Anyone replaced the awful BLUE LEDs in an RMD8555 ? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 06-11-2020, 02:14 AM   #1
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Anyone replaced the awful BLUE LEDs in an RMD8555 ?

I haven't tried taking it apart yet, but I'm really starting to hate on those bright BLUE! LEDs in the RMD8555 fridge. I'd love to replace them with something around 2700-3000K, warm-to-natural, about the same brightness.

Before I dive into this, I'm wondering if anyone else has done this ?

I can solder, including PCBA stuff, although I've not done much with surface mount chips.

I'm guessing I won't be able to simply replace the blue LEDs with white ones as they are probably different voltages, but I'll need to get some sort of 12V white array I can hack into the door latch mechanism and bypass whatever circuitry was current limiting the blue leds.

I guess my first step is figuring out how to remove the clear cover from the latch/light assembly. hah!
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Old 06-11-2020, 06:29 AM   #2
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I haven't tried taking it apart yet, but I'm really starting to hate on those bright BLUE! LEDs in the RMD8555 fridge. I'd love to replace them with something around 2700-3000K, warm-to-natural, about the same brightness.
John, not questioning your intention or being critical here, but unless you have a lot of time on your hands, that would seem to be a lot of effort to reduce glare, and I’m not sure any color of LED would truly be less harsh than the blue.

I, too, had a problem with the (shall I say) “over abundance” of LED indicator lights in my Escape. I personally did not like the front of the Jensen stereo that was overpowering at night. I corrected that with a switch on the positive feed. But I didn’t have a problem with the blue lights on the refrigerator; my wife did. Said they were keeping her awake at night. It is beyond me how, when you close your eyes to sleep the indicator lights on the refrigerator would penetrate through eyelids. In a previous trailer, she complained about moonlight coming through the translucent smoke cover of the Fantastic fan over the bed. Guess I don’t understand because once I close my eyes I don’t see light unless there is a high lumen output nearby.

Anyway, I got some rather dark electrostatic window tinting and stuck 3 layers together, cut pieces to fit, and applied them over the blue LEDs that shine between the RMD8555 freezer and refrigerator doors. The lights are visible but no longer harsh and the tinting has stayed in place for five years. Perhaps a solution that is neither as labor nor as time intensive?
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Old 06-11-2020, 09:26 AM   #3
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I'm guessing I won't be able to simply replace the blue LEDs with white ones as they are probably different voltages
With the LED lit that you want to replace, take a voltmeter and measure the voltage across the LED. Then look up replacement LEDs rated at that voltage.
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Old 06-11-2020, 12:39 PM   #4
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its not just the glare. last night, I had two kinds of beer in the fridge, from the same brand (Sierra Nevada), one had a light blue label (Summerfest), and the other had a green label (Pale Ale), and they were almost impossible to distinguish in the blue light..
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Old 06-11-2020, 12:41 PM   #5
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Old 06-11-2020, 01:34 PM   #6
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This was a rather surprising post as I remember when we first opened the fridge how much loved the blue light, still do. Everyone has different likes, and with your background John, I’m sure you can figure out how to change them out. I don’t recall this coming up before, so my guess is you are the pioneer on this one.
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Old 06-11-2020, 01:50 PM   #7
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North Coast Brewing has an excellent pilsner in a blue bottle, Scrimshaw. And SN's Summerest is very refreshing. Both in blue labels but neither one will give you the blues. Excellent choice when listening to the blues.
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Old 06-11-2020, 02:15 PM   #8
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If they are individual component LEDs, chances are you can just swap them for another color and be just fine - remove the blue LEDs and put in whatever color you want. The voltage listed for an LED is the voltage drop across the LED, not a operating voltage. Most individual LEDs have a forward voltage around 3.7V. Three LEDs in series give you an approximate voltage drop of 3 x 3.7V = 11.1V. The remaining 0.9V is "consumed" by a current limiting resistor, often a 47 ohm resistor which would give a nominal current of 20mA, which is a very common operating current for LEDs. (R=E/I or 0.9V / 0.02A = 45 ohms.)

I haven't seen what you are dealing with, but I would guess that you will see LEDs arranged in groups of three wired in series with a small value resistor. (A 47 ohm resistor would have yellow / violet / black striping.)

Of course, that is a lot of guessing and assuming, and you're getting from me what you're paying for. The current is what determines the brightness, and if the voltages are much different, you will be brighter or dimmer than before. Now if the current ratings are different, you may or may not let the smoke out. If you can locate current limiting resistors, that will give you a clue as to the current rating of the LEDs. How about a picture of the LED board?
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Old 06-12-2020, 01:36 PM   #9
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single color LEDs tend to ahve a forward voltage drop of around 0.6 or 1.2 volts. its the white ones that have the 3+ V forward drop. most modern LED drivers use an active current regulator chip rather than a simple series resistor, especially when you get into brighter LEDs.

anyways, in this specific case, there's 4 LEDs arranged as a 2x2 square. I've not yet gotten the clear cover off, I don't want to break it and its resisted my casual futzing.
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Old 06-12-2020, 03:33 PM   #10
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Good thread- having been zapped in the middle of the night several times I used what I had while on the road: black electric tape and it works great!
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Old 06-12-2020, 05:21 PM   #11
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Sounds like you know a lot more than I do about LED lights built for these purposes. All the LED lights I have built have been simple - probably because we are using them as strobe lights and driving them at 100 times nominal current for 10 - 20 microseconds - mostly white, but some blue. But still, the blues we're using have similar forward voltage levels to the whites.

I'm sure you will get it figured out.
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Old 06-12-2020, 08:21 PM   #12
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John, try adding some colored filter medium overlay - you may be able to change the color of the blue sapphire chip - most "white light" LEDs are blue pump engines with 'yellow' phosphor overlay to downconvert to a form of 'white' light (usually low on the R9 red content).
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Old 06-12-2020, 08:50 PM   #13
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John, try adding some colored filter medium overlay - you may be able to change the color of the blue sapphire chip - most "white light" LEDs are blue pump engines with 'yellow' phosphor overlay to downconvert to a form of 'white' light (usually low on the R9 red content).
those white chips have as you say phosphors, which absorb the blue (near ultraviolet) and emit red and green... a filter can't do that, the blue is very monochromatic, so all you can do is dim the blue.

i still can't figure out how to get the clear cover off without breaking it.
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Old 06-12-2020, 10:20 PM   #14
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those white chips have as you say phosphors, which absorb the blue (near ultraviolet) and emit red and green... a filter can't do that, the blue is very monochromatic, so all you can do is dim the blue.

i still can't figure out how to get the clear cover off without breaking it.
John,
Order another one just in case, that way once you pay for it you will be able to get the old one off..........
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Old 06-12-2020, 10:57 PM   #15
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John,
Order another one just in case, that way once you pay for it you will be able to get the old one off..........
yeow, its a $55 part just for the clear plastic cover. *EVERYTHING* for these RMD8555's is ridiculously expensive, you do not want to price the shelves, I had one shatter when driving on a rough load with too much beer in the fridge.
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Old 06-12-2020, 11:29 PM   #16
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I would recommend you use a bulb that doesn't get hot, with the same or less light output than the stock bulb. Be aware that if you use a bulb that runs hot, it can cause condensation under the plastic cover in the area around the bulb and the connector. This can cause a short. The way the short manifests itself is, you'll get a loud and annoying fridge alarm, that will sound every two minutes. That alarm tells you the door was left open, but its not - it's sounding due to moisture. I found out about this the hard way, during our very first long trip back in 2015. The temporary fix was to disconnect the bulb. Ah, peace and quiet. The permanent fix was to dry the area under the cover, and around the connector, reconnect the bulb, but put a little silicone around the connector, preventing any condensate from getting into the electrical connection. The one who figured all this out was Reace. One of his many genius moments.
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Old 06-13-2020, 12:26 AM   #17
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John,
I use Tamiya Color acrylic paint - Clear Orange X-26 to coat the outside of white LEDs to give them an "incandescent" appearance, and reduce the brightness. Works really well, and doesn't look Orange unless I use several coats. I wonder what it would do to blue?
Perusing the Tamiya website, I find X-23,24,25 also: Clear Blue, Yellow and Green. Hmmmm; sounds like an experiment is in order!

Tamiya is available at model railroad hobby shops, and some R/C model hobby shops.
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Old 06-13-2020, 10:44 AM   #18
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yeow, its a $55 part just for the clear plastic cover. *EVERYTHING* for these RMD8555's is ridiculously expensive, you do not want to price the shelves, I had one shatter when driving on a rough load with too much beer in the fridge.
Hi: John in Santa Cruz... It's cheaper and easier to get used to drinking in "The house of blue light"!!! Every once in a while a surprise is a good thing. Alf
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Old 06-13-2020, 11:50 AM   #19
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its not just the glare. last night, I had two kinds of beer in the fridge, from the same brand (Sierra Nevada), one had a light blue label (Summerfest), and the other had a green label (Pale Ale), and they were almost impossible to distinguish in the blue light..
Oh man, a first world problem for sure.

Personally I like them and regard them as a low key night light.

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Old 06-13-2020, 02:11 PM   #20
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re; "eow, its a $55 part just for the clear plastic cover. *EVERYTHING* for these RMD8555's is ridiculously expensive..."

You sure got that right. I was going to buy a new thermistor for my RM8551 yesterday. Then I found out Dometic wants forty-two bucks plus shipping for that little dinko wire! And that's through a parts dealer so... with their mark-up...??!!
That is one nervy company for sure. Last time I needed a new orifice for the fridge (about the size of a US dime) they shipped it in a box big enough for a pair of hiking boots, $24 shipping.
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