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Interior Lights

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Bangorbob

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Interior Lights
« on: January 11, 2021, 02:58:28 pm »
I would like to get rid of the fluorescence bulbs and change with leds.  I did read the article from Ron's tips.   The part I don't see is how to remove the circuit board from the fixture itself.   Maybe  I missed something.

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Ron Dittmer

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Re: Interior Lights
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2021, 03:39:23 pm »
Hi Bangorbob,

During the original manufacturing of the light fixture, the switch was inserted through and snapped into the housing.  The circuit board was then installed from the back side.  As the circuit board was installed, the terminations of the switch passed through it, then soldered to it.

So to remove the circuit board, you first have to unsolder the switch's terminals.  You will need either solder wick or a solder sucker tool to remove the molten solder so it does not re-solder itself back on the circuit board.

You might be able to drill out the solder joints, but you run the risk of damaging the switch, a serious matter if reusing the switch.

Here is solder wick on a spool.


Here is a solder sucker tool of which I greatly prefer using.  CLICK HERE to find a 3-pack sold cheap on Amazon.


Were you planning on a simple conversion, or do like I did, adding a night light into each unit?  I simple conversion is so much easier.  If doing that, take good care of your switches so you can reuse them.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2021, 03:54:26 pm by Ron Dittmer »
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Bangorbob

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Re: Interior Lights
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2021, 03:58:57 pm »
Ron,  I was going in the direction you did.  Can I safely assume you clipped the wires right above the in order to be able to solder properly.

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Ron Dittmer

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Re: Interior Lights
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2021, 06:31:09 pm »
Ron,  I was going in the direction you did.  Can I safely assume you clipped the wires right above the in order to be able to solder properly.
Please clarify your quote.

If doing the simple conversion (no night light) the only thing you would reuse is the switch.  Everything else "electrically related" is discarded.  Every wire is thrown away.  I suppose you could repurpose the wires, but the wiring will not be the same.

If you will be adding the night light, then even the original 2-position switch is replaced because you'll need a 3-position switch.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2021, 06:32:58 pm by Ron Dittmer »
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donc13

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Re: Interior Lights
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2021, 07:29:24 pm »
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Re: Interior Lights
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2021, 08:26:35 pm »
Don, you surely make a good point.  I could have replaced the fixtures.  I converted instead of replaced for a few different reasons.

1) very low power consumption, only 3.3W per fixture when every-other circuit is disabled
2) the addition of a night light on every fixture
3) the imprints in our cloth material ceiling would be unchanged
4) save money

Six years ago, the fixtures you shared were a lot more expensive.  Still today, the existing florescent fixtures can be converted to LED for about $1.33 per fixture.  Adding a night light feature increases the conversion to $3.50 because of the price for the 3-position switch and an additional reel of LEDs.  One reel could have been utilized but I wanted every fixture fully converted and with a night light.

One thing certain, you gotta love "tinkering" to convert rather than replace because today the savings (with no light light) saves roughly $10.66 per unit.

I highly recommend deactivating every-other LED circuit like I did over our bed.  Light intensity it still great, but the power per fixture is a very low 3.3 watts, making lighting very easy on the house batteries, important for us who boondock a lot.  Another benefit with every-other circuit disabled, there is more heat-sinking for the working ones.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2021, 08:29:47 pm by Ron Dittmer »
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Bangorbob

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Re: Interior Lights
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2021, 10:11:38 pm »
Ron,  I was going in the direction you did.  Can I safely assume you clipped the wires right above the in order to be able to solder properly.
Please clarify your quote.

If doing the simple conversion (no night light) the only thing you would reuse is the switch.  Everything else "electrically related" is discarded.  Every wire is thrown away.  I suppose you could repurpose the wires, but the wiring will not be the same.

If you will be adding the night light, then even the original 2-position switch is replaced because you'll need a 3-position switch.


In order to remove the circuit board/etc, did you cut the black and white wires that feed into the light?  I assumed you removed the unit from the ceiling and did the work on your bench.    I am only going to using the switch.

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Re: Interior Lights
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2021, 10:39:52 pm »
Don, you surely make a good point.  I could have replaced the fixtures.  I converted instead of replaced for a few different reasons.

1) very low power consumption, only 3.3W per fixture when every-other circuit is disabled
2) the addition of a night light on every fixture
3) the imprints in our cloth material ceiling would be unchanged
4) save money

Six years ago, the fixtures you shared were a lot more expensive.  Still today, the existing florescent fixtures can be converted to LED for about $1.33 per fixture.  Adding a night light feature increases the conversion to $3.50 because of the price for the 3-position switch and an additional reel of LEDs.  One reel could have been utilized but I wanted every fixture fully converted and with a night light.

One thing certain, you gotta love "tinkering" to convert rather than replace because today the savings (with no light light) saves roughly $10.66 per unit.

I highly recommend deactivating every-other LED circuit like I did over our bed.  Light intensity it still great, but the power per fixture is a very low 3.3 watts, making lighting very easy on the house batteries, important for us who boondock a lot.  Another benefit with every-other circuit disabled, there is more heat-sinking for the working ones.

I get the tinkering that can be fun.   

Those lights I showed, were LED and only a few watts.  No worries on boondocking, but I do run the generator to charge the batteries or run the A/C depending on the weather.

But, I was thinking more of Bangorbob.  12v LED fixtures for RV's come in many "standard" shapes so the old indents in the ceiling can be matched or covered.

Just curious
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Re: Interior Lights
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2021, 09:25:29 am »
Don,  I am a tinker also.  I look at all options when I do anything.  In my thinking, it is always easier just to buy something that is already on the shelf.  When I was younger, I couldn't afford to buy hardly anything, so I started tinkering because it was more a financial thing.  If things don't work out when I try something, I will eventually cave and purchase stuff.  Thanks for your input.  That's what I like about some forums-the sharing of knowledge.

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Re: Interior Lights
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2021, 09:51:15 am »
If you get new fixtures that don't match the original shape I wouldn't worry. Any visible indent will disappear in time, and can be coaxed out with a brush. You can't even see on the ceiling where I removed the head-banger DVD cabinet by the coach door last year.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2021, 10:00:03 am by 2 Lucky »
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Re: Interior Lights
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2021, 11:01:17 am »
In order to remove the circuit board/etc, did you cut the black and white wires that feed into the light?  I assumed you removed the unit from the ceiling and did the work on your bench.    I am only going to using the switch.
Okay, I understand you better now.

You most definitely need to remove the fixture from the ceiling and do the LED conversion on your work bench.  You will need to gut everything "florescent" and everything "electrical" related.  You will remove every wire, the circuit board, and the sockets for the florescent tubes.

The conversion begins with only 4 reused parts as pictured below.

- 2 white pieces of plastic
- the lens
- the white switch

 CLICK HERE to get to my detailed article.

Since you are NOT adding the night-light, your LED conversion will be extremely simple and most affordable.

As I mentioned before, I recommend disabling every-other LED circuit.  Doing so provides the right amount of light, operates at only 3.3 watts, and also increases over-heating protection of the activated LEDs.

Be mindful that LEDs are polarized.  If a light strip is dead, switch the wires around and it will then work.  You will find it extremely helpful to have a DC transformer that outputs between 9V and 14V on your work bench to test things out when soldering and assembling.  Any such transformer from a children's toy, small appliance, whatever, as long as it outputs 9V to 14V DC........not AC.

I advise to first convert only the fixture you use most.  Install it and compare it to your other fixtures.  That is what I did.  I liked the results a lot so I committed to doing all 9 fixtures.  I then removed the remaining 8 fixtures at the same time and operated like an assembly line doing the same process on all fixtures for easiest repeatability.

Like you, my childhood and early adult years were lean years.  The lessons learned and creativity is in my blood even though I can afford today what others do.  I'd rather do things myself rather than pay for expensive results that are often disappointing, most especially when other people are involved.  There is a huge difference between a "professional" job done and doing it yourself.  The pro is in a hurry to get out.  Doing more myself also keeps me younger.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2021, 08:40:18 am by Ron Dittmer »
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Re: Interior Lights
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2021, 08:17:50 am »
If you get new fixtures that don't match the original shape I wouldn't worry. Any visible indent will disappear in time, and can be coaxed out with a brush. You can't even see on the ceiling where I removed the head-banger DVD cabinet by the coach door last year.
That works on older models that have carpet on the ceiling. Our 2013 has vinyl panels. We swapped one fixture so far. The new one is shorter and wider. The new fixture covered the area where the heat of the light melted and tore the ceiling but after more than a year we still have an obvious oval mark and screw holes from the old fixture. I contemplated trying to smooth out with a barely warm iron but chickened out.
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Bangorbob

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Re: Interior Lights
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2021, 11:55:29 am »
Well, I totally trashed the rocker switch trying to remove.  Anyway, my eyes and hands aren't that good anymore to do any micro work.   Darn shaking hands!!   Anyway, I ordered an led complete assy. as suggested by Don.  I will tinker with the original light after I install new one.  Thanks for the suggestions.

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Re: Interior Lights
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2021, 08:48:32 am »
I retract my comment on the oval mark. It was there for the longest time but it's now gone. The screw holes remain.
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Re: Interior Lights
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2021, 09:20:44 am »
Well, I totally trashed the rocker switch trying to remove.  Anyway, my eyes and hands aren't that good anymore to do any micro work.   Darn shaking hands!!   Anyway, I ordered an led complete assy. as suggested by Don.  I will tinker with the original light after I install new one.  Thanks for the suggestions.
I am sorry to hear that.  You really did not have to unsnap the switch from the plastic, only un-solder it from the circuit board with the aid of a solder-sucker.

I still have all my original white switches.  If you later decide you want to rebuild that fixture along with the rest, send me a private message.  I'll ship one to you.
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