Thread Number: 63573  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
LED automotive lighting
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Post# 861510   1/12/2016 at 21:23 (554 days old) by cfz2882 (Belle Fourche,SD)        

Led lighting for automotive purposes has increased greatly since LEDs for exterior lights first appeared ~1993 for 3rd stop lights-noticed Late model Harley Davidsons even have (very bright)LED headlights and I think some cars such as latest corvettes also have LED and retrofit LED headlights for glass sealed beam units have been avalible for about 5 years.Noticed LED taillights on late model chevy cars seem to strobe at ~50hz.On my 2006 GMC canyon,the whole instrument cluster is all LED lighting.Haven't added any LED exterior lights to any of my vehicles yet,but the jacked up diesel pickup kids like to add big LED light bars to their trucks :) -don't know the wattage of those light bars,but I have some Hella LED driving lights I bought for an E-bike that have four 5-watt diodes each and those are super bright:)

Post# 861513 , Reply# 1   1/12/2016 at 21:55 (554 days old) by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

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Those stupid bright light bars blind me because they always have to have all of them turned on facing you on a 2 lane road. There should be laws against that. Newer vehicles have the softer LED lights as the daytime running lights and I can deal with those. But LED lights in a traffic light wont work. If snow is on it, no way can it generate enough heat to melt the snow.

Post# 861517 , Reply# 2   1/12/2016 at 22:23 (554 days old) by cfz2882 (Belle Fourche,SD)        
LEDs on semi trailers

Like many aftermarket lights,those light bars are probably not DOT approved for on-road use :) LEDs not generating enough heat to melt off snow buildup is a problem with semi trailers-makes me wonder about ice/snow buildup on LED headlights-though I have had some LED lights that seem to put out a lot of infrared energy-my hand would get hot in front of the beam,but the lamp would remain cool...

Post# 861524 , Reply# 3   1/12/2016 at 22:54 (554 days old) by washer111 ()        
HID/LED Lights

Absolutely ANNOYING.

Even when people drive on low beam these damned things blind you. When driving at night, I have to slow right down is how bad these are.

Whatever happened to height-adjustment headlamps? Or the correct factory adjustment as a courtesy to other road users?

Whatever happened to DIMMING your lights when an oncoming vehicle came your way?

Post# 861543 , Reply# 4   1/13/2016 at 02:42 (554 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Retrofit HID/LED headlights-if the installer does the job PROPERLY they are a godsend!You can see so much better!And those lights last longer than stock halogen or incandscent lights.You have to make sure the shop selling you the lights matches them to the headlight fixtures in your car,and aligns them right during installation.And you have to make room for the ballast/LED driver unit.

Post# 861558 , Reply# 5   1/13/2016 at 05:17 (554 days old) by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        
my 01 Beetle

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has retrofitted HID's in it. I've never had a single car flash their lights at me for being too bright but they are so much easier for night driving. I don't even use high beams because the color intensity 5000K makes signs and reflectors stand out. Our Lincoln MKS has articulating HID's...they move side to side with the steering wheels AND automatically dim when meeting another car. Our previous Cadillac DTS was adjusted multiple times by dealership and we still got flashed!

Post# 861563 , Reply# 6   1/13/2016 at 06:21 (554 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

The replacement HID headlights I don't like are the green,purple-yes purple ones that some drivers out here put on their cars or trucks.But they do make the car easier to see in foggy or really rainy conditions.The throw of these lights isn't as good as the 4K-5K ones.

Post# 861594 , Reply# 7   1/13/2016 at 11:09 (554 days old) by cuffs054 (GA)        

Sorta off the subject, but annoys the poop out of me. On newer cars with LED DRL's, when the turn signals are on, the DRL on that side go off. Why?

Post# 861598 , Reply# 8   1/13/2016 at 11:15 (554 days old) by countryguy (Astorville, ON, Canada)        

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My guess would be to allow the turn signal to be more prominent.

Post# 861610 , Reply# 9   1/13/2016 at 13:05 (553 days old) by kb0nes (Burnsville, MN)        
LED Traffic lights and Snow

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Here in Minnesota 100% of new installed traffic lights here are LED and nearly all the old ones have long since been retrofitted with LED modules. Fortunately with the shields over the lights snow accumulation doesn't happen often, but it is true there isn't nearly as much waste heat.

It was 10+ years ago when we started seeing the Red lights being retro fitted with LED's. I'm sure this was part a liability thing as one doesn't want the red light to fail. Also the cost vs candlepower of the Red LED's was generally lower then the other colors.

Back to automotive applications, most indicator/turn/stop/marker lights are LED in late model cars now. This is a great thing since they will likely never need service in the life of the vehicle. They do now have full brightness white LED's that are approved for headlight application. Some of the European companies are already using them. They have been used for daytime running lights in the cars that are still wise enough to have DRL's.

Years ago I retrofitted my cars with LED's replacement lamps from It is cool not to worry about the brake lights failing and I can leave the interior lights on all night and the car still starts. As a generalization the LED's use 1/10th the power of an equivalent tungsten filament lamp.

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Post# 861611 , Reply# 10   1/13/2016 at 13:08 (553 days old) by kb0nes (Burnsville, MN)        

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Gary, hit it on the head, the DRL is switched off of the side with the active signal so that the glare from the white light doesn't obscure the signal light.

This has LONG been a problem with cars where the front turn light is placed in the same cluster as the headlight. If the head light is on it does tend to obscure the visibility of the signal light. It was really nice years gone by when they placed the signal down in the bumper etc to get a little separation.

I do find it annoying to see the DRL switch off though, but it does enhance visibility.

Post# 861744 , Reply# 11   1/14/2016 at 03:21 (553 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

LED carlights-esp brakelights-the LEDS truely light INSTANTLY when the brake pedal is stepped on-vs incandscent lights that take half sec or so to light-a 60Mph this can make a difference!

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