_bulb

 

All the best,

John.

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Neon bulb is therefore drawing 50 milliamps on 12V supply

A "neon" lamp is one in which the glass envelope contains two electrodes that do not touch, and surrounding them is neon gas. Applying a high enough voltage between these two electrodes, will ionise the gas to give an orange glow. Ionisation will not happen at 12 volts dc and such lamps are often rated at 415V, 230V, 110V or 55V ac.

 

A LED will operate at much lower dc voltages and could be used to indicate when your awning lamp is receiving power, as also could a filament lamp rated at 12V.

 

I think the confusion here is in the misuse of terminology. Lamps provide light, bulbs grow in the garden. Neon lamps are high(ish) voltage ac devices, light emitting diodes are low voltage indicators, while filament lamps can be either dc or ac, and of various voltage ratings.

 

I hope that's some help.

Gordon.

 

Lamps.jpg

Fourwinds Hurricane 31D Motorhome. Also MGTF135 1. 8i Roadster (fun) & Volvo V70 3.2Ltr LPG (everyday car)
Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan and Motorhome Talk.

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The indicator on these switches are a small conventional bulb. The fact it's taking 50 ma and the customer is happy is good, if you did change to LED that would fall to around 10 mA !

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Neon is also a colour. At 50ma likely a filament bulb with a neon coloured window. Glad it works.

 

Oh and neons will work with DC the Martindale tester will show both volt range and polarity if DC. But never seen a neon rated under 50 volt they do however use less current than an LED which before you could buy ready made testers I used with a 110v plug to show live 1, live 2 and earth connection.

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The neon point is quite right. No neon lamp will be able to strike much below 50V. Therefore at a current draw of 50 mA, it must be a 600mW filament lamp. An LED would draw around 20mA.

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