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Guide to Upgrading Your RV Lighting

Alyssa Chartier-profile-image
Alyssa Chartier
January 13, 2023

TL;DR: Upgrade your RV lights for a cozier ambiance and reduced power consumption. Switch to LED bulbs for brighter, more efficient lighting. Easily swap out fixtures or bulbs to enhance your RV experience without a complete remodel. Join Harvest Hosts for support and community sharing in the RV world.

Guide to Upgrading Your RV Lighting

Wanting to replace harsh overhead lights with something a little more comforting? If you’re looking to replace your old RV lights with new LED lights, Harvests Hosts can help with that!

Why You Should Upgrade Your RV Lights

Over the years the RV industry has seen a huge transformation in lighting. You might like some of the changes, and be annoyed by others. For instance, a lot of older RVs have those yellowish, drab lights that seem to do as much harm as good. But in modern RVs, you might feel like you are blinded by all of the bright white puck lights in the ceiling. It starts to feel like you are preparing for surgery!


If you are considering an RV remodel, you might want to rethink what your needs are. With more and more people living full-time—or even seasonally—in their RVs, their needs have shifted and evolved over time. You might need a work station now or other small tweaks. Regardless of your reason to upgrade your RV lights, we have some great tips and suggestions below.

Replace Your Lights if You Have an Older RV

If you are touring the country in an older RV, you might be looking to upgrade your rig with some newer light fixtures. The gold might be coming back, but it isn’t the same gold we find in those mid-90’s RVs. By upgrading your lights, you’ll get those nice clean, bright lights you see in newer RVs, and you’ll reduce your power consumption.

Swap Out New Fixtures for More Style

Newer RVs have gone wild with those bright white puck lights inside. In the middle of the night, it might seem like your RV has captured the sun inside. And while it is great when you are working on a puzzle, cleaning, or doing a crafty project, sometimes a little mood lighting at night would be nice. By swapping out light fixtures, you’ll get a little more of a custom style. Plus, you can cut back on power consumption.

Switch Your RV Lights to LED Lights

One of the best ways to experience RV life is to spend time boondocking. A lot of people are fearful of not having enough power. They find themselves constantly worried about the amount of electricity they use and don’t enjoy the experience. One of the best, easiest, and most popular ways to reduce energy consumption is by switching to LED lights. LED lights use a fraction of the amount of power as incandescent lights—and are actually brighter. Just by swapping out light bulbs, you are taking steps towards minimizing your power consumption and extending your time off grid.

How To Make A Change To Your Lighting


There are several steps you could possibly take to change the feel of your lighting. Some steps are incredibly simple, others require some thoughtfulness, and others are a little more complex to make. But here are some of the common changes people tend to make in their RV lighting systems.****

Reduce Your Power Consumption By Swapping to LED Bulbs

A lot of older RVs still have incandescent lights. This type of light is much less efficient than the modern LED bulb. In addition, they can provide more heat—for good and for bad. By switching over to LED bulbs, you are taking a simple step toward a brighter RV and the consumption of less power. For people who love having a bright RV, this could be an amazing upgrade for you. And if you enjoy boondocking, this is even better news because you can stay out longer and worry about light consumption less. The cost to transition from standard bulbs to high efficient LED bulbs is incredibly simple and well worth the money. This is one of the first things a lot of RVers do, and it typically doesn’t require changing out your fixtures. Most fixtures are already prepared to receive an LED bulb, and it is as simple as unscrewing one bulb and putting in another.

Swap Out Fixtures With an Updated Style

If you are wanting to simply upgrade your lighting fixtures to something with a more up-to-date style, you can swap out similar fixtures. As RVs age, the light fixtures can begin to get discoloration or simply not be your style. And adding a new modern fixture might be what you’d prefer. Presently, there are a lot of RV specific lights out there to choose from, but you can also choose a lot of residential options too. When you pick a residential light fixture for your RV, be sure to remember this home on wheels will be traveling down highways and over bumpy terrain. Lights that weigh less and are rigid in design are better decisions. When replacing the fixture, be sure to disconnect the power before you begin. While a lot of electrical systems are really straightforward, you should consult a professional if you are uncomfortable dealing with electricity. After all, your RV is a big investment. 

RV Wiring

RV wiring is relatively easy to navigate. With most RV lights there are only two wires you will have to deal with. One of these wires will be your “hot” wire—meaning the one providing power—and the other will be your neutral one.

  • The Black wire is typically your “hot” wire.
  • The White wire is typically your neutral wire.

4. Removing a Light Fixture

Your current light fixture probably has two screws holding it in place and maybe a set screw. If you are replacing your light fixture, locate these screws. These are sometimes designed into the light, so look closely. Simply remove the screws, fish the wiring through, and you are ready to replace your light.However, if you are replacing puck lights, they are simply installed using a spring hinge or a quarter turn. When you are removing these, first give them a pull down. If you start pulling down and you see some give—before increased resistance—the chances are these are spring hinges. The spring hinge will give way once you pull them a little further. If they do not show signs of pulling away, try to twist them with a medium amount of force. If they are on there with a quarter-turn, then they should release this way.

These Simple Upgrades Can Have Big Results

By simply replacing your lights, you will see a big difference in your RV’s feel. Assuming you don’t want to go with a complete remodel, there are so many things you can do to spruce up your RV for the next trip. Remodels can be postponed for years by making little upgrades over time. Check out some other upgrades to consider before you end up overhauling your RV.

Share Your Upgrades with Us

At Harvest Hosts, we are constantly finding new ways to help the RV community. We do that by offering support to our Members, finding new small businesses to support, and keeping our eyes focused on new adventures down the road. And as a community, we want to hear about your experiences—your journeys, your DIY projects, and your favorite places to visit. Let’s share with each other, so that every RVer can enjoy more and more meaningful experiences on the road.

About Harvest Hosts
Harvest Hosts is a unique RV camping membership that offers self-contained RVers unlimited overnight stays at over 5,634 small businesses across North America with no camping fees. Boondock at farms, wineries, breweries, attractions, and other one-of-a-kind destinations throughout North America, and you’ll get peace of mind knowing that a safe place to stay is always nearby!
Alyssa Chartier-profile-image
Alyssa Chartier
Airstreamer, Camper, Cat Parent, Social Media Marketer