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  #1  
Old 02-23-2012
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MRPutz MRPutz is offline
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Default LED - rvLEDbulb - A company review




Neutek-USA, LLC


dba rvLEDbulb; A Company Review



On Wednesday the 15th of February, Michael Putz and Rob Robinson toured the rvLEDbulb facility that makes the ThinLUX product line and met with the owner, Kelly Walterscheid. They supply quality, American made LED products to distributors and retailers around the world. They offer;

Economy of scale (less LEDs equals cheaper cost)
Durability (heat sinks, Lexan anti-yellowing enclosures)
Longevity in design
5/16” copper plate heat sinks on ThinSun 20Volt Led
Mil spec
High quality product lines; ZipLED, ThinSUN, NexLED, fLEDescent, ThinLUX, NightBlaster
Local manufacturing - “Made in America”
Customers include; SRPnet.gov, Legacyaz.com, autosafetyhouse.com, Intel,com, Praxair.com

Shane Fedeli, Michael Putz, and Rob Robinson all purchased several off shore brands and within 6 months many of the fixtures had failed. In one case one even melted under continual use in a bullet light. The following websites all sell ThinLUX LEDs;

http://www.prudentrver.com An Arizona LED Retailer

http://www.stairlightingsystem.com Indoor & Outdoor LED Solutions

http://rvledbulb.com Original RV LED Bulb since 2002

http://scorpionhunter.com/ UV LED Technology


Quartzsite 2010; We began our experimentation with LED lighting. We bought bayonet style ceiling lights from Mr Woo a vendor just outside the big tent. Bottom line….they began to fail within months. Shane’s flickered when the voltage exceeds 13.4 and Rob’s started burning out individual LEDs around month 3. Michael had one that even melted! These were not inexpensive lights and as we recall we paid around $17 each. Thankfully we only bought a few as we considered this a trial.

Now a year later we’ve compared our experiences and we continued to search for a better product by looking at warranties. When we came across rvLEDbulb with their lifetime warranty we decided to give them a try. Rob purchased two of their LED replacements for the Halogen G4’s. We were very impressed to see they were brighter than the halogens and operated at 1.8W compared to 10W. Over time Rob became cautiously optimistic that perhaps they also had some longevity as well. It’s been 1-1/2 years now and to our eyes we cannot see any difference between them and the additional 8 Rob just purchased last month. Michael had similar luck with their Bullet light bulbs as well.

As pleased as we are with the product we decided to see the factory. Rob contacted Michael Putz as he knew Michael had been discussing volume discounts by leveraging the Wanderlodge Owners Group with the owner, Kelly. Rob was vacationing in Arizona and called Michael to see if we could set up a meeting. Wednesday Feb 16 we pulled into rvLEDbulb for a very informative three hour tour hosted by the owner Kelly Walterscheid.

Let me say first off that Kelly is very passionate about what he does. He is totally absorbed in the LED world and how he can make a better light. He reminds us of the folks at Fantastic Vent who warranty their Fantastic Fan for life. His production philosophy all centers around longevity and light output. He buys the best materials available and then in-house engineers systems to last longer through superior voltage/current/temperature regulation, heat sink technology, and mechanical protection such as his Lexan water-proof housings.

Some of his products have been produced to military specifications and deployed in theatre. This visit was a collaboration between Rob Robinson and Michael Putz and since Michael has an Electro-Mechanical Manufacturing background with Motorola we have left it to him to describe the wiggly amp portion of this article.

Over to you Michael.

One of the first things that caught my eye was his construction materials. He was using copper tubing to assembly his product on. Not the most economical decision I thought but what a heat sink! Inside the bayonet 15mm base sets an active
regulator.


The regulators are actual ICs and are not only voltage/current regulated but thermal as well. Kelly mentioned the voltage spikes from switches; alternators, water pumps, leveling pumps, etc. can all cause dangerous spikes that can ruin LEDs. However, with adequate regulation his product does not suffer from these types of failures. The care and detail put into his product and design is impressive and not seen in most other products.

When I toured his factory he had ASU students all working for him manually constructing every product. There was no fancy factory assembly line pumping out product 1000’s of units per hour. Every product was constructed by hand with a lot of attention to detail.


Kelly showed me the strip lighting and I thought, “How does this product heat sink itself”? The junction temperatures must be heat sunk when you have such high outputs. He smiled and had me pick up a roll of China LED product. Then he had me pick up a roll of his product…. Wow. It felt a lot heavier! The traces in the LED strip itself have so much more material that it is used to heat sink the product. Because of this you can cut this material every 1” in length without issues, can’t do that with other products.


Kelly also makes sure the product lives up to his high standard specs. If you compare specs on his product vs the competition you’ll be very surprised. Unlike most products I’ve seen he actually lists specs. He runs regulators on his entire product line. Most are on external active components but he also has an on strip regulator too for those special installs! Look at the cheap stuff then look at his, those are not resistors but active components right on the strip.


Here’s one of Kelly’s new products called ThinSUN. It is a very bright LED that is actually made up of many smaller LEDs.


The unit is internally regulated to handle voltages up to 28+v. The amazing thing is it will also handle voltages all the way down to 4v. The internal regulator will adjust and the unit will draw more amps at lower voltages to keep lit. Other product will merely quit working as most aren’t really regulated at all but simply use dropping resistors to help limit the current. However, limiting and controlling are definitely two different things.




Bottom line is that Kelly’s Engineering background from Intel sure hasn’t hurt him any. And he gives great thought into his product. He knows that performance and repeat customers are the key to success. He’s won contracts with many tool companies due to his innovated product line.

I think his Customer Policy covers it;

If there is a problem, we will make it right. Period. Our customers are top priority.

And now a blurb from Kelly;

All of our products are made in USA and lab safety tested whenever possible! Most notably we were among the first companies to design with modern flat surface mount technology (SMT) years ahead of the industry. We are currently into our 5th generation LED technology. Always fully protected Amps, Volts, Temperature, and Best-in-Class ANSI white hues. In fact, we are one of only a few LED companies that recognize how to reproduce the same "color matched" white hue every time for a beautiful consistent illuminated RV interior--no matter how long it’s been since your last purchase.

Above and beyond, we also utilize extreme thermal cooling in our designs, similar to our peers in the industry that manufacture "fan-less" solid billet aluminum computer laptops and notepads. Our experience and reliability knowledge is backed with a Lifetime Warranty. We expect no less, and neither should you since properly designed LED Luminaries should and will operate over a lifetime of 50,000+ hours.


Rob Robinson, Michael Putz, Shane Fedeli


Here are additional pictures of his products;




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78FC35SB & 83FC35SB Wanderlodge - "Putz'n Around"
'90 GL1500 Goldwing | '67 VW Rail | '82 CJ5 Jeep
eMail=Mike.Putz@cox.net | Web=http://mikeputz.com/
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  #2  
Old 02-23-2012
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RGloverii RGloverii is offline
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EXCELLENT writeup guys!
Very informative. For my next LCD upgrades, I'm going to have to try Kelly's products.
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  #3  
Old 02-23-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RGloverii View Post
EXCELLENT writeup guys!
Very informative. For my next LCD upgrades, I'm going to have to try Kelly's products.
Thanx Robert,

In fact we're working on that now. Being a manufacturer they're not really into the "retail" business. However, we met Kelly (the owner) several times over the years at the Quartzsite RV Show and since I live near his facility and bug him often he has aggreed to a big one time volume discounted purchase.

So I'm starting to take orders on these (no money yet) to get the numbers we need to make the purchase. So far we have;

2x FLD-18 - Rob Robinson - 99LXI - Victoria, British Columbia
8x FLD-12 - Michael Putz - 78FC35 - Mesa, AZ
6x FLD-12 - Shane Fedeli - 85PT40 - Hershey, PA - (Indirect lighting)
5x FLD-18 - Shane Fedeli - 85PT40 - Hershey, PA- (direct lighting)
6x FLD-12 - John Dougherty - 78FC31 - Phx, AZ
1x FLD-18 - John Dougherty - 78FC31 - Phx, AZ
2x FLD-12 - Terry Angleino - 87PT40 - Overton, NV

ALSO.. Kelly informed me the price he quoted on the B15.RV3.VV is a "Q" special price so we need to get our order in and he'll tool up to make them. Once done they will not be available until he gets another quantity and he won't match this price!

So far we have;

· 10 - rtpn60 - Michael Putz - 78FC35 - Mesa, AZ
· 16 - bloomas - Bob Loomas - 85PT36 - Harahan, LA - PAID
· 10 - Curt Sprenger - 87PT38 - Anaheim Hills, CA - PAID
· ?? - Kathleen Green - SOB - Phoenix, AZ
· ?? - EX18 - Jed Fisher - 85PT36 - Phoenix, AZ
· 10 - Freewheel2008 - Bob Griesel - 84FC31 - WA
· 12 - waddawander - Jeff Averyt - 86FC35 - Peoria, AZ
· 10 - John Dougherty - Phx, AZ - Check in the Mail
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Michael & Tami Putz
78FC35SB & 83FC35SB Wanderlodge - "Putz'n Around"
'90 GL1500 Goldwing | '67 VW Rail | '82 CJ5 Jeep
eMail=Mike.Putz@cox.net | Web=http://mikeputz.com/
Solar = https://www.solarpenny.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=257

FMCA #236459, Good Sam #17270530, Vintage Birds #1509
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Old 02-23-2012
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If I could figure out what to order, I would join in. Is there anywhere that shows a table of equivilancies?
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Old 02-23-2012
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MRPutz MRPutz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inflt View Post
If I could figure out what to order, I would join in. Is there anywhere that shows a table of equivilancies?
UPDATE - I installed a single strip into the single 18" fixture and the lumens are about 1.5-2x brighter than OEM. His fluorescent solution uses 40lm per inch strips! So we can cut that down tremendously and save big bucks. I tried the 18" over the sink and it is VERY bright. I cut one down to 15" for the bathroom, and again PLENTY bright. So I'm thinking 12" for the other fixtures (living room, bedroom, kitchen table, entry way) would be fine.

My proposal currently is to use his FLD-12 solution for 2 single bulb 18" fixtures. The 12" strip will put out 480 lumens @ 6 watts. So when we purchase his FLD-12 solution it will supply 2 fixtures. Normal cost is $55 for the kit, we can get 30% off with 30+ or more ordered so the net cost would be $38.50. Since we can cover 2 fixtures our net cost is $19.25 per fixture.

I'm also suggesting using one 18" strip for the 24" fixtures and two 18" strips for the 48" fixtures.


So, here's the breakdown;

1 - FLD-12 for every two 18" single bulb fixtures ($19.25/fixture)

1 - FLD-18 for every two 24" single bulb fixtures ($26.25/fixture)

1 - FLD-18 for every 24" dual bulb fixture ($52.50/fixture)

1 - FSL-18 for every 48" single bulb fixture ($52.50/fixture)

ALSO.. Kelly informed me the price he quoted on the B15.RV3.VV is a "Q" special price ($18) so we need to get our order in and he'll tool up to make them. Once done they will not be available until he gets another quantity and he won't match this price! So far we have;

· 10 - rtpn60 - Michael Putz - 78FC35 - Mesa, AZ
· 16 - bloomas - Bob Loomas - 85PT36 - Harahan, LA - PAID
· 10 - Curt Sprenger - 87PT38 - Anaheim Hills, CA - PAID
· ?? - Kathleen Green - SOB - Phoenix, AZ
· ?? - EX18 - Jed Fisher - 85PT36 - Phoenix, AZ
· 10 - Freewheel2008 - Bob Griesel - 84FC31 - WA
· 12 - waddawander - Jeff Averyt - 86FC35 - Peoria, AZ
· 10 - John Dougherty - Phx, AZ - Check in the Mail


Need to get more orders AND I need payment for these!
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78FC35SB & 83FC35SB Wanderlodge - "Putz'n Around"
'90 GL1500 Goldwing | '67 VW Rail | '82 CJ5 Jeep
eMail=Mike.Putz@cox.net | Web=http://mikeputz.com/
Solar = https://www.solarpenny.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=257

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Last edited by MRPutz; 02-23-2012 at 12:43 PM. Reason: Added bulb info
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Old 02-24-2012
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Is there a deadline? I need to go take some measurements and pull a couple of fixtures off the ceiling in my RoadTrek -- I'd like to convert to LED both for lower power consumption and for better lighting.
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  #7  
Old 02-24-2012
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MRPutz MRPutz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peteaeonix View Post
Is there a deadline? I need to go take some measurements and pull a couple of fixtures off the ceiling in my RoadTrek -- I'd like to convert to LED both for lower power consumption and for better lighting.
Pete,

First deadline is for the bullet fixture bulbs. I need to close that order in the next week.

The fluorescent strips we have some time.

I'll post pics of the product, install, and comparison of the FLD12 in a standard 18" fixture this weekend. I'll make sure to take a pic showing the 12" of LEDs and the standard 18" tube in the same shot for comparison.
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78FC35SB & 83FC35SB Wanderlodge - "Putz'n Around"
'90 GL1500 Goldwing | '67 VW Rail | '82 CJ5 Jeep
eMail=Mike.Putz@cox.net | Web=http://mikeputz.com/
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Old 02-24-2012
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would his product cover my need for 28v tailight replacements? boy what a score that would be!
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Old 02-24-2012
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Sorry, Kelly is not in the DOT business... yet..

Shall I ask him on this one?
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78FC35SB & 83FC35SB Wanderlodge - "Putz'n Around"
'90 GL1500 Goldwing | '67 VW Rail | '82 CJ5 Jeep
eMail=Mike.Putz@cox.net | Web=http://mikeputz.com/
Solar = https://www.solarpenny.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=257

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Old 02-25-2012
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JackandLiz JackandLiz is offline
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Howdy.
So these devices could be a substitute for that crummy fluorescent light fixture over the kitchen sink, right?

Regards,
Liz
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