can I use household ceiling lights instead of 12 volt ceiling lights-12 volt lights don't look as nice.problem I think would be wiring.i believe 12 v has 2 wires and 110v has 3 wires.is it possible and if so ,how.or does anyone no where to find nice satin nickel 12v lights. finally I no 12v items run from battery,but when plugged to shore power does power come from shore or do I still have to keep batteries in .thanks in advance jesse-1995 Fleetwood bounder 40 foot.

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It may be possible to reconfigure your wiring to allow 120 for the lights, but I think that it would be more work than the outcome would justify.  I'm sure you could find suitable lights if you look hard enough.  If needed, you could rewire 120 light fixtures to accept 12 volt bulbs.  I rewired a brushed aluminum table lamp from 120 to 12 volt, so it plugs into a lighter socket (handy because it's movable ).  When plugged into shore power you do not need a battery, the converter will change the incoming 120 to 12 volt for the 12 volt circuits.  You need to make sure that the disconnected positive battery cable is secured and not able to contact any metal!

Good Luck,

RWC 

A couple of things that I forgot to mention.  When I put on my hat, it drags against my ceiling lights!  Don't get fixtures that extend down too far from the ceiling.  Also, now may be a good time to consider LED bulbs, very long life and very little power usage.

thanks sound good to me-think ill look harder for 12v lights

 Hi Richard is right you could rewire the fixtures for 12v.  The reason the 120volt light has three wires is because the third wire which may be a green coated or uncoated copper wire is a ground. on a fixture for a home you have a positive which should be black . a negitive which should be white and then the extra ground. (which on home wiring goes to the same place as the netural wire in a home box.) Older fixtures may not have the extra ground wire. Anyway, the 12volt has two wires one positive and one negative. You could but the 12volt light bulbs that look just like a regular home type light bulb. You really would not have to rewire the fixture. You could just wire the fixture to the 12volt wires that were connected to your orignal fixture. Use the blackwire from your new fixture and hook it to the positive wire of the 12volt and  connect the white wire to the negative wire of the 12 volt.  Forget the third ground wire in this case. Just remember the bulb has to be a 12 volt type because a regular 120 volt bult will not work.   Oh yes and don't do the mistake of getting the bulbs mixed up. I once had some of the 12volt bulbs in a box with regular bulbs. I grabed a bulb for my table lamp at home did not pay attentipon and screwed it in of corse when i turned the lamp on pow! lol

thanks for the info,jess

  Sure, if you want to go to allllllllll the trouble and mess and expense, you can rewire your coach lights for use with 120 volt fixtures. If the 120 VAC branch circuit is for lights ONLY and its protected by a 15 amp overload protection device (breaker or fuse) and the max continuous load is no greater then 12 amps, YOU CAN USE 14/2 W/Ground wire.

 

 Orrrrrrrrrrrr you can save time and money and a ton of work and improve lighting efficacy tremendously, by using 12 volt CFL or 12 volt Fluorescent light fixtures like I did. They make 12 volt CFL (Squiggly) lamps (5W, 10W, 15W)  that screw into regular household lookin Edison 27 bases ya know, or get the 12 volt Fluorescent RV light fixtures. 

 

 As far as 120 VAC shore power to operate interior 12 volt appliances (lights, fans, water pump), most RV's have a Converter/Charger that converts 120 VAC to 12 VDC to run 12 v loads PLUS charge the house battery if it has one. To run 12 volt loads you obviously need EITHER a 12 volt house battery or else a 120 VAC to 12 VDC Converter.

 

John T  retired Electrical Engineer

John T's  Dry Camping Special

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