LED Replacement Vanity Light Bulbs
The bathroom vanity lights around the medicine cabinet in the bathroom of our 1998 Foretravel U320 are your typical 3-bulb vanity light – this set features a faceted half-round cover which defracts the light and, well…collects dust. The OEM bulbs were each a 18 watt incandescent bulb, so with three bulbs in each of two vanity light fixtures surrounding the medicine cabinet, we were burning 108 watts every time these puppies were on! Egads – not good for our electric conservation.
These LED replacement bulbs were not a perfect fit and required a little adaptation of the fixture’s bulb sockets in order to accommodate the collar at the base of the LED lightbulb. Aside from that, this was a super simple replacement of an incandescent bulb with the new LED replacement bulb. We had some initial concerns about the pattern of light spots on the LED bulb being distracting, but the nature of the cover already causes the light to split, so the effect is minimal.
How To – Replace Bathroom Vanity Lights with LED Replacements
Disclaimer: Before doing any electrical work, disconnect the power supply.*
On our particular fixture, the first step was removing the acrylic cover by unscrewing the decorative nuts or knobs and then sliding the cover off the standoffs and out of the way.
Using a drill, we removed the screws holding the fixture to the medicine cabinet.
We taped the back of the fixture to make sure it didn’t scratch the wood while we were working on it.
One these 12v fixtures, there is one positive lead going to each bulb in the fixture and the metal of the fixture itself is a common ground.
In order to remove the sockets in which the bulbs reside, we needed to cut the wires.
Once all the wires were cut, we had to loosen the nut and lockwasher to remove the socket from the fixture.
As you can see in the photo below, the LED replacement bulbs would not seat all the way into the socket because of the difference in bulb shape.
Here is the LED replacement bulb we selected and an original incandescent bulb for comparison.
In order to resolve this issue, we used a pipe-cutter to cut a short portion off the top of the outer metal ring of the socket in order to allow the LED bulb to seat properly in the socket.
The shortened form of the sockets were threaded back onto the fixture and the nuts and lock-washers tightened.
Using crimp fittings, the wiring was reconnected.
Once each wire was reconnected, we re-energized the 12v system and voila! Instant savings.
*The lights on in the above photos are from the 110v system whereas the fixtures we are working on are on the 12v system!
LED Replacement Bulb Review
This particular bulb from Brightech, their 2nd Generation BA15 LED Light Bulb Replacement in a Warm White Color with a Single Contact Bayonet Base is the one we used in this LED upgrade project on our RV. We reduced power use by each bulb from 18 watts to about 1.8 – 2.1 watts each (according to our power meter), giving us an overall energy savings on these two fixtures of almost 100 watts! These are advertised as 200 lumens providing 3,000K warm white light. We think it’s a clearer, whiter light than the previous incandescent bulbs, but without any hint of blue. I wouldn’t call them warm, but they’re definitely not cool.
Overall, this was a very cost-effective, simple project which improves the quality and quantity of light in our bathroom and adds cost savings over time.