LED Lighting with Bill Johnston
We keep piling on electrical equipment and it takes a toll on our systems. New winch needs a new battery, that new welder needs a bigger alternator, the new lighting needs... well, needs nothing if you go with LED technology.
I have five rather large, high amperage flood lights under my rock crawler. When I turn them on, I get a serious power draw. I was looking for something smaller (easier to hide) that didn't require all the extra equipment. When I saw the LED components at Roundeyes.com, I had found the end to my search. The rock lights they sell are each a 1 watt Luxeon LED that draw only 350 milliamps of electricity from the vehicle's 12v system. They are designed to light up an area six foot by six foot. They suggest using six LEDs to light up the ground under a short wheel based vehicle. They have a special if you want to buy all six at once. They are also very compact, so they mount almost anywhere. I have replaced the larger lights under my trail rig more times than I want to count, so installing these new lights where they were up, out of harms way, was very important. And to top that off, they are waterproof and almost indestructible too! They can be mounted almost anywhere, but you want to spread them out to the four corners of your vehicle and then fill the center with the last two.
This was more of an 'install and forget' solution to underside lighting. The components are neatly tucked up out of the way and are only visible once they are turned on. For rock lights, we prefer to use a bright white, but if you are so inclined they have these LED kits in five different colors. With an estimated 50,000 hours of life in them, I think they will probably last awhile.
We also installed a new interior option. This was also an LED component - Low on the power consumption but higher output than stock. It came with a decent set of instructions and an adaptor for most of the interior lights out there. Installation took about 3 minutes, and that was only because I stopped and read the directions...
Removing the light cover and the stock bulb was probably the hardest part of the installation. After the bulb was removed, we just had to match it up with the right size adaptor from the kit. The adaptors all have receptacles built in to accept the plug from the LED disc. The disc has twelve LEDs for a much brighter effect. The kit comes with three different spacer thicknesses of that go on like double stick tape. You can use it to attach the LED disc to the adaptor to keep it from rattling around inside the light fixture.
Replacing the plastic cover is all that is left. As you turn on the light you will immediately realize how much brighter the LED light is over a weak stock bulb. These are reported to have only a 10,000 hour life span, but I think that's still pretty decent for a light bulb.
This installation was in a blue Samurai, so for a little 'Bling' the kit we installed gave a bright blue glow. They have other colors available, or you can go with a more traditional white light if that is more to your liking. These LEDs really complete the job in a nice package. Easy installation, rugged construction and a nicely hidden solution made this installation very worthwhile.
Roundeyes Inc. does more than just provide lighting products, as a lifetime member of the Blue Ribbon Coalition they actively promote to keep our trails open. They help to make our hobby possible.
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