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How to Change RV Interior Light Bulbs in Only 5 Steps?

how to change rv interior light bulbs

If you’re a newbie to RVing, you might be a little unsure how to change RV interior light bulbs properly. There’s this danger of mixing voltages. You can’t use a DC low-voltage LED bulb in AC-powered units because it may cause a fire.

For your safety, I’ve simplified the steps of changing your RV interior light bulbs. Just turn off your light, remove the light casing and the light bulb, then insert your new fixture. Here are the things you’ll need and instructions to follow.

What You’ll Need

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LED Bulb

If you want to reduce your battery power usage and increase the brightness inside your RV, the LED light is a good replacement for old or broken fluorescent bulbs. LED lights also last longer than incandescent or fluorescent bulbs. Unlike traditional bulbs, LED bulbs aren’t constructed of glass that can shatter easily.

Remember, you can’t use a DC low-voltage LED bulb in an AC-powered fixture because it may cause a fire. If your RV is powered by 12-volt AC power, you can’t use LED bulbs. You’ll have to resort to halogen bulbs.

To choose the best LED bulb for your RV, check the base to see whether it has a single filament or pins. Secondly, pick the right color — cool or warm. The cool color offers the brightest light, while the warm light provides a gentle light.

Screwdriver

The light bulb’s exterior is often fixed with screws, so you need a screwdriver to unfasten them and remove the cover. Find a screwdriver with a screw head that matches the pattern of the bulb’s screws. It’s not enough to choose a bit that just fits because it may slip, causing harm to the screw head.

There are different types of screwdriver heads — Philips, flat, and Torx. The Philips type has a criss-cross head, while the flat has a straight one. A Torx screwdriver has a head that’s shaped like a six-pointed star.

For Broken Bulbs

Towel Or Blanket

The towel or blanket will be used to catch any pieces of broken glass that might fall from the socket. Find some old blanket or towel, so you can discard it right away. You don’t want to reuse it because you’ll never know if all the broken glass pieces are gone.

The size doesn’t really matter as long as you think that it’s enough to catch any falling glass pieces. If you can’t find an old towel or blanket, get creative and use your old shirt.

Protective Gear

For protection, you’ll need eye goggles and gloves to remove a broken bulb from the socket. The eye goggles will protect your eyes from tiny pieces of glass that might fall, while the gloves are for your hands to avoid getting pricked with the broken glass.

The best protective eyewear should have a high impact rating to make sure that the broken glass won’t pierce through the eye goggles. For gloves, look for something that’s cut-resistant.

Needle-Nose Pliers

This pair of pliers will serve as your hands when you try to remove a broken bulb from the socket. The pointy tips are excellent in gripping the filament’s glass base of the broken bulb. Doing so helps the base get detached from the socket’s threads to be fully removed.

If you can’t find a needle-nose pliers near you, you can use a potato to remove the bulb. Cut the potato into half and grip the bulb, then turn counter-clockwise. You can also purchase a broken bulb extractor in your nearby local hardware store.

How to Change RV Interior Light Bulbs Step-by-Step Instructions

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Step 1: Turn Off The Light

Like all other electrical fixtures, the first thing you need to do is turn off the light bulb’s power. Switch the light bulb off as it can burst with its fragile state. Touching the hot bulb with cold hands can cause an explosion, which is the last thing you need.

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If you can’t tell whether the fixture is really “off,” turn the power off at the fuse box. For lamps, unplug the power from the electrical outlet.

Step 2: Remove The Light Exterior

Light fixtures have different light exterior styles. Some are shaped like a dome, while others come in tubes. Regardless of the shape, let the base cool down before you lay your fingers on it.

Next, get your screwdriver to remove the light exterior. Undo the screws until you expose the light bulb.

Step 3: Take Out The Old Light Bulb

Now, twist the bulb counter-clockwise to remove it from the socket slowly. This step is more challenging if you change rv ceiling light bulb that’s broken.

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In the case for broken bulbs, put a towel or blanket on the ground to catch any fragments of broken glass. Wear your pairs of gloves and eye goggles, especially if you try to remove the broken bulb on the ceiling. Rotate the needle-nose pliers counter-clockwise to remove the broken bulb at the base.

Step 4: Insert The New Light Bulb

Once the old light bulb is gone, insert the new one into the socket. Align the new light bulb in the socket and twist it clockwise. Rotate until you can’t turn the bulb anymore. Do this step without touching the socket with your fingers as a safety precaution.

Avoid over-tightening the bulb because it might shatter in your hands.

Step 5: Test The New Light

Now that you’re almost done, don’t forget to throw away the old bulb safely. Use the package from the new bulb to wrap the old bulb for safe disposal.

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Once everything is done, test the new light. Switch it on and watch how it lights. If you see some flickering, try to tighten the bulb a little more. If it’s still not working, then you probably got a defective item.

When to Replace RV Light Bulbs

One of the signs that you need to replace the old bulb with a new one is when it stops working. A dying light bulb may start to flicker and completely shuts off eventually. You also need to replace the light bulb when it’s broken in the socket.

Another situation that might urge you to change the light bulb is when you want to improve the style of your camper. You may want another light color or design.

Finally, most RVers replace RV interior lights with LED because it lasts longer and is more energy-efficient.

Conclusion

I hope you have learned a lot about how to change RV interior light bulbs in this guide. It’s actually easy if you follow the safety precautions, like touching the base only after it cools down or turning the power off before changing the lights. Exercise caution if you change a broken bulb because the broken glass might injure you.

If you’ve tried changing the interior light bulbs in your RV, let us know your experience below. Don’t forget to share this article with your friends if you like it.

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