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Old 12-27-2007, 10:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Lamp replacement: LEDs

These days nearly every truck I see around town has LED running lights, brake lights, indicators, ect. Everything except headlights, really. I know they use alot less power for the same brightness, but I'm wondering: Has anyone here done this? Does it make a big difference? I figure if trucks do it, then there has to be some advantage, otherwise they wouldn't spend the money.

I don't know about the rest of the world, but you can buy replacement modules for most car lights in australia for a couple of dollars, which just fit into the bayonet socket and such. It's more expensive than incandescents, but if they use less power, and physically last longer, then surely it's worth it.

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Old 12-27-2007, 11:39 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Commercial trucking has gone to LED lighting for several reasons. Primarily to reduce the labor and material costs of continually having to replace burnt out incandescent lamps, second for the safety factor since LED brake lights light up a fraction of a second before incandescents, third for the slight fuel savings.

I haven't yet replaced my running, brake, and interior lights with LED's, but they are on my list of planned mods.
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Old 12-27-2007, 12:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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An insight owner on cleanmpg recently did an upgrade to all LED lights (except headlights) on his car. It cost him $150 for the conversion. I honestly don't think he'll ever see that return in saved gas. However, if you do have problems with your battery getting too low during glides, I'm sure this would help.

I think you could probably get away with just replacing the running lights (and maybe brake lights if you do a lot of city driving) and have a descent reduction in load from doing just those.

Insight LED conversion here.
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Old 12-27-2007, 02:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I think another reason trucks have gone to LED's is because they overcome the problem that incandescents have with voltage (brightness) drops over long wiring loops & multiple connectors.

---

I'll have to check that Insight thread. I usually keep up to date on CMPG posts, but missed that one.

A Honda Civic owner measured the electrical draw of just switching on his marker lights: 95 watts. I used that in a calculation for the "alternator optional" test with my car - http://www.metrompg.com/posts/alternator-optional.htm .
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Old 12-27-2007, 03:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
... A Honda Civic owner measured the electrical draw of just switching on his marker lights: 95 watts. I used that in a calculation for the "alternator optional" test with my car - http://www.metrompg.com/posts/alternator-optional.htm .
I wonder if some of that came from relays. Sounds like a lot of watts for just a few low-wattage bulbs. I wouldn't have guessed it to be anywhere near 95 watts - but that's without looking at said Civic.
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Old 12-27-2007, 03:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I thought so too, but when you actually start counting, turning on the "marker" lights gets pretty involved: probably 2 bulbs at each corner of the car, 1 or 2 more for the licence plate, plus dashboard lights. Suddenly it's upwards of 12 lights. And you could be right - may include a relay as well.
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Old 12-27-2007, 03:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basjoos View Post
second for the safety factor since LED brake lights light up a fraction of a second before incandescents, third for the slight fuel savings.
X2! I saw a truck hauling two trailers, one w/ the leds and one w/ incandescents. The difference between the two sets of lights was significant and noticable, probably equivalent to halving the reaction time of a driver behind 'em.
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Old 01-03-2008, 01:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I have been doing a little LED work on my car. I wanted to be more visible during the day and lower light situations without going full head lights. My marker lights up front aren't very effective, plus as metrompg said , many other bulbs are burning too. I ended up buying some cheap surface mount marker lights at walmart and converted them over to LEDs. I built custom boards with high flux wide angle LEDs, red in back and amber up front. I also added a couple jumbo narrow beam white LEDs to the front clusters for extra Visibility. Now I can turn them on with thier own toggle as needed. Combined they draw less than an amp and are more visible than my stock markers.

I also made a board with LEDs and converted my third brake light. I like the noticably quicker response they have over the rest of the stock brake lights.

I plan to do more and more to lower my electrical load so EOC isn't so tough on the battery.
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Old 06-09-2008, 02:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I have been looking at LEDs recently. The main thing they get you is reliability with a very slight fuel savings. I don't really believe it adds much to safety as an incandescent turns on far quicker than any human can react.

As far as return on investment is concerned, I look at it this way. The LED replacements are probably far cheaper than a ticket.

http://www.superbrightleds.com/tail-brake-turn.html
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Old 06-09-2008, 02:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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the LEDs keep dropping in price.. the big benifit in my book.. there so quicks it gets peoples attention better , and never having them burn out on you..

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