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advancements in LED lighting 2014
#1
we all have problems with DIM dash lights and seek out solutions.

People have been converting to LED for sometime but even LEDS have evolved over time.

I first converted to LED about 10 years ago. At that time bulbs like:

[Image: 41lj699nS9L._SY355_.jpg]

and

[Image: T10-1LED%204.jpg]

were the norm. They used a single Diode and a molded clear plastic case to defuse the light.

they worked ok, on a scale of 1-10 with the original dash lights being a 1 or 2, the original LEDs were about a 3 or 4 on the improvement scale.

even removing the blue filters did little to help the older generation LEDS.

today new technology in leds have evolved the 192 bulb into a multi Array Diode setup.

[Image: details_001_zpsb1f37e15.jpg]

you can even get them brighter and brighter with more arrays added.

[Image: New-168-font-b-192-b-font-W5W-T10-DC12V-...206-68.jpg]

it depends on space and how crazy you want to get.

some companies have upgraded there 71-73 led kits with these new arrays and some have not.

you can buy these LEDS cheapest outside of a kit as they are an industry standard. One warning for people that retrofitted LEDS years ago and removed the Blue filters do not get Kits labeled as Factory OEM lighting.
these are white LED arrays designed to use the blue filters, if you have removed these filters and cannot put them back and you want the green hue then you need a green LED.

these LED bulbs are incredibly bright compared to even the LEDS from 5 years ago, so if you have converted to LEDS and used the older ones consider another upgrade to your LED dash lights.

consider also buying these newer LEDS in 10-20 lots rather then in kits as the cost savings can be 50-60$

as far as color for OEM these new LEDS come in one color of GREEN the older ones had a dark green and a light green.
otherwise they come in white, red, green, blue, yellow
[Image: t10-led-bulb-light-wedge-light-5-smd-5050.jpg]

as for brands SMD seems to be the best and the LEDS are dimable.

well food for thought as i will be upgrading my LED dash lights over the holiday weekend and hopefully finally putting an end to the dim dash lights issue.
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#2
Thanks for the head's up. I've been wrestling with my dash lights as well recently. I kept the original blue filter pods, and bought HIpo brand white Oem LEDs. I was disappointed with the end result.

Based on what you say, my best option now would be to buy the new SMD green bulbs, and remove the original blue pod filters as well, for the best brightest results.Would you agree to that?

Greg.Smile

whistling LORD, MR FORD - JERRY REED
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#3
Dan, these "kits" you speak of, are they all-inclusive? In other words, a guy could get a kit that would replace ALL of the dash lights (not just the cluster and gauges, but the lights in the heater controls, radio, map light, courtesy lights, etc.)?

Are these newer generation LEDs "dimmer-friendly" if they're too bright? I've also upgraded to an electronic flasher as well, in anticipation of LED signal lights.

I haven't actually looked into any kind of kits or replacement options as of yet, which is why I asked.

Good luck with the replacement. I can't wait to see/hear how it went.

Eric

[Image: mach1sig2.gif]
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#4
Mister 4x4;194184 Wrote:Dan, these "kits" you speak of, are they all-inclusive? In other words, a guy could get a kit that would replace ALL of the dash lights (not just the cluster and gauges, but the lights in the heater controls, radio, map light, courtesy lights, etc.)?

Are these newer generation LEDs "dimmer-friendly" if they're too bright? I've also upgraded to an electronic flasher as well, in anticipation of LED signal lights.

I haven't actually looked into any kind of kits or replacement options as of yet, which is why I asked.

Good luck with the replacement. I can't wait to see/hear how it went.

I did the upgrade to my stock instrument cluster. I went and purchased the LEDs myself instead of buying a kit. And a few words of advice:

1. Replace the circuit board on the dash cluster, since the contacts are all open to air they have a tendency to corrode, and form divots at the contact points which leads not only to lose connections, but highly resistive ones.

2. Replace your headlight switch with a new one. LEDs are current driven devices and not voltage driven devices, so the resistance added from corrosion is pretty impacting into overall brightness.

3. Also replace the little cups the lights themselves go in, mine were corroded to all heck and even a couple minutes with a points file still left me with shaky connections.

As far as being dimmer friendly, mine dim no problem. And though I've switched to LEDs in both turn signal indicators, my standard flashing units work just fine.

Most of the kits that I've seen only do the main dash cluster. I think this is due to the huge variety of combinations that are possible in our cars as to the total configuration. You really don't get that much of a discount in my opinion getting a kit from a mustang supplier than you would if you just bought the needed LEDs from one of the main LED suppliers. You also get more flexibility and you can pick up addition LEDs on the way.

To Austin Vert's question. If you compared the condition of most of our Blue Lenses to what they looked like from the factory the problem becomes pretty apparent. From the factory the lenses were a glossy, translucent blue. Most of what you find now in our cars is a matte foggy blue. This is oxidation of the plastic that is seriously affecting the amount of light transmission that the lenses are capable of. You would get the most factory look if you removed them and went with Green LEDs. A word of caution, my plastic was EXTREMELY brittle, and the little retainer tabs broke off when I removed one of my lenses for testing.

Currently our lenses are not reproduced. But Classic Cougar Concepts does make the lenses for Cougars which are very similar and with a little ingenuity I think could be made to work if you wanted a more stock style (but it's also important to note that in that case, you'd want yellow LEDs to match the original output color of the filament bulbs)

2013 Ford Focus SE Flex Fuel 5spd - Daily Driver
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#5
We installed the older led's and left the blue filters in place 5 years ago.
Time for an upgrade as they are still dim. I have purchased
a number of LED flashlights over the years and the new ones
are incredibly bright and compact. The technology has come
a long ways.

mike

[Image: 1_11_11_13_11_50_27.png]
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#6
MechEng did a wonderful write up.

I will also add, it isn't a good idea to replace everything with LEDs, i will be leaving some actual bulbs, i had issues with the turn signals on the dash being too bright and going back to bulbs and a problem with the brake warning light staying on with the LED but working correctly with a bulb.

also colored LEDS do not work well with filters, example a RED LED on the RED high beams horse logo on the dash does not look right and is dimmer then using a white led or a normal bulb.

I had issues with front and rear turn signal leds and problems with the flasher that required an update to a digital flasher unit that i was not willing to do. as such i only have LEDs in my dash and gave up on putting them elsewhere. I have a sequential tail lights setup that i was not happy with either and removed it from the car and have standard halogen bulbs in the rear lights as well.

Mister 4x4 questions:
1) Dan, these "kits" you speak of, are they all-inclusive? In other words, a guy could get a kit that would replace ALL of the dash lights (not just the cluster and gauges, but the lights in the heater controls, radio, map light, courtesy lights, etc.)?

Yes many companies do sell kits that come with all bulbs, they also sell the idiot lights version or the center gauge style version.

however they only cover the dash instruments courtesy lights radio and map and heater would require you to source more leds.
these kits are highly inflated in price. one place was selling a kit for 75$ the same kit bought off ebay piece by piece would be about 20-25$ max


2) Are these newer generation LEDs "dimmer-friendly" if they're too bright? I've also upgraded to an electronic flasher as well, in anticipation of LED signal lights.

there was a generation of multi array LEDs before these that looked similar but you could not dim them. SMD sold them as well. the market seems flooded with this new generation LED and i tested a set i got in white and they were dim-able.

Turn signal LEDS for me didn't work out so i can't comment on them.


I removed my Blue filters years ago, they snapped off the brittle plastic and broke into pieces when i removed them so i knew i committed to color LED replacements. Now i bought an Early HIPO LED green conversion kit and those LEDS were more Blue then Green from the start so colorwise i was never happy, but i was just able to see the Gauges at night compared to before with original bulbs.

since i'm not replacing the bulb filters going with Green is the best approach to looking factory. When i get the new bulbs installed i will have more to talk about. right now i have the first generation LEDS in the dash and they are still dim and pretty bad.

I only plan to replace the main gauge lights as i am happy with the original bulbs in a few spots.
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#7
I was hoping there was a kit available, as I don't actually have any of my bulbs left - not that any of them would've had the bulb numbers anyway. So I literally have no idea which bulbs I need, which ones go where, how many of each, etc., for even just the stock replacement bulbs. If anybody has even that kind of information, that would be huge.

The places I've seen that do offer LED bulbs, don't usually provide necessary information like, "replaces floor courtesy light bulbs (bulb #XXXX), 2 required." The only one I've ever seen do something like that was OMS with their Master Fastener Kits - Don at least puts all the various part numbers, nomenclatures, and quantity on the description page so you know exactly what you're getting. I guess I just got spoiled early, or something. Big Grin

BTW - I have about 30 of the "peanut bulbs" (that fit into the instrument cluster, gauges, etc.), both courtesy lights, and the dome light working so far - but for everything else... nada. All of the external lights are replaced and working (with the exception of the back-up bulbs... which I still need to get a pair and install).

Eric

[Image: mach1sig2.gif]
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#8
You can always go here to find out what number bulb you need:

http://www.sylvania.com/en-us/applicatio...gmain.aspx

It's very accurate. Though they don't tell you quantity. That's something you're going to have to figure out through investigation! (Or kind forum patron!)

2013 Ford Focus SE Flex Fuel 5spd - Daily Driver
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#9
if you have the manual for the car it is listed in there as well.
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#10
72HCODE;194199 Wrote:if you have the manual for the car it is listed in there as well.

Thanks very much Dan and Mech Eng for your detailed feedback. I understand everything you've explained. I will wait and see how you go with your new bulbs Dan and look forward to your feedback.

I take it that the bulb holders and the printed circuit boards are buyable somewhere if i wanted to upgrade. I did buy and install a new headlight switch as well, which has not appeared to make any difference to the equasion so to speak.

I must comment on the fact that so far it seems that these bulb companies tend to make over rated claims on the brightness of their LED bulbs compared to the real end results, filters removed or not. Also, when i bought my Hipo kit, i used the two green indicator bulbs and i had no trouble with them per say. Your right about the red horse for high beam and the red LED. You can barely see the darn thing at all. I also find it very frustrating that they don't make new filter pods for our cars as yet. It makes the whole thing harder to get around as such.

Eric, here are some references to the led's Dan was talking about, and other companies.

http://www.amazon.com/Jtech-2825-5-SMD-G...AF8Q6X69KZ

http://www.superbrightleds.com/cat/led-v.../20-772--/

http://www.hipoparts.com/1971-73-ford-mustang/

http://www.mustangpartshouse.com/electrical/bulbs.html


Thanks again guys,

Greg.Smile

whistling LORD, MR FORD - JERRY REED
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