camp lights

Submitted: Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 14:46
ThreadID: 33039 Views:2536 Replies:10 FollowUps:30
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Hi

Just back from a couple of days camping. We have our grandson Louis with us and he wants to be able to read his comics! Also, looking to upgrade lights around the camp, especially need better 12 volt lights around the kitchen.

Moved to Colman petrol light a few years ago and very happy with portability and quiet light. Current 12 v 8 w "inspection" light not up to it.

I remember reading a post a while ago about converting a 240 light to 12 volt but could not find it. Also, I believe it is possible to buy quartz halon 12 volts ie like reading lamps in campers.

Any ideas appreciated
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Reply By: flappa - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 14:55

Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 14:55
Here are a couple of 12v lights I use



and


AnswerID: 167805

Follow Up By: flappa - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 14:59

Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 14:59
The first one , is a 240v worklight from Bunnings. Cost, about $10. Cut the plug off the end and install a 12v plug , and put a Nelson 12v (IMPORTANT: NOT A 240V, they look the same) Flouro in it. The Bulb is the dearest part at about $30.

The second is a Single Halogen downlight mounted to a black plastic box from Dick Smith. Cost is about $20 for the downlight , plus $10 worth of bits and pieces.

Mine now has a 12v LED M16 insert instead of the Halogen lamp. Much more power efficent , but , cost is about $25 for the lamp.
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Follow Up By: Member - Paul P (Bris) - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 15:11

Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 15:11
G'day

I have made the bunnings one. It is a good light for reading due to the reflector focusing the light. Used as an inside light in the camper as it attaches easily to tent stays. I also use a 12 volt versa light for outside lighting.

Both draw no more than 1amp (each) when on.

ARB also have a nice 12 volt light. I have one I purchased when on special which I keep in the truck. Also 1 amp draw when on.

For comic reading a LED headlamp my be all that is needed for the young fellow.

Regards

Paul
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Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 15:23

Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 15:23
>>> For comic reading a LED headlamp my be all that is needed for the young fellow.

Exactly what I was thinking. Plenty of kids at club property do the same..
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Follow Up By: Member - Paul P (Bris) - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 15:36

Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 15:36
forgot to mention. No annoying bugs with the LED light ( freedom of reading:-))

Paul
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Follow Up By: Cammo - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 16:52

Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 16:52
Is there any trick to connecting the 12 volt cigarette socket to the light ? Does it matter which way the wire go around ? Also, what does the black box from Dick Smith do ?
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Follow Up By: flappa - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 09:52

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 09:52
No , I dont believe it matters which wire is which , but , from memory , it has black and brown when you cut the 240v plug off. I believe its accepted that Black is earth , and Brown is Power. Worked for me anyway.

As for the Black box. Does nothing specifically but holds the "bits". The LIght doesn't come with a switch. The box now holds the switch , the cable joins , and the clamps for the tent poles.
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Follow Up By: outback epicurean - Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 21:46

Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 21:46
Hi

Visited Bunnings today and got all the pieces needed to make the lights. I must admit i was surprised that you can get 12 v and 240 v globes with the same screw fitting. Convenient for us but does not seem like a good electrical idea

Anyway thanks to all co ncerned for your help

cheers
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FollowupID: 424016

Reply By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 15:46

Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 15:46
Yep, I've also done the Bunnings 240V light converted to 12 V with a Nelson globe.
Another one is a cheap 12V flouro work light from Super cheap. It was under $20, but had no switch. Just bought an in line switch (Bunnings from memory) that is designed for bed lamps etc. Think the switch was about $4.

I also have two halogen reading lights in the camper. Did not make them, but they have a reflector like a low voltage down light and use a 12V 5W Halogen globe. Plenty of light for reading in bed in the camper.

In my Hilux, I made my own rood console and bought two swiveling 12V bunk lights from Bias Boating. They are map lights in the 4B, but could easily be mounted as reading lights (which they are designed for in boats). Think they were about $10 each and are switched.

As you can see from this and other posts, there are heaps of options that won't break the bank.
AnswerID: 167818

Follow Up By: Wisey (NSW) - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 18:33

Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 18:33
Norm

Gotta get one of those rood consoles, customize it my roodness. LOL

Andy
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Reply By: Member - Paul P (Bris) - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 17:02

Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 17:02
G'day again

Go here Tuco's Lights Perhaps the originator of these lights!!!

Regards

Paul
AnswerID: 167833

Follow Up By: flappa - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 09:54

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 09:54
Yes , just about everyone calls them "Tuco lights".

They were probably made and used prior but it was Tuco , that really highlighted their use by what he made up himself.
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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 17:21

Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 17:21
If you want a cheap fluoro that has the good globe, might look at the Jaycar one for $16.75
AnswerID: 167842

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 17:25

Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 17:25
Forgot to add the photo and link to Jaycar



I've used them over the past few years, and they aren't as robust as the Versalites, but for the price are good value. You'll may have to resolder the plug.
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Follow Up By: Jimbo - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 19:50

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 19:50
Agree with Phil.

These are remakably good for the price. Not quite as bright as a Versa ($90) or Arlec (the brightest at $50), but very bloody good. They don't have a switch (nor does the Arlec), but you can buy an in line switch from Middy's for about $8 and wire it in with a pocket knife in 10 minutes.

Great value.
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FollowupID: 423412

Reply By: Graeme H - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 17:38

Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 17:38
If you want to light up your campsite and kitchen get the Versalite, it's the RR of 12V fluros.
AnswerID: 167845

Follow Up By: outback epicurean - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 21:18

Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 21:18
as pauline would say "please explain"!

I understand why the halogen 12 v is better. However, why is a versilite 12 v fluro better then the ordinary 12 v fluro's that I currently have. Are they higher wattage?

Many thanks to all contributors to my question. Great feedback and lots of ideas.

cheers
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FollowupID: 423152

Follow Up By: Graeme H - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 00:50

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 00:50
I don't know what wattage your fluro is but these are 11 watts and are quoted as having an equivalent light output of a 75watt globe. I think they work on the same principle as the energy efficient compact fluros that are gradually replacing conventional tungsten globes in the home. Go to your local camping and 4WD shop that sell them and ask for a demo.....you will be impressed.
They have an electronic ballast and only draw 1 amp. They are high impact, dust, moisture, petrol and oil resistant. Reverse polarity protected.

cheers
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FollowupID: 423208

Follow Up By: Jimbo - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 19:52

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 19:52
Graeme,

They may be the RR, but the Arlec is the Porsche. That is, it is cheaper than the Versa and performs better. I've tested them side by side, the Arlec is brighter.
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Reply By: Member - Mike DID - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 18:38

Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 18:38
If you want maximum light for a set amount of amphours then Compact Flourescent is the best - I use the Bunnings solution. The bulbs are not polarity sensitive.

LEDs are excellent for low-power lights - less than 1 watt.

Mike
AnswerID: 167872

Reply By: Derek from Affordable Batteries & Radiators - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 19:23

Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 19:23
The Evakool Torpedo light is the toughest one around.

TORPEDO

Have not parked the Cruiser on it yet but it is tough and has carry bag and switch.

AnswerID: 167875

Follow Up By: Derek from Affordable Batteries & Radiators - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 19:27

Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 19:27
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FollowupID: 423111

Follow Up By: Graeme H - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 01:11

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 01:11
Hi Derek, just had a look at your evercool Torpedo ad and it states it has a 13 amp globe. I presume it should read 13 watt globe.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Derek from Affordable Batteries & Radiators - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 06:33

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 06:33
Hi Graeme

Thanks for that.

It is not my website but Evakool's one.

I will send them an email and tell them. (13 amps will kill a battery real quick !)

Regards Derek.
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Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 06:56

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 06:56
13 watt lamp - are they _really_, _really_ sure about that 450mA current consumption?

Mike Harding
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Follow Up By: Derek from Affordable Batteries & Radiators - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 06:59

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 06:59
Just posted the web page did not make or test the light. Really !
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Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 12:50

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 12:50
Well... you do sell the product Derek (for a total of $95) so I think it's reasonable you should be able to answer basic questions on it - really.

Mike Harding
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FollowupID: 423282

Follow Up By: Derek from Affordable Batteries & Radiators - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 13:18

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 13:18
Sorry Mike,

;-(

No, I will go down to the LAB and test it for you.

Give me 5 mins.
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FollowupID: 423288

Follow Up By: Derek from Affordable Batteries & Radiators - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 13:30

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 13:30
OK, I'm back !

;-)

0.34 amps

Wow ! Even I am surprised. It pulled 0.45 on switch on and settled down to 0.34 amps.

Regards Derek.
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Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 13:33

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 13:33
I'm impressed - might even buy one from you Derek :)
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Follow Up By: flappa - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 14:15

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 14:15
Question from an idiot.

If its a 13w bulb , at 12v shouldn't it be drawing about 1.5 amps ? , not .45 (or .34 as you say).

Or , isn't it a true 13w bulb , but a bulb "equivelent" to a 13w , or have I got my (poor) maths confused again ??? (and most likely scenerio)
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Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 19:19

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 19:19
>If its a 13w bulb , at 12v shouldn't it be drawing about 1.5 amps ?
>not .45 (or .34 as you say).

Not quite 1.5A but as amps = watts / volts then with a 12V supply it should draw a touch over 1A. However: neon tubes are a bit funny and their running current will always be less than their start up current so Ohms law doesn't fully apply to these devices.

Having said that; there is an old Yorkshire saying "There's nowt for nowt" and that may certainly be applied to energy - so, whilst I am quite prepared to accept Derek's measurement I would have to question if the lamp is really putting out 13W of light energy. That doesn't, necessarily, make it a poor lamp because I suspect many other lamp manufacturers use "creative energy" in their advertising too. Like any lighting you really need to see it in "real world" conditions to know if it will do the job. Although, I must say, I was most impressed with my Coleman single mantle duel fuel lamp last weekend when I used it in the bush for the first time – I may, possibly, relegate my electric lighting to second place?

Mike Harding
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FollowupID: 423394

Follow Up By: flappa - Friday, Apr 21, 2006 at 09:46

Friday, Apr 21, 2006 at 09:46
Thanks Mike.

So my maths may have been a little out (no surprise in that) , but my theory is reasonable.

The 13w bulb , may not in fact ACTUALLY be 13w but equivelent or the like.
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FollowupID: 423555

Follow Up By: Derek from Affordable Batteries & Radiators - Friday, Apr 21, 2006 at 10:15

Friday, Apr 21, 2006 at 10:15
Fluorescent globes are always brighter than a standard 12v globe.

0.45amp is the same as a 5W park light globe.
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FollowupID: 423562

Reply By: Member - Davoe (Widgiemooltha) - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 20:59

Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 20:59
If it for him to read comics you cant go past the LED head torches. I have one and now my camp fluro just sits in the back doing nothing
AnswerID: 167905

Reply By: gonebush SA - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 21:26

Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 21:26
a really good light that we have come across for reading and to use in a tent is a battery powered lamp from Cheap as Chips, it takes 4 d size batteries but gives off a great light and the batteries don't seem to run out, my daughter uses one in her tent and it's still on the same set of batteries and done 4 holidays and still bright (and she likes to use it a lot) from memory it cost about $6-$9 and the thing about it is that it's totally safe, it can also sit on the floor or hang up. good luck.
AnswerID: 167916

Follow Up By: flappa - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 09:54

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 09:54
Yep , got 4 of those , excellent for the kids.
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Reply By: johannagoanna - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 21:47

Wednesday, Apr 19, 2006 at 21:47
I use one of those Ittybitty booklights. DH loves it because it doesn't keep him away in the tent! - Jo
AnswerID: 167928

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 19:21

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 19:21
I'm not convinced that is the image you intended to portray?

Mike Harding :)
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Follow Up By: johannagoanna - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 22:49

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 22:49
LOL - Ooopppssss, I meant the light from the ittybitty booklight, doesn't keep him AWAKE in the tent!!! - Jo
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FollowupID: 423494

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