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albertj
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PostSubject: Exterior LED lighting   Exterior LED lighting EmptySat Dec 15, 2007 12:04 pm

Well, I tried using LED lighting on various places on my Riv, and changed back to plain old bulbs for the most part. frown The LED lights seem to me not as bright as the regular ones, and sometimes the polarity on the sockets have to be changed.

So today it occurred to me that I just might be doing this LED lighting thing wrong, and I decided to start a thread about it. neutral

Please post information about exterior LED lighting you have actually installed; your installation experience and how you think it ended up looking. And what brand of lighting you used. scratch

And if you ended up removing it, like I did. giveup

Thanks

Albertj


Last edited by albertj on Fri Aug 08, 2008 2:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Exterior LED lighting   Exterior LED lighting EmptySat Dec 15, 2007 12:35 pm

I once spotted some LED drop-in replacements at Autozone about 2 years ago. Like these:

Exterior LED lighting Led_bulbs_2

I purchased three, and replaced the rear passenger side brake and signal lamps. Well, the result was weak light, very focused in one point. It failed to illuminate the lens; reminded me of these Honda Civics on the road with painted lenses, allowing only a dot of light to show.

So I took them back the same day, and never considered trying it again. I suppose there are some better products out now, but my experience is that our lenses were made for incandescent lighting, and mine will probably stay that way.

_________________
'05 GTO 6.0L • 6-spd • 95k miles • 0-60: 4.8s • 16.9 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26

'95 Celica GT 2.2L • 5-spd • 165k miles • 0-60: yes

'98 SC Riviera • 281k miles • 298 HP/370 TQ • 0-60: 5.79s • ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 • 4087 lb • 20.1 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
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^^^ SOLD ^^^ frown

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^^^ SOLD ^^^ frown
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PostSubject: Re: Exterior LED lighting   Exterior LED lighting EmptySat Dec 15, 2007 1:05 pm

dont waste ur money they down work as well as the stockers
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turtleman
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PostSubject: Re: Exterior LED lighting   Exterior LED lighting EmptySat Dec 15, 2007 1:59 pm

those LED bulbs were an awesome idea but they are enormously flawed for most cases. They still emit a concentrated light only directly in front of it, leaving the sides unlit. That simply doesn't cut it for most stock light housings, including ours. They do last much longer, probably longer than the car, and they draw much less power, barely create any heat, which we've seen cause issues in the socket.

I think I might try them on my kawasaki but that's a no-no for the riv
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PostSubject: Re: Exterior LED lighting   Exterior LED lighting EmptySat Dec 15, 2007 2:01 pm

Yes, I get the impresion that the folks makeing these things are tinkers and cobblers, no offense intended, but not engineers and don't have access to what's needed to do it right.

For instance, a laser (like laser pointer) with the right optics would produce more than enough light in a bulb-size package. For the in-line bulbs, some surface-emitting LEDs could be arrayed on a very small substrate.

Oh, well.

Albertj
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turtleman
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PostSubject: no one else did it so I had to - Riv w/ LED tail lights   Exterior LED lighting EmptyMon Jul 28, 2008 1:15 am

Photobucket

Right side - factory style lamps
Left side - LED capsuls

Exterior LED lighting 3de4e5fc

In this picture, you would never even guess it's a Riviera.

I turned down the exposure on the camera for both of these pictures because otherwise, you couldn't see how the LED's make it look at all. This is actually more like what you see in reality.

To my surprise, the LED lights still light up the sides of the lenses just like the factory bulbs do so that's good news.



That's the only video I could take and the sequentials are not working properly because the car is not running and supplying the necessary voltage. I couldn't start the car because it's after 11pm and it's somewhat loud.

I'll probly make another video at some point but that gives you some idea.
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texasfan010
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PostSubject: Re: Exterior LED lighting   Exterior LED lighting EmptyMon Jul 28, 2008 2:38 am

Are the LEDs you used clear? Did you have to use a load equalizer, because LEDs use a lot less wattage? Where did you buy those LEDs from and how much did you give for them?
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PostSubject: Re: Exterior LED lighting   Exterior LED lighting EmptyMon Jul 28, 2008 2:53 am

Very strange, no offense but I'm not a big fan of it. I like the Rivs taillight pattern and the LEDs really take away from it. Plus I didn't like how when you put on the brakes only the inner one lights up. I know from being behind a-holes in Civics and Focuses with those LED taillights, they're hard to see during daylight. Almost rear ended a guy because I couldn't see his LED taillights.
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PostSubject: Re: Exterior LED lighting   Exterior LED lighting EmptyMon Jul 28, 2008 3:02 am

turtle.....i f$%king love them. just to put it out there I was thinking about doing the same thing except I wanted to remove red tail lens and replace them with a clear lens as well as sum of the other suff in the tail light assembly. Sort of like the retro hid conversion, you know projectors, etc.
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Andysdorm
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PostSubject: Re: Exterior LED lighting   Exterior LED lighting EmptyMon Jul 28, 2008 9:13 am

that is different. Almost reminds me of a Supra.

I always wanted to somehow fill in the tailight with an opaque red film so that when the break lights came on, the whole oval would be fully illuminated. Similar the the neon tail of the Mark8 but the whole thing.
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PostSubject: Re: Exterior LED lighting   Exterior LED lighting EmptyMon Jul 28, 2008 9:46 am

Shintsu, only the middle one lit up because he has the sequential signal mod.


Turtleman, you gotta take a picture of the lights on during the day. Also, to answer texasfan, they're red LED's and you should be able to pick them up for $15/pair. I believe the Riv needs 4x 3157 bulbs for the dual filament ones, and 2x 2057 bulbs for the middle, single filament ones.

Not sure about the 2057's, anyone able to clear that up?

Also, yeah, what about that load equalizer thingy? Would the less energy be made up for by my Infinity speakers and HID headlights? You gotta answer some of these burning questions!
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PostSubject: Re: Exterior LED lighting   Exterior LED lighting EmptyMon Jul 28, 2008 10:13 am

Shouldn't they be white LEDs since they are behind a red lens?

I'm not sure how I feel about the look. I kind of like the stuffed full back end lighting... The pinpoint effect from this... I'll have to consider it.

Thanks for doing it, I was always wondering how these bulbs would look...
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Mr.Riviera
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PostSubject: Re: Exterior LED lighting   Exterior LED lighting EmptyMon Jul 28, 2008 10:22 am

i'm on the fence with Derek on this one. i will need to see some daytime pics. also i am guessing you used clear multi LED clusters to help spread the light.
i dont think having reduced pull by the bulbs would be a problem since the tail assembly is probably wired in parallel, but i'm not an electrician.

_________________
1996 with 254k miles, L32 4" FWI -> ported N* -> Ported Gen V w/3.0" Pulley, Stage 3 Phenolic I/C, ZZP FMHE, 1.84 RR, Headers and 3" pipe to mufflers, F-body brakes, and lowered on Eibachs. -RIP
AMG C400 White on black. Stage 2 w/E30 - 11.9@117 -daily
Exterior LED lighting Dsc_0110
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PostSubject: Re: Exterior LED lighting   Exterior LED lighting EmptyMon Jul 28, 2008 10:56 am

I actually did this a while back. It took me 30 secs to realize I didn't like it, so took the LEDs back. It's different for sure, but not for me.

_________________
'05 GTO 6.0L • 6-spd • 95k miles • 0-60: 4.8s • 16.9 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26

'95 Celica GT 2.2L • 5-spd • 165k miles • 0-60: yes

'98 SC Riviera • 281k miles • 298 HP/370 TQ • 0-60: 5.79s • ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 • 4087 lb • 20.1 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley • AL104 plugs • 180º t-stat • FWI w/K&N • 1.9:1 rockers • OR pushrods • LS6 valve springs • SLP headers • ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts • MaxAir shocks • Addco sway bars • UMI bushings • GM STB • Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s • F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus • SS lines • Brembo slotted discs • DHP tuned • Aeroforce • Hidden Hitch

^^^ SOLD ^^^ frown

'70 Ninety-Eight Holiday Coupe 455cid • 116k miles
^^^ SOLD ^^^ frown
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PostSubject: Re: Exterior LED lighting   Exterior LED lighting EmptyMon Jul 28, 2008 11:08 am

It would look good if you put a bunch of tiny LEDs on a board to fill the tailights up, but those single ones don't look proportional.
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PostSubject: Re: Exterior LED lighting   Exterior LED lighting EmptyMon Jul 28, 2008 12:21 pm

I'm not entirely sure how I feel about them yet. I rest well knowing I can reinstall my stock lights any time and these LED's were free. I even have the ones for the 3rd brake light but I'm holding off on those since they are a little more work to put in for me - subwoofer.

I enjoy the way the tail lights look at night, full with the stock bulbs too but it definitelly looks more agressive with the LED's. I'm gonna keep em in for now and see if they grow on me.

Another thing is my left sequencer doesn't seem to be working properly. This was evident long before I got the LED's so I have that to deal with. I like it enough that I would easily make the buy again if they don't warranty it for me.
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turtleman
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PostSubject: Re: Exterior LED lighting   Exterior LED lighting EmptyMon Jul 28, 2008 12:36 pm



The biggest problem I see is lack of definition between the parking beam and stop/turn beam during the day. That's a shame because I think they look really cool on during the day. I may want to do something about that little problem.

I can't really say anything about needing the load equalizer because I have the sequencer which makes it pretty much impossible to use one. The sequencer seems to work the same with the LEDs. If anything, the LEDs should give the SCRs an easier time than the standard bulbs. The sequence of lights is more defined since the LEDs warm up time is much shorter.

I still have not ultimately decided I'm going to keep em but I'm gonna try em out for a while and work with it.
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PostSubject: Re: Exterior LED lighting   Exterior LED lighting EmptyMon Jul 28, 2008 12:40 pm

I like them in the daylight, but you're right about the dim and full brightness levels not being easily distinguishable. I'm seriously considering these though!!
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PostSubject: Re: Exterior LED lighting   Exterior LED lighting EmptyMon Jul 28, 2008 1:08 pm

Turning the Riv' into a big LED zeppelin, eh?

If there were some well made bright LED alternatives, around here, I'd give it a shot, but for now, I'll not risk some poor driver not noticing the faint red lights of the Riviera and taking about a foot off the rear of my car.
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PostSubject: Re: Exterior LED lighting   Exterior LED lighting EmptyMon Jul 28, 2008 1:37 pm

deekster_caddy wrote:

I'm not sure how I feel about the look. I kind of like the stuffed full back end lighting... The pinpoint effect from this... I'll have to consider it....

Fill'er up. yay

When I saw the topic title I thought you might have traced the parimeter with LED's.

Another cool, but difficult, alteration would be to find an angel eye kit that could be mounted in the tailing having the rings act as the lights. At night, you'd get a cool sharp floating ring effect.
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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: Exterior LED lighting   Exterior LED lighting EmptySat Aug 09, 2008 12:05 pm

Hmmm....

THere's a guy, "Chris Bacon" from Higley Arizona, who sells LED bulbs for automotive use that seem to have solved the light pattern and brightness problems:

http://superlumination.com/

I am thinking of geting a set to see if they work. He even has special LED bulbs to replace the center lights on each side in the rear. And he has white LEDs for the interior lights - instrument panel green lights - and more.

What I don't know is if the LEDs are set up to dim properly with the dash dimmer - this is do-able but a neat trick, you'd need to put a driver circuit in each bulb. It would not be that hard - could use the driver chips for bar displays that extend the bar based on voltage; simply set the driver so that the bulb turn on one LED at ~3 V and all of them at ~11, 12 13 or 14 volts. Here is my thinking. When the car is running the alternator is putting out around 14 volts. When the engine is off the battery puts out 12 to 13 volts depending on state of charge and construction. So in designing the LED lights, if the bar display driver approach is used, the designer has to decide which voltage to max out at. Maxing out at ~12 volts (parked w/battery running) would give the least ariation, and would cause a delay in the 'theatre lighting' dimming. Maxing out at ~13 or ~14 volts would generally work but when you're parked you'll only get the 12v level of brightness.

The problems with this is the readily available drivers will work but not consistently - such as the National Semiconductor LM391X series - because they require both a steady 12v and the variable voltage signal to operate. On the other hand, for say a luxury car an inexpensive module could be made that would work just fine - except the LM chips are not rated for operation under 32 deg. F. I've noticed that car manufactuers using LEDs for interior dash illumination are using oscillators to cycle them on and off for dimming. So to get 50% brightness, they turn them on and off with an oscillator. The longer the 'on' part of the cycle, the brigher the LED looks. It's easier to make something like this work over a broader temperature range (down to -25 deg F or so) than it would be to make the LM-type controller work.

Anyway, have a look at the Superlumination site and share your comments/thoughts with us.

Albertj
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PostSubject: Re: Exterior LED lighting   Exterior LED lighting EmptyWed Oct 22, 2008 4:34 pm

I recently saw some LED bulbs with different optics to light the sides. Might try those. Check them out: http://www.superbrightleds.com/cgi-bin/store/commerce.cgi?product=CAR&cart_id=7590807.1602 - they have flashers and right-angle LED bulbs too - have to scroll down all the way to see all the stuff.

What would work for me would be to convert the CHMSL to LEDs. I almost wonder if it's be worth getting a spare CHMSL housing and lens and making up a custom board to do this. I am thinking the flat ones on the superbrightleds site might work.

Hmmm....

Comments?

Albertj
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PostSubject: Re: Exterior LED lighting   Exterior LED lighting EmptyWed Oct 22, 2008 6:32 pm

They are getting out of control
headlights and dome lights now...
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PostSubject: Re: Exterior LED lighting   Exterior LED lighting EmptyWed Oct 22, 2008 6:37 pm

Albert,
Thanks for the light sites. Looking at some for my trailer and motorcycle as well.
prices are very good compared to some of the other stuff I've priced.
Question: CHMSL= what?
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PostSubject: Re: Exterior LED lighting   Exterior LED lighting EmptyWed Oct 22, 2008 9:41 pm

CHMSL = Center High Mounted Stop Lamp.

On the riv it's on the rear shelf behind the headrests, between the speakers. .

Albertj
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