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LED vs Halogen

The new trailer has 31 halogen light sockets (at 10W each) plus a closet light, a shower light, and a patio/step light. All on at the same time, these would be a total of about 340W. I've just finished replacing them all with LED arrays. Each LED array is a plug-in replacement for a halogen bulb using the existing fixture. A 1.2 Watt LED replaces a 10W halogen, so our 340W of halogens becomes under 41 Watts of LED.

When LED replacements for bulbs first came out, they were too dim and too blue. I did this replacement about two years ago on the previous trailer, and the LEDs available at the time were much better than before. Two years ago, the LEDs cost about $20 each, were noticeably dimmer than the halogens they replaced, and were actually slightly warmer (if you bought the "warm white" LEDs) than the halogens.

Now, the LEDs cost about $11 each. They are actually BRIGHTER than the 10W halogens, and they're slightly cooler (bluer) in color. I wish they were a little warmer color. The new arrays have only 7 LEDs each, where the older ones had 21. The new ones also produce a slightly strange light pattern – a field of yellowish light with points of cooler/bluer light in the middle. You wouldn't notice unless you have them shining directly on a white surface.

Overall, this will reduce the amount of electricity we use for lighting by almost 90%. The new bulbs should last five times longer than the old halogens, and of course they run MUCH cooler.

If we're boondocking with solar power, this will make a big difference in the amount of energy we have leftover for things like – video games.

(posted by Kevin)