Thoughts on rear LED's? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 2nd, 04, 03:31 AM Thread Starter
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I'm maybe thinging of going to rear LED tailight system but I'm wondering what people really think of them are they worth it?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 2nd, 04, 06:02 AM
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Nothing wrong with LED's. Draw alot less power, just as bright, but, are alittle proicey.

Incandescent bulbs, aka 1157, draws 2.2 [email protected] volts, expected lifetime is 600-1200 hours, and cost $3 USD for two at Walmart. And needs a colored lens to give its white light color.

LED's aka Sunbrite Group P/N SSP-1157B15912, draws 80 [email protected] volts, lifetime is 100K hours, costs apporx $8 each at a mail order electronics store, ie, www.newark.com, www.allied.avnet.com. And come in colors, but very pricey for colors other than white.

I haven't had time yet to count the number needed and to place an order. Good discount over 25(?) each, like an extra 10% off.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 2nd, 04, 07:31 AM
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At work, we are experimenting with a lot of the higher output (1W, 3W and 5W) Luxeon LEDs that are now hitting the market. If you use these big ones, they really aren't much more efficient than the white lights (Lumen output/watt) and they make a lot of heat that will destroy the LED if you don't find a way to get rid of it.

For tailight applications they are pretty good if you use the smal T-1 3/4 style LEDs. They look pretty cool and will last more than 10,000 hours! You do need to put a bunch of them in a series parallel combination to run them on 12V and get any kind of lumen output. These guys:

http://www.superbrightleds.com/1157.htm

Among others, sell them with 19 or 20 LEDs already mounted in a 1156 or 1157 base.

They do caution that your 'old school' thermal flasher probably won't work with them since they don't draw enough current to make it switch!!

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 2nd, 04, 07:41 AM
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There is a company that makes an led tail light conversion kit for 1st gen Camaros. Comes with a circuit board that bolts into place on the original light housings and "quick" connectors for the harness (though you might want to solder and shrink tube or spade terminal the connections instead). Wish I could remember the name of the company...I plan on converting mine to led once the other three major projects on the car are complete. I think they advertised in Chevy Hi Perf. or Camaro Performers not too long ago.

They were pricey though- for my 68 RS it was going to cost about $200 for the complete set (2 kits per housing for an RS).


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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 2nd, 04, 08:58 AM
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I'm building some now for my 69. I have one board built and just need to install it and see how it looks in the daylight. I've only been "bench testing" so far. It looks pretty cool. I'll have to post some pics.

My layout has 32 leds per light. They are the T-1 3/4 5mm superbrights. You can get them for about 35-40 cents each.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 04, 03:38 AM Thread Starter
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I remember the kits also. I would order one if I could find their ad or contac info, anyone know it?
Thanks

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 04, 08:07 AM
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Found it: 67-8 Camaro LED tail lights and 69 Camaro LED tail lights


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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 4th, 04, 08:20 AM
 
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That 1st Gen LED conversion kit is also available at JEG'S. Just FYI
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old Mar 5th, 04, 09:01 AM
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the 1156/57 led bulbs really don't in the back of the 69. The bulb/leds have to aim straight out.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old Apr 8th, 04, 02:21 PM
 
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Hey guys, I too have been working on a LED tail light project. I have the printed circuit board designed, just waiting for parts to show up. I do have a few pix of the mock-up I did. (See "Projects" at my website). Right now, It is only set up for a '69. Each lens will have a panel with 50 superbright LED's. I will be posting more pix once I get the boards made and installed. There are two ways to get around the low current draw problem for the turn flasher: 1) Place a 6 Ohm 50 Watt power resistor from each turn signal wire to ground. 2) Switch to an "electronic" flasher. I think I am going to go the number two route and see how that works, after all, part of the reason to switch to LED's is to reduce current comsumption. If there is interest, and I can get the price down some (bulk parts purchase) I would be will to make more panels.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old Apr 9th, 04, 02:13 AM
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I was just thinking of this same thing the other day and was wondering how it was comming along. I can do the work, just waiting for someone to T&T it.

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old Apr 9th, 04, 08:01 AM
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LEDs are great, they don't genrate heat which is a plus. I'd caution you though to ask the manufacturer of the unit you are purchasing to provide you with the Department of Tranportation approval which they must meet to allow them to be installed. There are DOT federal standards for not only the actual color, but the minimum brightness required for tail lights. You probably will find they never got approval, but it's only a problem if someone hits you from behind and you end up in court.

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old Apr 9th, 04, 04:38 PM
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Has anyone heard of a LED interior dome light? I would expect the LEDs to produce less heat than the glass bulb and maybe stop the housing meltdown issues. I'm not sure if it would be bright enough though. What do you think?

Rick


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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old Apr 10th, 04, 12:05 PM
 
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Check out SuperBridgeLEDs.com, scroll most of the way down the page. I wonder if this would pop right in or could be adapted to fit in the dome lamp housing?
Scott

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