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Adding Blue Night Lights to the RV.

 

One recent trend we noticed when shopping for a new fifth wheel is that several manufacturers are starting to install blue LED lighting in the bathroom and bedroom areas. Blue lighting is much easier on the eyes at night as it does not destroy your night vision with a glaring white light. And usually the blue light is bright enough to see where you are going.

And, in the bedroom, blue/white gooseneck LED light fixtures are finding their way into headboards. Blue lighting is bright enough to illuminate book pages (with a white background) so you can read at night without keeping your partner awake.

Our RV did not come with either of these lights, so we will be installing them in this project. And we will also be replacing the white light in the stepwell area with a blue light. It just makes more sense to have blue LED lighting for night-lights.

One issue we have is we could not find a combo blue/white LED light fixture for the bathroom, at least not one that matched the size and shape of the existing "Puck" lighting. I could find several dedicated blue LED lights for the purpose, but that means I need to wire in another switch, which can be a difficult task. Since I could not find a suitable light... I made one. I Found that I could easily drill a few holes into the reflector of a puck light I purchased, then install blue LEDs into those holes.

The light also has a SPST on/off switch which I will be replacing with a SPDT switch so that I can switch the light's function from blue to white.

The switch can also be hard to find. If you cannot find one from my link below, look for a sub-minature 3Amp Rocker Switch, SPDT, ON-ON, with a mounting hole of 13mmx8mm to 15mmx9mm.

 

 

When you wire the LEDs, note that they are polarity sensitive. The long lead goes to the positive (+) side, and the short lead is negative (-). Note that when wiring the LEDs in series, the negative side of the first LED goes to the positive side of the 2nd LED, and the negative side of the 2nd LED goes to the positive side of the 3rd LED, and so on...

The resistor is not polarity sensitive, and can go in series anywhere along the LED "string". I placed the resistor in the center simply for convenience sake.

Another option is to add a 10K Potentiometer to the LED circuit, which creates a dimmer. The main issue here though is to find a potentiometer small enough to fit into the LED fixture. But the charter of RV-Project.Com is to get you to thinking of new ideas, and this is along those lines. For that reason I have not specified the recommended potentiometer (except for it's value and current rating), which allows you to determine which potentiometer you wish to use, and where you want to put it.

You can put the potentiometer anywhere along the series circuit of the LEDs. However, I would recommend retaining the resistor as it will provide a minimum amount of resistance to the LEDs. Otherwise, if you turned the potentiometer so that the LEDs would be at full brightness, you will burn them out in quick order.

 

 

Note: to find the puck light I used, google STF01-008. You will usually find one on eBay. If the lights are still available, this is the seller I bought the light from: Wayspride

Othewise, just look for a 4 1/2" diameter surface mount puck light (if that is the correct diameter you need) that has an on-off switch.

If you cannot find such a light, you might want to consider a dedicated blue light for the bathroom ceiling - however, you will have to wire in another wall switch (or go with a battery powered light).

 

Prepairing the Ceiling.

 

The typical RV ceiling is not thick enough to screw a light into. For these situations I highly recommend installing a plywood backing of 1/4" into the ceiling. I cut such a backing so that it was about 1" wider than the opening, then using a twisting motion, insert the slot and feed the plywood backing into the ceiling. I recommend 1/4" plywood... anything thicker and you will have a hard time bending the backing sufficiently at the slot to insert it. And plywood will not break under these conditions.

 

 

I also recommend gluing the backer to the topside of the ceiling. You can use Gorilla Glue or your other favorite glue. just use a couple of clamps to hold the backer in place until the glue sets.

 

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Puck Light Modification video.

 

Stepwell Light

 

Continuing on with adding blue lights to the RV, next I replaced the stepwell white light with a blue LED fixture. The white step light was fairly harsh at night, and since there was a ceiling mounted light directly overhead, it was rather redundant. Therefore changing the step light out was a logical thing to do.

This was a simple change... all that needed to be done is to remove the white step light (by removing 4 screws), cut the wires for the old light; attach the wires for the new light with crimp connectors, then screw the new light in place. The hole pattern of the new light is identical, so no new holes needed to be drilled.

 

Reading lights

 

The final step in the project is to add combination blue/white lighting at the headboard in the bedroom.

The blue lights allow you to read at night (the blue light will sufficiently illuminate a white book page without disturbing others in the room). Unlike the bathroom combo light, these combo lights are fairly easy to find.

In my coach, I was able to tap into an existing nearby constant powered 12VDC (used for the accent lighting on each side of the bed).

 

 

 

 

 


Project video.

 

 


 


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Parts required to add night-light capability to a puck light.

 

  
Blue Light Fixtures.

 


Last reviewed and/or updated Sep 7, 2017