Van work bench LED bulb follow up

The dome light for the work bench is a some what success. I didn't check amp draw. The lamps are dimmer than filament bulb. I used to find that one bulb was plenty of light, but a lot of amp draw. With the new LED, two bulbs is almost as bright as one filament. Presumably less amp draw.

The Harbor Freight magnet light with 24 LED on the side is actually brighter than the RV dome light.

Overall, it's reasonable, but not great. With both bulbs lit, it's enough light to work.

----------------------------------- Purchase Details


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Car 1156 382 Tail Brake Turn Signal WHITE 9 LED Bulb Lamp Light BA15S P21W 12V , Item# 140624170223

Reply to
Stormin Mormon
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I found at work that the old high pressure lights in our freezer could be replaced with the current generation of spiral shaped compact flourescent lights. I for get which brand but I'm using major brand, probably Sylvania. Thats after converting the fixtures to regular ones. For 23 watts you can get a lot of light. They're not at full brightness right away, about the same as when you use these at home.

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Got to work in the back, this afternoon. The LED bulbs are not bright enough. I had to put one of the filament bulbs back in. Another good idea that didn't work.

Reply to
Stormin Mormon

I don't recall your answer from the previous thread:

Why don't you want to use an inverter and a decent 120V light fixture?

It seems like a simple solution to me, but of course I don't know all of the variables involved.

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How many lumens is the filament bulb?

This site:

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(somewhat expensive) 400 lumen 12 volt bulbs for $32 + shipping.

I haven't purchased from them, they're just on my list of possible sources.


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That's because you're buying crap.

I spent a lot of money on crap LED conversion bulbs before I figured out that you look for LEDs with at least the same lumens output as the filament bulb.

Now in my camper with all four overhead lights burning, I can perform surgery. It's that well lit. Sum total energy consumption for the four LEDs is less than one filament bulb.

The units I ended up with were flat boards with 9 high-intensity LEDs from

Reply to

nner Asch- Hide quoted text -

re: "If he doesn't have an inverter..."

...odds are he doesn't have 6 dome lights and a proper aluminum bar. Which do you think will be easier to obtain?

re: "and a decent sized battery setup..."

And your suggestion addresses the "decent sized battery set-up" how? 6 dome lights is going to require as much battery (if not more) than an inverter and worklight.

So, instead of going to HF and spending $30 on an inverter and $15 on worklight, you're suggesting a trip to the wrecking yard, snagging dome lights from wrecks, getting bulbs from Autozone, getting a proper aluminum bar and then building a switched fixture and mounting it?

Plug and play vs. a relatively fair amount of work?

I'm not saying he should go the inverter route, but your suggestion doesn't seem like a reasonable alternative when viewed from the same "no parts" starting point..

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=A0Gunner Asch- Hide quoted text -

nner Asch- Hide quoted text -

There no sense in talking about $600 inverters when the OP is working in the "Harbor Freight magnet light with 24 LED" price range. ($3)

One trip to one store and maybe $50 (without coupons) and the job is done...and I'm sure it could be done for much cheaper than that.

Sure, putting together a light bar from parts found here and there could be done cheaper, but a low-end inverter and work light is plug and play and has the added advantage of portability in that the light can be used to light other parts of the dark van, such as under the workbench. "Damn, where did the screw roll off to?"

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On 11/18/2011 4:01 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote: ...

That's where the Storm' always ends up losing me--I'm w/ Gunner on this; if he's in business he needs to invest to the point of actually solving the problem and getting on w/ making a living instead of futzing around on the cheap.


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No argument there...although I think my ~$50 solution is a decent compromise compared to a $600 solution, and certainly fits your "investing" criteria better than $8.50 worth of parts from a junk yard.

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How about waiting until after Christmas and buy white LEDS when they go half-off. You can make a pretty bright fixture if you cluster them and maybe even use a parabolic reflector. Should run on 12V with a little modification.

Like these:

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Reply to
G. Morgan

there is also the problem of "We can't afford to be cost effective" - which leads to the ten buck and scrounged parts option, vs "time is money" and just buy the damn thing.

Years ago, I spend an afternoon trying to change the tire on a trailer. Dual axle, raise one the other droops, can't get enough height to get the tire off the ground. It starts to get dark, I bite the bullet, and rent a proper floor jack. Hour later I'm done, returning the floor jack, and able to rejoin my friends.

What ever works for you.

Reply to
pyotr filipivich

Ooh! Good idea! I've got a baseball-style work cap that has three LEDs mounted in the bill. They put out more than sufficient light for close work and can be turned on and off by squeezing the switch on the bill itself.

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That will take care of Stormin's two 6 volt cells in short order -- probably his van battery too.

Reply to

This is one of my rigs...

Shoulda trimmed off the base of the Adrians, at least the ones on the street-side - too much wasted space at the back that you can't get to. Been there, Dig the fall-offs out of the bottom every so often.

On the curb-side you can line the back of the shelves and van wall with paneling, get at it through the side doors, and have a safe place to stash sheet metal, glass, plastic goods and broken-down boxes.

Oh, and if the OP's or your van doesn't have them, make door liners for the side and rear doors out of paneling - Crap WILL fall in there

- or worse, a helpful person will try to store stuff in the doors... And either jam the locks (shut, naturally) or just rattle around while driving and drive you bat-shit insane. DAMHIKT. X100.


Reply to
Bruce L. Bergman (munged human

This is inside a running and drivable van with a 12V system? You certainly aren't going to get much usable power out of a couple of Dry Cells, and they get expensive if you burn through a set every few days.

If you have to have a portable power source, go get a loose BCI Group

24DC (90 AH) or 27DC (105 AH) Deep Cycle RV/Trolling Motor battery and a plastic Trolling Motor battery box that has an accessory power socket - check at West Marine or a boat store. And a small hand-truck to cart it around - lead is heavy.

And you need a small 120V battery charger you can plug in at home.

Then get a couple of the import LED Backup Lights, or the LED Work Lights, a roll of 16-GA lamp cord, and a cigarette lighter accessory plug. Or if you prefer fluorescents, a ThinLite RV fixture or two.

Mount the lights over your workbench area, spread apart wide so you can't lose your work in the shadows of your hands. Run the lamp cord over to the lighter socket, and plug it in.

Caveat #1) Car Lighter sockets have non-repairable thermal fuses inside the socket end, you are limited to about 3A continuous, 10A for

20 to 30 seconds On, 10 minutes Off. Then the "Magic Smoke" escapes, and the lighter socket stops working.

That means any inverter over 300W or so is OUT. And tire air compressors, 12V saucepans and 12V coffee pots too.

Unless you like changing out the lighter sockets every week, you get an Accessory Power Socket (looks the same on the outside, different insides that won't work a lighter element) and wire it straight to the battery - with a fuse at the battery.

No current limit other than the proper size fuse protecting the wire going from socket to battery. And if you use 12-3 extension cord from the battery to under the dash the outer jacket protects the wire from grounding out, and you can put up to three circuits on it if you ever come up with more things to power, like a CB.

Caveat #2) Car starting batteries WILL NOT take deep cycle loads AT ALL - you need to have the engine running when powering anything more than the few milliamps for the clock and the 1A Dome Lights for a few minutes only. DO NOT sit there in Accessory running the radio half the night.

A dozen deep cycles (just like leaving your headlights on overnight) and the starting battery is toast. You need to install a Deep Cycle battery somewhere in the back of your rig, or in that empty second battery spot on the other side of the engine compartment they left for Diesel cars - or move the gasoline engine emissions crap out of the non-empty second battery space so you can install it there.

(On my LandCruiser I had to shuffle the VSV's further back on the fender and extend a few hoses, and stuff the Air Pump muffler under the fender and extend it's hose. Then you have a space.)

Then hook up the charging circuit with a diode isolator and a regulator reference line to the alternator, or relay isolator if you want cheap quick and easier.

Caveat #3) The charge isolator relays are rated for continuous duty, the Ford style starter solenoids are NOT - their duty-cycle is roughly

15 seconds on, 15 minutes off. They might look the same, and the Ford relay is temptingly cheaper, but they do NOT work the same. (Gee, do you smell something burning?)


Reply to
Bruce L. Bergman (munged human

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