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LED taillights retro fit - not bulbs

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Spokester Jerry Joseph
Allentown, PA, USA   USA
I have the layout of the brake done and working on routing the rear turnsignal.

Starting to look at the reverse light now. The reverse lens has unique diffusion pattern designed for a single light bulb. Not sure it will lend itself to an LED board.

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SexyBeast Avatar
SexyBeast Greg N
Charleston, South Carolins, USA   USA
I use this on my Mk 2, motorcycle taillights.

ford teardrop

The car came with similar teardrops, but dimly lit glass covered ones you couldn't see at night. They are an easy bolt on replacement for stock taillights and they work well. Looks are debatable, but not horrible. They point skyward but are still very visible at a distance, probably overly bright to tailgating SUV's.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-04-04 09:00 AM by SexyBeast.

Spokester Jerry Joseph
Allentown, PA, USA   USA
I sent the brake and rear turnsignal boards to the fab yesterday. Should have them by next weekend.

Haven't made much progress on the reverse boards. I need to do some tests with the standard reverse bulb to see how the light patterns through the lens go.

If the reverse are similar to the TR6 reverse lens, the Spitfire reverse board may have a unique LED pattern like the TR6 reverse board below where all the LEDs are bunched behind the convex part of the reverse lens. The reverse board is on the left.
.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-05-28 02:38 PM by Spokester.

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Spokester Jerry Joseph
Allentown, PA, USA   USA
Have PCBs in hand for brake and rear turnsignal.

Boards looks pretty good and fit well in the lenses. Spacers will hold the boards in place such that they are angled to point directly behind the vehicle. This will maximize the light intensity to the car behind.

The boards will not be RTV'ed or glued to the lens or the fixture. The spacers will hold the boards in place once the lenses are attached to the fixture. I should have the first boards assembled in the next few days. 3d printing the LED solder jigs for the boards now.


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Spokester Jerry Joseph
Allentown, PA, USA   USA
The first brake and rear turnsignal boards are in. I built up one of each of the boards. Both work fine and put out a lot of light. The brake board has 56 red LEDs and the rear turnsignal has 72 amber LEDs. I won't be able to do light intensity measurements until this weekend. Measurements on my TR6 brake boards was about 2.5x brighter than the standard bulb @ 14V on brakes, and about 6x brighter on running lights. These should be as good or brighter.

WRT to absolute brightness, on brakes, these boards are less bright than those on modern cars with LEDs especially Audis and Cadillacs.

On brakes, the brake PCB burns 5.75W (standard bulb 21W) and on running lights about 1W (standard bulb 5W).

The rear turnsignal PCB burns 7.5W (standard bulb 28W).


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Spokester Jerry Joseph
Allentown, PA, USA   USA
Measured the output of the rear turnsignal PCB and the standard 28W bulb at 14V.

First pic below is the bulb; second pic is the PCB. Notice how much deeper amber the LEDs are over the bulb.

3 measurements were taken at 4 foot distance from the fixture. One standing directly behind the vehicle and one at 45 degrees towards the outside of the car and 45 degrees towards the inside of the car.

Bulb:
45 degrees towards outside of car: 22 Lux
directly behind the car: 52 Lux
45 degrees towards inside of car: 62 Lux

PCB:
45 degrees towards outside of car: 50 Lux
directly behind the car: 150 Lux
45 degrees towards inside of car: 50 Lux

The intensity data is plotted in the graph below. The LEDs drop off quite extensively with angle of incidence but starts out at a much higher point than the standard bulb directly behind the car.

The LED board is about 3x brighter than the standard bulb @ 14V. Given the old wiring and suspect connectors and switches in our classic cars, applying 14V to the bulb is quite generous and could be considered best case scenario.


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Growe58 Avatar
Growe58 Greg Rowe
Hatfield, PA, USA   USA
Hi Jerry. Enjoying your updates and looking forward to this product being available!

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dvcasano Avatar
dvcasano Platinum Member David Casano
Amsterdam, NY, USA   USA
Most encouraging, Looking forward to availability.

Koblenz William Bowers
Murfreesboro, TN, USA   USA
1978 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "Little Car"
I have tried a different approach.

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Spokester Jerry Joseph
Allentown, PA, USA   USA
Measured the brake PCB (56 Red LEDs) versus 1057 21W/5W bulb.

Measurements at 4FT; 3 measurements; Running light; Brake light:

Bulb Running Light (5W):
1) 45 degrees towards the center of the car: 1.9 Lux
2) directly behind vehicle: 2.9 Lux
3) 45 degrees towards outside of car: 1.3 Lux

Bulb Brake Light (21W):
1) 45 degrees towards the center of the car: 16 Lux
2) directly behind vehicle: 26 Lux
3) 45 degrees towards outside of car: 12 Lux

LED Running Light (1W):
1) 45 degrees towards the center of the car: 3.6 Lux
2) directly behind vehicle: 26 Lux
3) 45 degrees towards outside of car: 5 Lux

LED Brake Light (5.75W):
1) 45 degrees towards the center of the car: 24 Lux
2) directly behind vehicle: 170 Lux
3) 45 degrees towards outside of car: 27 Lux

Directly behind the car, the LED board on brakes is 6x brighter than the standard bulb burning 5.75W to the bulb's 21W. The LED board is 8x brighter on running lights burning 1W to the bulb's 5W.

The LED running light is as bright as the bulb brake light...



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-06-24 11:09 PM by Spokester.


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Spokester Jerry Joseph
Allentown, PA, USA   USA
I sent the reverse light PCB out to the fab. I should have the boards in hand in about a week.

The Spitfire reverse light lens is similar to the TR6 lens in that it has a center convex lens to focus the light since the reflector in the housing provides minimal reflecting.

What I've done with the PCB is to try to put all the LEDs under the center convex part of the lens. In this case there's 33 white LEDs. The TR6 reverse PCB with 30 LEDs is over 3x brighter than the OEM bulb so I suspect the Spitfire reverse PCB will have similar comparison results.


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Spokester Jerry Joseph
Allentown, PA, USA   USA
The first set of brakes, turnsignals, reverse boards are assembled. Working on the spacers for the brake and reverse lights. Goal is to angle the boards such that they point directly behind the car. The light fixture is at a slight angle on the car so the boards have to be angled just as the OEM brake bulb was angled.

In the last pic, the center row of LEDs on the reverse board is visible behind the convex lens.

Hope to have these in a Spitfire in the next few weeks.


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Doug in Vegas Avatar
Doug in Vegas Douglas D
Las Vegas, NV, USA   USA
I'd still like to see these lit for comparison.

Partial to the OP's.



Very clever design.

Spokester Jerry Joseph
Allentown, PA, USA   USA
Greg stopped by with his beautiful red 1979 Spitfire to fit it with rear turnsignal, brake, and reverse LED lights. The goal was to check the fit and installation of the LED boards in an actual car.

The boards are sandwiched between the lens and the fixture with spacers. As I had thought, the gasket between the lens and the fixture was in the way of the spacers. Since the gasket was old and quite hardened, I had to cut out small parts of the lens so the spacers would fit properly. The cutouts do not affect the sealing capability of the gasket and help the boards to sit properly while the lenses are attached.

Greg did all the installation and things went well. He started with the reverse board, then brake, then turnsignal as the brake lens fits over the reverse, and the turnsignal lens fits over the brake lens. Closing up the fixture and reattaching the lenses went smoothly. No issues were observed.

Because the gasket had to be cut, a template of the cuts would be helpful. The cuts were made with a pair of diagonal cutters although scissors or a razor knife could be used.

Notice the extreme discoloration of the brake and turnsignal reflectors. They are doing very little reflecting at this point.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-08-07 12:20 PM by Spokester.


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Spokester Jerry Joseph
Allentown, PA, USA   USA
Here's a couple of pics showing the running lights and brake lights. The bulb on the left shows the effect of not having a good reflector as the only bright spot is coming from the bulb itself.


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