owners have posted messages about the use of LED bulbs as replacements in the interior
light fixtures on the Rialta. Some have even suggested the use of "halogen" bulbs
as suitable replacements. Most claim the benefits are along the lines of a more
"natural" lighting instead of a hot spot, or more light output, and even less energy
The amount of energy used by the #1141 bulb which is the OEM bulb found in the
light fixtures of the Rialta is very small so that shouldn't be a consideration
at all. The web page about Winnebago's "Bulbs"
explains the differences between the original bulb and some proposed substitutes
including the commonly available #1156 which puts out 32 candle power compared the
the #1141's 21 candle power. However, as cautioned on the "Bulbs" page, when
substituting any other bulb for the original, the owner must be very wary of additional
heat output which can melt the plastic light assembly or the lens cover.
I've read many ads for LED bulb replacements and almost all use marketing
hype to describe the light output, such as "super bright", "hot bright", "cool
bright", etc. I have yet to see any that provide definitive information about
the actual light output measured in lumens or expressed as MSCP. This leads
me to believe that all LED bulb replacements will have less light than their
incandescent counterpart. You can accomplish this same effect with a different
incandescent substitute at a much reduced cost.
Here is an example from another web page where the owner compared some LED and
Halogen #1156 bulbs against a standard incandescent type used in a motorcycle brake
light assembly. The Halogen bulbs generally sell for around $10 each, the LEDs vary
in price but mostly within the $10-30 range. The standard incandescent sells
for less than $1.
I also realized that halogen bulbs are famous for their
heat output. I'm not an engineer, but it makes sense that more power means
more light...and more heat! So I decided to get scientific. I purchased
a Pyrex "Professional" digital thermometer (at Bed, Bath and Beyond no less!)
with a remote probe. I hope you appreciate the money I blow on this stuff!
I know my wife sure doesn't........
Before I checked
to see how bright the halogen bulb was, I wanted to see how hot it burned.
I figured it wouldn't make any difference how bright it was if the taillight
housing was melting into the fender as I stood at a stoplight. So I mounted
each of 3 bulbs: the LEDtronics 1156, a standard GE long life incandescent,
and the DesignTech halogen.
I was going to measure the temperature inside the taillight
housing with each bulb, but that proved to be too difficult to get the probe
and everything lined up consistently. So I went for the gusto -- I
measured the temperature right at the bulb at 1 minute and 2 minute intervals.
I don't know about where you live, but around here in D.C. the stoplights
can last as long as 3-4 minutes, which seems like an eternity. I figured
I'd test for about the worst case -- the longest you might have the brake
lights continuously applied. Here are the results:
Ambient temperature 55 degrees F.; all temperatures
|GE incandescent 1156
|DesignTech halogen 1156
1: Temperature vs. Time
After 2 minutes of testing the halogen, I started to smell
something burning. I quickly turned off the ignition and checked the chrome
plated plastic taillight reflector. Yep, some black burn marks above and
below the bulb. I don't know about you, but 314 degrees F is way too hot
The bottom line appears to be this: the LED bulbs are very expensive and their
light output is much below the standard incandescent. They have an exceptional long
life expectancy but at that price, they should. There are several standard automotive
bulbs that can replace the OEM #1141 such as the #1003 or #93 both of which produce
less light than the OEM bulb and may give a feeling of a "softer" light. Also, they
sell for less than $1 each. Check the "Bulbs"
page for more information.
The Halogen bulbs are all probably too bright for any interior application on
the Rialta. Besides, their heat output makes them unsuitable for use in any of the
inexpensive plastic light fixtures found on the Rialta so avoid their use unless
you plan on replacing some light fixtures.