With the interest in L.E.D. Strip lighting for RV’s, I am frequently asked how the strip should be powered on coaches equipped with Multiplex light controls. A multiplex control system is effectively a computer based switch system that looks for input at one of the lighted switch control panels and then turns on or off the power to the light(s) in the area requested.
As an example, let’s assume there is a high intensity reading light over your favorite sofa position and you want to read a book. You glance at the multifunction light panel on the wall, select the reading light button press on it and the button lights, as does the overhead light. What occurred was the switch panel (when the switch lighted after your finger touched the pad position) sent a signal to the multiplex lighting controller, and it responded by sending 12 volts to the respective light fixture which responded by turning on. Until the multiplex controller sent power to the fixture, there was no power at the light. Contrast that to a similar conventional powered light fixture which has power at the light all the time, and all that is required to turn on the light, is a press on the power switch at the fixture.
When installing a L.E.D. Strip light on the exterior of the coach that has a nearby conventional light fixture on the inside, a tap onto the power and ground connections is all that is required to provide power to the L.E.D Strip light. Of course a switch or dimmer is installed in the circuit to activate or control the L.E.D. Strip.
Contrast that installation to one on a coach that has a multiplex light control system. While there are wires at the reading light that could be tapped, there is no power unless the light is turned on by the multiplex system. There is no power for the L.E.D. strip light otherwise. What this means is that in order to have the L.E.D. strip light on, one must turn on the reading light using the multiplex system.
So, you ask: ‘How can I power my L.E.D. strip light?’ The answer is use the coach’s 120-volt AC system to power an AC-DC adapter that provides 12-volt DC power at a sufficiently high current level that will satisfy the power demands of the L.E.D. light strip from the coach’s AC power system. The AC Adapter is plugged into a nearby outlet and the 12- volt output wire is fed to the switch or dimmer for the L.E.D. light strip. This light strip will then have power as long as the line cord is connected to the line or shore power or if the outlet is powered off the inverter in the coach as long as there is sufficient inverter supplied AC power. We have seen installations where this power is provided by an outlet in an exterior TV compartment, and the wiring is fed up to the L.E.D. strip with the dimmer/on-off switch located near the AC to DC adapter.
Another installation was in a coach slideout where there was no source of 12-volt power, however there was a Microwave oven mounted high up on the wall with its own dedicated power outlet. Connecting an AC to DC adapter into the outlet provided the 12-volt power for the L.E.D. strip light.
So there you have it. We sell the 120VAC to 12VDC adapter, the dimmer with a key fob remote control as well as a handy installation kit to accompany the L.E.D. Strip lighting. Check out our Products Tab under L.E.D. Lighting for more information.