My virtual Caravan Site 

12V LED Lighting

2012 update

Why LED's?

The reason why LED's are a popular modification is that they take considerably less power, typically ten times less, for the same lighting level. This means that if you are away at a Site with no mains power and you are using the battery to provide the lighting, it will last longer. Also they run considerably cooler than the Halogen bulbs and are safer with children especially in the 'bunks' area.

Normal Caravan spotlights normally use Halogen bulbs, and come in two types of fitting.

1 -  Where there is a push in bulb with two metal 'legs'

this is called a G4 fitting

2 - Where the bulb is included in a sealed reflector casing 

these are normally MR11, 35mm diameter or MR16, 50mm diameter fitting

LED versions of these bulbs are available, they normally have more than one individual LED per 'bulb'

G4 fitting:  Side pins     rear pins             

  MR11 or MR16 fitting  

The individual LED's come in two different types, those that are clear and look like a glass dome, and flat square, often yellow, ones.

They also give out different shades of White light!

Cool White    give a cold bluish light

Warm White   give a warm yellowish light

and the recently available Day White which to me gives the most natural light.

There are two other important things

As with most things you get what you pay for, and the most important thing to check is how much light each device gives out.

Also will it fit your Caravan fitting, some of the G4 bulbs that come with a plastic surround are too big.

Changing the bulbs
click the image for larger picture


This recessed fitting with a G4 bulb fitment, needs the glass to be removed to access the bulb. It is held in place by the black plastic ring. You need to ease out one side of the ring from the metal casing by inserting, say, a small screwdriver and levering the plastic ring towards the centre. this will then enable you to remove the ring.

This type of fitting, MR11 or MR16 bulb, requires the removal of the metal spring clip that holds the bulb in. Squeezing the two ends together enable you to remove the clip and pull out the bulb.

And for those of you that always wanted to know and never dared ask!

LED stands for Light Emitting Diode


2012 update

Well, quite a bit has moved on since I wrote the sbove section. More and more new vans are equipt with LED lighting from scratch. However, due to their 'higher' power, centre lights etc. still often come with Halogen bulbs. Now, with newer technology, LEDs are also available with much greater light output. These LEDs are of the SMD type. (Surface Mounted Device) a square, flat package with a circular 'yellow' centre, see pictures below. They also come in a variety of mounts/connections to suite most applications.
Once again it is important when selecting them to check the 'colour' of the light and the brightness. Photos below show the ones I have fitted to my Bailey Unicorn.

Click on images to get full size photos






In the fitting shown above, I have fitted one Warm White and one Cool White
'LED bulb'. When you look at it it seems a bit odd, it gives off a nice overal light.

All of mine have been bought off E-bay from a variety of sellers.
The ones from 'Hong Kong' are particularly cheap and although they take a while to arrive have been fine.