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Old 03-07-2013, 04:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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SuperbrightLEDs taillights and marker lights

I've been wanting to do this for a while, but didn't want to sink the money into an old car. Now's the right time - when the car is still "new". I did the front markers, tail/brake/markers, license plate, dome, and cargo lights. I did not touch the turn signals (LEDs tend to hyper-flash due to low resistance) or the headlights (none bright enough or focused enough or legal enough). I looked up oem-spec bulbs from Sylvania to get reference Watts, color temp, and Lumens for selecting the replacements. I won't sacrifice safety.

I don't expect this to save much gas directly. What it will do is allow longer engine-off time and less overnight battery charging.






PositionOEM WattsLED WattsSuperBright model
Brake/Taillight x225/52.5/0.57443-R45-T Red
Front Marker x240.7WLED-AHP6-AC Amber
License Plate x250.4WLED-WWHP6-AC Warm White
Dome100.83022-WWHP4 Warm White
Cargo51.6WLED-WWHP15-TAC Warm White


The cargo light is much brighter than stock, which was badly needed.
I tried 2 different models of license plate light. One (WLED-WWHP6) has good color, but is a bit bright. The other (WLED-WW5) has a classic cheap LED green hue to the color. I'm not a fan.

I measured current draw at the battery. (x12.0 for watts) All measurements are with the car on but engine off (EOC).




StateOEM power drawLED power draw
No lights38W38W
Running/marker + taillights66W41W
Headlights176W151W

I was surprised at how little power the car draws with lights off.

My first observation is that turning on the running lights hardly affects the battery at all. 2nd observation is that pressing the brakes hardly affects the battery. Before it would drop the voltage by -0.2V initially, dragging it down to -0.4V during one red light. Now it flickers between no change and -0.1V.

Front marker lights. (brightened for visibility, but the key is comparing the two)


Back end (photos untouched). The 220 lumen LED taillight is as bright as the 440 lumen incandescent, because all its output is red. Much of the incandescent's output is lost in the red lens.
Also, see the difference between the clean color of the xHP6 and the x5 leds. The HP series is better.

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Old 03-07-2013, 05:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Do new cars still need to worry about hyperflashing? I thought the new flasher modules would all be compatible, and it was only older cars that were a concern.

I was thinking about getting some for my car too. I figure if I sell it, I can swap the bulbs back and put them in whatever I replace it with. They don't all use the same bulbs, but there is a decent chance the new car would use the same bulbs as the old one.
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Nice!
Are you planning on installing aftermarket HIDs? I did on my Insight; saves me 40W when operating them (35W each i.o. 55W as for the OEM halogens) and produces over 3 times as much light. The lens lamps on the Insight have very low stray light, the extra light just makes the car better visible from aside (on a par to other cars instead of below par).

I have LEDs in my map and door entry lights. As much of the light gets wasted ion the grey plastic housing, I lined that with strips of alu foil backed with 2-sided sticky tape.
It works, just make sure it does not make contact with any current bearing part.


I also put 7W 24LED grids in my dome and on my boot light.
When I unlock the car in pitch dark, the inside is lit very brightly indeed and even the surroundings of the car is lit enough to prevent tripping over whatever's there.


The boot is also a joy to open now. Bright enough f.i. to find the black air pump in the black foam crevisse onder the boot floor hatch, and to read the fine print on it from a distance.
Further LED mods: 1W 5-LED license plate lights, 2.5W 13-LED city lights, 28LED 3W fog light replacements (as DRLs).
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I thought hyperflashing was still a problem. Looks like the taillights and turn signals are the same socket so I could try one of my tails in a turn signal position and test it.

I'm considering LED fog lights, but not sure if I'd use them enough to justify the expense.

I'm in a similar position for the map lights. Not sure if it's worth the cost for how little they get used. My old car didn't even have map lights.

I put the 4 high-power led unit in the dome and it's brighter than stock. The cargo light is a 15 hp unit. It's a 360 bulb mounted sideways so half the light goes into the dark recesses. I like your aluminum foil idea.
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedDevil View Post
Nice!
Are you planning on installing aftermarket HIDs? I did on my Insight;
I did this with my Civic. Saves me I think 35 watts per bulb, IIRC. The kit I chose was easy to install, quite inexpensive, and had an inline fuse and high beam option.
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Considering the Philips or Sylvania eco halogens first. 50W instead of 55, only $12 for a pair, plug and play.
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaleMelanesian View Post
Considering the Philips or Sylvania eco halogens first. 50W instead of 55, only $12 for a pair, plug and play.
I paid $70 for my HID kit. If you got the same deal, that would mean nearly six times more $$ than the eco halogens for about four times the wattage reduction.
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See my car's mod & maintenance thread and my electric bicycle's thread for ongoing projects. I will rebuild Black and Green over decades as parts die, until it becomes a different car of roughly the same shape and color. My minimum fuel economy goal is 55 mpg while averaging posted speed limits. I generally top 60 mpg. See also my Honda manual transmission specs thread.

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Old 03-07-2013, 06:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaleMelanesian View Post
Considering the Philips or Sylvania eco halogens first. 50W instead of 55, only $12 for a pair, plug and play.
That's just ordinary bright, not superbright
One (not so) strange thing; running my 35W HIDs I have to clear snow from the headlights as it does not melt off on its own, despite the light being over 3 times as bright. But that's all light and almost no heat. When it snows you may have to stop from time to time just to clear the lights...
Aside from that, I recommend HIDs all the way. Life expectancy of over 8,000 burning hours, versus 2,000 at most for halogen.
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by California98Civic View Post
I did this with my Civic. Saves me I think 35 watts per bulb, IIRC. The kit I chose was easy to install, quite inexpensive, and had an inline fuse and high beam option.
I presume this means you didn't bother with using a projector lens, and just used your standard reflector headlight housing?

All the HID enthusiasts bemoan this practice due to the poor light pattern it creates which leads to glare for oncoming drivers.

Having seen a bunch of these driving around, it seems like much ado about nothing, but it's enough to keep me from giving it a shot. However, my Civic's headlights are rather pathetic, so I've been considering it.
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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HIDs don't need to blind anyone, and shouldn't.
For sure the area that lights up is no bigger than the halogen coil - it just gives off more light. As no lamp mounting is exactly identical, the bundle may be slightly misaligned.
It is every drivers responsibility to make sure that their lights are aligned correctly.
I hope anyone on this site who considers HIDs is wise enough to do so.
My Honda garage aligned my aftermarket HIDded lights for free, even though I did not buy the HIDs from them, nor the car... Maybe I'm just too good looking?

The Insight has projector lenses as standard. A RPITA with the halogen candlelights, as they give so little stray light that anyone not facing the light bundle hardly sees the car at all. The HIDs have cured that somewhat.

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Last edited by RedDevil; 03-07-2013 at 07:05 PM..
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