LED bulbs for brakelight/indicator....why use em ?
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  1. #1
    1000+ Posts Beano's Avatar
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    Default LED bulbs for brakelight/indicator....why use em ?

    I am overseas at the moment and on a hot day when my brain was only working at 50%, I bought a pair of LED bayonet-type bulbs suitable for brake / indicator lights, with 9 LEDs in each. They were much cheaper than in Oz, so I bought em.
    But later, I realized that it would be pointless using them as they only give out light in one direction.....straight ahead.....whereas incandescent bulbs give out light almost spherically, so that the reflector beside and even behind them can catch the light and channel it through the plastic lens.

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    So why do some people use them ???

    ( Sigh )....maybe I'll take them apart and use both units in my interior light.....they will definitely give more light than the incandescent bulb, and the plastic lens will heat up less.

  2. #2
    1000+ Posts michaelr's Avatar
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    There are a few reasons to use LED's.

    Firstly as they use less power they reduce the load on the alternator thus improving fuel economy. The lower power drain also reduces the current going through the light switch and wiring prolonging it's life and maybe reducing the chance of fire... especially useful in an old car.

    LED's also produce less heat that an incandescent and so are less likely to cook the tail light lens, again a good idea in an older car.

    Road safety researchers say that the LEDs in brake lights improve safety as they illuminate quicker when turned on giving drivers behind a fraction of a second more warning.

    It seems though that you have the wrong style of LED. There is a dual filament globe that has the multiple diodes in an array that mimics an incandescent globe and so are more suitable for retro fit in lamps designed before LEDs. The ones you described are pretty useless in a parabolic reflector.

    These would work:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails LED bulbs for brakelight/indicator....why use em ?-led-stop-tail.jpg  
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  3. #3
    WLB
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    I'm a big fan of LEDs and have been since they first appeared in the '60s. I use LED festoons in car interior lights because they are brighter and don't cook the lens. They are also very good in trailer light assemblies as they are more durable and the lamp assembly can be sealed.

    But some of the reasons given for their use in cars are a bit theoretical. When they eventually get affordable LED headlights into cars, that will make a difference to alternator load and fuel efficiency, but stop, park and taillights are such a small part of the electrical load on a modern car that you would be hard pressed to notice any fuel savings using LEDs.

    They do light instantly and will beat an incandescent bulb to full brightness by fractions of a second, but if that makes a useful difference to braking response times, then you would be driving too close to the car in front anyway.

  4. #4
    Fellow Frogger! jurgen_s's Avatar
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    if you sand the individual led lights with a fine sand paper they will get a mat finish and that will let them shine in every direction. Done it already several times and works like a charm.
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    all that aside, the reason people put them in is because they are new, and people love new things.

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    Moderator vivid's Avatar
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    And no evidence is left for the crash investigators. By looking at the old style brake filaments, you can tell if the brake lights were on when rear ended. I guess in the future, it will be inevitable all cars will be fitted with black boxes.

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    WLB
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    Quote Originally Posted by vivid View Post
    And no evidence is left for the crash investigators. By looking at the old style brake filaments, you can tell if the brake lights were on when rear ended. I guess in the future, it will be inevitable all cars will be fitted with black boxes.

    David.
    They also measured the skid marks and a lack of them generally indicated that the person didn't brake. Now with ABS, these are eliminated too.



    Quote Originally Posted by jurgen_s View Post
    if you sand the individual led lights with a fine sand paper they will get a mat finish and that will let them shine in every direction. Done it already several times and works like a charm.
    Now that is a good idea - I must try it.


    Quote Originally Posted by alexander View Post
    all that aside, the reason people put them in is because they are new, and people love new things.
    That's the basis of a lot of it. It's funny, but if I use LEDs on a car I prefer to use them for their durability and low heat qualities, and where they aren't necessarily obviously LEDs. I first used them in the late '60s when I modified the instrument panel on my FJ to take oil pressure and temperature gauges, and an ammeter. I fitted a red LED adjacent to each gauge so that the warning lights were retained. Ever since then I've sort of viewed LEDs as DIY things. As a consequence to my eye, cars such as Audis that have rows of "eyebrow" LEDs look cheap and tacky. It's the same with the aftermarket Commodore white eyebrow LEDs and any car where the LEDs can be seen as individual dots behind the rear light lenses.
    Last edited by WLB; 17th June 2011 at 11:39 AM.

  8. #8
    Moderator vivid's Avatar
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    Incidentally, re black boxes, looks like they are going to push to mandate them in all vehicles in the US. http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2011/...s-common-cars/

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    1000+ Posts Beano's Avatar
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    Hey, great idea ! So you sand the tops only ? Or the sides as well ?

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    sand as much as you can and the light will get diffuse
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    Moderator vivid's Avatar
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    Theres a demo on indistructables on sanding LEDs.

    http://www.instructables.com/id/how-to-defuse-an-LED/

    Others have used ping pong balls to diffuse the light, tho too much would be lost. Wonder if some creative use of Perspex could be effective?

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    I was thinking of trying the LED H1 replacement globes in the Fuego fog lights.

    Not sure how bright they will be but the H1 globes tend to melt/damage the globe backing plate due to heat, even with just the stock globes.

    They are a Cibie fog light which makes the design flaw a bit disappointing.

    I'll take some pics when it's done (I'll change one side first and photograph it to see what the difference is)

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    Are you talking about the 68 SMD LED Ebay ones? I have a set of H7 and H1 LED headlight globes. They're about half as bright as the stock H7 globes, but a nice white colour. If you want the fog lights to be white and always on (accessory circuit or similar) for highway safety, that's a good idea. If you want them to actually see kangaroos hiding in the bushes off the road, wait until the propper LED headlights (the $1000 Audi R8 option) are affordable.

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    Replace one side with LED and compare to the incandescent bulb. In some cases the directional light will be a better choice. However, in my C5 wagon the tail lights are not suited to LED because they don't light up along their length.
    Also, I don't advise using a W5W LED for side light (parking light) if it shares the reflector space with a 55W bulb; I melted an LED by using high beam for 20 minutes!

    Oh... and if you replace the number plate lights with LED and then you ask the dealer to replace one of the lens, make sure that you tell them not to change the bloody bulbs too!

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    beware also if you have a car with can bus wiring system to take led's that are adopted to this system or you will have error messages from here 'till kingdom come
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    Quote Originally Posted by mistareno View Post
    I was thinking of trying the LED H1 replacement globes in the Fuego fog lights.

    Not sure how bright they will be but the H1 globes tend to melt/damage the globe backing plate due to heat, even with just the stock globes.

    They are a Cibie fog light which makes the design flaw a bit disappointing.

    I'll take some pics when it's done (I'll change one side first and photograph it to see what the difference is)

    Use HID kits in fog lights much more light much less power required , can get them as H1 for driving lights etc and as twin filiment for head lights with Hi / Low beams.

    Have fitted then to 504 trapisiod lights and Super Oscars .

    On Ebay about $25 ( plus freight ) for a kit that does two lights. Get the 4300K globe unless youy want the blue rice burner look.
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