Airstream LED Light Fix: Quick, Easy & Cheap!

Airstream LED Light FixYou often hear that a fix can be quick and easy, or perhaps inexpensive, but definitely not all three at once. Not this time!

If you are familiar with the LED ceiling lights that are in the modern Airstreams, you may also be familiar with the stark daylight-blue temperature they emit. I haven’t written about color temperature yet here on this blog – which is actually surprising. I’m pretty sensitive to light variations, and often wear “computer” eyeglasses (with a yellow tint to counteract the blue), as well as run software that alters the color temperature on my computer (f.lux is awesome for this).

Ah, but back to the topic at hand. Our Airstream came with super bright LED lighting which is both awesome, and terrible. It has been a bit like living in an alien spaceship. It was just so bright and… blue. During the daytime it was tolerable, but come evening, wow. I just wanted to cower in a corner and pull a blanket over my head.

Thankfully, the couple over at Aluminarium have dealt with this issue and shared their fix! We went down the same road as them, purchasing some lighting gels from Stage Spot in a few variations to try. If we had attempted to replace the LED lights, that would be shockingly expensive, but by adding some simple lighting gels, it’s pretty cheap to purchase a few different ones to see which ones would work best for us. So, we did.

After trial and error, we actually chose the same color as Aluminarium: Color Marlene (506) from Lee (you can find it here).

Working with gels is a really easy thing to do. In rather lucky fashion, we had a vitamin bottle with a lid that was the exact same size as our LED lights (lens), so we traced a bunch, cut them out, and the popped out the lens and inserted the gel. Voila! Our Alien spaceship instantly turned into a cozy home where I can comfortably spend my time. The gel does reduce the brightness by quite a bit, but there are 14 LED ceiling lights. Yes, 14. Then there are 4 LED task lights around the couch, and a few more around the bed. THEN, there are the lights that look like car dome lights (used for the photo above, and for cutting the gels – see how bright that single light is?). Seriously, lack of light in an Airstream is not an issue. It’s well worth the time and effort to add a filter! Oh, and the cost of this improvement was $7.25! Kind of hard to believe isn’t it?

Camp Crashing

October at KOA Asheville West
The view from KOA Asheville West – October 2015

Have you ever crashed a wedding? Hmm, me neither. But lately I have been cramp crashing! Specifically, I’ve been living at a campground while we wait for our house to sell, surrounded by other people who are truly camping. It’s an interesting experience, and apparently a life-hack.

Feeling stressed? Tired? Worn out, and in need of a vacation? Surround yourself with others who are on vacation and the vibes carry over. Maybe it’s just walking past people’s campfires at night, but it’s a pretty neat trick! I don’t know what it is about campfires, but they seem to create happy, relaxed feelings. Is it just me?

This morning I awoke feeling stressed about work, and the remaining things we have left to remove from the house before we transition to completely full-time RV living. And then, I opened the window shades in our Airstream and remembered. I’m at a campground, and it’s a holiday weekend! Our “neighbor” has festive lights hanging from his RV awning and I remembered where I am and what I’m doing here. And I smiled. Life is really good. As Ferris Bueller said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”