Inside LED lights with low/medium/high brightness ability?

Discussion in 'Lighting, Interior and Exterior' started by mtbdudex, Jul 5, 2016.

  1. mtbdudex

    mtbdudex Member

    Jul 22, 2014
    My 2014 popup has the factory incandescent inside lights, like many I'm thinking the LED upgrade.

    Thing is, I want my cake and eat it too, in other words besides using less 12v power and heat, I'd also like a low/medium/high brightness ability.

    There are many times, early in the morning or late night, when having low/medium would be ideal; kids going to sleep or early and I need to see something w/o blasting everyone with LIGHT!

    So, who here has scoop on easily swap LED fixtures with low/medium/high brightness ability?

    I did a search before posting this and saw so many on LED lighting, but did not find multi-level lighting.
  2. Customer

    Customer Well-Known Member

    Jun 5, 2014
    Some two lamp fixtures have a switch so you can choose between one lamp or both lamps. My two lamp fixture did not have that switch so I installed a micro switch in the fixture which allows me to choose between one or both.
    Fless likes this.
  3. JT2

    JT2 Member

    May 20, 2008
    I think Customer's solution may be your best and easiest. By their nature, LEDs are not dual-element. The only way to get more light from an LED is to turn on another LED.

    If you're a clever electrician, you might be able to bread-board up some combination of small 3 or 5 LED bars or strips with the appropriate 3-position switch to give "some-more-lots" of light but you may then encounter a problem fitting them into the present housing. (Nothing wrong with installing a new housing to accommodate
    them, either.)

    Additionally, dimmable LEDs are available but I've only seen them in 110v varieties. Finding 12v dimmables may be a unicorn hunt. Or not--they may be out there. But then you have to figure where and how you want to fit the dimmer control.

    I think your biggest problem here is designing and sourcing the lighting elements plus the physical installation. The actual circuitry will be pretty straightforward.

    Yet another idea is to forego LEDs and investigate electro-luminescent panels or elements. That field is growing rapidly and their light output improves all the time. I have not worked with any but have seen them in use; they have a nice light output.

    Good luck and let us know what you decide and how you pull it off.

  4. mtbdudex

    mtbdudex Member

    Jul 22, 2014
    Intuitively I agree the dual bulb solution may be easiest to implement, I'll study that path now.

    Via Mikes brain/thumb interface, LLAP
  5. TRR

    TRR Member

    Nov 3, 2014
    Alabama USA
    If you're just a little bit handy, you can do the inexpensive PWM dimmer mod I did to my light fixtures. I installed a dimmer circuit in each fixture that works with either incandescent or LED bulbs. A PWM dimmer works, not by reducing the voltage like a rheostat (which doesn't work with LED's), but by rapidly switching the power to the bulb on and off. It does it so quickly that the eye can't detect it. The longer the bulb is on vs off, the brighter the light output. If the bulb stays off longer, the light output is dimmed.

    Here's the link to the post with my mod:

    I couldn't be happier with the result.
  6. shelmily

    shelmily Active Member

    Jun 7, 2012
    Northeast Pennsylvania
    I have done the same thing as Customer did. The DPDT switches work great for us. We have 5 ceiling fixtures in our hybrid, and even with LED bulbs, we like to use the single vs double at certain times. There are several members on here that have done the LED dimmer, bu in my case, all our fixtures are wired separately, and would take a lot of work to connect to a single dimmer. rplacing the switches in each fixture took maybe 15 minutes each.
  7. BigGrizz

    BigGrizz Member

    Mar 5, 2016
    I put this dimmable LED light in my pop up.

    '88 Coleman Chesapeake
    TV - 2006 Toyota Tundra

    What you do today can improve all your tomorrows!
    mtbdudex likes this.
  8. Wild-Life

    Wild-Life Member

    Jun 22, 2012
    North Carolina
    like shelmily and customer, the season following my transition to LEDs, I went back and wired a DPDT switch for single and double intensity. It works well, especially when you need to conserve battery power.
  9. mtbdudex

    mtbdudex Member

    Jul 22, 2014
    I ended up putting exactly these in, they worked perfect on our recent 2 1/2 week vacation.
    I put the trailer side positive / black wire on the white "input" wire identified by the light pcb board , there were no instructions but I pre-tested that and it worked.

    For my electrical re-work I'm moved from twist connectors to these push connectors.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2017
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM Well-Known Member

    Jun 5, 2014
    Boston, MA

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