So I've had this plan for a while, to replace every single incandescent interior lamp with some alternative lighting source, be it LED'* or cold cathode flourescent lamps. What happened is that I purchased 10 super bright white 16,000mcd 8mm LED'*
for the four overhead reading lights (three in each of the two front ones, two in each of the rears...may increase these numbers), four 4" CCFL'* for each of the doors, and six 12" CCFL'* for the floor lighting (will actually add one more pair). Total cost: about $100US.
The plan was to install the whole shebang over spring break, but as luck would have it, I was bedridden the entire time and got essentially nothing done. Owing to my schedule (you know, trying to graduate and everything), I probably won't finish the job till summer, but in the meantime, I thought I'd show you guys a little preview of what I did
finish, which was the 12" CCFL floor lights, and how they compare to the stock tungsten bulbs. The way I arranged them is there is a lamp underneath the dash for the driver and front passenger. Then there are two lamps under each seat, one at the front and one at the rear to further illuminate the floor. I plan to order another pair to install on the leading edge of the rear seats for a little more illumination, for a total of eight tubes.
Most of the images I've seen around the net did not show empirical results (if you could even call mine "emipirical"), so I wanted pictures with a point at which you can gauge relative brightnesses of what you already know and the "improved" version. Most other sites just take a picture of the light and say, "look at how bright it is!" but it'* meaningless since you don't know the camera'* exposure information, nor is it compared to any other sort of light.
So, let'* get to it:
Both shots were taken on a Canon EOS 10D with a Sigma 17-35mm f2.8-4 EX Aspherical HSM lens.
Settings: 8 second shutter @ f/11.0, daylight white balance, ISO100. Settings were identical between both shots, taken an a Slik VF800 tripod, in the Richardson parking lot at Rutgers University.
As you probably noticed, the upper lamps have not been replaced, therefore you see a nice, white light from the CCFL'* while the orange tinge of the tungsten bulbs falls on the seats and steering wheel. The 10D'* sensor has amazing dynamic range, yet it still shows the CCFL'* as being much brighter than they really are. You might probably think that going with eight tubes in the car is a bit of overkill, but I assure you that it is actually a very even, soothing light - far superior to the tungsten incandescents the car is equipped with. Also, keep in mind that the lamps as they are in these photos HAVE NO REFLECTORS ON THEM, so the lamps under the dash are bouncing off black plastic, and the lamps on the floor are bouncing off carpet. Expect intensity to improve once I get some aluminum sheeting underneath them. And in case anybody was wondering, the engine was running the entire time, so these lamps can withstand 14V no problem.
That'* basically all I have in terms of that. I took some more photos while I was out there, so I thought I'd share them here anyway:
Tweeter from my Pioneer TS-C1653 component set (will post info as soon as I get more pictures on it).
Wish I had the SSEi speedometer...
SE just look so wimpy compared to SSE(i) gauges. Running a little warm there (but most of it is due to parallax)