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Post by Philip John on Sun Feb 21, 2016 11:24 am

The rear third of the nearside strip of (LED?) lights at roof level has stopped working. How do I access this strip to have a look without removing the whole row of lockers?
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Post by PLOUGHLIN on Sun Feb 21, 2016 12:01 pm

On my Gloucester the LED strip is stuck on top of the cupboard woodwork in the gap up to the roof with the wiring running behind the upper locker frame member. It can be peeled off. Not sure if the Broadway is similar.

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Post by Gromit on Sun Feb 21, 2016 12:57 pm

I expect the Broadway is similar to our Nuevo - in which case what Peter just said is correct.

You should find that each strip has a plug and socket tucked away in the gap between the locker top and the roof. The long strip lights down the sides (on ours) come in two sections with a plug and socket at each end. It sounds like one of yours may have come unplugged.

It's a bit of a fiddle but not too difficult to firtle them out, and if that's the problem it will be easy to fix.

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Post by Philip John on Sun Feb 21, 2016 5:51 pm

Thank you. I had a fettle around and I now have the strip of lights to hand. It seems to have a joint / connection every 5cm of it's length, and it is broken entirely at exactly 1 metre from the rear end. The terminal to the wiring is at the front but I can only just get a finger tip to it as it is much better stuck down with masking tape. I am not familiar with the terminal but it looks like a 'swaged' fitting and I am loath to try to pull it off the wire in case there is another wire / joint that I cannot see that goes to the bulkhead light behind the passenger seat.
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Post by Askit on Tue Jul 26, 2016 8:19 pm

Just wondering if anyone has an notion of the anticipated working life hours of these LED lights. I was trying to do a rough calculation of how often we have used them (they are our favourite means of illuminating the van in the evening) and reckon around 200 hours since new. I would estimate between 5% and 10% of the individual LEDs are either out or have dimmed to the point of rendering them useless. 

At this rate, they look like candidates for regular replacement. I tried to inspect them but think I might need a "dentists" type mirror to see into the small gap properly. Given the tight space they are in, I might even need the "Dentist" to fix them for me   hugegrins 

Anyone got any idea what type they are and where they can be sourced?

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Post by Mike187 on Tue Jul 26, 2016 8:40 pm

Hi Askit,

I've recently have been getting LED bulbs for the house from here [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] reasonable price and range. They have 12V strip LED lights with a life of 30000 hrs so you should have a while to go!

Like you they are the lights of choice for general lighting in the evening and being LED would expect them to last longer than 200 hrs. I've not looked how they are fitted but the ones they have are self adhesive. I'm curious now and will having a look.

Mike

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Post by Gromit on Tue Jul 26, 2016 8:46 pm

Hi Askit

I don't think they are anything special.

I would suggest you have a look on Aten Lighting's website. They are a very helpful and reliable firm (well, father and son actually) and they only sell good quality stuff.

If in doubt give them a call and speak to either Joe (father) or Saul (son, and I think the owner of the business). It's a bit of a minefield, so a call may well be essential to seek advice.

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Dave smile!
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Post by Askit on Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:11 am

Thanks Mike and Dave up!

I thought 200 hours was a bit early for some of the LEDs to fail myself. They have gone out in little groups of three or four (one group of about 10) so don't look as good as when new. A small section in the A/S handbook on lamp replacement would not go amiss (stand up you at the back laughing  Whistle1).

I'll have a look at the web sites you both recommend, once again, thanks.

Tony
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Post by meanchris on Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:44 am

Askit wrote:Thanks Mike and Dave up!

I thought 200 hours was a bit early for some of the LEDs to fail myself. They have gone out in little groups of three or four (one group of about 10) so don't look as good as when new. A small section in the A/S handbook on lamp replacement would not go amiss (stand up you at the back laughing  Whistle1).

I'll have a look at the web sites you both recommend, once again, thanks.

Tony

That sounds as though they're being over driven by too high a voltage, probably when the leisure battery is fully charged.

Although I personally have a cavalier attitude to my self fitted LEDs, as I can always replace them, I'm surprised that professionally installed systems don't have regulators fitted where they're going to be used with 12V batteries.
I keep an eye on my LED strips, and don't leave them on too long with a fully charged battery, as I CBA to fit regulators. up!
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Post by Gromit on Wed Jul 27, 2016 10:13 am

Interesting Chris.

Would a dimmer have the same effect as a regulator? There are remote controlled units available very cheaply, which could both preserve the LED strips and give you a new toy!! snigger

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Post by meanchris on Wed Jul 27, 2016 11:56 am

We have an Aldi multi colour changing strip along the underside of our nearside window, to illuminate the awning area cheerily, or to provide sexy ambient lighting just in case there's ever a romantic moment - i.e. never... hugegrins

I haven't done any research or checked with a 'scope, but I suspect that the only way to achieve dimming of LEDs is by PWM, that is, high frequency switched mode modulation where the LED is provided with full voltage for only part of the time, so that it's lit and not lit for a variable length of time, thus providing the appearance of being dimmed.

LEDs die because they are being driven too hard by excess voltage, producing a higher than optimal current which is then dissipated as heat in the chip. I have some warm white LED strips which were under our home kitchen cupboards, which suffered exactly as Askit's description above from dim sections as the individual tiny LEDs died due to over voltage/current from an unregulated 12V laptop computer power supply (the regulation was in the laptop, before someone jumps on that, the PSU was just a nominal 12V DC supply)

The problem with dimmers, and regulators, which all work by pulsing the LED with a 'square' section voltage, is that the high frequency pulsing can interfere with radios and other sensitive equipment, so I generally try to avoid using regulators/controllers for ordinary white utility lighting, where it's likely to be on quite a lot. (It doesn't matter for the sexy lighting because, as I said, unfortunately it's unlikely to be ever used for that purpose.

If this means that the white lighting has a potentially shortened lifespan (and consider that my domestic kitchen strips lasted about 18 months and cost £5) then I'm happy to replace dimmed strips due to the high battery voltage, as and when required, because they're cheap and easy to replace.

I would recommend that policy over buying both expensive and regulated LED strips, but others may differ.
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Post by Gromit on Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:02 pm

Thanks Chris. Fascinating stuff - you learn something new every day.

Shame about the coloured strips having no useful function lol4  but I agree entirely about replacing cheap LEDS when they pack up. Even the regulated ones are not very expensive, and their development continues at a pace, so what was considered brilliant (awful pun intended!!) 12 months ago is old technology today!

Dave smile!
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Post by Askit on Wed Jul 27, 2016 4:42 pm

Yes, very interesting indeed Chris. The world of LEDs is more complex and technical that I thought think_smiley_46 Replacing them might be the way to go, need to check on the length, connection points, ect. The multicoloured ones would not be much use though, as good as the Neuvo is, I don't see any prospect of us dancing in it  hugegrins

(I have sent an email to A/S, via their online contact form, requesting more info. I'll let you know if I get a reply)
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Post by meanchris on Wed Jul 27, 2016 5:33 pm

There's a thread somewhere here, which discusses the simple means of adding a very tiny/cheap regulator to LED strips.
I don't think it's worth it, because the switch mode regulator will likely interfere with DAB and/or FM radio reception.

I spent weeks looking for the reason why my Merc CLK's radio had suddenly stopped working except on the very strongest nearby stations, ripped apart the boot and headlining to get at the aerials, amplifiers and cabling, only to not find the problem.

Until I noticed a Griffin dual USB charger plugged into the rear cigar lighter where one of my daughter's friends had forgotten and left it.

These chargers work in a similar way to provide a regulated 5V for USB devices - be warned, some of them are very electrically noisy.
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Post by -mojo- on Wed Jul 27, 2016 5:57 pm

Agreed - they can be very electrically noisy - driver circuits for aftermarket LED DRLs are notorious for causing issues - often interfering with DAB radio reception.

However, I used simple LM2940CT regulators on my Labcraft fluorescent to LED conversions, and they have not caused any problems. I strongly suspect that the main reason is that Chinese manufacturers will do anything to keep component cost down, so they miss out the capacitors that the regulator manufacturers recommend you fit...
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Post by ekka on Thu Jul 28, 2016 12:09 pm

Mojo, I'm sure me and many others would love to know about your mod, any chance you could tell us exactly where to source a simple LM2940CT regulator, and what exactly you do with it preferably in laymans language, up!  I would love to convert my power hungry fluorescents, and already have some warm white led strips cut to length and was going to source a regulated 11/ 15 volt to 12 volt power supply, your solution may be far simpler, do please tell. smile!
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Post by -mojo- on Thu Jul 28, 2016 1:36 pm

Best bet is to do a few forum searches. It was all started by a post by Murph (sadly no longer with us) a few years back, with this thread:

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Since then there have been a few more recent threads. I posted a couple of years ago and IIRC included photos of a regulator, wired up, but I can't find it right now. I'm sure it's out there if you try a few different search terms!
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Post by meanchris on Thu Jul 28, 2016 2:13 pm

I have to say that both in this current van, and the previous one, over about three years, without any regulators fitted, I haven't had a single LED failure - so far...
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Post by -mojo- on Thu Jul 28, 2016 2:39 pm

Almost all of the failures I've had to date have been ones connected into the vehicle's wiring system, rather than the leisure side, and where adding regulators would have been very difficult - so I've had 3 or 4 DRL lights that have partially failed, and one sidelight started flickering, plus some COB style interior lights in the cab which failed within minutes.

But on the leisure side, the main reason is not reliability - it's controlling heat output. On the big 48 LED panels, the difference in heat output between running at 12V and running at 14.4V is significant! It's been a while since I did the bench tests, but IIRC they take nearly 40% more power, but produce almost no more light - the extra power goes straight to heat...
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Post by meanchris on Thu Jul 28, 2016 2:48 pm

Absolutely agree with that last sentence 100% mojo, (I've done similar tests on cheap Chinese strip LEDs) that's why I keep a weather eye on LED temperatures and wouldn't, for example, leave them on overnight. I just use the converted elliptical fittings for required illumination such as cooking or looking for something under the seats, or fitting up the TV/Satellite system.

Our colour change strip lighting is regulated via its dedicated controller, but they can of course be switched off if they cause RFI problems with the radio etc.

We normally use the LED spots for general ambient illumination and reading. These COB LED lights also don't have regulators but are sold as suitable for 12V - go figure... winks
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Post by ekka on Thu Jul 28, 2016 6:06 pm

For those that may be interested there is a company that sell "voltage safe" units, together with fluorescent replacement units, although rather pricy a friend of mine has bought numerous units from them without any issues whatsoever. Google Bedazzled lighting, and there is some very interesting reading there also, hope that helps someone, although I'm no rush to buy their advertised fluorescent replacements at £24 a go, although having seen one in the flesh when this company started stocking them in a friends van they are very impressive.
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