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Old 03-08-2014, 07:17 AM   #1
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12 volt table lamp

I thought it would be nice to have a small 12 volt warm LED table lamp when sitting around. I couldn't find anything so I bought a cheap ($5) 120v lamp from Walmart, one of these 12v plugs from Radio Shack ($5) Enercell 12V/10A Solderless Vehicle Adapter Plug : Adapter Plugs | RadioShack.com , and one of these bulbs from Amazon Amazon.com : iLLumi Projections WARM WHITE E26 Edison DC 12V-20V 7W Motor Home Marine Low Voltage LED Light Bulb DC battery Solar fishing lamp FREE SHIPPING 84x 3528 cluster : Home Improvement . Looks and works great.

What I learned was this:

The size of a "regular" light bulb screw base is E26 or E27 (Edison 26 or 27 mm). There aren't many E26 12 volt LED bulbs available and those that are direct most of the light out the top of the bulb like a flood light. Good for overhead lights but not so good for a table lamp. The bulb I bought on Amazon was the only one I could find that was more omni-directional. Various wattages and colors were available — I went with a low wattage warm white.

The 12 volt plug from Radio Shack is cheap and doesn't require soldering.

If you want to do this, before cutting the plug off the lamp's cord make a note of the polarity of the plug. There will be a wide prong and a narrow prong. The table lamp's wire attached to the wide prong gets connected to the negative terminal of the 12 volt plug while the wire connected to the narrow prong gets connected to the positive terminal.
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Old 03-08-2014, 08:07 AM   #2
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I like that idea, I searched hi and low for a nice 12v table lamp for the dinette, ended up with a LED plastic clip on, now I can get the one I want and make one, thanks again. Any pictures of yours, how is the output?
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Old 03-08-2014, 11:42 AM   #3
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Here's a quick pic ...

They claim it's equivalent to about 50 incandescent watts. I didn't want anything too bright and this seems OK. Color is relatively warm. I'm pleased with it.

Now I want to add a 12 volt plug inside the rear passenger hatch so I can easily use this outside under the awning.
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Old 03-08-2014, 11:48 AM   #4
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finger check?

REALLY detailed picture posting instructions
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Old 03-08-2014, 11:54 AM   #5
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Thanks.
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Old 03-08-2014, 12:22 PM   #6
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I like the fabric. Would you be so kind as to let us know what it is?
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Old 03-08-2014, 12:41 PM   #7
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Very nice, I'm working on one as we speak.
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Old 03-08-2014, 04:41 PM   #8
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Although no longer current technology, compact fluorescent lamps are available in 12V and that common household screw base. I put one in my Boler, which came from the factory with an incandescent bulb in this base on the 12V system; it came from West Marine, but I don't see it listed there anymore. If still available, this type of bulb would be an efficient alternative for making a 12V lamp from a common 120V AC lamp.
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Old 03-08-2014, 04:54 PM   #9
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Not sure if it's the same as CFL, but I had a battery operated fluorescent camp lamp for the tent trailer. Couldn't listen to AM radio while it was turned on because it emitted a very annoying signal which was picked up and amplified by the radio.
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Old 03-08-2014, 05:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkgman51 View Post
I like the fabric. Would you be so kind as to let us know what it is?
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Thanks.

We purchaced it from JoAnn Fabric. Waverly Sun N Shade Outdoor Fabric-Memory Lane Indigo at Joann.com

Tammy suggested we buy the fabric from SailRite as they ship directly to Chilliwack. Of course, we didn't listen carefully and purchaced it locally and shipped the fabric ourselves. Cost to ship it was about $60.

Lynne took charge of fabric and Formica choices. She was going for a beach cottage look. We hoped the stripes wouldn't overwhelm the small space, but it seems to work. By the way, the Formica is Indigo Terra # 7263-58.
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Old 03-08-2014, 06:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
Not sure if it's the same as CFL, but I had a battery operated fluorescent camp lamp for the tent trailer. Couldn't listen to AM radio while it was turned on because it emitted a very annoying signal which was picked up and amplified by the radio.
I had something like that (mine used 4 AA batteries and had a 4" fluorescent tube). In the pre-LED era, was very efficient. I don't recall using a radio around it.

I replaced the stock middle-of-ceiling fixture in our Boler with a 12VDC fluorescent fixture. We have sometimes used a radio in the Boler, with no problems.

Our big stickie 5th wheel came with 12V fluorescents in the kitchen and living areas. We haven't noticed any interference.

The 12VDC CFL will be essentially the same as the 120VAC CFL - both need to make much higher starting voltage than the input supply, so they should behave similarly. Our portable units presumably just used the cheapest possible electronics.

An LED unit would certainly be preferable - there is just very little demand for medium screw base 12V lights.
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Old 03-08-2014, 06:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
- there is just very little demand for medium screw base 12V lights.
As solar prices come down more people will build vacation homes with solar. Then perhaps the demand for 12 volt appliances will increase.
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Old 03-08-2014, 07:07 PM   #13
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As solar prices come down more people will build vacation homes with solar. Then perhaps the demand for 12 volt appliances will increase.
I think RVs will be a much more common market for a long time, but this would be another one. I hope no one plans on using medium screw base fixtures for 12VDC in a routine way - the potential for destructive errors - putting the wrong type of bulb in - is high and unnecessary.

The generally better idea is to use light fixtures which have sockets for which 12VDC is normal, but for a nice inexpensive lamp, this mix-and-match scheme can be handy.
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Old 03-08-2014, 07:23 PM   #14
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We have nice little battery operated table lamp from lee valley that seems
Like it will work well
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Old 03-08-2014, 09:16 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave macrae View Post
We have nice little battery operated table lamp from lee valley that seems
Like it will work well
We tend to use battery operated lamps as well. I've been looking for one for the dinette and there are lots to choose from. This one looked especially appealing: Fulcrum 20020-108 8 LED Sensor Table Lamp, White - Amazon.com
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Old 03-09-2014, 08:35 AM   #16
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I like the idea of a battery operated lamp. Just use good rechargeables, and maybe get a 12V battery charger if gone for a while. Nice a flexible for outdoor use at picnic tables too.
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Old 03-09-2014, 08:47 AM   #17
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Way to go Tim, now you have me thinking about this WAY too much.

How about if you were to do what Tim described with the bulb, and fixed a battery pack (8 AA) into the base somehow, and make the lamp cordless?

Click for link.
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Old 03-09-2014, 09:07 AM   #18
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How sensitive are your particular LEDs to voltage? Most rechargeables are 1.2V, so you only get 9.6V out of 8 of the, rather than the 12V out of 8 non-rechargeables. It might work fine with 8, or you might need an extra pair of cells in the series.
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Old 03-09-2014, 09:22 AM   #19
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Just remember, once a year, similar to today and Daylight Saving time adjust, pull out those batteries. They tend to leak after awhile and can destroy the item. I got one of these, it can plug into your computer or on board 12v plug and clip to your table for some down light effect.
Daffodil ULT300 USB Light - Reading Lamp with 28 Bright LED Bulbs, Flexible Gooseneck and Desk Clamp / Plugs into Your PC or Mac's USB Port to Light-up its Keyboard and Screen. No Batteries Needed - Amazon.com
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Old 03-09-2014, 09:32 AM   #20
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I can't imagine that it would have an adverse affect using rechargeables, but not certain myself. I use them all the time in my devices with no ill effect. I do see lots of lights are rated for 10-30 volts, so they obviously work over a wide spectrum of voltages.

Maybe it would be just a bit dimmer? I know my headlamps I use when touring the backcountry don't seem to suffer from using rechargeables.
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