LED lights help keep green RV moving (Video)
Staying green while on the road is essential to environmentalists Cece Reinhardt and Brenda Daugherty, who retrofitted a 2003 Airstream RV so that it could operate off the grid in a sustainble way.
Elemental LED is a sponsor of the On the Green Road project, providing LED lighting inside and out to keep energy consumption low.
Reinhardt and Daugherty have been on the road for four months and their goal is to travel around the U.S. in the retrofitted Airstream hauled by a bio-fueled Dodge Ram. They are currently holding open houses, attending conventions, and educating the public about sustainable living along the way.
The LED lights on the green RV work in conjunction with two solar panels installed on the roof of the Airstream, and a battery with a monitor so Reinhardt and Daugherty can track their energy use.
"The LEDs hardly budge the battery charge at all," Reinhardt said. "The most common comment we get from visitors is how strong the amount of light is and how soft and natural the quality is. People seem to think that LEDs are aggressive and not attractive, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Visitors are excited to learn about alternatives to CFL and incandescent lighting."
The interior of the RV is outfitted with dimmable LED strip lights and diffusers in the kitchen, dinette, bathroom and reading areas. "We love using the dimming light strips; they offer wonderful mood lighting without the glare of being in our direct line of sight," Reinhardt said. LED puck lights on 12V dimmers create general area lighting throughout the interior of the RV.
Waterproof color-changing LED strip lights outfit the exterior of the RV, creating a dramatic glow on the Airstream's metal finish during the evenings. "The outside waterproof lights add great night lighting. They are currently set to green and we used them every night in December to be in the holiday spirit," Reinhardt said.
Other green components used to retrofit the Airstream include earth plaster walls and ceilings by American Clay, a composting toilet by Nature's Head, Vida cork planks and natural linoleum flooring, Paperstone and natural linoleum counter tops, and Madagascar Ebony Echo Wood veneer cabinets by Hardwoods Inc. The 2006 Dodge Ram is fueled with waste vegetable oil.
Elemental LED teamed up with On the Green Road in 2010 when Reinhardt and Daugherty were beginning the Airstream retrofit. "It has been amazing to see an outdated 2003 Airstream gutted and transformed into a sustainable living space. It is definitely an eco-traveler's dream and I am proud that Elemental LED played a part in the transformation," said Elemental LED Marketing Manager Charlotte Dick.
Read more about energy-efficient lighting.
Photos courtesy of YStudioPhotography.com.
Teena Hammond Teena Hammond has published more than 2,000 articles in People and W magazines, Women's Wear Daily, and in dozens of newspapers and books. She also wrote a home improvement, remodeling and decor column that ran in Gannett newspapers nationwide. She's interested in all things green and would love to hear from you with your story ideas.