LED Ceiling Lights for Van Conversion: Acegoo 12V (3 Watts) Dimmable Recessed Puck

LED-Review-Van-Conversion

LED Ceiling Lights for Van Conversion: Acegoo 12V (3 Watts) Dimmable Recessed Puck

After a few trial-and-error we finally found what (we think) are the perfect recessed ceiling LED lights! The first LED we ordered were WAY too bright as the glass was clear instead of frosted. Even with a dimmer, the light was shocking for the eye. Then we stumbled on the Acegoo LED lights…

 

We installed 10 Acegoo Warm-White LEDs: in term of lumens, 6-8 lights should be enough. We installed 10 in order to get a more uniform source of lightning (so when a overhead storage door is opened, we’re still getting light from somewhere).

The LED lights are operated with a dual zone dimmer; the bedroom zone has 4 lights and the kitchen zone has 6 lights.

The 10 lights draw 1.3 amp total at 100% intensity, 0.1 amp total at minimum intensity. For reference, we will set the intensity to 100% when washing dishes, being productive, etc. We will set the intensity to approximately 10% for quiet moments.

LED-Intensity
Amperage Draw reading on the Bogart TM-2030-RV Monitor.

 

 

What we Like about the Acegoo LED Lights

  • They are dimmable (with an appropriate LED dimmer, see below)
  • The frosted glass produces a soft & diffused light
  • The spring mechanism makes it very easy to install and remove the LED from the ceiling

 

What we Don’t Like …

Nothing to see here!

 

 

Models & Where to Buy


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acegoo Recessed Ceiling Light LED 12V 3W, Warm White (Silver)
Warm White, Silver Finish. These are the one that we are using! Buy on Amazon.
acegoo Recessed Ceiling Light LED 12V 3W, Warm White (White)
Warm White, White Finish. Buy on Amazon.
acegoo Recessed Ceiling Light LED 12V 3W, Warm White (Silver)
Cool White, Silver Finish. Buy on Amazon.
acegoo Recessed Ceiling Light LED 12V 3W, Warm White (White)
Cool White, White Finish. Buy on Amazon.

 

Dimmer

LEDs MUST be dimmed with an appropriate LED dimmer. If you’re in the market for a 12V one, good luck! They are either super expensive or super ugly. After countless hours of research, we found the perfect match for our great LEDs! It’s a two-zones dimmer, so we can control the bedroom/kitchen LEDs independently. The sliders feel great and hold in place as they should. The lights are off when the sliders are completely down:

Led Dimmer Slider 12V Single Zone
Single Zone Switch and Dimmer (12V). Buy on Amazon.
Dual_Slide_Switch_Dimmer_LEDs
Dual Zone Switch and Dimmer (12V). Buy on SuperBrightLEDs.com.

 

Dual-Zone-Dimmer

 

Installation

It doesn’t get easier than this…

acegoo Recessed Ceiling Light LED 12V 3W, installation
Manufacturer Installation Instructions (click to enlarge)

 

Using a 2-3/8″ diameter hole saw (Buy on Amazon), we prepared the cutouts in the paneling:

Recessed Light LED Cutout

 

To install the LEDs, pull-up the two springs then the LEDs just “snap” into place (and can later be removed easily).

For the wood paneling installation write-up: https://faroutride.com/wood-paneling/

 

Electrical Wiring

The lights are wired in parallel (we heard of some people wiring them in series and it wouldn’t work). Here is the wiring diagram:

Van LED lights Wiring

(Note: to size your wires, please read: Electrical System Design)

Material shown in the sketch above:

 

To have solid and reliable electrical connections with different wire diameter (14 AWG vs 22 AWG), we used:

On LED side:

22-18 AWG Male Disconnect Ancor Heat Shrink
22-18 AWG Male Disconnect Ancor Heat Shrink . Buy on Amazon. (note male/female pictures are mixed up in the Amazon page at the time of writing this; make your selection according to the text, not the images!)
On live side:

16-14 AWG Female Disconnect Ancor Heat Shrink
16-14 AWG Female Disconnect Ancor Heat Shrink. Buy on Amazon.

 

Random pictures:

Van-Converson-LED-wiring

LED wiring van

 

 

Voilà!

Lights-On-Lights-Off
Lights Off / Lights On

 

Runner Up

As mentioned in the introduction, we first ordered LEDs from Superbrightleds.com. Why didn’t we used them? Because they are, well… SUPER-BRIGHT! The clear glass will not diffuse the light and we found this to be very irritating. Also, we prefer the spring mechanism of the Acegoo LEDs; we feel they will hold better and can be replaced more easily. Don’t get us wrong: the quality of the superbrightleds.com is just fine. In fact, we would certainly use them at a location where the light is not directly in our eyes (such as the cargo area). But because of the clear glass, we would not recommend them for a living area.

SuperBrightLEDS VS acegoo
(click to enlarge)

 

Conclusion

We’re stoked with our Acegoo lights / Dual-Zone-Dimmer combo! If we were to start over, we would go the exact same route!

 

 

 

 

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ABOUT US

Hello! We’re Isabelle and Antoine 🙂 In 2017 we sold our house (and everything in it), quit our engineering careers and moved into our self built campervan. We’ve been on the road since then and every day is an opportunity for a new adventure; we’re chasing our dreams and hopefully it inspires others to do the same!

 

 

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42 thoughts on “LED Ceiling Lights for Van Conversion: Acegoo 12V (3 Watts) Dimmable Recessed Puck”

  1. Great write up. Why not use lights that can be shut individually? Maybe sometimes you only need one light on instead of four? Did you Guys consider that?

  2. Hi, I was wondering…You mentioned that with a 12v system you should wire the lights in parallel. Does that include wiring in parallel the strip LED lights to the puck lights?

  3. Hey! So I followed your led design and went with all the same components. But now that I hooked my lights up they flicker and sometimes go out. What do you think I should do? Before they were just wired into my fuse box and never flickered… so I know it’s not my wiring..

    • Hum, you’re the first to mention this. I know if you wire the LEDs in series it doesn’t work, but parallel should work. I think you should check your connections to make sure the crimping is OK. That’s all I can think of…

    • That happened to me as well, one side flickered and the other was fine. At charging voltages the flicker slowed, but still continued. switch circuits and the other flittered, so the circuits are fine. I am asking for a new unit, maybe one they tested first?? We’ll see….

  4. Do you have any photos from the rear of the van facing the front? I am interested in how you built the roof panels near the cab bulkhead and specifically how you secured the ends near the roof liner section and what this process looked like. Thanks!

  5. I have had these wires in my van for almost 2 years now, but recently, one of them has been getting super hot to the touch. Have you had any issues with this?

  6. How do you calculate the wire run length when wiring LEDs like this? Do you add the length of all the wires or use the length of the longest path?

    • We used the total length (positive+negative) and total amp. It’s oversimplification, but the current is so low it doesn’t really matters. For example 12V, 1.3A, 60FT = 16 AWG recommended. But we used 14 AWG because we had a roll of that.

      Hope that make sense!

  7. Do you notice any detectable noise from the lights when using the dimmer? I bought the lights (through your link ) and a different dimmer on amazon. I can hear a faint Hugh frequency buzzing when not at full brightness, it’s subtle but that kind of thing annoys me. Have you noticed anything with the superbrightleds dimmer?

    Thanks guys!!

  8. Hey! I’m still confused on the wiring like many others as well. You have a wire going from the fuse box to the switch then up the wall and to the back of the van? Then you splice in each light on it’s own wires? How does the dual dimmer work if it’s not isolated from another set of wires. I think a quick post on this would be very helpful.

    • I just updated the wiring diagram above (under “Electrical Wiring” section). Does that help? I don’t think I can explain better, but if you still have question let me know!

  9. Thanks, also looks like my other comment didn’t make it through maybe because it had a link. Do you know if those blue splicers are available on amazon? I found some that look very familiar but wanted to confirm since it seems like you use amazon links when possible

    • Thanks for trying, but the ones sold on Amazon don’t have gel to prevent corrosion. So we didn’t listed them from Amazon (here’s the link anyway: amzn.to/2JLpP2S).

      Thanks again for using our links, it’s much appreciated 🙂

      Have a good one!

  10. Oh and if I wanted to have a dimmer in the front and the back how would that change the wire diagram, would both switches wire into the fuse box or would you splice between the first switch and the fuse box?

    • Hi Chris –

      I am looking at doing the same thing in my conversion – basically the same setup used here but with a dimmer in the back that I can reach from the bed, as well as a dimmer in the front that I can turn on while walking in.

      I take Antoine’s comment to mean that there would be two separately wired systems – the lights above the bed on their own circuit and own dimmer, and the lights in the front on a separate circuit/separate dimmer.

      This would mean that the lights in the back can’t be controlled by the dimmer in the front and vice versa. Did you figure this out in a way that allows all the lights to be controlled by both dimmers or are is each set separate?

  11. Hey Guys! In the final step of connecting the lights, it looks like you have some sort of quick connect/disconnect attached so that in the event the lights go bad you can swap in another without cutting wires. Am I seeing this correctly? Is that some sort of spade terminal? Thanks!

  12. Hey guys! This website is awesome, we are in the process of building out our Promaster and it is all so exciting! I am working on the lights right now and have decided to go with the same lights and dimmer switch. Now the wire I am using to connect all the lights in parallel is 14 AWG, the lights are 22 AWG and switch 18 AWG, I will put a 5A fuse so that should not be a problem. Is that what you guys did? If so, I was also wondering how you connected the 14AWG main wire to the lights that have 22 AWG? Did you also use the quickslice tool for that?
    Thanks for the awesome website, this has been very helpful for me who is a complete newbie at this!! I can only guess the amount of time that you have spent on the website, and I cannot appreciate it enough! 🙂

    • Hi Marlene!
      Thanks for the kind words 🙂

      That’s correct.
      We used 14-16AWG disconnects (http://amzn.to/2GST16G) to connect the LEDs to the 14AWG wire; we folded the small LED wire a few times onto itself so it holds better into the disconnect fitting.

      Hope that helps!

  13. HI Antone:

    I have my acegoo lights ordered through your link (thanks!) as well as the dimmer switch from SuperBrightLEDs. But I’m still struggling (clueless, in fact) with the wiring. What type of wire (looks like it has a white housing?) did you use from the fuse block to the final light? And did you use the same type of wire to “T-off” to the three extra light?

    Looking forward, eagerly, to Part III of your electrical write-up — wiring, sockets, etc.

  14. Hi Antoine! Your build journal has been something of a Bible for me in planning my own build, thanks so much for the detailed directions and amazon links, very helpful! One thing that has been keeping me up at night (literally) is how to go about wiring the acegoo led’s in parallel…can you provide some pointers?

    Just looking at your photos it looks like you guys used quick connector spade terminals for each light fixture…how did you wire those into the main wire from the fuse box?

    Thanks so much for the information and best of luck on your upcoming road trip!

    • Hi Eric, so glad the website is useful!!

      We used 3M ScotchLok (with gel): https://www.etrailer.com/Accessories-and-Parts/3M/804C.html

      I cannot really recommend those connectors; not that we had problem with them, but because I don’t think they are as reliable as the rest of our electrical system… we used them anyway because they are easily accessible and we could at worst re-do the connections.
      The proper way is to use crimp cap: http://amzn.to/2vrdH28

      So basically we run an electrical wire from the fuse box up to the last LED and we use the 3M connectors to “tap” into that wire to connect other LEDs.

      Hope that make sense!
      antoine

  15. Not sure what journal build to ask this in, but could you tell me exactly how much interior height you have in your living space? (Walkway between kitchen area)

    Cheers.

  16. Hey Antoine, what did you guys do with the lights that were already installed on the frame of the cargo area when you bought it? It looks like your wood paneling is going over them at this point. I’m trying to think of my plan of attack for it right now.

    • We removed the lights and the wiring as well; it quite easy to disconnect them from the main van harness (no need to cut the wire, if I recall. It’s just a plug).

  17. We bought the same lights for our van and are debating on installing dimming switches. With the dimmers you listed above, do they require additional on and off switches?

    • We REALLY use the dimmer a lot! It helps save power and create an ambiance too 🙂
      No need for on/off switch: off = sliders fully down.

      Cheers!
      🙂

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