Thursday, February 6, 2014

DIY: Replacing the Reading Light Halogen Bulb with LED

Agile's reading lights (Amazon link: Arcon Swivel Halogen Light) uses a halogen bulb, to save energy, I replaced them with an LED bulb. You need a G4 LED bulb replacement with extended back pins for proper fitment.

SailorSam has the G4 LED's with the extended back pins, link here: SailorSam G4 LED with Extended back pins. They run for about $14 to $26 a pop, they are good quality LED's with voltage regulation and transient suppressors to protect from current overload and voltage spike. It can be a little expensive if you needed to change all 4 reading lights to LED.

I found G4 LED's on EBay (G4 LED bulb 12-5050 SMD) which is a lot cheaper for about $2.60 a piece with free shipping. Although, the EBay LED's does not have the fancy voltage regulation and such, and not to mention it has shorter back pins. I just changed the shorter back pins to longer pins, saving me some money for a little work, not bad in my opinion.

To change the halogen bulb, you need to pop-off the light fixture lens cover. There are 2 small plastic tabs that hold the lens in place. You need to be extra careful in removing the lens as the plastic tabs are fragile and can easily break off. Once you pinpoint the location of the tabs, a small flat screwdriver can be used to gently pry them off from the base.

Plastic tabs location on the lens cover.
Round G4 LED bulb, EBay spec. is listed as 30mm diameter,  I measured 31mm but it should be ok.
Using a Coax cable (RG-59) inner copper core for the extended back pins.
Short back pins removed/desoldered.
New longer back pins soldered in place.
I decided to cover the upper half of the pins to prevent it from possible shorting against the metal light reflector located behind the bulb. The back pins cover/ support is made from a ballpoint pen plastic casing.
Back pins casing/support filled with hot glue. I made few extra as backup.
Current draw is 151 milliamp at ~ 12.6 volt. It has cooler white light at about 6500K which I prefer for reading. I had them for couple of months now without problems.

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