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Old 01-19-2016, 03:09 AM   #1
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update lighting fixture

good afternoon all,

i have been thinking about replacing my kitchen light fixtures. Those lights are run off the 12v system. Looking online the choices of 12v light fixtures aren't very extensive and don't look as nice as the 120v fixtures. would it be possible to wire the 120v fixture to the existing 12v wiring? i know the only difference in a 120v and 12v should be a ground wire. i did find a fixture i liked that fit 120v gu10 bulbs, the same bulbs are also made in 12v. has anyone ever tried this upgrade and have any advice for me?

thank you
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Old 01-19-2016, 04:24 AM   #2
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That shouldn't be a problem at all. I would test it with one bulb on the workbench to make sure you get the polarity correct. Electrically, should be easy. Mounting it to the ceiling would be my concern.
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Old 01-19-2016, 02:07 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Bjesquivel View Post
good afternoon all,

i have been thinking about replacing my kitchen light fixtures. Those lights are run off the 12v system. Looking online the choices of 12v light fixtures aren't very extensive and don't look as nice as the 120v fixtures. would it be possible to wire the 120v fixture to the existing 12v wiring? i know the only difference in a 120v and 12v should be a ground wire. i did find a fixture i liked that fit 120v gu10 bulbs, the same bulbs are also made in 12v. has anyone ever tried this upgrade and have any advice for me?

thank you
You need to be very cautious here. If you are asking this question, I don't believe you have the electrical knowledge to tackle this job.

Reasons:

1. What you say about the wiring/cable is not true. The wire insulation rating of the 12 VDC cable is likely not sufficient to handle 120 VAC so the cable going to those kitchen ceiling light fixtures would need to be changed or replaced.

2. The switching would need to be changed because those 12 VDC switches are not designed to handle 120 VAC.

3. If the wiring change is not thought through carefully and correctly and made sure that there are no crossover connections to any of the 12 VDC wiring, you could blow out every 12 VDC fixture/circuit (refrigerator, furnace, A/C thermostat, converter, etc.) in the trailer and cause extensive damage and possibly even fire.

4. If you are bound to go ahead with this type of rework/change, get a qualified/licensed and bonded electrician to do the work. It can be done but not for the inexperienced DYI.

Again, be very cautious. JMHO

I am not an electrician although I have done extensive electrical work. I am a retired Electrical/Electronics Engineer.

Guy
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Old 01-19-2016, 03:33 PM   #4
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Guy ~ I think he wants to use a 120v fixture but keep it 12v wiring and use 12v bulbs if I read his post correctly.
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Old 01-19-2016, 03:37 PM   #5
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It sounds like you are wanting to wire the existing 12v DC wiring to 120v AC fixture. You can do this as long as you continue to run 12v DC through the new fixture. But as mentioned you need to get the polarity right Other things to consider is the 120V AC fixture will have heavy gauge wire vs your existing 12v DC wiring, and lastly you may not be pleased with the lumens produced running 12V DC through a 120V AC designed light bulb. The filaments in standard 120v bulb are designed to work with a voltage of around 120v, which is an unusual range for batteries/12v DC. Therefore you need to find a bulb that matches your 12v DC and current. One of two things could happen to a standard 120v bulb: 1) The filament could not glow or barely glow. 2) The DC voltage and current could vaporize the filament in the bulb.
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Old 01-19-2016, 03:46 PM   #6
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A little confusion here and I'm not exactly which direction it's going.
On our Montana we did install some standard household 120VAC fixtures and used Camco (I think) 12V Twisty Lights. As a matter of fact I have about half a dozen at home in the garage if anyone is interested.
Now if you're thinking of changing from the 12VDC lighting to 120VAC lighting, I wouldn't do it because of all the problems that would be encountered.
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Old 01-19-2016, 05:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bjesquivel View Post
good afternoon all,

i have been thinking about replacing my kitchen light fixtures. Those lights are run off the 12v system. Looking online the choices of 12v light fixtures aren't very extensive and don't look as nice as the 120v fixtures. would it be possible to wire the 120v fixture to the existing 12v wiring? i know the only difference in a 120v and 12v should be a ground wire. i did find a fixture i liked that fit 120v gu10 bulbs, the same bulbs are also made in 12v. has anyone ever tried this upgrade and have any advice for me?

thank you
I may have misunderstood your post..............

If you are wanting to use 120 VAC fixtures in place of the the 12 VDC fixtures and use 12 VDC lamps (that have the same as 120 VAC socket configuration), your main concern will be to keep the polarity (as determined by a voltmeter) of the 12 VDC source straight and connect positive (of 12 VDC source) to the black lead on the fixture and negative (of 12 VDC source) to the white lead and ground lead on the fixture.

Sorry for any confusion on my part. I hope this helps.
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Old 01-19-2016, 07:59 PM   #8
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I, for one, would not be changing a fixture that does not match the wiring. I cannot tell you how many times I have encountered someone messing with circuit breakers and switching them for higher breakers when the wiring is not rated for it. I have found this in homes I have purchased so we are talking about about AC. My concern would be subsequent owners of this RV down the road. For example, they notice that the fixture is a 120AC and can't figure out why their light bulb won't work right in the fixture so they investigate and decide that the fixture was miswired to the 12V system so they switch the wire to the 120 breaker. Weirder things have happened so don't say that this couldn't haappen. You say, well, before I trade or sell, I will remember to change it back but years go by and you forget about it. Not worth the potential lawsuit. Unless you are going to do it right, I wouldn't take the risk. Just my honest opinion.
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Old 01-20-2016, 12:13 AM   #9
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If I understand what you are asking, I did that on my Montana. I installed a standard light fixture for a house, used the existing 12v wiring and 12V bulbs from Camping World (mine were screw in). Shouldn't be a problem.

I actually tied the fixture ground to the 12V ground side of the pair, because I just didn't have the heart to cut it off . If I remember, the color stripe on the 12V zip cord used buy Redwood is the positive, and the non-colored white all return back to the 12V ground buss bar, but I would check if with a meter or test light before you tie in the ground.
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