LED lighting

Caravans get LED lighting

The arrival of ever more ef­ficient and ever more afford­able LED lighting technology is transforming the way grey nomads travel.

The massively improved en­ergy efficiency on offer means travellers can stay much longer in the bush as the drain on their batteries – or reliance on generator or solar power – is dramatically reduced. And it’s not just inside the RV that LED lighting is making its presence felt.

LED is also bringing light to life under the awning; people are using LED bulbs for their vehicle’s brake or indicator lights; and ‘nervous Nellies’ who want a brighter torch to illuminate their path to the drop toilet at midnight are also making the LED leap.

While new RVs tend to come fitted out with full LED lighting, older vans don’t … and increasing numbers of nomads are taking the trouble to switch their vehicles over … and the minor hassles and ex­pense involved are considered well worth it. As well as using a fraction of the battery power required for incandescent or fluroescent lighting, LED bulbs don’t have filaments so they are not damaged by the shake, rattle and roll of the rigours of the open road, and so rarely need replacing.

Outside the van or mo­torhome, the same LED energy efficiencies mean more hours of camp lighting without the need to recharge batteries. LED lighting can apparently be exposed to rain and snow so will survive if you have ‘one too many’ at Happy Hour and leave it all outside when an unexpected blizzard strikes!

Interestingly, the spectrum of light that LEDs produce also means most insects aren’t drawn to them. For the midnight drop toilet adventurers, the good news is that LED torch bulbs mean batteries last 10-15 times longer than with incandescent bulbs … and the light is vivid and vibrant. There’s just no place for those spiders to hide! Back in the RV, because they are ‘directional’, LED lights are great for focussing light on certain area, maybe onto your cooking area, or your book or magazine.

To offer more general lighting, multiple lights can be used in an angled cluster. Technological advances mean LED lights are now becom­ing more affordable as well as brighter … but it certainly doesn’t always pay to rush into buying the cheapest accessories you can find. Not all LED lights are created equal, and there are significant differ­ences in performance.


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