LED Crazy

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Feb 26, 2004
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Here's an update on the engine compartment LEDs. I wasn't sure how they'd stand up to the heat of the engine, plus water spray from washing the engine and the weather. But so far, so good. They still work. It's really nice to just be able to flip a switch and check the oil and other fluids in otherwise pitch dark conditions without having to fiddle with a flashlight.

The LED tail lights seem to work just fine. And they do appear to be slightly brighter than the stock lights. But the real advantage is that I can leave my parking lights on at night with no affect on the battery, which has some advantages when camped out on a spur logging road somewhere. If some drunk idiot comes down that road, at least they'll see that someone is there instead of being surprised.

However, I've noticed that the LED brake lights have some affect on the AM reception. On certain stations, when I hit my brakes, the radio goes static and I can only assume it's the LEDs affecting this, but I'm not sure why.

As far as the SBL door lights and their longevity, I would guess the problem with those is the constant on/off for short durations somehow wears on the circuitry. Even if they only last a year or so, I'd gladly replace them with new ones as the door lights are awesome.

My only complaint so far is that the George map light is really a little too bright. While stationary and needing to light up the entire front interior it's flat out amazing, but while driving, its too bright. If there was a way to turn up and down the brightness, it would be perfect.

I don't have pictures, but I've also since wired in some courtesy LEDs from SBLs to light up my custom center console area, so I can see my equipment and drink holders while driving at night.
 
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Tierra y Libertad
IdahoDoug, Where did you source your halogen reverse light bulbs? Do you have a part no?

Great writeup. I love the engine bay lights.

FYI, I have halogen rear running lights, brake lights, blinkers and reverse lights. They provided an immediate and easily noted upgrade in brightness for all the lights back there. While these don't provide the instant on of an LED brake light, it is worth noting that they've been in there for some 150,000 miles without a blip. If you're behind my truck at night at a stop light, you'll definitely feel like you're behind a school bus or similar vehicle with upgraded rear lights. Slightly annoying. In poor conditions, they stand out however and my family and I are often driving in foul winter weather on isolated roads so I felt it was a needed upgrade.

Why are these super bright LED's burning out, BTW? Anyone know? I thought one of the chief LED advantages was long life. Are they overdriven and have no control circuits?

The stock 80s already have the LED third brake light, but I'd sure be interested in a high output LED brake light bulb - suggestions?

DougM
 

IdahoDoug

 
 
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I was just looking at posts and realized the rear halogens have actually been in it since I got the truck in '93 so they have 14 years of service over 165,000 miles. Now, of course, they'll burn out before Halloween...

They're Hella bulbs and I think they're referred to as halogen conversion bulbs because they simply fit into the sockets. Which means you simply buy them by the normal part number (Ex, 1156 rear bulbs in halogen instead of standard incandescent). If you find a good source, you might post it here. I have no clue where I got them back in '93 though I must also have sourced them 3 years ago for the 97.

DougM
 
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Jun 24, 2007
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Colorado
I like the hood lighting-- I'm planning to do something similar, but instead of hard-mounting the LEDs, I was thinking I would mount one onto a strong magnet, then I could move it to where it is needed. Just have to figure out how best to do the wiring so that it doesn't get in the way.
I have an 88 Chevy pickup that has a light which stores in a reel to the side of the engine compartment...the light has a magnet on the back. The cord winds up by hand in a reel for storage...it's kind of like a trouble light that you would buy for your garage that has the automatic reel. You could probably find one in a junk yard and convert it to an LED.
 

george_tlc

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There was a question about why the superbrightled (and ones like them) don't seem to last.

Well, they are just a string of (cheap) LEDs in parallel/series to get close to 12V. They then put a series resistor to limit current. On some they have a diode or diode bridge to make them polarity protected or independent.

The burning out issue is that a car is a nasty electrical environment and power spikes and the like are the norm. What happens is that typically doors or domes are only turned on with the engine off and things are pretty ok - BUT, when that is done with the engine running those nasty spikes slowly (or quickly) kill the LEDs. LEDs after all are semiconductor devices and don't like spikes.

I've found that just adding one component to their designs would help remove those spikes - but that adds a few more cents to their cost :)

My modules are fully current regulated and have DC-DC switching converters built in and will fully protect the LED. I used Lumiled Luxeons and recently switched to Cree/Seoul LEDs - both prime quality devices. I shipped my first dome modules coming up 5 years next month. I've repaired a handful and mostly due to folk snapping off the end pins when being a little to vigorous during the install. Never once have I heard or seen a LED fail on my dome units.

cheers,
george.
 

IdahoDoug

 
 
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George,

Thanks for checking in! Do you have a "George" sensor on your computer? Heh.

Hey, nice reply - the Crees are indeed good stuff. I've recently purchased a few handheld Cree lights. If you're still out there, do you have any recommendations for a plug and play quality brake light solution for the 80? I like the instant on aspect, but would only bite if the product is brighter than stock and will last as an LED solution should.

Thanks!

DougM
 

george_tlc

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George,

Thanks for checking in! Do you have a "George" sensor on your computer? Heh.

Hey, nice reply - the Crees are indeed good stuff. I've recently purchased a few handheld Cree lights. If you're still out there, do you have any recommendations for a plug and play quality brake light solution for the 80? I like the instant on aspect, but would only bite if the product is brighter than stock and will last as an LED solution should.

Thanks!

DougM
Hi Doug, I actually check into mud fairly often. Just not much to say usually, so I just read bits here & there.

i.e. a case of if nothing smart to say, be smart and say nothing... :)

Can't help you with a brake light solution. I built my own brake/turn LEDs for my Kaymar so I have a combination of of LED and incandescent. I too haven't found decent drop in bulb replacements for the stock brake lights.

cheers,
george.
 
Joined
Nov 16, 2003
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Dixie co. Florida
I too haven't found decent drop in bulb replacements for the stock brake lights.

cheers,
george.


I think there would be a market here if you decided to make drop in led brake lights,

I have had your domes & map for 3 years now and I would jump on some drop in current regulated cree brake/tail lights.
 
Joined
Sep 29, 2004
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San Francisco, CA
x2 on that.... I have some "cheap" (about $20) LED brake lights in my 60 that I'm not going to move over to the 80 because they just aren't as bright as the stock lights.

I'd buy a George stop light. (and/or a pair of reverse lights, and probably rear market lights too)
 
Joined
Feb 26, 2004
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Oregon
Having run the IBL 3 watt Lux brake/tail LEDs for a while now, I can say for sure they are as bright or brighter than the stock lights and put out a nicer light in my opinion. I'm very happy with them. But a George LED would nice just for the pure reliability.

It would probably be spendy to make, but I'll bet there'd be a market for multiple high power Cree LEDs put together for a back up light in the stock sockets that puts out more and a whiter light than the stock bulbs. Back up lights are very important, especially on the trail at night.

I run a couple of 100 watt lights on the rear bumper, but they've been knocked around pretty good and aren't positioned as well as the factory back up light to see what the rear view mirror sees.
 
Last edited:
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Jun 3, 2003
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Plano Texas
I've installed this 39mm 6 LED festoon light in the map light of my Tundra. It is brighter than the incandescent 39mm festoon bulb. It puts out about the same amount of light as George's 1Watt Luxeon LED in the dome light . George's LED is 30mm while this LED is 39mm.


Pic 1 - LED on the left and incandescent on the right
Pic 2 - Incandescent on only (passenger side map light)
Pic 3 - LED on only (Driver side map light)
LED 1.JPG
LED A.JPG
LED B.JPG
 
Joined
Jun 3, 2003
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Plano Texas
The two different LEDs in the license plate lights

5-LED wide angle on the left and the 6 high-power LED on the right.

The 6 high-power LED is much brighter for illuminating the license plate.



LED1.JPG
LED2.JPG
 

mot

 
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Aug 21, 2003
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John,

Good stuff!
If it hasn't been stated already in the thread, would you mind letting us know where one can acquire these nifty lights that you've picked up?

Are these compatible with those used in the 80?

PM on the way, too.

TIA!

Mot
 

george_tlc

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I've installed this 39mm 6 LED festoon light in the map light of my Tundra. It is brighter than the incandescent 39mm festoon bulb. It puts out about the same amount of light as George's 1Watt Luxeon LED in the dome light . George's LED is 30mm while this LED is 39mm.
Yep - but you have my original Luxeon modules from oh so long ago....

I now use Seoul LEDs in my dome/maplight modules (Cree die) - much brighter than the original LEDs I used back then :)


cheers,
george.
 
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Forest Falls, CA
Hey George, i have your dome lights and map light already. Any chance of you making another pair of Kaymar tail lights? I just installed dual spares on it and the tire semi-blocks the stock tail lights. Making the Kaymar brake lights a bit more brighter and a running light built in would be a nice plus for us. We can use all the tail light we can get.
 

george_tlc

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Hey George, i have your dome lights and map light already. Any chance of you making another pair of Kaymar tail lights? I just installed dual spares on it and the tire semi-blocks the stock tail lights. Making the Kaymar brake lights a bit more brighter and a running light built in would be a nice plus for us. We can use all the tail light we can get.
I installed dual 1W LEDs per light bulb replacement with custom electronics for my Kaymar. Nice, bright as fast on/off. Also replaced the reverse bulbs. No more burnt out bulbs and brighter than original.

BUT - these were just custom boards I made so "I" could have nice LEDs in mine. Not planning to make more of them - too much work and too custom to justify running production boards etc.

cheers,
george.
 
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