How to install LED lighting for your caravan

12 v canopy dual colour LED lighting

Whether or not you’re usually the do-it-yourself kind of person when it comes to fitting out your caravan, installing LED lighting isn’t really all too difficult. In this handy guide, we’ll help you with everything you need to know about installing 12v canopy dual colour LED lighting.

Fitting 12-volt canopy LED lighting

While many light-related fittings should be done only by an experienced professional, 12v canopy dual colour LED lighting can be done by just about anyone with basic DIY experience.

Why? The current draw is so low with LED lights that there is minimal risk of fire hazards if they are wired carefully and meticulously.

Step by step guide to fitting LED lights to your caravan

Step 1 – Check your current unit

The first thing to do is to check what’s currently installed in your ceiling unit. Usually, you’ll find the lighting beneath the wallboard trim. Make sure you switch off the control panel’s lighting circuit before you begin.

Step 2 – Remove the old unit

With the lighting circuits safely off, you are able to remove the old unit of lighting in your caravan. This should reveal a sizable hole in the ceiling through which the LED lights can be reattached.

If the new LED lighting unit is too small to cover the entire hole, you have two options:

  • Cover any exposed trim base with a cover; or
  • Offset the LED unit (especially if the trim is too far from the hole as well)

Step 3 – Re-route the wire of the LED strip light so it’s underneath

To do this, there are a couple of steps:

  1. Remove the two top screws of the end cap of the unity
  2. Gently, bring the wire through the original hole
  3. Post the wire out of the back and re-screw on the cap

Use a multimeter to check the polarity of the wires in the ceilings, especially if your caravan is an old model. Remember to ensure the device is on DC range and on the setting just higher than 12 volts.

Keep the wires apart and away from all metal. You can even use tape if you need to.

Turn the lighting circuit on again and use the multimeter to prove each respective wire to ensure that it shows a positive value.

Once this is done, make sure to switch off the circuit again.

Step 4 – Trim the wire

Cut the new wire to the length you want it and strip the plastic from all four of the wires.

Step 5 – Solder the wires

Solder the wires. You can use any safe method for this that works for you. Some DIYers like to tape the unit to the ceiling so they can free up both hands.

A section of shrink tube should be slid up onto the wire, then the ends of the wires frayed and spliced together. Once they are twisted, use a soldering iron to create a join and then solder. Remember the red and black (new) wires go together, and the white wires go together.

Hint: If you’re concerned about burning the ceiling with the heat gun, place a protective layer of foil behind the wire.

Step 6 – Screw the unit

Now you can screw the 12 v canopy dual colour LED lighting unit to the caravan wall board. Remember that the boards tend to be thin and fragile so make sure you have the right sized screws.

When you screw the unit in, ensure it’s sitting over the existing hole. Also, be mindful not to over-tighten the screw. Keep it secured but not overly tightened.

Step 7 – Turn it on

Turn the lighting circuit back on through your control unit and see how it works!

Need a hand?

Whether you need a hand with installation or just want to find out more about our 12v canopy dual colour LED lighting units, make sure to get in touch with the Dunn and Watson team today!