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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys. I currently have flush mounted tail light lenses in the rear apron on my '34 fiberglass coupe. The boxes behind the lenses contain 2 1157 bulbs on each side. The lenses are the double slot type 6" long. Problem is lights are not bright enough. Looking for recommendations. So far I have thunk of the following options:
1. Replace the 1157s with the "super bright" incandescent bulbs (are they much brighter?)

2. Add 2 more 1157s in each box (I have the room)

3. Replace the incandescent bulbs with 6" LED strips(anybody have a source?)

I don't really want to change the fixture cause these are almost invisible in the black car during the daylight and I like that but I do need brighter lights at night as reported by several of my club members.

Thanks in advance for your ideas.

Bud
 

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The led's are probably the best for brightness.. Sorry to say there is always a tradeoff between looks and performance.. Lots of suppliers now for led lights google is your friend..

Sam
 

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one might want to spend 5 minutes reading the 4 pages of this.. on reflector design of tail lights..

https://optics.synopsys.com/lighttools/pdfs/reflector_design.pdf



guess what. the depth/height of the bulb in the reflector is critical..

want to know what i am talking about.. pickup that mag light with the adjustable focus head... turn the flashlight on.. watch what happens as you screw the reflector and the height of the exposed bulb changes.. the beam width changes...

so.. take some translucent white plastic... make a disc and move it in and out.. deeper into the reflector without a lens.. and farther out.. see where you get the best fill according to the 4 page file above..

an 1/8 of an inch might make the difference you need. you will want to do the same with the bulb.. if possible moving it in and out slightly while its on..

since i have not seen your assembly.. its hard to go any farther.

i hope this helps... i have been reflecting on your post for a few minutes.. perhaps this will illuminate some new ways to the brightest option.. without blinding the poor people in the cars behind you.. needing to put on sun glasses at night when you step on the brakes.


please check the voltage drop on the bulbs also..

lay a single jumper cable on the floor.. hook one end to the negative battery post.. hook the other to a hand held digital voltmeter... set to 20 volts DC.. measure at the ground connection for the bulbs.. post results.. less is better... 0.1 volts perhaps with the stop lights on.. hard to say..

if you are using 1156/1157 style bulbs.. strip and loop then twist a wire around the top of the brass at the base of the globe. extend that to the grounded jumper cable and see if it gets brighter.
 

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led field of view

One thing I have noticed, I pulled up next to a delvery truck on a 4 lane street, When was back a ways I could easily see his blinker, but when I got closer (the way the led tailites were made) the light faded away when I was at a 30 * angle, If you are in traffic wanting to change lanes with that type of led, someone coming up beside you would think you had turned off the blinker and not trying to change lanes,
 

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Like waynep712 stated: "please check the voltage drop on the bulbs also.." With a fiberglass body, where are you getting your tail light bulb(s) GND connections? If at the rear of the car, on the frame, are the connections free of paint/powder coating, with star washers for a good strong bite/connection? In the engine compartment, do you have a GND strap running from the engine to the frame?
With the GND side of any circuit carrying 1/2 the load, always check the GNDs first with any less than optimum circuit operation.
 

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There is a motorcycle tailight bulb that has the same base as 1157 that is a good deal brighter , can't remember the number but it's what I put in my T [41-48 chev. tailights] & they work well [mine have very dark lenses]
dave
I should add that I fabbed polished alum reflectors that helped....
 

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These guys

My '33 has flush taillights. They are bbbright.
They were custom made by Lambert Enterprises LED Taillights
They also made the LED pc board behind the lenses.
LEDs are directional so all the light is concentrated in the desired direction and cutoff angle.
Check out my photo journal.

vicrod
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the replies guys. I checked Lambert Enterprises web site and liked what I saw so I emailed them an inquiry. I'll try to remember to post the outcome. Merry Christmas.

Bud
 
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