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Old 06-27-2010, 11:37 AM   #1
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Group,

Since clearing lenses seems to be a popular right of passage here, I'm wondering what thoughts there might be amongst you, on going in the opposite direction - to enrich and emphasize the colors that are there, in the front and rear light assemblies (turn signals, brake lights, etc.)

For my 2004 Bonneville SE, I'd like to replace every external bulb possible, with the absolute brightest, richest, most intensely colored LED units I can find, each in the appropriate color for the lens it sits behind - red LED'* behind red lenses, yellow behind yellow, white behind white, and so on.

I plan on using Autolumination as my primary source for the LEDs (http://www.autolumination.com/), and I realize I'll need to replace the turn signal relay with a solid-state unit such as this unit, from Grote Industries - http://grote.com/product.php?product_number=44090

Do any of you know if there would be concerns with the ECU thinking there are problems, or other unexpected consequences of swapping out the incandescents for LEDs? Would these concerns be correctable?

Does anyone know whether simple wattage ratings are the best indicator to select which LEDs might be the brightest for a given bulb size and application such as I describe, when ordering "sight unseen", online? Other than wattage, I don't see the units listed with any kind of light-output measurement such as candlepower, or lumens. If anyone has used these LEDs, would you recommend specific part numbers for any particular lens?

Might there be any legal issues with super-bright LEDs used in the manner I have in mind?

Am I forgetting any other components that might need replaced, to compensate for the LEDs? I'm looking for direct-plugin LED types, nothing that requires swapping out the actual sockets.

Thanks so much in advance, everyone!

Ken
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Old 06-27-2010, 12:16 PM   #2
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I used to have LED bulbs in my tail lights, the problems I had were that they weren't very bright. One other major problem was that with my parking lights on when I hit the brakes there wasn't a very big difference in the brightness of the bulbs so people didn't know I was stopping, I think the center brake light saved my rear end from being smashed. Same problem with the turn signals, they weren't very bright and I had people tell me that they could barely see my turn signal. Instead of replacing the flasher you can get a large resistor to make the car think that there is still a normal bulb since LEDs use very little current
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Old 06-27-2010, 12:17 PM   #3
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I forgot to ask before, where is NE Ohio are you from? I'm in Broadview Heights
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Old 06-27-2010, 12:38 PM   #4
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Crunkfrunk,

Load resistors are typically used, one per bulb, to ensure the circuit draws sufficient amperage to trigger the mechanical relay used in a typical flasher. The current draw of the load resistor (or of a standard incandescent bulb) ensures the bi-metalic mechanical component of a typical flasher is heated enough to "warp" and break contact, shutting off the bulbs. When that component cools enough to return to it'* original shape, it reestablishes contact and restores power to the lamp circuit. Instead of splicing in a load resistor for every LED bulb, it'* far easier, with far less labor involved, and cheaper, to simply replace the mechanical relay with a solid-state unit, rather than slicing in 4 load resistors for the turn signals. The solid state units simply time the application of power on and off, so many times per second, regardless of the load from the bulbs. (And, they work with incandescents, as well.) I realize I would sacrifice a visual indication of a bulb burn out, since the dashboard turn signal indicator would continue to flash, even if all 4 turn signal bulbs burned out, but LEDs dont fail that often, and an occasional walk-around (such as when washing the car) would reveal if a bulb was out.

I'm not sure that I would agree that LEDs cant be bright enough to serve as replacements for incandescent bulbs. All the new vehicles are coming from the factory these days with LED lights, and owning no fewer than 4 high intensity Surefire LED Flashlights (120 Lumens each, from just 3 123 batteries) assures me that LED technology has sufficiently advanced to make this an option. However, putting the stock incandscent bulbs back in place (without having to remove load resistors in the process), to restore things back as they are, would be simple, if needed.

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Old 06-27-2010, 12:41 PM   #5
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Oh, and I'm in the Cuyahoga Falls area.
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Old 06-27-2010, 12:47 PM   #6
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Ah yes I couldn't think of the name, I like the look on the newer cars but my problem was that I couldn't find good bulbs (at a fair price) that were a good suited replacement, I tried two different places and neither worked to my liking

If you get them to all work I would love to replace mine because I love the look, right now I just have LEDs in the side markers of the tail lights (194 bulbs) but I would like to have LEDs in every tail light socket
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Old 06-27-2010, 01:16 PM   #7
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Yep. Realizing there are many bulb design options to choose from, that'* why I'm posting here, to determine which units are the most intense, and best suited to the intended purpose. If you take a look at just the number of 1156/1157 options, you'll see there are a dozen LED bulb design options.

An installed bulb will have the "top" of the unit facing other drivers. You can see that the available designs not only have different numbers of total LEDs on a given assembly, but that they also have differing numbers of LEDs on the "top" of the unit (the part of the assembly that will be facing other drivers). And some put all their individual LEDs along the sides, with none on the "top". It is likely that designs of the same total wattage/output may have a different "perceived" brightness to other drivers, depending upon whether a good number of LEDs are mounted on the "top" of the assembly, versus a high number of LEDs just along the sides of the assembly, which thus depend upon reflection from the silvered reflective surfaces within the stock Pontiac light housings.

There'* also the question of how a given bulb design may apply the concepts of dual-intensity, such as with an 1157. For example, would an assembly running as a tail light merely illuminate half it'* LEDs, and lighting the other half when the brakes are applied? Or do they light just the additional LEDs on the "top" of the assembly? And so on. I can imagine engineers doing all kinds of configurations.

All of these factors come into play when selecting the LEDs. There may very well be differences between actual brightness, and "apparent" brightness, in addition to the perceived difference between the taillight and brakelight modes. I'd love to find a local source for some LEDs, with a good selection of designs, all with push-button "try me" buttons to see how they appear, before purchasing.
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Old 06-27-2010, 01:23 PM   #8
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I wish I could try them out too, because I'm looking at $105 just for the LEDs and a new flasher, they have them on autolumination for $15, you want EP28

I might also order 2 strobe modules to have some cool effects
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Old 06-27-2010, 01:38 PM   #9
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This is the setup another member here is running, and I plan on mirroring it with the addition of these for my tail/brake lights.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SAMzGXP
Front turn signals

Read turn signals

Reverse light

Licence Plate & Passenger side storage compartment i wouldnt take a chance on buying something else for the licence plate light because i had 2 different ones and they didnt fit

Interior dome/map lights you will need 4 for the roof and 2 for the floor right next to your feet, the floor ones you have to solder a wire on the end of it to hang the bulbs. once you remove the bulbs you will understand what im talking about

Trunk light

Sun Visor this will blind the **** out of you at night when you first open it.. its nice though lol

Load equalizer needed when installing LED bulbs in front ONLY OR rear turn ONLY turn signals, you must tab it next to each bulb

Load equalizer needed when installing LED bulbs in front AND rear turn turn signals, you must tab it next to bulb on the front or back i tabbed it to the back and used double sided tape to mount it on the body of the car, this way when you open the hood it doesnt show

keep in mind that some bulbs are sold as a pair and some are sold as singles, so keep yours eyes open
Hopefully i didnt forget anything, if i did let me know.
Again, this is not the only option, its just what i used and im more than satisfied with it
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Old 06-27-2010, 01:41 PM   #10
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Well, at this point, I'm not considering any kind of strobe or other effects, but LEDs do make those kinds of things possible. Right now, I'm just looking to accent my lights a bit, without clearing the lenses, or trying to convince cops that my strobes are only for show... "Honest, officer, I don't drive with the strobes on". LOL I'm just looking more for the "oh, that'* kinda different!" reaction.

Here'* a good visual discription of what I was talking about earlier, about how many LEDs are "forward-facing" on a given LED assembly design, versus how many are along the sides of the assembly. This, I'm sure, has a huge bearing on whether an assembly of a given wattage might "appear" bright enough to another driver... http://autolumination.com/matrix.htm
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