Replace fluorescent fixture with LED

Simple fluorescent to LED tube swap. First is replacing one entire fixture, Part II is converting another fixture to use LED tube.

One of 2 remaining non LED fixtures in camper. This one under cabinet and one inside dinette light box. ThinLite single 12" tube Fluorescent. It only draws about 0.6 amps, good fit under cabinet. Light output is waning, needs new bulb.

Post on mentioning this fixture, Gold Stars F3528012 Natural White LED Tube Light Fixture, I had to look. Dual tube LED tube fixture, individually switched, 0.4/0.2 amp draw. Hmm, even less 12v used and more light. Housing is a little bigger at 18 7/8" x 5 1/2" than the ThinLite 12 1/4"x4", would allow me to move over and center over sink. Found for $17- Ordered.


First thing is to test

Both tubes on showing 0.4 amps and after a second on drop to 0.3!

Then its address installing. Reviews had mentioned lack of wiring space.

Well yaaah...The back of fixture is perfectly flat, wires come out the end. Unless your wiring hole or box is at end of light fixture the wires would be between fixture and mounting surface, let alone wire nuts? It couldn't mount flush.

Fortunately there are 2 channels recessed into back that can be used. Easy enough to pop off end piece and route wire into them. However there are also plastic nubs in the channels at either end. Some modification required.

Close up of nubs removed. I used a dremel to remove opening both channels, not sure which will be closer once mounted to wiring hole. Pop the end plate back on.

Take down the old light...

Put up the new light.
Almost that simple. Did take the opportunity to move over as mentioned to center of sink. One odd thing on these is the diffuser is screwed on. 'Course it suppose to last 60,000 hours.

The above picture is just the back bulb on. My pictures do not show the difference in lighting

But the light is whiter and more spread out without being harsh. Margaret came out and was stoked. Then I turned on the front bulb...

Then she mentioned be nice to have one over the dinette. Huh..that be awful bright? But then thinking about it our dinette fixture is split, one side fluorescent the other has 2- 1141 leds. I could change the fluorescent to LED tube.

Its separately switched so I could turn off or she could use when she wants light. Sounds like a good compromise so got online to see about a conversion.

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Part II

Same folks sell a 12" LED tube to replace fluorescent. Different than the bulbs in fixture in that they have own wiring, only uses the existing bulb holders to mount LED tube. Ballast is not used and existing wiring not used. The pins on new LED replacement tubes are not electrically connected to anything. Its power/ground lead comes out back of tube. There is another style that uses the pins.

Again first is to test-

ThinLite fluorescent drawing 0.7 amps, once warm it'll drop to 0.6

New replacement LED tube, 0.2 amps, considerably brighter. Had to shade meter on power supply, washed it out . Meter reads amp draw, (one decimal, rounds to 1/10 (0.16-0.24 reads 0.2, 0.05 to 0.14 reads 0.1 : Less than 0.05 reads zero :).

Anyway works. Now to modify ThinLite fixture.

Oh- just to show independent use of tube-look ma no sockets?

Prepped, simply stripped to base. All you need is to remove ballast ground, unplug power feed from switch. New bulb connects to ground source and power plugs into switch. My switch for this light is mounted on the ceiling light box in camper.

The other fixture will remain intact, for posterity.

And converted...the wire harness it comes with will power 2 LED tubes. Tube has a lead that plugs into harness. Nice but question all the extra wire.

So much I just cut off the plug and crimped on new female spade to black wire, connect directly to switch, ground will get nutted

Comparison between the LED 1141 bulbs we use, and the new LED fluorescent tube replacement. We can switch between either (or both)

Original warm white LED 1141 (both) bulbs switched on-(fluorescent not on and was rarely used)

New LED fluorescent tube replacement switched on. I cant say brighter, though it is, but whiter. Natural white-between warm white and the fluorescent cool white. Certainly better color than the fluorescent was and more light at 1/3 the power. Pretty sure Margaret will be using this.

Due to the way these replacement tubes are wired, If I could make a mount would be awesome in the stoves vent hood.

Umm-since ends are not electrically live, old T5 fluorescent base 'tombstones', or carved out of anything to use pins, also made are small clamps- search 'T5 lamp holder base'

But found a shallow LED strip fixture, 3/4" wide by 1/2" tall x 12" long, perfect. Stove vent LEDBetter light spread for stove top

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