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


DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click a product link and buy anything from the merchant (Amazon, eBay, etc), we will receive a commission fee. The price you pay remains the same, affiliate link or not.

Portrait


 

 

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.
LED Switch 3 Way
3-Way Single-Zone Switch and Dimmer (to install more than one switch that control the same LEDs). 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 MUST be wired in parallel (series won’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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80 thoughts on “LED Ceiling Lights for Van Conversion: Acegoo 12V (3 Watts) Dimmable Recessed Puck”

  1. Hello, thank you for this write up. I’m using the same LEDs and Dual Dimmer for my build out.

    – What was your method of mounting the Dimmer switch to the wall? I’ve been looking around a shallow gang boxes and nothing is seeming to line up.
    – When figuring out wire length/AWG you have to account for all of the parallel runs correct to the 2 sets of light, correct? We’re building out a step van so the length of wire needed for this has been adding up quick!

    Thank you!
    Alex

    Reply
    • We installed the dimmer directly in the t&g plank (upside down in the image, just above the sink).
      null

      Whenever you connect the loads in parallel, it “splits” the current. So, this means that the wire that goes from your fuse block to the dimmer has to be able to withstand the current of all the leds and from the dimmer the current will be split (in 2, supposing you have the same load on each size). So wires from the dimmer to the leds could possibly be smaller because they will carry less current. But to keep it simple and avoid to buy different gauge of wire, let’s pretend the current stays the same. Now, as for the length (used to calculate the voltage drop), I would consider only the longest length from fuse block to farther led, no need to add all the parallel wires (when running wire/loads in parallel, the current is divided, but the voltage stays the same).

      Reply
  2. Hello Isabelle and Antione,

    Many thanks for your write-up as I am taking quite a few notes for my own Sprinter build-out. General question about wiring things like lights and fans, using the Maxxair fan as an example: the fan comes with 16 AWG wires from the unit’s circuit board. Per your wiring calculator (and the example you use on that page) you chose to use 12 AWG to wire it up to the Fuse Box/Battery Bank. If the maximum current cannot exceed that allowed by the 16 AWG wire, then what benefit comes from using a larger wire from the fuse box? With lights in parallel I can see why an individual branch (light) can be 22 AWG while the cable from the fuse box would need to be larger to allow for the current of multiple lights before they split off, but I don’t understand the fan example.

    Reply
    • The wire size calculation takes in consideration the length of the wire (in order to minimize the voltage drop) and the wire ampacity (maximum current/amp the wire can safely carry). For your information, according to ABYC standards, 16 AWG can carry up to 25amps. That being said, the Maxxfan requires 5amps (from the installation guide), so the main factor here for determining the wire size is the length from the battery bank to the fan.

      Reply
  3. Could you just use two more scotchlok connectors where all four wires meet so that you only have two going into the switch instead of the four? Thanks

    Reply
  4. Question do you have a diagram for using the yeti goal zero 3000x I purchased the builder pack then decided to go with the yeti 3000 instead of multiple batteries as l can also use on construction sites and my home.

    Reply
      • Agreed, a wiring diagram centered around a Yeti wouldn’t go unappreciated. From what I can tell, they’re gaining popularity in the van conversion world. Also, thanks for the awesome resource that this site is. I’m copying many elements from your build that I don’t know that would have occurred to me otherwise, not to mention the immeasurable amount of time saved.

        Reply
  5. Hello,
    Thanks for sharing! I purchased the WIring diagram and love it!
    Quick question, on the install tutorial for the LEDs (above) it says you used 14 AWG wire. But the wiring calculator you mentioned to use says to use 16 AWG.. any reason you didn’t follow the calculator? Just curious I am about to buy the lights and wat to be sure to get the right wire too.

    Reply
    • The correct wire gauge depends on the length of YOUR installation and how many LED you install (total amps). So input that into the calculator (length = positive + negative) and use the recommended wire gauge 🙂

      Reply
  6. Do I have to buy the 18-22 male disconnect and 14-16 female disconnect? I know you said for a more solid connection to use these which I totally understand but would it also work if I just used 14 to 14 wire connectors since the 18 on LEDs could fit in there and then I could crimp the 18 side extra hard in there so no looseness? I just have a ton of these connectors already and wanted to get your opinion on going this route.

    Reply
  7. Bonjour Antoine/Isabelle –
    In your load calculation, you mention that the Acegoo lights draw 3W each, that you used 10 of them… but then your 12V system only needs to supply 1.3A for the bunch at 100%. I expected 2.5A, no? (I see that your Bogart monitor only shows 1.3A at 100% too… ).

    Also, separately, for the wood panels: can you bend 3/8″ birch plywood to fit the contours of the van? I know you ended up using 1/4″ for the walls; I’m wondering if I could get away with thicker furring strips. Are you still happy you went with so thin? Any breaks?

    GREAT website, btw. Just starting my inside build, and I bought your “Builder’s Package”. Best resource I’ve found so far. Thanks for all your work.
    Pat

    Reply
    • Good point! I just went into the van to check with our Simarine monitor (https://faroutride.com/simarine-pico/), and I’m getting 1.29 amps for all 10 lights at 100% intensity… So I guess they draw less then the 3W claimed?

      I doubt you can bend 3/8 birch without moisture/heat work. The 1/4 is still holding without issue! No break. I know some people used 2 x 1/4 for better pliability/robustness.

      Thanks for the kind words, happy build!
      antoine

      Reply
  8. In the wiring diagram above and parts list, you mention you are using two different size wires… Can you explain why? Are you running a 14 and 12 AWG to each puck?

    Reply
    • We only used 14 AWG to wire all our LEDs (which are 22 AWG). We list the wire connector 12 AWG for people who would require to use 12 AWG.

      Reply
  9. Thanks for another great resource! I purchased your electrical diagram and have learned so much from you. I have a question about the connectors you used on the dimmer switch battery and load ends. I am using 16 AWG duplex stranded wire for my lights and it appears the switch is 18 AWG but I can’t tell if it is stranded or solid. Can I use the 3M connector you mentioned to connect the wires from the fuse box to the switch and then also to connect the wires from the switch to the lights? I just wanted to make sure it is safe to use the 3M style connector when connecting 2 different wire gauges. Thanks in advance for any assistance you are able to provide to me. Cheers!

    Reply
    • I wouldn’t recommend using the 3M connectors when connecting only 2 wires together. We used those connectors: amzn.to/36AVHUm and they fit different wire gauges. Make sure to get the one you can crimp and not the regular ones you can buy at the home hardware store as they could loosen up with vibration.

      Reply
  10. With the dual zone dimmer in the off position is there still some current or are they truly off? Was thinking about installing a on off switch between shore power and dimmer to make sure they are truly off.

    Reply
  11. With the dual zone dimmer in the off position is there still some current or are they truly off? Was thinking about installing a on off switch between shore power and dimmer to make sure they are truly off.

    Reply
  12. Hey Antoine – do you remember ever having issues with the dual zone switch shutting off on its own? I completed my install identical to yours, connected the switch, both zones turned on fine but then about 30 seconds in the lights all went out. I’ve verified current is being supplied to switch, fuse hasn’t been blown.. im stumped. Wired both zones directly to battery (Without switch) to confirm they are good, and every thing seems fine. I’ve reached out to super bright tech support.

    Reply
  13. Hey guys! I love the information so far, my build is going great! I am currently deciding on solar/battery bank/alternator charging information, and forgive me if this seems like a silly question. But I was wondering, in calculating my daily usage for amp hours, should I add in the dimmers you list here, in tandem with the lights? Or do I leave those off the daily usage calculator? I cannot seem to find any information regarding this question, and in your mock daily use calculator for your van, you do not add the dimmers into your equation! Do they only pull energy/wattage when they are adjusted? Or lets say I have the lights on for 4 hours a day, should I factor in the amp hours for the dimmer for 4 hours as well? Thanks in Advance!

    Reply
    • No need to enter the dimmer itself in the calculator.
      – Let’s say you plan on using lights for 4 hours at 100% capacity (not dimmed) and they draw 3 amps when ON: you have to enter 4 hours, 3A in the calculator.
      – If you plan on using the lights for 4 hours at 50% (dimmed), you’d enter: 4 hours, 1.5A in the calculator.

      Hope that makes sense!

      Reply
  14. Are these lights also the kind you can turn off or on by tapping the actual light? I was thinking of going that route when we start our build.

    Reply
  15. Hello. Typically 12v dimmer switches require a ground wire, I didn’t see any mention of this? Does this setup not require a ground wire straight to the negative battery busbar? THanks.

    Reply
  16. This may be a silly question – when both dimmers are all the way down, are the lights fully off? Or do you have to switch them off somewhere else? Thanks!

    Reply
    • There’s not other switch; sliding them all the way down turn them OFF (there’s a bit more resistance when you reach the OFF position, so you know exactly when that happens!).

      Reply
    • LED’s actually require a PWM system to dim, (that’s the expensive 12v dimmer switch.) Simply reducing the voltage may work if the LED module is tolerant of that, but it’s not actually how you’re supposed to dim them, and probably won’t work for all LED lights.

      Reply
  17. Have you ever wished you had an additional set of puck lights with red LEDs? I’m thinking about it for a build, I’m imagining they’d be useful if someone is in the back while driving or if you have to get up at night and don’t want to lose your night vision. Curious to hear your take.

    Reply

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