Inexpensive Interior Lighting

Written on 02/27/2021
Abel Longoria

1

Interior lighting in my Vanagon has been a struggle for me. I've always wanted to upgrade my lighting and add more but I haven't been able to decide on any one particular style of LED lighting option. I've probably ordered no less than a dozen different types of LED lighting solutions in order to install but haven't been happy with any of them. I felt I needed something in order to hold me over until I find the perfect solution. Who knows, this may be it.

What I Used

  1. Fulcrum 30016-301 9 LED Anywhere Stick-On Tap Light - 3 Pack (I used 2 Packs)
  2. Fulcrum 30010-301 3 LED Battery-Operated Stick-On Tap Light - 3 Pack (I used 2 Packs)
  3. AmazonBasics AAA Performance Alkaline Batteries - 36-Pack
  4. 3M Scotch RP25 VHB Tape - 1/2 in. x 15 ft Roll

I recently used a friend's Sprinter Van for a road trip and he had these push button LED Lights stuck on to the side walls of the van for interior lighting. The more and more I used them, the more I liked only having to turn on the light(s) I wanted to use one by one instead of all at once. This got me to thinking that these may be a good option for me until I can decide on a more permanent solution.

I ordered 2 packs of the Fulcrum 9 LED Anywhere Stick-On Tap Lights and 2 packs of the Fulcrum 3 LED Battery-Operated Stick-On Tap Lights. I was familiar with the 3 LED Lights but I also wanted to try the 9 LED Lights as well. One thing I didn't realize is that the two different lights are different sizes. The 9 LED Lights are about 4" in diameter while the 3 LED Lights are 2-1/2" in diameter. Not a big deal, but the larger size of the 9 LED Lights do limit me as far as what locations I can place them in.

The larger Fulcrum 9 LED Anywhere Stick-On Tap Lights fit great underneath the spice rack. Place them as far to the inside edge of the rack so they do not interfere with the movement of your curtains along the curtain track. I placed 3 in this location. One just to the rear of the stock light and two in front of it towards the stove and sink. I placed 3 of the smaller Fulcrum 3 LED Battery-Operated Stick-On Tap Lights above the rear bench seat. They're the perfect size to stick to the metal plate that's overhead. All of these lights are stick-ons meaning there is some double stick tape on the back of the lights that you adhere to whatever surface you wish to mount them on.

A more forward view of the living area. The two 9 LED Lights above the galley illuminate the stove and sink very well when the cover is open. You can see the two 9 LED Lights I placed above the front cockpit area of the van. One near the rear view mirror and one near the pop top latch. The one near the pop top latch helps illuminate my Engel Fridge when it's open so it's easy to find what I'm looking for in the middle of the night.

In addition to the three 3 LED Lights I placed over the bench seat, I also placed two 3 LED Lights below the rear overhead cabinet.

These lights under the overhead cabinet are not only good in helping light the van but if for some reason I'm needing to wrench on the engine at night I can have those two lights shine down into the engine compartment. Perfect!

Lesa chose to have a 3 LED Light on the inside of my rear closet cabinet door in order to help her find her clothing at night. We may add a second light to the upper portion of that door as well at one point.

Here's the front cockpit illuminated by two of the 9 LED Lights. They are pretty bright and I thought it would be nice to have some good overhead lighting here in case I need to pull over and read a map to figure out where I'm headed. The little dinky light above the driver's side door does no good for me. This overhead light will help in those situations for sure.

UPDATE: So far the two 9 LED Lights I placed on the headliner didn't adhere well and fell after the first couple of days. I reattached them with some 3M Scotch RP25 VHB Tape so this should do the trick in mounting them. I'll post feedback after a few days of use.

These LED Lights are very inexpensive and have zero drain on your auxiliary battery system. As I mentioned earlier I really like the ability to turn on only what lights I need one by one. Saves me the hassle of wiring several light banks and switches into my auxiliary battery system. I'll give these lights a good testing over the next few weeks and report back as to how long the batteries in these lights actually lasts.

These LED Lights may not be the perfect solution but for now I'm going to run with them and see how they fair on my next road trip. Total "installation" on all of these lights was done in less than 10 minutes. Now that I can get behind! Lol.