There’s been an increasing demand for 12-volt LED strip lights for RVs in today’s market.
The growing popularity results from RV owners looking for energy-efficient ways to light their surroundings.
Moreover, they need light sources that are easy to install and maintain. And none top the list than 12-volt LED strip lights.
In today’s article, we’re looking at why they are the best for RVs and how to connect them. Let’s get going.
4 Best LED Strip Lights for RVs
(Blue LED strips for RV use)
RV Awning LED Lights, 12V
The 5 meters long RV Awning LED 12V Lights are an easy-to-install option for RV dwellers.
The strip lights have a strong self-adhesive tape making them suitable for installing on any clean and dry surface of your RV.
You can cut the strip every 3 LEDs or join two adjacent strips using 2P 10 millimeters connectors.
Also, it comes with a one-year warranty and excellent after-sale services.
Smart WiFi RGBWW LED Strip Lights
The Smart WiFi are warm white strip lights specifically for indoor RV use.
They have an RGBWW combination that produces a rich color pattern to improve mood.
Additionally, they have a high-sensitivity microphone that picks up music beats and changes LED colors accordingly.
If that’s not enough, you can use a remote control to set up to 6 brightness levels.
RGB Neon Strip Light
You can improve your RV with stunning and colorful scenes from Neon strip lights.
With a music function, the strip lights can sync with the rhythm to create a colorful experience for your RV.
Furthermore, it’s waterproof, making it ideal for outdoor environments.
However, note that the control box and adapter aren’t waterproof and should remain inside your RV.
50ft RGB LED Lights
If you want a cheaper alternative, use 50ft RGB LED Lights.
They are capable and match the rest in terms of features like Smart App that allows you to control hundreds of colors.
The Music Sync feature allows the LEDs to change colors depending on the ambient sound.
Moreover, the LED strip has a timer mode that allows you to set the time certain light patterns come on and off.
How to Power 12 Volt LED Strip Lights with a Battery
(A 12-volt car battery can power LED strip lights)
You have four battery options to power your 12-volt LED strip lights.
First, you can choose a bank of four coin cell batteries, each with a 3V capacity.
However, connecting coin cells without a battery box might be challenging.
Second, go with a bank of eight 1.5V AA/AAA batteries.
Third, connect a rectangle 9V battery or, fourth, a 12V battery.
In such a case, the 9V battery will light the LEDs, but you won’t get sufficient brightness.
For this case, we’ll look at how to connect the LED strip lights to a 12V.
- Calculate the power requirements of your LED strip lights, typically in watts per meter (W/m).
- Next, choose a 12V battery with enough power to meet the requirements of your LED strip.
- Third, connect a voltage regulator to avoid fluctuations for LEDs requiring constant voltage. Alternatively, connect a power supply that delivers a constant 12V from the battery.
- Fourth, connect the LED strip lights’ positive and negative terminals to the corresponding terminals of the battery.
Factors to Consider Before Installing LED Strip Lights In an RV
(An RV beside a lake)
First, consider the capacity and condition of your power source.
In most cases, it will be a 12-volt battery that you’ll ensure won’t drain quickly.
Second, choose a LED strip light compatible with your RV’s electrical system.
You won’t have sufficient brightness if you power a 24-volt LED strip light with a 12V battery.
Third, consider the installation location, especially if you travel during rainy or winter seasons.
If so, purchase waterproof LED strip lights with IP67 to IP68 ratings.
Advantages of LED Strip Lights in RVs
(A close-up image of a LED strip light)
Low Power Consumption
RVs rely on two batteries for power, namely the starter and the deep cycle batteries.
RVs use the starter battery to crank the engine, whereas the latter powers common appliances and lights.
LED strip lights consume 90 percent less power than fluorescent and incandescent lights.
In other words, an LED strip’s power over a week is roughly equivalent to what a fluorescent lamp uses daily.
LED strip lights last a long time, with some having lifespans of more than 60,000 hours.
In contrast, incandescent and fluorescent lights have lifespans stretching between 1,000 and 10,000 hours.
One reason for the longevity is that LED strips don’t produce much heat like other light sources.
It’s the overheating that reduces the mechanical and electrical integrity of light sources leading to failure.
Cheaper to Maintain
Some LED strip lights for RVs are waterproof, with IP ratings ranging from IP65 to IP68.
Only the terminals that connect to your battery lack insulation since they contact the leads.
Therefore, the insulation of the LED strips means that you won’t fear damages resulting from short-circuiting or failure of the diodes.
Easy to Install
The LED strips have diodes throughout their lengths, connecting through small pieces of wire.
Consequently, you don’t need to run long cables along your RV like you would do with fluorescent bulbs.
All you have to do is run the LED strip; luckily, some have adhesives to attach to your RV.
12-volt LED Strip Lights For RV: How many LED lights do I need to light my RV?
Several factors depend on the number of LED lights to power any system, like an RV.
First, the size of space that you need to light.
If you need to light your RV’s interior and exterior, you might need more strip lights.
Additionally, it depends on the placement of the LED strips along your RV.
For instance, if you need your LED strip to cover certain sections, you’ll require fewer LEDs than a person needing it to cover the entire RV’s perimeter.
Second, high-density LED strips have more diodes and less space in between compared to standard-density strips.
If you go with the latter, you will use fewer diodes but have less bright lighting.
12-volt LED Strip Lights For RV: Can I use LED lamps instead of LED strip lights?
If you are using LED lights for lighting, then both the lamp and bulb will suit you.
However, LED lamps are more efficient in applications that require direct light to illuminate a wider space.
For instance, if you need a security light for your RV, going with the lamp is more advantageous.
Otherwise, use the LED strip lights if your main purpose is to decorate your RV while simultaneously lighting it up.
On matters of energy consumption, both use the same technology and consume little power.
12-volt LED Strip Lights For RV: Can I power 12 volts of LED lights from my RV battery?
Typically, an RV battery has a voltage of around 12 volts.
And in most cases, LED lights have capacities of close to 60W, meaning that a 12-volt RV battery with a 5A current supply works well.
Moreover, if you don’t want to use your RV battery, connect a bank of eight 1.5V AA batteries (12V) to power your LED lights.
Remember, in both cases, use the right gauge wire to ensure there’s no voltage drop over the length of the wire.
Additionally, use a circuit breaker or fuse to protect your LEDs in the case of an electrical fault.
Since most people who live inside their RVs need ways to lower their electrical consumption, there’s a need for energy-saving options.
And one such option is opting for light-emitting diodes as lighting sources over traditional sources.
In most cases, you may need the energy to run appliances such as the freezer or television.
Therefore, as they already consume a lot of energy, your option would be to save on lighting power.