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The recreational vehicle is a great way to keep your carbon footprint down, versus the polluting effects of airplane and hotel living. Nevertheless, gasoline produces 7.3bn lbs of CO2 per year, according to the EPA. When it comes to the RV, that gasoline will be powering every aspect of your vehicle – including the lighting (except where outside power is used, but again – that has to come from somewhere).
It’s important to note that, ultimately, RVing is good for you. There are always improvements to be made, though, especially in the current progressive environment. Responsible and efficient RV lighting can be a huge way to do a favor for the environment, for your pocket, and quite possibly your in-RV quality of life.
The hardware involved
Just like owners of homes and businesses nationally, RV owners could do more to hone the efficiency of their lighting. This is outlined by the Federal Department for Energy, which noted that many homeowners have yet to switch their light bulbs to energy-saving varieties, despite legislation enacted in 2012. How does this transfer to the RV world? RVs have specific requirements – energy is technically limited, so efficiency is king. Comfort is important too, given the proportionally restricted living space. For this reason, LEDs are one of the best solutions to ensure lighting efficiency on the road. According to the Energy Agency, they consume between 20-25% of the energy required by incandescent bulbs and 25%-30% of halogen incandescents. The variety and strength of LEDs have evolved long since their implementation for road lights and indicators, and can now provide a wide range of comforting shades and strengths for every RV owner.
Charging your lighting responsibly
LEDs can provide huge energy savings, benefiting both the environment and your pocket. However, you can always go one step further. Solar and wind technology has become cheaper and cheaper; Bloomberg estimates that solar will be cheaper than coal by 2025. For an RV owner, there are possibilities here. Solar panels are becoming more flexible and portable, and MIT have spoken of a ‘spray on’ solar cell in the works – portable solar backpacks have been available since 2009. With electric vehicles entering the market, like Dethleff’s electric RV, there is even the possibility to eliminate reliance on gas entirely. The range is an issue, but for slow trips and travelers, it shouldn’t be an issue.
Style considerations of lighting
The lighting available from your RV needs to be varied. From lowlights for sleeping to bright lighting for night-time driving to side-oriented open lighting for camp stops and outdoor activities. Make a detailed consideration of your trip, or desired trail if you are living in your RV, and adjust accordingly. LEDs can again be used for effective lighting for all uses. Electronics Weekly has outlined how small LEDs can create powerful lighting, keeping costs down and energy efficiency up. It’s also helpful to know how LEDs work. Using modern technology to keep notes, it’s useful to keep a reference guide as to what grades of LED are working for you, to make repairs simple.
Lighting your RV isn’t as straightforward as you might think, given the wide range of uses your vehicle will find itself beholden to. When you mix in the necessary considerations climate change brings, it can seem confusing. With organization and the use of LED technology, you can create a cost-efficient and environmentally kind lighting setup.