Hands-On: Star Lights’ Revolution LED Replacement Bulbs
May 1, 2010
Filed under Gear Reviews
Until recently, ubiquitous incandescent lighting fixtures found in motorhomes could only be superseded by fluorescents, which required a hardware swap. Once LEDs came on the scene, it was only a matter of time before replacement bulbs would become widely available – allowing the use of existing fixtures.
Star Lights Inc., a company that introduced the Smart Light motion-activated fixture a while back, now offers replacement LED bulbs in wedge and bayonet configurations.
The first bulb we tried was the wedge version, which has a flat tail with two embedded wires and is pushed into the receptacle built into the fixture. This type of fixture is becoming more common among motorhome builders. Called the Revolution Wedge, the Star Lights replacement is physically much bigger than the incandescent bulb and is rated at 160 lumens. A common wedge bulb (No. 921), used in motorhome lighting fixtures, is rated at 21 candlepower; the Revolution Wedge, by comparison, offers 12.7 candlepower.
While there is a noticeable difference in overall illumination, the LED version will last up to 50 times longer and uses a fraction of the energy. That’s a valuable consideration when boondocking. The fixture’s diffuser helps level out the playing field somewhat, and we found that we could easily live with the reduction in light output. We did like the natural light color of the Revolution Wedge bulb.
The bayonet LED version has a slightly higher rating at 15.9 candlepower (200 lumens), although a 150-lumen version is also available. This will probably be compared to a common 1141 incandescent bulb that is also rated at 21 candlepower, but uses a little more power than its No. 921 counterpart. We had no problem living with the output of this bulb in our fixtures, either.
Keep in mind that the LED replacements may be too large for some twin-bulb fixtures. In ours, there wasn’t enough room between the two receptacles in our wedge-bulb fixtures.
For years we’ve opted for fluorescent lighting to reduce energy demands while RVing in primitive areas. Those people who find fluorescent lighting visually too cold will probably like the warmer tones of the LED, especially the natural light versions.
The Revolution bayonet bulb is available in a black or white housing and sells for $19.95; the 200-lumen model has a $24.95 price tag, as does the wedge-style counterpart (white housing only). Obviously, there’s a big difference in the cost of a standard incandescent bulb and one of the Star Lights. And the initial investment could be costly if you have a lot of fixtures. But you’ll probably never replace the LEDs.
For more information, call 800-883-5444, or go to www.starlightsinc.com.