LED Lights For An RV

As a full time RV lifer, I’m constantly looking for ways to improve on my little home on wheels. Someone brought it to my attention that the business I chose to pursue, LED lighting, could potentially have a lot of aesthetic applications in my home, and I thought, “LED lights for an RV? Hmm… This could work”. I guess there really are more things to use LED lighting for besides headlights on cars, trucks, motorcycles, vans, golf carts and boats… Jeez, the options seem endless for these little lights! Here’s a look at some of the possible applications and options:

Spruce Up Your Rig – External Applications

Any RV enthusiast will tell you, there’s nothing cooler than the various rigs in any given RV park or resort that are rockin’ LED accent lights around the outside. It’s a very simple and inexpensive way to make your RV look like a million bucks after dark, and it eliminates the need for Tiki Torches as well!

I’ve seen plenty of RV’s parked in different parks that have the rope lights around the bottom of the rig, or along the edge of the canopy, but there are a few other external applications you may have not thought of yet, such as:RV Exterior Lighting

  • Around The Door
  • Around Windows
  • Full Framing Of The Rig
  • Along The Tow Hitch, or
  • Under The Fifth Wheel Cabin
  • In The Wheel Wells
  • Lining The Stairs
  • Under The External Trim

Any of these various applications on their own make your RV stand out from the crowd, just imagine doing all of them though! Talk about a beacon in the darkness!

 

 

Inside Your Little Rolling Home – Interior Applications

This is such a fun one to consider, especially if you appreciate your RV for the tiny home on wheels that it is. There are a ton of ways to deck out your interior with LED lighting, and when it’s done, you’ll have all the stylish mood lighting you could possibly ask for.

As any RV enthusiast knows, the factory lighting inside most RV’s is, well, basically BORING. Here are a few simple ideas to get your creative lighting juices flowing:RV Interior LED

  • Line The Door Frames
  • Line The Window Frames
  • Line The Ceilings
  • Line The Floor Trim
  • Inside Open Cabinets
  • Inside Closets
  • Under The Countertops
  • Under The Overhead Cabinets
  • Around The Slide-Outs
  • Around Mirrors
  • Around The Refrigerator
  • Behind The Toilet
  • Lining The Shower Ceiling
  • Replace Factory Fixtures With Custom Fixtures
  • Around The Edge Of Beds

It’s not my personal recommendation to try to use all of these ideas at once inside your RV, unless you want it looking like the local nightclub inside, and also because it could possibly negatively affect the 12-volt backup system in your RV by pulling too much power at once. However, one or two of these suggestions in any given room can add quite the depth to the feel of the room without causing any problems.

Installing RV Lighting

This is the hardest part of the process, and honestly, it’s not that hard. If you are even remotely handy, you can do just about any lighting install in about an hour, interior or exterior. In my opinion, the interior is a little more difficult, just because of the tight spaces you end up working with, such as cabinets or floor trim. But all in all, not an overly difficult procedure.

Exterior InstallationLED Strip Adhesive Back

Most of the strips you can buy for exterior application have made installation simple, mainly because instead of brackets and screws, the strips use a strong adhesive backing that stick directly to the surface of your RV. You just want to make sure that you clean the surface thoroughly with dish soap and water beforehand, and dry it completely before trying to stick the lights to it. This will ensure a long-lasting bond to your rig.

The difficulty with installing exterior RV lighting isn’t the placement of the strips so much as deciding on a power source. If you are okay with having to plug and unplug your lights outside, you can order a light set with a regular 110-volt wall plug, and just mount the strip so that the plug is near an external outlet.12v Connector

If you want a more permanent, professional feel though, you’ll need to order strips that come with the two-way splitter wires so that you can tie it directly into an existing power source, such as the exterior light switch. When you do your install, it’s much easier in the long run to just grab your drill and a drill bit that closely matches the size of the wire, to ensure a snug fit where the wire enters the side of the RV.

My suggestion is to drill your hole somewhere near the strip itself, but in a corresponding spot that will allow the wire to reach the light switch panel. Then it is just a matter of taking off the light switch panel, feeding the wire through the hole and fishing it out of the wall panel inside, then attaching it to the corresponding wires on the switch. Either soldering it directly to the switch or using wire-splicing clips are both effective ways to do this.

(note: When running a wire from outside to the inside, leave about an inch of wire sticking out of the wall outside, so as to provide a drip curve to keep water from running down the wire into the hole in the wall. Also a good idea to seal the hole with a dab of silicone.)

There are various ways to hook up your lights to your RV power, here is a quick video on installation of a canopy strip to give you an idea:

Interior Installation

Installing LED strips inside your RV is much the same as exterior, except you don’t have to worry so much about waterproofing the electrical components of the strip. As I mentioned above, the hard part is placement of the strips inside, as you want them to all face the same direction, and sometimes space is limited in which to work.

I’ll save you a lot of time on this one, and just share this quick video of an under-counter LED install, which should give you a solid idea of what you’re looking for in terms of power supply and placement:

What Lights Should I Use?

There are quite a few different LED strip manufacturers, some are higher quality than others, so here are a few different ideas of good strips for your RV:

Awning Lights:

RecPro Awning LightThe RecPro 16′ Awning Party Light* is designed as a direct-connect 12v light strip, perfect for directly wiring into your RV’s 12-volt system.

These strips come with a polycarbonate mounting channel, therefore are built for permanent mounting and do not require removal when you close your canopy.

The 16′ strip is a little more expensive than some other exterior strips, about $55, but are built rugged for a longer-lasting and brighter awning light.

General Exterior Lighting: LED Lights For RV
The OPT-7 AURA PRO RV Underbody Lighting Kit** is perfect for RV enthusiasts, as it is built from solid aluminum and sealed with thick silicone, excellent for enduring road stresses like water and debris.

The AURA PRO series is highly regarded by OPT-7 Customers for not only its durability, but its ease of install and its nifty choice of controllers. You can choose either the standard multi-function remote control, or you can also grab the app-controlled version, which is controlled via Bluetooth with an easy-to-use app on your phone.

OPT-7 has a strong reputation in the field for being a highly consumer-friendly company, carrying a full year warranty on all their products and an excellent customer service department.

Interior/Exterior Light Strip Rolls:

IEKOV LED NeonThe IEKOV LED Neon Light* strip is encased in a rubberized strip, which diffuses the light to simulate actual neon lighting, therefore providing a more even, seamless light. It is a 110v plug and play strip, so no wiring necessary. Highly flexible, these strips can be bent at any angle without damage, and they are available in 16′, 32′, 65′, and 98′ lengths.

I particularly like these lights, as I’m an old-school fan of neon, it’s just not a practical or efficient lighting source anymore. The big-ticket items now are the new, highly-efficient LED lights, but it’s hard to get the solid glow of neon with LED. These IEKOV strips really get the job done.

It’s Easy, Affordable, And Super Cool!

LED lights for RV’s are becoming more and more popular as the full-time RV community grows, we all want ways to make our rigs stand out as unique and eye-catching. To that effect, I hope that I have helped sway your decision to spruce up your rolling home, and given you some solid places to start looking for accessories. I know in researching this little sub-culture, I have learned a lot, I hope you have too!

Thank you for taking the time to check out SickLites.com, and for reading my article. If you have any questions or comments, or you need any help in picking out what you need for your particular situation, please feel free to drop me a line in the comment box below, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I see it. I hope you have a great day!

Bobby

Founder of SickLites.com

 

*As an Amazon affiliate, I earn a small commission, at no cost to you, from purchases made using my affiliate links.

**As an OPT-7 affiliate, I earn a small commission, at no cost to you, from purchases made using my affiliate links.

20 thoughts on “LED Lights For An RV Are A Great Way To Add Ambience

  • Vicki

    I have a friend who has just bought an RV and she is going to love this site

    She wants to bling her wagon up so to speak and these ideas you have shared are so cool.

    she is going to be noticed soon, that’s for sure and I am excited to share this site with her

    This is so cool and looks amazing thank you

    • Bobby

      Thank you Vicki! Let your friend know that if she needs any advice on anything when she’s trying to get her RV gleaming, she is more than welcome to contact me, I’ll be glad to help her figure it out.

      When I started this site, it began as just a portal for finding lights for cars, but as I’ve researched more and more, I’ve discovered the TREMENDOUS versatility that LED lighting carries, and I’m making big plans to expand my site into different areas such as boats, motorcycles, RV’s, etc.

      Definitely feel free to bookmark me, and tell anyone that might be interested about SickLites!

      Hope you have a great day, Vicki!

      Bobby

  • Virendra

    I’ve always wanted a house on wheels, I have a Spacewagon at the moment which I’m using occasionally to tour around as it is quite spacious. The only thing I’m always missing a bit is light. As it is still a car and not really built to sleep in, it’s not really possible to install proper lightning, although I do think a led strip might actually be nice to install. I just wonder, often I feel that led lights are quite to bright and I’d like have more of a subtle light, is that also possible with led?

    • Bobby

      Absolutely Virenda, there’s not many things you can’t do with LED lighting. As a matter of fact, I follow a bunch of RV-lifers on Instagram, and you’d be surprised how many have converted vans and even larger vehicles like Spacewagons into cool little tiny homes. 

      If you look at some of the other posts I’ve made, I talk a bit about interior lighting for cars and trucks, they make a ton of different kits for interiors. The brightness issue is most commonly resolved by (1.) the color of the lights, and (2.) location of the lights. The majority of interior decorative LED’s are installed in areas where no direct light from the bulb can be seen, only the ambient glow, such as under the dashboard or behind the vehicle’s interior trim. 

      If you ever need any help figuring out what would be best for your car, you can feel free to contact me again, I’ll be glad to advise you which direction to look.

      Thank you for taking the time to check out my site, I look forward to seeing you again! Have a great day!

      Bobby

  • mohammadahm1

    After reading your article I have benefited greatly.You discuss in your article about SPRUCE UP RIG – EXTERNAL APPLICATIONS. You also said INSIDE LITTLE ROLLING HOME – INTERIOR APPLICATIONS, INSTALLING RV LIGHTING.Atlast you provide many tips  about this. That’s really amazing. After reading your article i have learned in this topics clearly. So, Thank you very much for sharing your article.

    • Bobby

      No problem Mohammad, I’m glad I was able to “shed a little light” on the subject for you!

      Feel free to bookmark my site, and if you ever need any help figuring out anything LED, you’re more than welcome to come back to SickLites and contact me, I’ll be glad to help.

      I wish you great success, and I hope you have a great day!

      Bobby

  • Andre

    I don’t have an RV but it’s something I plan to have within the next 10 years or so. Of course, I’m going to deck it out with LED’s just like I decked out my office, haha. It gives the room so much life and a unique feel rather than just another room in the house. I’d imagine the same is true for those that use them for any other application, including RV’s.

    Things like this make me not want to leave the locations, though. It’s already hard for me to part with my office to go to work every day. I can’t imagine what it’ll be like once I invest in a killer RV setup lol.

    • Bobby

      Andre, let me tell you, I’ve seen some tricked-out RV’s, and I’m working on getting mine to that level. Just imagine taking your perfectly lit office out onto a mountainside somewhere and parking it for a month, or out by the ocean, or in the desert… That level of freedom is what sold me not only to online business, but to full-time RV living as well.

      I always sound like I’m preaching when I start talking about RV living, because honestly, people have NO IDEA what this minimalist lifestyle does for your soul. Stress just isn’t the same as it used to be. It’s still there, don’t get me wrong, but the way my brain handles that stress is completely different now. Freeing myself up from all the massive collections of useless STUFF that I had which never got touched, and cutting my living expenses to about a thousand bucks a month, I mean, this is real FREEDOM man.

      Thanks for taking the time to check out my page, I definitely appreciate the feedback my visitors leave. If you ever have any questions, hit me up here and I’ll do my best to help you out!

      Great success to you, and have a great day!

      Bobby

  • Hi there, it really sounds like you know what you’re talking about and I can assure you if I was to decorate an RV you would be the first point of contact. But I want to know what is the best way to add ambience to a normal hatchback car, for example, an Audi A3, wouldn’t want it too excessive but something to stand out?

    • Hi Kevin, thanks for checking out my site! If you check out some of my other articles, such as my review on the OPT-7 AURA PRO kits, you should find exactly what you need.
      A couple of things to consider, if you want exterior lighting that isn’t too much, you should consider wheel well lighting, if you look here, I talk about wheel well lights a bit. Rock lights are a perfect choice for wheel wells, as they are super easy to install, they don’t light up the entire highway around you, and they really do add a different depth to your car.
      As far as interior lighting, I always recommend OPT-7 stuff. They are very well constructed kits and completely versatile. The app controller they offer gives you total control of color, motion, and brightness. Not to mention, if you only want to use one of the strips, say, under your dashboard, that’s perfectly fine.
      I think with an Audi hatchback, I’d probably go ahead and use the whole kit, and put one under the dash, one under each of the front seats shining into the back floorboards, and one maybe on the hatch itself under the window, glowing upward to outline the frame around the glass. From the outside it wouldn’t be TOO noticeable, but would look super cool on the inside.
      Hope I’ve helped a little, and feel free to come back if you have any questions or need any help picking out the right kit.
      I wish you great success, and I hope you have an excellent day!
      Bobby

  • Akshay

    That’s an amazing article. This is indeed an awesome and affordable product. There are many things I get to learn from your post. I feel it will be cool to try them out. 

    Your analysis is very much in depth and complete, it doesn’t left me with more questions on this. I believe, this is all the information that a prospective buyer would need to know before making a final purchase. 

    Thanks a lot for sharing this useful information. I like forward to read more of such posts. I appreciate your efforts putting the information together. 

    • Bobby

      Thank you very much, Akshay! I definitely try to give all the necessary info, without boring people to death. I always recommend to people that they take a good look at what they want to do with their RV or vehicle, and then research, research, research. I’m trying to get SickLites to the point that all the research they need is in one place, as my site grows, I hope to become an authority on the subject of automotive LED. 

      Feel free to come back any time, and if you know anybody that might be interesting in lighting up their car, truck, motorcycle, RV, etc., please send them to SickLites. I’ll be more than happy to help guide them through the process.

      Thanks again for your interest, I hope you have a great day!

      Bobby

  • Pentrental

    Wow look at that RV! I’m in. If you’re going to travel long distances why not travel in luxury? Honestly this is a topic that I never considered, and one that I appreciate should I purchase an RV someday. I really like how you introduced interior applications and then went on to explain how to install them. Your expertise here is much appreciated, especially when you point out the power source decision. This is a very thorough post on RV lighting. Well done!

    • Bobby

      Hey, thank you very much! I always appreciate confirmation that I wrote something useful. I’ll tell you, I buying an RV for full-time living was one of the most intelligent decisions I’ve ever made. I’m just annoyed that I didn’t figure this out about 20 years ago, I may not have had all the financial difficulties I faced in my 20’s and 30’s.

      I highly recommend the nomad life to anyone that can do it, it’s a much less stressful way to live, especially because once your RV is paid for, lot rentals at even some of the nicer places is often less than $400/month, everything included. Beats renting a house or apartment any day, and you can literally take your home with you anywhere in the country.

      Listen, if you end up buying an RV, definitely come back to SickLites, I’ll be glad to help you deck out your rig with some cool ambient lighting!

      Thanks again for your interest, I hope you have a great day!

      Bobby

  • TimMoto

    Ok, so first of all I need to let you know I am an RV owner also. It’s a travel trailer and my wife and I have purchased sting lighting for years and wasted a ton of money doing so.  I’ve seen ads for the LED lights you show here but I’ve never stopped long enough to read how to install and control them…that is until now.  

    So this is the way to go.  The youtube video’s are fantastic. Now I know more than I did and I’m dangerous. I’m going to attempt to install my own LED’s.  Seems like I have all the instruction I need.  The remote controls are the way to go. I didn’t know they made them.  

    I agree that the factory lighting is boring.  I’m impressed and am motivated to get my own LED’s installed asap as summer travel is getting underway shortly.

    I’m serious…this was educational and motivating!  Thank you.

     

    • Bobby

      Awesome, man! I’m glad I lit a fire under you! I have only been an RV lifer for about 3 months or so, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. This is the most freedom I’ve felt since childhood, for real.

      As soon as I can afford to, I’ll be changing out all my boring RV fixtures too, they clash with all the painting and stuff we’ve done in here, I want that mood lighting. If you’re interested in taking a look, I have a few pictures posted of the interior on my Instagram page.

      Listen, if you want to order the good stuff, the link I put in this article for the Aura Pro RV Kit will take you right to OPT-7’s page, and I would recommend their lights over most of the stuff on the market. That’s for the outside primarily, but they work just fine on the inside too. Easy installation as well.

      If you need any help figuring anything out, feel free to come back and contact me, I’ll be glad to try and get you set up. Thanks again for visiting SickLites, Tim, I hope you have a great day!

      Bobby

  • Babsie Wagner

    Wow, you live in your RV full time?  That’s so awesome, and I have to say I’m a little jealous.  Do you travel around or do you stay in a community with it?  I have a friend who travels around the country, and he stays in these off road communities like a hippy.  It’s pretty crazy some of the camps he’s shown on his social media.  It’s a lot of fun watching him.  He used to be a real estate agent, stuck in an office most of of the day making phone calls, and he was pretty successful at it.  He stopped that entirely and now he just travels.  Anyway, I don’t have an RV, but we do have a trailer.  We travel quite a bit, and I was thinking these lights might be nice for our campsite, but honestly, the interior lights would be fun in our house in our bar.  Thanks, great article.  I can’t wait to read more from you.

    • Bobby

      Thanks Babsie! And yes, we’re full time RV’ers, though at the moment we’re stationary. My fiancée and I needed a way to cut living costs while we get our online businesses up and running, so we bought my moms RV and moved into an RV and golf resort here in central Florida. Best move I’ve ever made in my life, it’s so much more relaxing not having to worry about being able to afford life.

      We both have Instagram accounts, and we follow a lot of RV-Lifers as well, so all those posts from various beautiful locations around the world have us itching to make the world our backyard. As soon as we can afford to buy a fifth wheel truck, we’re definitely joining the ranks of full-time nomads and posting our own adventures all over social media!

      And without a doubt, LED lighting is in my opinion, the BEST interior accent. No matter if it’s an RV, a bar, or an office, mood lighting sets the tone for any room you put it in. Nothing relaxes you more than having cool lighting that’s not blinding you, putting on some chill music, and just kicking back to enjoy the ambience.

      Thank you for checking out SickLites, I’m glad you enjoyed my article! Feel free to come back anytime!

      Great success to you, and I hope you have a wonderful day!

      Bobby

  • The New Conservative Wave

    The setup of this website is very nice. It has a lot of nice pictures to go along with it and the way all of it is setup is very organized. The videos are a good and are very useful. The articles are awesome. Keep on with the good work!

    • Bobby

      Hey, thanks man! I’m glad you enjoyed my site! I have put in quite a bit of time in getting SickLites up to standard, so it’s nice to hear that people find it easy to navigate. 

      Listen, if you ever need any help with picking out LED stuff for your ride, or you just want to check out what kinds of options are out there, feel free to come back and hit me up. I’ll be glad to assist you with anything you want to know.

      We look forward to seeing you back, and I hope you have a great week!

      Bobby

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