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Nov 07, 2007, 07:53 PM
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Anyone use LED lights for the tail-lights of their car?


Hey everyone,

I've been wanting LED tail lights for my car for a while now. They use less power, they light up faster (therefore safer), and they look cool But, there are so many kinds available! (See some pictures below.)

So, I was just wondering if anyone uses these and can tell me about them. I think I'd prefer the ones that have LEDs that fire in all directions, but don't know if that's necessary?

Any/all advice/comments appreciated!
Nov 07, 2007, 08:10 PM
Go get them Meg!
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I am about to replace all the marker lights in my car with the white LED analogs. I have seen it on other cars and it gives that clean "Xenon" headlight light. I do not know if they are omni-directional or not.
Nov 07, 2007, 08:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrsudog
I am about to replace all the marker lights in my car with the white LED analogs.
Do your light cases have colored lenses? Otherwise, your brake lights and your turn signals will all be white!


Quote:
Originally Posted by lrsudog
I do not know if they are omni-directional or not.
Wish I could find a comparison Want to know for certain if those omni-directional ones are a lot better.
Nov 07, 2007, 08:28 PM
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Well, this site tested some LEDs and has convinced me that the straight-firing only bulbs suck. Maybe I can find pictures of ones that have LEDs firing out the sides, too
Nov 07, 2007, 08:50 PM
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Alright. I think I found some good info. Check out the thread on this other forum.

To sum things up:

-Need to get LEDs that fire in all directions
-Need to get LEDs of the same color of the lens (i.e. red for brake lights and yellow for turn signals)
-Might cause bulb failure light to come on on dash

And, pictures! LEDs on the top, normal lights on the bottom:



Nov 10, 2007, 04:33 PM
I have LED's in my Jeep Grand Cherokee's indicators and tail lights. They are brighter and give off a different light, but essentially, they are legal, more durable and mroe reliable. The main advantage, though, is that the LED's are plain for the front indicators and side bulbs, which means you don't get the colour leakage you get from standard coloured bulbs. When they are turned off, they are completely clear, which helps to keep the clean look of the car IMHO.

I would recommend them.

Interestingly enough, I was reading in a magazine that headlight and main beam LED bulbs will be readily available on the market for projector style headlights only, within the next year or so, priced only slightly more than the top end halogen type bulbs. Gives a different slant on the HID's which will probably reduce heavily in price when LED's are on the common market.

Nov 10, 2007, 04:39 PM
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Actually, I found a thread on another board that talked about a guy replacing his fog lights with an LED replacement bulb. He said it worked well because his old ones were getting too hot, but it only put out about half the light. Although, LEDs are getting better and brighter all the time.


But, back to the main topic: What type of LED "bulbs" do you have? I would have to assume they are at least front-and-side firing or mainly-side-firing. Which is it?
Nov 10, 2007, 05:00 PM
Go get them Meg!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarmanDXE
Do your light cases have colored lenses? Otherwise, your brake lights and your turn signals will all be white!

The tail lights are molded red/orange plastic, while the front signals (two bulbs) are clear with an orange housing for the turn signal only.
Nov 10, 2007, 05:22 PM
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So, it sounds like you should put red and orange LEDs in...
Nov 10, 2007, 09:07 PM
Go get them Meg!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarmanDXE
So, it sounds like you should put red and orange LEDs in...

I'm not sure why. The bulbs that are in there now are all clear.
Nov 10, 2007, 09:17 PM
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Because the LEDs only put out so much light. If the LED color matches the lens, you get all of the light through that lens. If some of that light is being absorbed by the lens, then only some of the light goes through.

Or so is the theory. It makes sense to me, but it also doesn't... I need to find someplace that can confirm this and/or do some tests of my own somehow...
Nov 10, 2007, 11:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarmanDXE
Because the LEDs only put out so much light. If the LED color matches the lens, you get all of the light through that lens. If some of that light is being absorbed by the lens, then only some of the light goes through.

Or so is the theory. It makes sense to me, but it also doesn't... I need to find someplace that can confirm this and/or do some tests of my own somehow...
White LEDs are actually 3 color LED's in a lens that together produce white light.

Remember white light is a combination of different frequencies/colors of light.

LEDs produce only 1 frequency/color of light per junction size. There are types of LED's that have a different junction size on the same part but I don't know if they are commercially available/usable yet.

When you use a white LED behind a colored lens you are throwing away a large percentage of the light produced....but this is basically the same as a normal bulb.

If you put say a yellow LED behind a red cover you will get very little light out at all because the yellow lens lets through little red light.
Nov 10, 2007, 11:54 PM
Relearning how to crash.....
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One other thing to remember about LEDs the color they put out is not dependent on the plastic the LED is encased in. It is based on the type and size of the electronic junction of the diode itself.

Thats why a LED that looks clear when it is off can produce colored light.
Nov 10, 2007, 11:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Other Dave
White LEDs are actually 3 color LED's in a lens that together produce white light.
Really? Was unaware. Are you sure you aren't thinking of those "jumbotrons" and how they produce white light? I thought they were just getting closer to producing a true white light (through whatever compounds they use in an LED) which is why they used to (and probably still are for the cheaper ones) tinted a bit blue.


Quote:
When you use a white LED behind a colored lens you are throwing away a large percentage of the light produced....but this is basically the same as a normal bulb.
Yeah, but a normal bulb is generally brighter.


Quote:
If you put say a yellow LED behind a red cover you will get very little light out at all because the yellow lens lets through little red light.
Exactly. So, if you stick a white one behind a red lens and a red one behind that same lens, will the red one be brighter because they are both supplying the same amount of light but less is being thrown away from the red one?
Nov 11, 2007, 05:54 PM
I went for Xtreme Led's available off ebay. They are clear to look at when unilluminated, however they made the type of bulb colour they replace, i.e. my turn signals are orange/amber, the tails are red. I have coloured lenses, however I did not want the white LED's which may lessen the gradiant of the colour, if you get what I mean. I wanted vivid strong colour.



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