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  #31 (permalink)  
Old 02-03-2012, 11:09 PM
Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
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Here is a discussion on the subject when I brought it up a while ago.
So what updates on lights have you guys done?

And here is what I came up with. Personally, unless you spend a bunch of money and get some super trick stuff you will end up wasting your time. I gave up and put the reflectors.
"Basics of Basics" Taillamp reflector retrofitting

As far as the head lights, depending on where you drive regular old sealed beams are plenty. But that's just me. I drive my car every single day and with street lights, you honestly don't need anymore. My concern was more about being seen, HID or sealed beam, from the front you are going to be seen so from the rear was my big worry. I am going to add a little more but the reflectors in the lights and adding a little strip reflector tape to the bumper made a HUGE difference. I was just literally out side with a flash light (while I was typing this post my cat brought in a Vole!) and from WAY down the street the flash light lit up the reflector tape on the back of my bumper BIG TIME. I am really impressed with that stuff.


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  #32 (permalink)  
Old 02-03-2012, 11:12 PM
Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
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I did send my Superbrite LED lights back for a full refund.

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  #33 (permalink)  
Old 02-04-2012, 04:46 AM
Semper Gumby
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A couple of things to remember:

1) These things are DIODES - not light bulbs

As a diode they will pass current in only one direction. This is especially important in terms of circuit grounds. A bulb does not care which way the current flows - when it flows the resistance in the filament causes it to get so hot it glows and gives off some light - voila!

The diode on the other hand can only pass current one way. So you will sometimes get a situation where a bulb will work, but not a diode. (Problems arise most often in cases where you have TWO wires- one is ground, one is "hot") Reverse the wires, it should work!

2) As a Diode, they have nearly zero resistance. So, your turn signal flasher simply WILL NOT work. In Bob's case, when he had the bulbs in the front and diodes in the back, there was enough resistance in the circuit for the flasher to work. When he then put diodes up front as well - v low resistance and no flash!

Adding resistance makes the flashers work, but sorta negates one of the advantages of the LEDs - namely the very low current draw!

3) As Brian found out - there is a BIG drawback to most LEDs. They are purely directional! A bulb gives off light in all directions, and so a GOOD reflector is a requirement for good visibility. The reflector "fills the housing with light" and makes it possible to see the light from many angles.

Nearly every LED "bulb" has the LEDs facing straight out. (or straight out to the sides in many cases!) Nothing shines onto the reflector. The light all goes straight ahead (a bit "laser-like") and unless your eye is in the direct path of that light, you won't see very much of it! If someone made a superbrite LED that was globular, shining in all directions, then, with a GOOD reflector (thank-you Brian - excellent idea!) you could have really good tail-lights.

So- why go to LEDs at all?

Some LEDs can be VERY bright- not a bad plan - esp for those of us who have cars with small tail lights!

Yes, there are SUPER bright bulbs you can get. Those draw a LOT of power, overload circuits etc, and melt plastic lenses. LEDS draw "next to nothing" for power consumption and run cool.

Now if someone would make an 1157 replacement that is a truly globular LED cluster and has 2 or 3 times the light output of an 1157......

In the meantime, if you want LEDs, the only real option is to get the ones that replace your entire tail-light with ones that are all-in-one lens and LEDs.

And remember that you will need to add resistance to the circuit. Using a flasher that can work with LEDs won't solve the cruise control issue.

In terms of HID headlights - pretty much everything has been covered on here already - but I "think" (please correct me if I am wrong on this) that nearly every aftermarket conversion kit is low beam only. I seem to remember reading somewhere that there is a 'warm-up" time on HIDs that makes it impossible to switch back & forth from a low beam to a high beam.

European OEMs have a different way to get around that, but it is expen$ive!

Last edited by Dave57210; 02-04-2012 at 04:58 AM.
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Old 02-04-2012, 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Motochris
Safety is not a fad. More light is safer..plain and simple. Not to mention..they give out MORE light with LESS current draw than a halogen, which is better as well.
Do you not wear seat belts because you are afraid of being trapped in them... or you want to be thrown free in an accident? Those are the excuses made by people that thought seat belts were a fad too.
(ps..who tints their windshield? )

how praytell are they safer, when the vehicle coming the otherway is blinded and can't see ****,, yagreat for you, you light up the sky like its daylight..
me the car coming the otherway can't see anything..
nevermind they are illegal if used without the correct lens.. and unless the retro kit makes the lights on his 38 adjustable. so he can aim them..
it'll be 1)unsafe and 2) illegal in most states..
for the same reason you can't drive around with off road lights on, some states you have to have them covered or they can ticket you..
your post about the 2 different lights and how ones brighter than the other, is useless here, as you where use'n them off road, and I'm willing to bet they where offroad lamps.. not a street convertion lamp..
I for one am sick of being blinded by these things..
the projector lens works on new cars because the reflector is 3" round if that.. in a 7" reflector.. you might as well, mount to spot lights to the nose.
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