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FAQs: RVs, Campers, Trailers
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FAQs for RV, Motorhomes and Camper Installs
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: RV LIGHTING PRODUCTS
In this section you'll find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions we receive for our RV, Motorhome, Camper and Trailer LED Lighting products. Also, some customers find it helpful to review the installation instructions of our RV products before making their purchase decision. For that reason ALL of our product installation manuals are online in PDF format. They can be downloaded by visiting our INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS page. Ultimately though if you don't find your answer here, give us a call or send us an email and we'll do our best to answer your question. If you have a specific lighting request, use our LIGHTING REQUEST FORM to submit your request.
QUESTION: I see you recommend wiring your awning and under-glow lights directly to the battery. If I wanted to tie into another circuit that is closer to my awning, can I do this?
While we suggest connecting Boogey Lights® products directly to a 12vdc power source (e.g. house batteries) there are a couple of reasons why you may prefer to tie into existing 12vdc circuitry. First, is convenience. It may be more convenient to tie into an existing 12vdc circuit rather than running power back to the house batteries. Often an existing 12vdc circuit is close by whereas the battery box can be further away. Second, the battery charger in your RV may not be capable of charging your house batteries fast enough to support the voltage draw when using your Boogey Lights® (in which case your Boogey Lights® will dim quickly). This is more commonly the case in low to mid-range RVs/trailers that typically have a Single-Stage battery charger vs. a Multi-Stage charger. A Single-Stage charger slowly charges the battery at 10 or 12 amps which can take hours to recharge the battery to the point at which it is capable of powering your lights. Tapping into an existing 12vdc circuit will usually solve this issue by using the RV's power converter. This converter, installed in most every RV, takes 120vac current coming from shorepower (or generator) and converts it to 12vdc for use in powering the RVs 12vdc appliances and fixtures. One caveat - this solution assumes the power converter in your RV is large enough to handle the additional load introduced by adding your Boogey Lights onto the system. In some situations the power converter may not be sufficiently sized to handle the additional draw.
If you are going to tap into an existing 12vdc circuit it is important to make sure you have properly identified the type of power you are tying into (AC or DC) AND the polarity of the wires (positive or negative). Also, make sure the circuit you're tying into (both the wiring and the circuit-breaker itself) is capable of handling the additional amperage (see Amperage Chart). Most modern RVs, trailers, motorhomes, fifth-wheels and campers have a mixture of 110vac and 12vdc wiring installed. ALL Boogey Lights® products are 12vdc. If you connect a Boogey Lights® controller or LED strip to 110vac instead of 12vdc, it will absolutely damage the controller and LED strip beyond repair. Similarly, if you reverse the polarity of the power (e.g. connecting 12vdc+ to the negative side of the controller), it will also damage the controller beyond repair. In a typical 110vac environment the BLACK wire is the positive (hot) wire and the WHITE wire is the neutral/ground wire. HOWEVER, in a 12vdc environment, the BLACK wire is always 12vdc– (ground/negative) and the RED (or WHITE) wire is always 12vdc+ (hot). All Boogey Lights® controllers have the power leads clearly marked as to what is 12vdc positive and 12vdc negative. Do not assume the color of the wires will match the controller. We strongly suggest using a volt meter to make sure you are using the proper power and polarity. Wiring the power incorrectly either way will damage your controller beyond repair and invalidate the warranty. Also, overloading the circuit could result in over-heating and potentially cause a fire. If you're uneasy about these electrical issues we strongly suggest having your local RV dealer or qualified electrician do the installation for you.
QUESTION: I have a switched outside light above my RV door. Is there a way to replace the bulb in that fixture that will allow me to control my Boogey Lights® awning light with that switch?
This question is similiar to the previous question about tying into a circuit other than the battery itself. Any 12vdc circuit that can handle the additional amperage will work provided you are using 12vdc and you have properly identified the polarity of the wires. We are not aware of a bulb replacement per se that will allow you to do this but we do have customers who have removed the existing bulb and tied into the switched circuit in that fixture to allow them to use the inside switch to turn on/off the awning light. The challenge becomes space inside the fixture. If you are using our multi-color awning kit there needs to be room in that fixture to also allow the controller to fit. So it ultimately may depend on the size of the switched outside light fixture above the door. Here too if you aren't knowledgeable with 12vdc wiring and how to tap into that fixture we recommend having a qualified electrician or RV dealer who is familiar with your RV do the installation. Anytime you're working with electricity it's important the job be done properly.
QUESTION: I am bench testing my lights as suggested in your installation instructions. Can I use a 12v battery charger as my bench testing power source?
The short answer is maybe. If your battery charger is capable of quick charging a battery by putting out at least 10amps, it should work as a bench test power source. If however your battery charger is a typical "trickle charger", then it will not work. Not enough amperage. One option for an alternative 12v power source to bench test is to use your automotive car battery with jumper cables. Just pay attention to the polarity.
QUESTION: My awning lights work fine for a few minutes but then they start to fade. What's going on?
Two possibilities here. If you are attempting to power more LEDs than what the controller is capable of handling, the lights attached to the controller will dim quickly and the controller will get hot. Do not over-load your controller with more LEDs than what it is rated to handle. For most installations however over-loading the controller isn't an issue. If your awning lights are fading after a few minutes of use, the problem is likely your 12v power source. It is either putting out less than 12v OR more than 13v. The Boogey Lights® PLUS controller included with our awning kits requires 12.5 vdc power to power the controller and the LED lights attached to the controller. The input voltage can fluctuate a little, but not more than .5 volts in either direction. If the voltage drops below 12v, the lights will fade because there isn't enough voltage. Likewise, if the input voltage is greater than 13v, the controller circuitry over-heats which causes the controller to shut down. There are options to resolve both of these situations. Complete details can be found in our TROUBLE SHOOTING GUIDE.
QUESTION: My awning is longer than 16 feet. What options do I have to light the entire length of the awning?
The maximum length of a single LED strip containing 300 hi-intensity super-bright 5050 LEDs is 5 meters (about 16 feet). It it not possible to daisy chain more lights without damaging the LED strip itself (too much amperage being pulled through the strip). There are however some options. First, most customers who have an awning longer than 16' choose to simply center the 16' LED strip. It is unusual for an awning to be longer than 20'. So with a 16' strip you would have a 2 feet over-hang on each side. Boogey Light® LED awning strips are so incredibly bright you will have more than enough light. In fact, you will likley have to dim the strip at night because it can be too bright. Second, if you want to go longer than 16', you can use a second LED strip and butt the second strip up against the first. In our example of a 20' awning, you could for example use 2-10' strips. Depending upon your electrical configuration you could either have the power leads on both ends of the 20' run or have them meet in the middle. If you have the power leads meet in the middle there will be about 4" of area where there will not be any LEDs which is something you'll want to take into account.
QUESTION: My awning is only 9 feet long. Do you offer a shorter version of your 16 foot awning light?
Two options here. First, our 16 foot awning light strip can be cut every 3 LED clusters. So you can cut the strip yourself to the length you need. Just have to be sure to cut the strip in the proper place (details with a photo can be found in the installation manual.) Second, if you're uncomfortable cutting the strip yourself, give us a call. We'll be happy to make a custom LED strip for you to the length you specify. We can typically do this within one business day. Depending upon the length you need and amount of power lead, you might even save a little money.
QUESTION: Can the wireless remote control box be mounted inside or behind a storage compartment and still work with the storage door closed?
Our RF and Bluetooth wireless remote control boxes are designed to be mounted inside a storage or electrical compartment and can be controlled wirelessly when the storage door is closed. Typical control distances range from 25'-75'.
QUESTION: I just installed our Boogey Lights® and our controller box does not work. What can I do to trouble shoot?
Our experience has been that most problems of this nature relate to either a misunderstanding of how the controller is to be connected to the power source OR making assumptions about the power source that later turn out to be incorrect. Another common problem relates to the RF wireless controller (KEY Fobs). It's possible you accidentily erased the pairing between the controller and the KEY Fobs in which case your KEY FOBs need to be paired with the controller again. We have developed an extensive trouble shooting guide to assist customers with these common issues. You can find answers to these questions as well as common problems relating to BLUETOOTH communications in our TROUBLE SHOOTING GUIDE here on our website. Ultimately if you can't figure it out give us a call. We'll be happy to assist.
QUESTION: I want to install your UNDER-GLOW kit on my motorcoach but I want to add additional strips under the front and rear of the coach. What options do you offer?
We offer additional ADD-ON LED strips for our Under-Glow and Awning kits. These ADD-ON strips come complete with 15' power leads. If you need longer power leads you can either a) extend those power lead yourself by purchasing additional 22awg power lead cable available on our website or b) we can custom make an LED strip that has a longer power lead for your application. We routinely make custom lengths of both LED strips and power leads for customers often for installation on motorcoaches and buses. We can also custom make runs of LEDs that allow you to fit them on a curved surface typically used under the front of a motorhome. If you want to explore the options for custom lengths of LEDs or power leads to fit your installation, give us a call and we'll discuss options.
QUESTION: If I purchase the multi-color Awning light, can I set it to just show one color?
YES. Depending upon which controller you purchased with our awning light kit, our multi-color awning light has the capibility of displaying from 7 colors (RF KEY FOB version) up to 16 million color (Bluetooth version). In both cases you can set whichever color you want to display and leave it there. Also, our controllers provide additional features to include DIMMING, FADING, BLENDING, STROBBING, FLASHING and BREATHING on all color settings.
QUESTION: Can I use Boogey Lights® controllers with other brands of 12vdc LED strips?
The short answer is maybe. It depends on the type of LEDs you're trying to power. In the 12vdc LED lighting world there are two types of LEDs: Common Cathode and Common Anode. The most common and cheapest LED lights made today are COMMON ANODE which are widespread in Asia. A Common Anode LED strip share a common POSITIVE lead and the negative side of the circuit is switched. For these lights the positive side of the circuit is always energized. This is NOT however the typical circuit design in the UNITED STATES particularly for 12vdc. In the United States, the typical 12vdc circuit shares a common NEGATIVE lead and the positive side of the circuit is switched. Think of your car battery. The negative side of the battery goes to ground (the car chassis) and that ground is common (shared) with all 12vdc devices in the vehicle (radio, lights, nav system, horn, etc). The positive side of the circuit is only energized when your car is in use. When the car is off, the circuit is not energized. This is how BOOGEY LIGHTS® controllers and LEDs are built. Why? Lots of reasons but briefly it's a safer design (think "UL" approved), it's more robust in terms durability and allows full 12v power to be applied directly to each LED instead of being shared amongst all LEDs (making them the brightest they can be). Of course it's also more expensive to build a controller that switches the positive side of the circuit which is why most every LED strip being sold today in the RV and motorsports space tends to be Common Anode. So before you try to hook-up a Boogey Lights® controller to any other brand of LED, make sure that LED is a COMMON CATHODE LED strip.
QUESTION: Where can I find LUMENS data for your lighting solutions?
Lumens data is not available for BOOGEY LIGHTS® products. Why? Because frankly it's a marketing gimmick. Simply put, lumen output is a poor measure of the suitability of the type of LED lighting solutions we offer. If we were offering a single color, single bulb to replace a typical 60 watt incandenscent bulb used in a lamp for your living room it would be a different matter. The reality however is that our LED lighting products are made up of many LEDs, sometimes hundreds - not a single bulb. And most of our LED lighting solutions have many color combinations, up to 16 million different color combinations in some cases. The Lumens measurement changes dramatically based on the temperature of the color which is measured in Kelvins. In our view anyone attempting to compare motorsports LEDs based on an artificial Lumens value is wasting their time. If you're concerned about the brightness of any BOOGEY LIGHTS® lighting solutions we suggest bench testing them against whatever other brand you want to compare. We're confident you'll be pleased. If however you're not, we cheerfully accept returns up to 30 days.
QUESTION: My friend has BOOGEY LIGHTS® RV awning lights too. We often camp together. Will the frequencies of our remote controls be different so we do not operate or interfere with each others awning lights?
Not to worry. BOOGEY LIGHTS® RF controllers are paired with the remote control so only a remote that is specifically paired with the controller will operate that controller. Bluetooth devices operate similarly.
QUESTION: Where can I find AMPERAGE data for BOOGEY LIGHTS® products?
You can find amperage data on Boogey Lights® products here at this link.