After taking your RV out for another adventure, you may be faced with a few of the bulbs in the headlights, rear lights, and interior light blowing.

You will need to fix these before going on the next adventures, and choosing the best types of bulbs for your RV can be a challenge as the market has rapidly changed.

The best type of bulb to use inside your RV are LED bulbs, as they are the most energy-efficient and will be easy to find. When replacing the headlights or the rear lights, you must use the same type of bulb that is currently being used to ensure proper refraction.

You will need to learn several things about the bulbs used inside an RV, with many people initially buying the wrong one. We have seen several people who bought the wrong bulbs at the wrong wattage for the sockets across their RV.

You will need to know what effects the bulbs will have on the power usage of your RV and how each of them can be replaced. We have tried every bulb type there is on the market and used several of them until they needed to be replaced, ensuring you have the best experience.



What Are The Common Types Of Bulbs Used In RVs?

There are several different types of bulbs you can have on and inside your RV that we need to look at. We've had to go through all the popular bulbs on the market and find a good generalization, focusing on regular halogen lights instead of just LEDs.

To accomplish a comprehensive list, we've found charts and graphs to show just how regular store-bought LEDs can replace standard bulbs. We will, however, repeat that you must ensure that you only use the average headlight and tail light bulbs when they need to be replaced.

25-Watt Lights

Usually, these are the tiny lights used as panel lights or accent lights underneath cabinets where they are kept. When replacing these, you can easily use 3 to 5-watt LED lights as they will fit in the same sockets without a challenge.

These lights are usually draining in an RV as they are automatically on, even during the day, to provide accent lighting. Replacing these with small LED bulbs will ensure that you are saving as much power as possible.

40-Watt Lights

These are the average lights you may find in your RV as they are known as downlights that flush with the ceiling or cabinet they are in. Fortunately, when replacing them with LEDs, you can look for LEDs that are only around d 6- to 9-watts in total required power.

We recommend getting LED bulbs shaped like regular halogen lights when replacing lights in this PowerPoint. Further, these are the most common lights you can find in most stores, which means that most RVs will use this size to ensure that you can quickly get replacement lights.

60-Watt Lights

At the top end of regular lights that you can find on the market, 60-watt lights are considered the standard light you will find in most markets. The LED equivalent of these lights are usually 8- to 15-watts and will automatically be shaped in the standard domed light shape.

We recommend that you keep this in mind, and it will usually be much brighter than most other lights in your RV. However, even LEDs left on for too long can quickly drain the batteries in your RV; you need to be careful when using them.

75-Watt Lights

When moving to these lights, you will usually only find them on systems that require you to be powered from an outside source with your RV. We always recommend replacing them as fast as possible with LEDs as they are only around 12- to 17-watts.

However, when used on RVs, we usually see these as flood lights, allowing you to quickly and comfortably cast a broad light over the area around the RV. It should be remembered that even one watt of power will drastically increase the light it provides when using LED lights.

100-Watt And Above Lights

These are almost always massive lights when they are just regular halogen lights and will rarely be used on RVs. This is simply because the RVs have very few lights that will require this much power; not only can these quickly drain a battery, but most inverters would not be able to support these.

Suppose you need a light that needs to be equivalent to the strength of a 100-watt or high light; we recommend looking at 15-watt and upwards. These LEDs will easily be brighter than most halogen lights, their same size or energy requirement, without draining your RV within minutes.

Can You Use A Regular Light Bulb In An RV?

As long as the fixtures you have inside your RV; you can use any standard set of bulbs that you can buy from the local stores in your area. Many people are entirely updating their RV light systems with the affordable LED lights they can buy from the local hardware stores.

If you are installing halogen lights into your RV, you will eventually run into the problem of power being drained too quickly. These lights are not meant to run for an extended period on inverters and batteries, which is why most RV manufacturers now use LEDs only.

Further, it needs to be understood that LED lights now come with every bulb type on the market, allowing you to install them into any light fixture you have. We have seen several people who fail to find replacements simply because they have not looked at all the available lights.

What Are The Best RV LED Light Bulbs?

The best RV LED light bulbs are usually those you can get quickly and replace without driving exceptionally far to get them. We recommend just getting regular LED bulbs for your RV to ensure that it will work correctly and that your nights are lit up in a meaningful way.

It should be noted that some special-shaped LED bulbs will be brighter than standard fitting LED bulbs as they are made to be specifically brighter. This means that the LEDs you are installing with their custom mounts and power will be brighter than the LED bulbs you use to replace regular lights.

When choosing LED bulbs that are replacing your incandescent lights, we recommend that you use bulbs that have diffusers on them rather than just the LEDs. This allows the light to disperse across an area instead of creating one or two bright spots directly underneath the lights.

Can You Replace RV Light Bulbs With LEDs?

Unless you are replacing the bulbs in your headlights or tail lights, you can and should use any LEDs that can fit into the sockets of your RV fixtures. These lights will ensure that your onboard batteries last much longer and that you rarely have to create waste by throwing out old bulbs.

There are two significant benefits you should always consider when using LEDs in your RV; the first and most obvious is that you will be saving a lot of energy. Many LED bulbs can be used without worry just of the low energy provided by a small solar array.

The second and often overlooked benefit of LEDs is that they last significantly longer than all other types of lights. Some of the more expensive and hard-to-find LED lights are made to last several years even when they are used for several hours each night.

How Do You Upgrade RV Lights?

When you are driving around in your RV that was first built in the early 2000s or even the early 2010s, you will quickly notice your lights are not as bright as you think. Older halogen and incandescent lights on RVs were meant to be used so that they did not blind other drivers.

However, most modern RVs and cars all have LED lights on the outside and inside to provide the maximum amount of light possible. However, upgrading to LED taillights and headlights is not just about replacing bulbs with the closest and brightest LEDs.

Upgrading Taillights On An RV

Replacing the taillights of any vehicle is usually an extremely involved process, and it is similar for almost any RV on the road. These lights are much less likely to need to be replaced as they are the lights that are the least used on any vehicle on the road.

To upgrade the taillights on your RV to LEDs or Xenon headlights, you will have to replace the entire housing of the headlights. Not doing so would ensure that the taillights read out as an error in the ECU of your RV and cause people behind you to struggle to see what you are doing as the reds may no longer be red.

It should always be understood that the red will be lost when using normal LED bulbs in housings that were not made from them. As LED taillight units are red LEDs and not simply red plastic that tints the light, some cars on the road look like they have no brake lights.

Upgrading Headlights On An RV

Headlights are some of the trickiest lights to upgrade in any vehicle because of all the options that are on the market. You will have to choose from just brighter incandescent lights to LED and Xenon lights capable of creating the sun in front of you.

We always recommend replacing the entire headlight unit with LED or xenon-compatible units and updating the RV's ECU. This will ensure that you are not blinding everyone in front of you, even when on low beams, but that you can also adjust the lights from inside the RV.

One of the biggest road problems many drivers face is oncoming drivers with just LED bulbs in regular headlight units. This causes people to be blinded as the LEDs are shining directly in their eyes instead of just shining a light on the road or any obstacles.

What Voltage Does RV Lights Use?

On the outside of your RV, the voltage that your RV will use will usually be 12V as these are the headlights, taillights, and surround lights. These lights all have special bulbs and requirements that need to be adhered to, and the engine battery will power the lights.

The lights used for lighting the interior of the RV will be 120V, the same as the power supplied by the inverter and campsites. This is to ensure that you can use any lights from any store across the United States to replace these interior lights without having to stress about them blowing up.

However, it should be noted that there are some lights inside the cabin, the driver lights, the dashboard lights, and the door open lights, that will run on 12V. Further, some lights outside provide massive amounts of lights for you to work with 120V as usual.


Anthony Day

Anthony Day

Hi, my name is Anthony, and RVs are what I'm passionate about. I bought my first RV when I was 21, and I've been hooked ever since. I'll guide you on how they work, how they can be used in different environments, and how they fit into our everyday lives.

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