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Old 02-21-2008, 12:26 PM   #1
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Anyone replaced all tail bulbs with LED?

I'm about to get clear tails... i've replaced all my interior lighting, my license plate lighting, and my front/rear trunk lighting with LED and LOVE them... was thinking about going to all LED's in teh tail lights...

anyone done this yet? opinions?
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Old 02-21-2008, 12:34 PM   #2
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Current plug-in LED's simply do not work as well as the original incandescents at illuminating the reflector and lens. Though you'd be gaining the benefit of quicker illumination time and longer bulb life, you'd be losing quite a bit of overall light output, and sacrificing safety and visibility as a result.
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Old 02-21-2008, 12:42 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Padawan
Current plug-in LED's simply do not work as well as the original incandescents at illuminating the reflector and lens. Though you'd be gaining the benefit of quicker illumination time and longer bulb life, you'd be losing quite a bit of overall light output, and sacrificing safety and visibility as a result.
i would agree normally.. based on the older LED items.. but now with multi-LED bulbs like these:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1156-Super-Red-24-LED-Light-Bulb-BA15S-5007-7506-7527_W0QQitemZ200200312329QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item 200200312329

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/2-x-1156-Super-Amber-45-LED-Light-Bulb-Turn-7506-7527_W0QQitemZ190199073135QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item 190199073135

... i think the "light output" argument is outdated..
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Old 02-21-2008, 01:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucky_topher
... i think the "light output" argument is outdated..
Nope. The omni-directional aftermarket LEDs "bulbs" still can't compete with the output of an incandescent. They just cram more, smaller LEDs on those things. They just don't work well with the reflectors in taillights. The only way to do it right is to get a car that has them from the factory.

Try the LED 3rd brake light! That's effective.
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Old 02-21-2008, 03:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucky_topher
... i think the "light output" argument is outdated..
No, it isn't. I've seen numerous comparisons and reviews of even the newest designs in multi-directional LED bulbs, and none has demonstrated illumination equal to or greater than the traditional incandescent it's replacing.
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Old 02-21-2008, 03:58 PM   #6
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this link:

http://www.ledtronics.com/ds/aut1157/

sells LED tail bulbs that output 100lumens in red...

this link:

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3012/is_2_184/ai_113602893

On top of that a typical rear stop function an incandescent bulb needs to generate about 400 Lumens of energy to net 75 lumens of energy by the time it gets through the red lens. A red LED only needs to generate 75 lumens because you don't need the red lens.



not saying anyone is wrong, just trying to get clarification...

when someone says it won't perform as well/efficient... HOW much difference? 10%? 75%?
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Old 02-21-2008, 07:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucky_topher
http://www.ledtronics.com/ds/aut1157/

sells LED tail bulbs that output 100lumens in red...

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3012/is_2_184/ai_113602893

when someone says it won't perform as well/efficient... HOW much difference? 10%? 75%?
After looking at the first link, I can tell you ledtronics.com is a joke. Those bulbs do NOT put out 100 lumens. That is very misleading. I imagine that they are coming up with this number by saying each of the 24 LEDs is 4 lumens, so in total, it's 100. That would seem viable.

The second link/article is talking about where the LED is directly exposed through the rear -aimed directly to the rear... like most factory LED taillights are. You can't really compare those to the LED-styled bulbs. Plus, your Boxster's lights have a lens.

I've tried the LED route (not in my Boxster). In daylight with a chaser car behind me, they were unable to tell that I had my blinker on. At night time, it's easy to see the blinker, that is until you turn on your parking lights. Granted, every car's lighting set up is different, but the overall result is garbage, and NOT safe. That's the biggest issue I have with it. Not so much for blinkers, but definitely for brake lights.

One other thing, you may have to install a regulator so the thing doesn't blink too fast. It's not hard, but you'll have to be comfortable with splicing wires on the Boxster.
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Old 02-21-2008, 10:26 PM   #8
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I tried inserting LED bulbs into the Boxster and they did not work, since then someone on this forum has successfully put LEDs in his Boxster tails but he had to do some rewiring of the LEDs

I bought a set of LED taillights assemblies. These appear to be OEM but have built in LED lights in the running lights and the brake lights. The blinkers and reverse lights are stock bulbs.

These LED assemblies are very bright. They are much brighter than anything I have seen on the road. I wish there was a way to show everyone how bright these are.

From my research on LED lights for our cars there are 2 full assemblies made the one I have that looks OEM and another one that to me looks like the Carrera GT lights. Ebay has them both for sale. The other lights are not as bright as mine....how do I know? I have a set of them also.

So after this long post my opinion is if you want Bright LED lights and an OEM look get the LED assembly like mine. If you want LEDS as bright as stock and a different look. Get the other set.

After I tried the LED bulbs in the Boxster I tried them in my X5 I can tell you that they looked better at night than OEM bulbs. I do not know how thay looked during the daytime, but at night the LED bulbs look great.

I have rambled enough.
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Old 02-22-2008, 06:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in BR
I bought a set of LED taillights assemblies. These appear to be OEM but have built in LED lights in the running lights and the brake lights. The blinkers and reverse lights are stock bulbs.
What do you mean "These appear to be OEM"? They are OEM and someone replaced the regular bulbs with leds, or they just look like OEM?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in BR
These LED assemblies are very bright. They are much brighter than anything I have seen on the road. I wish there was a way to show everyone how bright these are.
IMHO leds cannot be as bright as regular bulbs. They have many other advantages, but brightness is not one of them. Since, you have replaced your interior and some of the exterior lights, you might have noticed that color and warmth of the leds is much mcuh better, but brightness... I wouldn't say so... It may be that, because leds can be directional, with a good design of the lights the result to look better. But generally leds are less bright than normal bulbs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in BR
From my research on LED lights for our cars there are 2 full assemblies made the one I have that looks OEM and another one that to me looks like the Carrera GT lights. Ebay has them both for sale. The other lights are not as bright as mine....how do I know? I have a set of them also.

So after this long post my opinion is if you want Bright LED lights and an OEM look get the LED assembly like mine. If you want LEDS as bright as stock and a different look. Get the other set.
Can you report on the led lights you tried? Send the ebay link or the name of the company that sells them. Which are the bright ones and which are not?

Thank you

George
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Old 02-22-2008, 08:14 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gstoli
What do you mean "These appear to be OEM"? They are OEM and someone replaced the regular bulbs with leds, or they just look like OEM?


The lens has an OEM appearance, they are not a Porsche parts. But a very good copy of the lens.



IMHO leds cannot be as bright as regular bulbs.

With these LEDS in my car if I am on a 4 lane interstate with a large median I can see the red running lights reflect off of the exit signs on the other side of the interstate behind me. It is so clear I can see this reflection in red in my rear view side mirrors.




They have many other advantages, but brightness is not one of them. Since, you have replaced your interior and some of the exterior lights, you might have noticed that color and warmth of the leds is much mcuh better, but brightness... I wouldn't say so... It may be that, because leds can be directional, with a good design of the lights the result to look better. But generally leds are less bright than normal bulbs.



Can you report on the led lights you tried? Send the ebay link or the name of the company that sells them. Which are the bright ones and which are not?

Thank you

George


These are the lights I have and recommend them
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/97-04-PORSCHE-BOXSTER-DEPO-RED-SMOKE-LED-TAIL-LIGHT-NEW_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQcategoryZ33716QQihZ023QQitem Z360025282509QQrdZ1QQsspagenameZWDVW


This is the other set of LED lights, I like the fact it is a different light pattern than OEM but these are in my opinion only as bright as OEM
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/97-04-PORSCHE-BOXSTER-986-EURO-RED-CLEAR-LED-TAIL-LIGHT_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQcategoryZ33716QQihZ019QQit emZ290208571017QQrdZ1QQsspagenameZWDVW


George, it sounds like you really know what you are talking about when it comes to lighting. All I am basing my opinions on is what I have seen with my cars. I agree a LED is unidirectional so perhaps these lights are designed in such a way that the light is aimed so they appear brighter. As far as which is brighter in a laboratory I don't know. Maybe after the lenses on the OEM lights the brightness of a standard bulb is reduced below what this LED setup I have puts out.


I may try to get a video of the lights this weekend but I dont think it will translate well.
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Old 02-22-2008, 08:48 AM   #11
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This is a picture of the car with the lights on, If you look on my fence you can see the red reflecting off off my fence. Notice I have Christmas lights and my "garden" lights on. Also, my outside flood lights are on casting alot of light onto the car and fence. It is very bright in that area of may yard with just the floods on. For any red to show on the fence is an accomplishment.
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Old 02-22-2008, 08:52 AM   #12
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This is a picture of the car taken in front of my office, you can see 2 of the 6 security lights that are lighting the parking lot. With this picture you can see how much light is reflected off of the ground. From looking at the LEDs there are none of them aimed at the ground.
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Old 02-22-2008, 08:55 AM   #13
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Lat one...
Same night as the other picture. You can see how wide the reflection is on the ground.
I am not a professional photographer, i guess you can see that. But I hope this give a good idea of what these LED lights are doing for my car.
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Old 02-23-2008, 10:51 AM   #14
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If you couldn't guess by now, LED replacements do NOT work in 986 tail lights. Another thing to add is that not only do the optics not match, but the bulbs are further angled in the housing. So, those Letronics bulbs will signal the guy in the adjacent lane you are stopping, but not the guy behind you.

If you want LED tail lights, there are plenty of LED tail light housingss available. Just don't use the bulbs.
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Old 02-24-2008, 07:04 AM   #15
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Gary those are some amazing pictures. I take back everything I said about LEDS
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Old 02-24-2008, 10:52 AM   #16
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I put leds in my parking lights in the tail light assembly but had to take the bulb apart and reverse the wiring inside the bulb to make it work.

The OEM boxster tail light assembly put the all ground (negative) on the bottom of all the bulbs and power (positive) on to the side of the bulbs. Led bulbs are polarized and assembled with pos on base and neg on the side. So Led bulbs will not just plug in and work in our OEM boxster housing, with the exception of the wedge type Led bulbs, that you can just turn around. So our OEM boxster housing is the limiting factor in using LED bulbs in our tail lights.

Thought about replacing the 3rd brake lights with wedge type of Leds next, requires 8 or 9 of them.

These bulbs below are suppose to be close to filament bulb type, but are very pricey to me. But won't be a direct replacement for our OEM tail light housing.

http://www.superbrightleds.com/specs/1156-xLX5.htm
http://www.superbrightleds.com/specs/115x-xLX3.htm

Another thing about those bulb with all the extra leds, it might be too big to fit in the holes of the housing without modifying it.

Good luck, Jay
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