How to Modernize Your Ugly RV Light Fixtures

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A man changing his RV light fixtures

Light fixtures are one area where RV manufacturers tend to skimp to save money and weight. They often use the cheapest fixtures that may not always do the job.

Luckily, you can easily update those ugly RV light fixtures to improve the look or maximize the lighting in your rig.

Today, we’ll walk you through everything you need to consider when shopping for a new light and how you can quickly replace your RV light fixtures. Let’s get started!

Can You Use Regular Light Fixtures in an RV? 

You can use regular light fixtures in an RV if the light bulb voltage matches your power system’s voltage. Most lights in an RV run off a 12-volt system, so you’ll need to use a 12-volt light bulb with the fixture.

You can head to your local home improvement store and shop for standard lighting options. Snag a 12-volt bulb to screw in once you install the light fixture, and you’ll quickly brighten your rig.

Are RV Lights 12v or 120v?

Most modern RVs strictly use 12-volt lights throughout a rig. These run off an RV’s 12-volt battery system. This allows you to use the lights when an RV is not using a power source.

As long as you have a charged battery, you can flip on your lights and light up your rig. When you plug the rig into 120-volt shore power, the lights still pull from the 12-volt, but the power source keeps a continual charge to the battery bank to avoid depleting the battery. 

Are LED Lights Better for an RV?

LED lights are one of the best options for RV light fixtures. While these bulbs are several times more expensive than standard ones, there are several reasons we think they’re worth considering.

LED lights can produce as much, if not more, light than a standard bulb while requiring less power. This is essential for those who want to ensure their batteries last as long as possible while boondocking.

In addition, LED lights can last an extraordinarily long time. You won’t have to worry about blowing a bulb as your RV travels over the bumps and dips in the road. Depending on how often you use them, these bulbs can last several years before you need to replace them.

How to Modernize Your Ugly RV Light Fixtures

If you want to get rid of those ugly RV light fixtures and modernize your RV, the process is straightforward.

Let’s walk through the steps for bringing new life to your rig by updating your RV light fixtures.

Pick Out New Light Fixtures

If you want to modernize the light fixtures in your RV, you’ll need to do some shopping. It’s best to spend plenty of time shopping and to get ideas for your project.

You want to consider how much light you’ll need and where to place the new fixture. Be mindful of slides in your RV and how opening and closing them will impact your new light fixture.

We’ve heard horror stories of RVers going through the entire process of installing gorgeous lighting in their rig. However, they forgot to consider the clearance and space necessary when bringing in the slides on their RV.

Unfortunately, they had to undo their work and return the fixture, as it wouldn’t allow them to close the slides on their rig entirely. Trust us; this is one mistake you want to avoid making!

Make Sure Your New Bulbs Voltage Is the Same as the Old

You must confirm that the new bulb’s voltage matches the old one for your RV light fixtures. This can help save you from trying to figure out why your new light fixture isn’t working.

If the voltages aren’t compatible, you may direct power to the light socket, but you’ll be left in the dark, as it won’t illuminate the light bulb.

A man checking his light bulbs voltage for his RV light fixtures

Turn Off the Power in Your RV

Once it’s time to start unscrewing things, you should turn off the power to your RV. Don’t simply turn the breaker off at the power pedestal.

Completely unplug your rig and turn off the battery disconnect switch to your 12-volt system. This helps ensure there’s no power running to the light fixture you’ll be replacing.

Using a multimeter or voltage tester is a good idea before touching any wires. Surprises when working with electricity can be dangerous and even deadly. You can never be too safe!

Drill Any Holes Necessary for the New Fixture

Depending on the shape and design of the new fixture, you may be unable to use the existing holes. Like most cutting projects, starting small and working toward larger holes is better.

You want any holes to be as small as possible. Avoid using too long of a bit or pushing it as deep as possible, as you could damage your RV’s roof.

Hopefully, the new RV light fixtures will cover up any unnecessary existing holes. If not, use some spackle or filler to fill the gaps, so they’re not noticeable. With minimal effort, most people will likely not look closely enough to notice them. 

Keep in Mind: Brighten up your evenings with the Best RV Awning Lights!

Install the New Fixture

After confirming that the power is off, it’s time to install the new light fixture. This is a straightforward process as the wiring is typically always color-coded.

Connect the wiring to the matching color and use twist nuts or caps to protect and keep the wiring tight. This helps avoid the wires touching and creating a potentially hazardous situation.

Once you’ve connected the wiring, you can start securing the new light fixture. Ensure the holes are sufficient to hold the fixture in place.

Your RV will bounce down the road, which could cause issues if the light fixture isn’t tight. You can use anchors and other items to help secure the fixture.

Close up of RV light fixtures

A Few Of Our Favorite Modern Light Fixtures 

If you’re considering your options for modern RV light fixtures, we’ve found several options that we love. We think these would look great in almost any RV. Let’s take a look!

Industrial Black Wall Sconces

If you’re looking to upgrade the sconces on your walls, these are lightyears ahead of what most manufacturers install.

These lights help create a warm and inviting atmosphere to enhance any room. If you’re looking to make the modern farmhouse look in your RV, this is an excellent way to do it!

Industrial Black Wall Sconces, Vintage Farmhouse Wall Sconces Lighting Set of 2, Metal Wall Light Fixtures, Indoor Rustic Wall Mounted Lamp for Living Room Bedroom Hallway
  • ⭐【UL Approve】Our upgrated entire black wall sconces is UL listed for quality assurance and safe to use.
  • ⭐【Vintage Design Wall Sconce】Our industrial wall sconces set of 2 feature a fixed wall-mounted design with a metal...

Boho Ceiling Light Fixture

The farmhouse look is in, especially for renovation projects. This bamboo-wicker ceiling light fixture is 8.3 inches tall and 11.3 inches wide at the base.

It provides 360 degrees of lighting and is perfect for hanging in the kitchen or above your dining room table. Ensure you have plenty of headspace to avoid hitting your head or conflicting with retracting slides.

HXMLS Semi Flush Mount Ceiling Light,Farmhouse Bamboo Wicker Rattan Boho Ceiling Light Fixture Hallway Light Fixtures Ceiling,Farmhouse Light fixtures for Bedroom Hallway Kitchen Corridor Passway
  • 360 Degree Light EffectThe bamboo woven bamboo lampshade wicker rattan chandelier has a double layer design and is...
  • Wide use sceneSemi flush mount ceiling light is very easy to assemble. When lit, the lampshade emits a beautiful amber...

Industrial Ceiling Light

These industrial ceiling-mounted lights come as a two-pack and have a black metal cage surrounding the bulb. It’s another excellent option to upgrade the light fixtures and make the inside of your rig look several years younger.

You can turn these RV light fixtures on and off with a wall-mounted light switch. They will produce a tremendous amount of light while also providing character when not in use.

Licperron Hallway Light Fixtures Ceiling Mount, E26 E27 Retro Black Industrial Semi Flush Mount Ceiling Light for Porch Hallway Kitchen Farmhouse Lighting, 2 Pack, RV Light Fixtures, UL Approval
  • 【Updated Design】Our new whole set of vintage ceiling lights are UL Approval, which have been improved that ceiling...
  • 【Better Choice】Cage ceiling light fixtures are made of high quality metal, baking paint, long lifespan and help you...

Modern Gold Wall Light

While manufacturers typically use generic or cheap-looking sconces, you can upgrade to more luxurious-looking light fixtures in your RV. These gold wall lamps have a brass finish to help your rig look worth every penny you paid for it.

You can hardwire these lights into your electrical system or plug them into the nearest electrical outlet. Hardwiring them will give a professional and polished look.

Modern Gold Wall Lamp Brass Finished Plug in Wall Light with Opal White Glass Shade Bathroom Vanity Sconce
  • STYLE: Mid-century modern gold finished goose-neck plug in wall light, milk white glass globe shade.
  • DESIGN: Advanced modern brass finished metal holder and milk glass globe lampshade combination, modern design and...

Modern Sputnik Chandelier

Why trust a single light bulb when you want to maximize the lighting in a space? Instead, you can take advantage of this RV light fixture’s modern design and ability to hold six light bulbs.

This will create ample light and provide a high-end look and feel in a living space. It’s easy to install and clean. What more could you ask for in a modern light fixture?

Keep in Mind: Do you understand your RV Electrical Panel? If not, then you need to read this!

Dellemade Modern Sputnik Chandelier, 6-Light Ceiling Light for Bedroom,Dining Room,Kitchen,Office (Gold)
  • The modern sputnik chandelier is a best choice for you new home! More and more interior designer pick this lamp for...
  • The installation is no problem! The 6 branches are already wired. When you install the lamp, you just need to screw the...

Make a Plan to Modernize Your RV Light Fixtures

Just because most RV manufacturers have failed to modernize their lighting choices doesn’t mean you can’t do it for them. Replacing RV light fixtures is incredibly easy.

Almost anyone with a few essential tools and knowledge can do it themselves. Ensure you take the proper safety precautions to keep yourself, your loved ones, and your RV safe. The results can speak for themselves when you flip the switch to your new light fixture.

Which of the light fixtures on our list would you prefer? 

Last update on 2022-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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