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Old 02-28-2011, 03:42 PM   #1
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Converting VETUS Holland Recessed lights: 12 Volt T5 Fluorescent to LED?

Hopefully someone on the forum has encountered this issue, I have 23 recessed Vetus Holland 12 Volt lights that currently each have two 12 Volt 6 inch F4 T5 (commonly known as 6 inch T5 tubes) with associated ballasts in each housing. I really want to keep the housings as they look incredible in my 52 Sea Ranger and I'm trying to keep everything as original as possible - I would just like to upgrade the guts to LED if possible.

Many of the ballasts have pooped out and they are quite extinct nowadays - not to mention, I just don't like the looks of them - those circuit board ballasts are not a favorite of mine and are prone to failure.

I have googled my fanny off, not to mention going to various electrical, RV and marine suppliers to no avail. Does anyone know of a retrofit for a 6 inch 12 volt T5 fluorescent bulb or any other "out of the box" solution? I've thought about Xenon and halogen, but I would really like to stick with LED as they are low draw and low heat, not to mention a very long life span.

The measurements of the housings are: 7" W x 5" D x 1 1/4" H - inner dimensions

Any help here will be greatly appreciated, even if it is advice to "try so and so - maybe they can steer you in the right direction".

Having 23 of these means I will be replacing 46 of these bulbs - expensive but I think it will be well worth it if I can retain the original beauty and enhance the performance

Thanks again,
dcboater
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Old 02-28-2011, 03:51 PM   #2
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RE: Converting VETUS Holland Recessed lights: 12 Volt T5 Fluorescent to LED?

Hi, Have you tried searching 12volt LEDS on E-Bay?

Just a thought.

JohnP
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Old 02-28-2011, 06:49 PM   #3
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RE: Converting VETUS Holland Recessed lights: 12 Volt T5 Fluorescent to LED?

My first reaction is to scrap everything but the housing and cover and convert to LED's. If you were to go to almost any auto supply shop you should be able to purchase, quite inexpensive, automotive type light sockets that are attached to what ever by a small bracket. I see them being "pop-riveted" or screwed to the housing with 4 of them, one near each existing flor. socket hole. Then you can Google for automotive LED packages and you will find a whole host of suppliers both in N.A. and overseas with relatively inexpensive costs when you figure these will probably be the last you will but.
Once the fabrication is done simple wire the lamps to the 12 volt supply of the original assembly - now you will have a whole pile of circuit boards and sockets for swap and shop
I am sure there are other ways of doing this and it should not be a monumental task.
Good luck
John Tones "Penta"
Sidney, BC
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:25 PM   #4
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Converting VETUS Holland Recessed lights: 12 Volt T5 Fluorescent to LED?

I thought this might help untill I checked it, 12" tubes.
However, it may be worth contacting these guys regardless.

http://www.rvledbulbs.com/product-p/18-0117.htm

-- Edited by C lectric on Tuesday 1st of March 2011 12:26:02 AM
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Old 03-01-2011, 04:16 AM   #5
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RE: Converting VETUS Holland Recessed lights: 12 Volt T5 Fluorescent to LED?

LED's are HOT!!!! the florescents are not.

Meltdown?

Zenon bulbs use a lower temperature
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Old 03-01-2011, 05:07 AM   #6
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RE: Converting VETUS Holland Recessed lights: 12 Volt T5 Fluorescent to LED?

Check out this site too.

http://www.superbrightleds.com/cgi-b...ther_bulbs.htm
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Old 03-01-2011, 07:28 AM   #7
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Converting VETUS Holland Recessed lights: 12 Volt T5 Fluorescent to LED?

This may or may not be beyond your skill level, but here's what I did to convert my interior lights to LED:



Three things most folks don't understand anout LEDs:

LEDs are polarized. Connect them backwards and they don't work.

LEDs are directional. They need to be pointed in the direction you want the light to shine. There are "wide" and there are "narrow" LEDs but you still have to point them.* Those are "wide" LEDs in the photo.

Normal "white" LEDs put out a very harsh blue/white color. Fine for an anchor light or flashlight, not for interior lighting. You need to use "warm white" LEDs.

BTW: An "LED" is a single diode that emits light. What you see in the photo and what you buy for lighting in most cases is a group or "array" of LEDs along with dropping resistors or a regulator to limit the current.

-- Edited by rwidman on Tuesday 1st of March 2011 08:29:30 AM

-- Edited by rwidman on Tuesday 1st of March 2011 08:30:11 AM
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Old 03-01-2011, 09:26 AM   #8
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RE: Converting VETUS Holland Recessed lights: 12 Volt T5 Fluorescent to LED?

Lots of 12volt LEDS on E-Bay.

Just picked up six as pictured for 10. including shipping.

Also included 3 adaptors to common dome light sockets.

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Old 03-01-2011, 12:34 PM   #9
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RE: Converting VETUS Holland Recessed lights: 12 Volt T5 Fluorescent to LED?

Quote:
Penta wrote:

My first reaction is to scrap everything but the housing and cover and convert to LED's. If you were to go to almost any auto supply shop you should be able to purchase, quite inexpensive, automotive type light sockets that are attached to what ever by a small bracket. I see them being "pop-riveted" or screwed to the housing with 4 of them, one near each existing flor. socket hole. Then you can Google for automotive LED packages and you will find a whole host of suppliers both in N.A. and overseas with relatively inexpensive costs when you figure these will probably be the last you will but.
Once the fabrication is done simple wire the lamps to the 12 volt supply of the original assembly - now you will have a whole pile of circuit boards and sockets for swap and shop
I am sure there are other ways of doing this and it should not be a monumental task.
Good luck
John Tones "Penta"
Sidney, BC
Very good suggestion John - thank you - I will am looking at the possibility of replacing the bipole fluorescent receptacles with bayonet type plugs - since I have already changed out all of the aft deck Perko with LEDs - I have found that these work out well and put out a very nice glow at a VERY low heat.

Thank you - I'll keep you posted as to how I progress.

dcboater

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Old 03-01-2011, 01:01 PM   #10
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RE: Converting VETUS Holland Recessed lights: 12 Volt T5 Fluorescent to LED?

Quote:
rwidman wrote:

This may or may not be beyond your skill level, but here's what I did to convert my interior lights to LED:

Three things most folks don't understand anout LEDs:

LEDs are polarized. Connect them backwards and they don't work.

LEDs are directional. They need to be pointed in the direction you want the light to shine. There are "wide" and there are "narrow" LEDs but you still have to point them.* Those are "wide" LEDs in the photo.

Normal "white" LEDs put out a very harsh blue/white color. Fine for an anchor light or flashlight, not for interior lighting. You need to use "warm white" LEDs.

Ron - Thanks for sharing the valuable information - I am looking into doing the same thing - one question: how did you secure the upper (ceiling) portion of the new LED light to the light housing?

Regarding the posts to go to E-Bay - I have been that route and have not had any success - after hours and hours of scouring through countless E-Bay stores and coming up with dead-ends. The E-Bay search engine SUCKS to put it mildly.

I called the RV dealer that had the 12 inch T5 replacements and just what I thought and what everyone else has said - no 6 inch replacements exist. I have found one possibility - that is through ledlight.com - I'm still researching it and will keep everyone posted.

Am I the only one on here with these type of lights?

To all - thank you so very much for your posts - this has been most helpful - not to mention giving me a great welcome to such a wonderful forum !!!

Thanks again,
Keith

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Old 03-01-2011, 04:26 PM   #11
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Converting VETUS Holland Recessed lights: 12 Volt T5 Fluorescent to LED?

Quote:
dcboater wrote:

*
rwidman wrote:

This may or may not be beyond your skill level, but here's what I did to convert my interior lights to LED:

Three things most folks don't understand anout LEDs:

LEDs are polarized. Connect them backwards and they don't work.

LEDs are directional. They need to be pointed in the direction you want the light to shine. There are "wide" and there are "narrow" LEDs but you still have to point them.* Those are "wide" LEDs in the photo.

Normal "white" LEDs put out a very harsh blue/white color. Fine for an anchor light or flashlight, not for interior lighting. You need to use "warm white" LEDs.
Ron - Thanks for sharing the valuable information - I am looking into doing the same thing - one question: how did you secure the upper (ceiling) portion of the new LED light to the light housing?

Double stick tape.* The thick, heavy duty kind.* Also, since I had everything apart, I clamped them in place for several hours.

They are G4 lamps.* I soldered the small wires onto the lamp pins and cut off the excess.* Like a dummy, I didn't stop to think that I could have bought sockets with wires attached for 20 cents each.* After drilling out the original socket mountings, I used rubber grommets to protect the wires from the sharp edges of the holes.

I bought the lamps*off ebay.* Just looked for the ones with the most actual LEDs, wide angle, and warm white.* I think I paid under $3.00 each.* They are doing the job.*



-- Edited by rwidman on Tuesday 1st of March 2011 05:28:54 PM

-- Edited by rwidman on Tuesday 1st of March 2011 05:31:19 PM
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