Liteco Fixture And Roadtrek Reading Lights

Our 2006 210 Popular has a very nice light fixture over the kitchen sink. It's a Liteco Model 172 (also known as a Optronics Starburst), and it's unique in that it has a two fluorescent tubes and a small 5 watt night light in the same unit. The night light is great for keeping the interior illuminated when you're out at night. It's easy to get back inside and not stumble around in the dark and yet not so bright as to be intrusive.

When the fluorescent portion of the light died we tried to get a replacement. We were out of luck, however, since they were no longer manufactured. There are lots of two tube florescent fixtures but none with a little night light. Initially I disassembled the fixture and repaired the little inverter that is inside the fixture. This little device takes 12 volts DC from the vehicle system and converts it to 120 volts AC that's needed to run fluorescent bulbs. It sort of worked for a year or two but then failed again. I fixed it again but then found a better solution.

In the interim 12" LED tubes became available and they could be used as replacements. They fit in the existing fixture perfectly but are not a strict 1-to-1 replacement since the new tubes require 12 volts DC (and no little inverter!). I got them through Amazon and you can do your own search to find them. Just look for 12" florescent tube LED replacements. The cost is about $16.

Now, you MUST do a few modifications to your fixture to make them work. It's necessary to remove the inverter and do some minor rewiring on the fixture. It's a lot easier than repairing the little inverter. The instructions that came with the unit were easy to follow and it was a 10 minute job including a 5 minute coffee break.

I bought two of them, thinking that I'd replace both of the florescent tubes. However, only one new LED was needed. The light output from one LED tube is at least equal to the output of two fluorescent tubes and two LED tubes creates almost too much light.

The next project was replacement of the reading lights in the rear. The OEM lights were pretty dim and just didn't do the job. I found gooseneck LED lamps designed for RVs from Camping World. These are the Compass Adjustable LED reading lamps with a 12" flexible neck. The Camping World stock number is 84241 and they cost about $49 each. They turned out to be long enough and bright enough to make reading in bed much more comfortable.

Installation was relatively easy. The old eyeball fixtures unscrewed easily but the hole for the old fixture was too big for the new ones. I cut out some 1/4" plywood rings to make a mounting and the result is shown below. Electrical connections were made by wire nuts. The on/off switch is actually on the lens of the lamp: you press it to turn on or off.



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Updated 12/22/19