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LED tailights

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by k20, Dec 7, 2003.

  1. k20

    k20 3/4 ton status

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    Watched a repeat on Trucks today and he put an LED tailight conversion on copperhead. Sent the wheels to spinning, does anyone make an LED tailight conversion for these trucks? Ive seen the single 1157 replacement bulbs, but they arent much brighter if at all. Does anyone make a full LED panel like the early classic conversion, except for the 73-87 trucks?
     
  2. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    All I know is that the 1157 replacements suck, they are dimmer and as of yet I haven't seen the flasher work. I bought a few just to test and see how they were and wouldn't recommend them to anyone.
     
  3. Smitty

    Smitty 1/2 ton status

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    I haven't had any luck finding any LED lights for our trucks. The little 1157 replacements don't cut it. I would like to see how the lights he put in Copperhead work. It looked like it would be pretty bright from the # of LEDs in the conversion panel.

    I just put LED lights on my trailer and I'm happy with the brightness of the each of the units.
     
  4. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I've been playing with this idea a bit, but haven't gone past mocking it up in my head/coming up with ideas. (too many other projects still)

    There are numerous websites out there (apparently) that have diagrams of how to put together a bunch of LED's. (would that be an array?)

    Anyways, there are a couple more things to consider. Red LED's need to be behind red lenses, and white behind white, and so on.

    LED's seem to typically be rated at 15* for the "angle" of light given off...basically 0* would be nothing to the sides, 15* shows a bit more light to the side, and so on. The more angle, the further from the side the LED can be "seen". (you'll always see some light, but nothing near what you'd see within the 15* "lgiht dispersion" zone. I've started seeing 40* LED's, these would seem to be ideal for vehicle lights, especially taillights. You can buy 100 LED's on ebay (rated at 7000 milli-candelas I think, which are pretty darn bright) for around $25, and you can buy circuit boards at Radio Shack for about $8. Mount some lights at an angle so they could easily be seen from the sides, and you could have a very good setup.

    The only other problem is "diffusion" of the light. If you look at LED's through a clear lens, you will see each individual LED. If the lens is textured correctly (I doubt 73-87 truck ones are, but have not checked) the LED's are impossible to individually pick out, yet still very bright. You can see this on any LED's behind a lens that is textured, that you can move...one place the LED's are easily seen seperately, move the lens 1/8" to the side, and the lights are much more difficult to distinguish.

    I know there are Cadillacs out there that appear to have LED tail lights, but I'm not sure how they did that, whether its a standard bulb with a fancy lens, or many LED's with a very good lens, so that the individual LED's are not visible at all.

    Anyways, what I'm getting at, is that with a little research online, you could probably put together an LED replacement for under $50, likely for both sides, and still have bulbs left over to re-sell.

    I too am not impressed with the replacement LED setups I've seen, the LED's are too few, the individual LED's are too visible through the lens (at least on the displays) and the light isn't spread out enough. They are probably made so "cheaply" though, because any more effort or time spent on them would increase the retail cost too much, and no one would even be interested in them.
     
  5. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    Who cares if someone can tell you've got LEDs? That'd be the idea!
     
  6. k20

    k20 3/4 ton status

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    It doesnt really matter if anyone can see each individual bulb. I kinda like that lol. I wonder how hard it would be to take a bare LED board and make a set of tailights? hmnnn. Cause the individual LED's would have to be changeable.
     
  7. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    Do a search in the 1st gen forum. BobK got some boards that were FILLED with LED's for rear tail lights a while back. I don't see it being something that hard to do...just buy a bunch of LED's and solder them to a board. Use a resister to drop the power for the running lights (you might also have to runn a resister on full power to keep the voltage what it should be).
     
  8. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Sorry, but just my opinion. Kinda ricey if you ask me. "oooo! Please look at me! I've got LED's!" :P Besides, the truck taillights would look ridiculous with a circle (or square) of LED's sticking out like a sore thumb, with that unlit huge piece of red plastic all around them.

    I just like the idea because they last forever, draw very little, and are extremely bright. Not really enough to make a project of this nature monetarily worthwhile, but still nice ways to justify it.
     
  9. k20

    k20 3/4 ton status

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    Only reason im thinkin about it is because last time my truck was running my friend was followin me and sun was out, he thought my brakelights werent workin. /forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif
     
  10. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    If I planned on buying some of them from those displays you see at a swap meet, I'd want to see what they looked like with my taillight cover over top of them before spending money on them.
     
  11. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    I don't think LED lights are ricey at all as long as they're red. Clear is rice. Red/amber LEDs are like semi rigs have, and I really like them. I like generally anything from big trucks that we can adapt to ours. Main example? Cab lights. I love mine!!
     
  12. Smitty

    Smitty 1/2 ton status

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    I think most people are putting them in beacuse they're different (like the use of the 1157 LEDs that don't work as good as a factory 1157). I had to replace some of the lights on the trailer and went with the LED lights because of reliability. They are bright and I'm sure the lense design helps in this area. I also like the idea of a lower amp draw when I hook up the trailer.
     
  13. skratch

    skratch 1/2 ton status

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    If your just looking for brighter lights you can clean up and repaint the housings with a better chrome paint. And then do like I'm doing, swap in the plugs for 3157 bulbs. They are a lot brighter than the 1157's just not as cool as LED's
     
  14. Thunder

    Thunder 3/4 ton status

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    LED lights are cool. BUT. Life wont be complete till you get a set of these:
    [​IMG]
     
  15. skratch

    skratch 1/2 ton status

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    OH man where can I get a set of those! /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif
     
  16. big pappa b

    big pappa b 3/4 ton status

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    Here is the Link to a LED post I found while surfing a different board. Very in depth with pics along with where he bought the stuff and what to use /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  17. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    Now if someone would make them for our trucks, I'd check them out, might even buy a set. But it'd have to be a direct plug in, no wire splicing. /forums/images/graemlins/deal.gif
     
  18. keith

    keith 1/2 ton status

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    Like these [​IMG]
    I put the trailer light in the rear. Really bright. I can get close up pics if anyone needs them
     
  19. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    I was about to PM you about this post!
     
  20. Stroked72Blazer

    Stroked72Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    I think I read somewhere that there is a source to buy the conversion you are looking for. I think it was on this site within the last 6 months so try a search. If not try this
    http://www.led-r-us.com/lights.shtml
    or this
    http://www.buytruckstuff.com/product.asp?selcategory=34&p_gpID=139

    This is what I plan to do but cant find a white to replace the reverse lights. I was also wondering if anyone made LED headlights. I have a small LED flashlight and it works great I dont see why this tech couldnt be used for headlights.
     

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