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How to Change RV Ceiling Light Bulb? – Easy Steps in No Time

how to change rv ceiling light bulb

Is your RV ceiling light no longer as bright as before? Do you want to replace your fixture with a high-intensity or more energy-efficient light bulb? Addressing these concerns is easy if you know how to change RV ceiling light bulb.

The lights in our motorhomes do not last our lifetime. There will always come a point when we have to replace a busted bulb or a light fixture already at its end. Not to worry, because I will share with you how to change your RV ceiling light in five or six easy steps.

Things You Need for This Tutorial

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There are several essential hand tools to replace RV light bulbs. You also need to understand a few things about RV lighting fixtures.

Reasons for Changing Your RV Ceiling Light Bulb

Motorhome owners have different reasons for replacing their RV ceiling light bulbs. I had to change mine because my old bulb is drawing so much power from my batteries. I can always use a lighting fixture with a lower wattage rating, but it will not be as bright.

That is why I changed to LED to enjoy the brightness of ordinary incandescent bulbs without the huge power draw.

I know many RV owners agree with me that LED lights last longer and are more energy-efficient than conventional light bulbs. I will also never worry about broken glass.

Some people replace RV light bulbs because they have already reached their service lifespan. These bulbs no longer light up, requiring a suitable replacement.

RV Service Manual or Owner’s Manual

The owner’s or RV service manual is one of the most important documents any motorhome owner can ever have. It provides the necessary information about everything you will ever need to care for, troubleshoot, repair, and maintain your RV.

I included this item in this list because it gives you lighting fixture specifications. You can see diagrams of each light in your vehicle, including its electrical connection and mounting system. You will also know what hand tool to use to disassemble these fixtures.

More importantly, the manual shows you the light bulb’s electrical specifications, including wattage, amperes, voltage, and other parameters. Use these pieces of information to look for the correct replacement light bulb.

New Light Bulb

Your motorhome can feature different lighting fixtures on the ceiling. That is why I recommend reading the manual to determine which type you need to change.

  • Incandescent Light Bulb – Although a vintage design, you can still see many motorhomes with incandescent light bulbs. These lighting fixtures have a short lifespan and a characteristic yellowish luminance.
  • LED Light Bulbs and Bar – Known for their energy efficiency and long life, LEDs are the mainstays in modern RVs. Each watt produces 72 lumens, whereas an incandescent can only give off 15 lumens.
  • Halogen Light – These lighting fixtures are a step above ordinary incandescent bulbs. They last longer and are more efficient, but are still no match to LEDs and CFLs.
  • Fluorescent Light – You may know this as CFL today, but fluorescent light has been around for many decades. They emit a warm white lamp that can range from 2700K to 6000K. These bulbs last longer than your ordinary incandescent bulb.

Other Tools

The only other tool you will need to change your RV ceiling lights is a screwdriver for unfastening the screws that secure the lighting fixture to the mounting bracket. You do not even need this hand tool if your ceiling light is the screw type.

If you are going to disconnect the electrical wiring, electrical tape will also be useful.

Steps on How to Change RV Ceiling Light Bulb

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Step 1. Turn off the power.

Many people forget to switch the ceiling light off before working on the light fixture. As a matter of safety, you should always turn off the power to your light bulb. You do not want to get the shock of your life.

Pro Tip: If you want to be sure about electrical safety, it would be best to turn off the main power supply to your motorhome. You will feel more confident replacing your light bulb.

Step 2. Remove the RV ceiling light casing.

Check your RV’s ceiling light casing. If you have a circular fixture, rotate the ceiling light cover counterclockwise to expose the light housing.

If you have a rectangular light assembly, you should be able to pry the cover open using a flat tip screwdriver.

Remove the screws that secure the casing to the bracket. Pull out the light casing to expose the wiring.

If you have screw-in light bulbs, there is no need to remove the mount.

Step 3. Take out the old light bulb.

You are in luck if you have an old, screw-in type of light fixture. Removing the old bulb is as easy as twisting the bulb counterclockwise until it pops right out of the socket.

If you have LED lights, you will have to check the wiring diagram to change RV interior light bulbs. Most setups come with plug-type connections. Press on the side clips and pull the plug out to disconnect.

Pro Tip: Read your vehicle’s service manual to learn how to remove the light fixtures.

Step 4. Install the new light bulb.

Screw-type light bulbs are effortless to work with because all they require is a simple clockwise twisting motion in their socket. Keep turning until the light fixture feels tight in its seating.

If you are installing LED lights, plug the ends to make the connection. It is always best to read the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure the correct positioning of the bulb.

Pro Tip: If changing RV interior lights to LED, always get a light bulb with the same performance rating as the old one.

Step 5. Test the light.

I urge you to test the light’s proper functioning before fixing the lighting fixture housing.

Switch on the light and check if it has the luminance you require. Note if it flickers or creates a soft hum or a crackling sound. Turn the lights on and off several times, noting its response and other characteristics.

Step 6. Fix the light casing.

If all goes well during the testing, you can start putting everything back. Start with the lighting fixture wires by securing them in the ceiling.

Secure the RV ceiling light assembly to its mount by fastening the screws. Finish it up by placing the cover, ensuring a secure fit over the light fixture.

Conclusion

Flickering or dim lights are not an issue if you know how to change RV ceiling light bulb. This skill also opens other opportunities for you, allowing you to replace your power-hungry bulb with a more energy-efficient LED bulb.

I hope you found this tutorial helpful. If you do, you might want to share it with your family, friends, and acquaintances. I am sure they will also be thrilled to learn a trick or two. You can shoot me your thoughts and comments, too.