Safety Rules and Tips for Changing an RV Light Bulb

June 16, 2019 1 Comment

Safety Rules and Tips for Changing an RV Light Bulb

Nowadays, LED bulbs have become the standard with RV owners.  LED dramatically reduces the power load and RV owners love that.

However, there are certain safety rules and tips that you have to observe when it comes to replacing an RV light bulb.


The Dangers of Changing RV Light Bulbs


The Dangers of Mixing Voltages

You cannot install a DC low voltage LED bulbs into AC powered fixtures. Its dangerous and can catch fire. The smell of burnt plastic could fill up the entire RV.  This could happen if a 12V DC light bulb is installed in a AC fitting. Using AC circuits will immediately burn out the lamps because excessive heat tends to melt away to LED’s solder points. It can even catch fire so please don't do it.

The power’s polarity is reversing from positive to negative 60 times a second.  Unfortunately, DC powered bulbs tend to short out when placed into negative polarity.  So, if there is any possibility that 12-volt AC powers your RV lights, make sure not to replace the Halogen bulbs with LED ones.


Replacing RV Light Bulbs

RVs have two kinds of lights: 120v and 12v.  120v tend to work with a generator or when they are plugged into the RV’s shore power.  It is quite similar to the lights found in most homes.  The other kind is 12v lights that run off the RV’s batteries.  You don’t have to change the light fixture of your RV as long as you use the correct light bulbs.

In order to choose the correct LED RV lights, you need to examine the base of the bulbs that you’re going to install.  Some bulbs have single filaments while other bulbs have pins.  Use a conversion chart to decide with bulbs work for your rig.

Secondly, you need to choose the right color.  The light spectrum varies from natural light, cool light, or warm light.  Natural light feels like sunlight.  Cool light is the brightest kind of light.  It is also the whitest.  Warm light offers a gentle light, and this is perfect for RV interiors.

Try trolling forums on RV bulb lights to see what kind of light they are recommending.  Check out reviews on Amazon and other shopping sites as well.  Before making a purchase, make sure to ask questions first.  Is the light designed for RV use?  Is it the right voltage for RVs?  

Take the time to do your research, so you will be able to make the right decision.  Don’t skimp out on asking questions.  You don’t want to waste money on the wrong bulbs.  After all, LED lights don’t come cheap.  This is the most important thing that you need to do first before you start replacing or changing light bulbs in your RV.


How to Change an RV Bulb Safely


How to Change an RV Bulb Safely


Changing a bulb seems like an easy process, but there are safety measures that you need to consider.  Here’s how you change an RV light bulb safely:

1. Remove the RV light bulb

POWER OFF! - Make sure to turn off the power first.  Even if you are playing around with RV lights, you still need to ensure your safety first.  Switch the power button off.  You need to unplug the fixture first before you change the bulb.  Again, you need to be careful when it comes to electricity. If possible, unplug directly from battery.

2. Take other safety measures.

Make sure to let the bulb cool off entirely before unscrewing it.  If the light was just turned on, it would be too hot to touch.  You could end up burning your fingers.  If it is an overhead light, make sure to use a steady stepladder, so you can reach the bulb without falling off.

3. Replace the Light Bulb

Take the light bulb out of the socket. The process is really simple.  Of course, sockets differ depending on the kind of fixture you use.  Put the new bulb into the socket.  Turn it in a clockwise direction to secure it in place. Remember it’s counterclockwise for removing the bulb and clockwise to put it on.

This may lock the bulb in place, or you may need to twist it repeatedly until you can’t twist it anymore.  Again, this depends on the socket.  Avoid screwing it too tight.  It could break the bulb.  If you have a bayonet bulb, make sure to align the base properly with the pins.  Push it down, and then twist it upwards.

If it is a screw cap bulb, just place the bulb in the hole and start twisting.  Make sure to choose a bulb with the same wattage unless you want something brighter or softer.  Always check the label of the bulb for the max wattage.  The power rating should never exceed that allowed by your fixture.

How do you change the light bulb in your dome light?  Usually, you will need to remove the screws that secure the dome over the bulb.  Usually, three screws are holding it over the bulb.  Remove the screws with a screwdriver.

If the dome light isn’t screwed in, you can twist it off with your hands.  You can use rubber gloves to remove it.  Some domes are attached with metal clips.  You can try pulling out the clips to remove the dome.

4. Discard the old light bulb

It is important to get rid of the old bulb safely.  You need to be careful because they’re quite fragile, so you don’t want to throw them into the garbage haphazardly.  The shards can cut, so make sure to wrap them up in old newspaper or the new bulb’s packaging before throwing them away.  Make sure to throw them in places that your kids won’t reach.

Glass bulbs are also not to be recycled as the filaments and other metal components are hard to pick out.


Is It Time to Change your LED Lights?


Is It Time to Change your LED Lights?


There are several reasons why you should switch to LED lighting.  The most important of all these reasons is safety.  Generally, traditional bulbs are safe, but you can have a serious burn if you were to touch these extremely hot bulbs.  This can be dangerous if you have kids around.

LED, however, stays cool to touch, so you won’t have to worry about your kids burning themselves.  If you’re into camping, LED lighting will be perfect for you.  You can conserve your battery because LED bulbs utilize less power.  They operate effectively on low voltage.

Yes, LED light bulbs may cost more than the traditional bulbs, but you will save more with reduced power cost.  You can expect to pay about $10 per bulb.  Curiously, this is cheaper than before, and this will likely continue to drop as more people opt for LED lights.

More and more people appreciate the benefits of LED lighting.  LED bulbs are more efficient.  They last longer.  They could last 50,000 to 100,000 more operating hours than average light bulbs.  This is why you save more money in the long run because you wouldn’t be buying light bulbs as often as you would with traditional bulbs.

Just make sure you get your bulbs from a reliable store.  You might want to check our store.  We have a selection of LED bulbs that are perfect for your RV.  Check them out now.

1 Response


June 02, 2020

Great information! My light have broken and I want to how to replace RV light bulbs. Thanks so much.

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