Welcome to the North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club Monday July 14, 2014
Home Forums WikiNASIOC Products Store Modifications Upgrade Garage
NASIOC
Here you can view your subscribed threads, work with private messages and edit your profile and preferences Home Registration is free! Visit the NASIOC Store NASIOC Rules Search Find other members Frequently Asked Questions Calendar Archive NASIOC Upgrade Garage Logout
Go Back   NASIOC > NASIOC Technical > Electrical & Lighting

Welcome to NASIOC - The world's largest online community for Subaru enthusiasts!
Welcome to the NASIOC.com Subaru forum.

You are currently viewing our forum as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our community, free of charge, you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is free, fast and simple, so please join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us.
* Registered users of the site do not see these ads.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-11-2005, 08:54 PM   #1
Rubr_Duky
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 2159
Join Date: Aug 2000
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: Fullerton, CA
Vehicle:
2004 WRX
WRB

Talking LED Conversions?

I know that there are some cheezy-ass replacement bulbs that are LEDs rather than incandescant lighting.

Not likely a very quantifiable savings of power consumption, but over a long drive, converting the lights from incandescant to LED lighting, along with HIDs vs. Halogens, I think that I can save a little bit of fuel by not drawing so much on the alternator.

Okay. Tell me I'm nuts.

As well, the frequency of replacing these lights would justify replacing them with LEDs which will last many times longer. Not buying bulbs will allow me to save on maintenance costs, or maybe eat something other than mac & cheese with current gas prices.

I am curious if anyone has actually done a complete LED conversion, either with these aftermarket plug-n-play units, or other, more extreme methods, including, but not limited to: reducing the voltage in the line from it's origin to LED levels, etc.?

I agree with a sentiment that Rapid Roo mentioned in one of his posts, that it can be a good idea to wake up these lazy Southern California Cell Phone Drivers when you hit the brakes. I'd rather cause panic than get hit by someone paying less than undivided attention.

Additionally, I have heard of there being issues with blinkers and the like being converted to LEDs because they blink fast, or (on such equipped vehicles) trigger the 'bulb out' warning, and was wondering about such effects on our cars.

I look at the likes of Mercedes & Even BMW 3-series, and the LEDs are so much sharper, and light instantaneously, and fade instantaneously, unlike the slow on and off of incandescent lights.

RD
* Registered users of the site do not see these ads.
Rubr_Duky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2005, 09:12 PM   #2
R_W
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 76896
Join Date: Dec 2004
Chapter/Region: South East
Default

If you put LED's on, your flasher will flash twice as fast. It will see less current draw, and act like it is in "outage." (One bulb out).

Quick fix:
Tridon EP-37. You have to get this from NAPA, I don't believe the others carry it. It is only a 2 pin flasher, but it will work. Plug it in one way, and if it doesn't work plug it in the only other way. The advantage is this is also a high lamp flasher, and can handle towing applications up to whatever the vehicle wiring can handle. Disadvantage is that you don't get outage (fast flash on bulb out) function, but you lose this with LED's anyway.

Disclaimer: I work for the company that makes this product, and will get $.00000001 in profit sharing if you buy one.
R_W is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2005, 09:52 PM   #3
Rubr_Duky
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 2159
Join Date: Aug 2000
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: Fullerton, CA
Vehicle:
2004 WRX
WRB

Default

I haven't been to NAPA yet.. don't know of one around here, but I'll have to look.

If I want you to get your $.00000001 in profit sharing

What about reducing the line voltage/amperage to that used by LEDs? Is something like that even possible if the whole line ONLY has LEDs on it?

RD
Rubr_Duky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2005, 10:03 PM   #4
Mulder
Trust no one
Moderator
 
Member#: 11170
Join Date: Oct 2001
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: NYC
Vehicle:
02 WRX
15 WRX/05 GTO

Default

The current will already be reduced. A bulb or LED will draw a specific amount of current, the LEDs draw vastly less than incandescent bulbs. The standard flasher works by sensing the current, a lower than normal draw will cause it to flash at the faster rate to indicate a blown bulb or other problem with the turn signal system. The LEDs, with their reduced current, "fake" this flasher into its outage mode.
As for voltage the LED replacements are made to work on the same 12V as the existing bulbs. Nothing to modify there.
One more thing to bear in mind, the factory light housings and reflectors are designed for the output of incandescent bulbs. The LED replacements have a much narrower angle of dispersion and may not be as visible from an offset angle. Vehicles with OEM LED arrays don't have this problem since they are designed from the beginning with the characteristics of the LEDs in mind (and there are usually a LOT of LEDs in the array).
Mulder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2005, 10:32 PM   #5
Rubr_Duky
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 2159
Join Date: Aug 2000
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: Fullerton, CA
Vehicle:
2004 WRX
WRB

Default

light dispersion issue understood. Was actually thinking of a custom housing, or reflectors, etc. But don't want to run into the rampage of the flashers.

RD
Rubr_Duky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2005, 11:53 PM   #6
Imprezv
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 92440
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Vista, Ca
Vehicle:
'05 STi
PSM/Gold

Subaru Stars Led

Wouldn't it be the same as doing a LED swap on anything electronic. You just figure the proper resistor needed and wire it in series. Just a thought.
Imprezv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2005, 11:59 PM   #7
R_W
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 76896
Join Date: Dec 2004
Chapter/Region: South East
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Imprezv
Wouldn't it be the same as doing a LED swap on anything electronic. You just figure the proper resistor needed and wire it in series. Just a thought.
You can do that to solve the flasher outage, but you have to buy a big load resistor for each location you put the LED's, and it has to consume the same power as before, so you lose the power savings. They make them for this, I think they are around $8 each.
R_W is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2005, 12:46 AM   #8
DeeBoy
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 72109
Join Date: Oct 2004
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Sea-Town, WA
Default

http://www.clearcorners.com/

these guys make LEDs for a few cars, no Subarus though
DeeBoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2005, 12:55 AM   #9
Rubr_Duky
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 2159
Join Date: Aug 2000
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: Fullerton, CA
Vehicle:
2004 WRX
WRB

Default

Well, I have some experience with CF layup & the like, and I could interface that with the stock housings for the lights (was thinking about doing something similar for the headlights too) so the housing is not an issue. But if there isn't going to be any electrical load savings, then the whole project is somewhat worthless.

Guess I need to DL the Schematics and such from subaru Service, and take a look. I know the Low/High beams and Fogs are on relays, but I can't imagine the need for similar on brakes and clearance lights.

There is no reason I couldn't just buy all the pre-made crap for LED replacement, other than the less-than optimum reflectors, and light dispersion mentioned earlier. No need to do a half-ass job well.

Edit:

Clean work on clearcorners.com. Some interesting ideas for sure.

RD

Last edited by Rubr_Duky; 09-12-2005 at 01:02 AM.
Rubr_Duky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2005, 10:42 AM   #10
2phless
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 69343
Join Date: Aug 2004
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: 'tween Lewisville&Clemmons NC
Vehicle:
1998 TransAm cnvrtbl
Black

Default

The trick is a 6 ohm resistor in parallel with the LED turn signal bulb. One takes care of each side (2 total.) just jump it across the leads going into each turn signal in the trunk. Some places make a nice little package that's encased in aluminum (as they get pretty warm) but getting the large, white ceramic 10 watt resistors should do as well, and mounting them away from things that might melt (they don't get that hot, but with hazards left on for 30 minutes, they might warp plastic. )

For installing LEDs in any other part of the car... dash, wherever, you need a current limiting resistor or the LED will pop. A regular red LED have about a 2 v drop. So the current from the remaining 10+ volts needs to be less than the currnet rating of the LED. Another trick is to wire 6 or 7 LEDs in series (remember they have a polarity) as 6v x 2v =12v. In general a single red led in series with a 470 ohm resistor is safe. Blue LEDs- 330 ohm. And you can play with those values a little to dim or brighten them depending on the voltage your battery/alternator is providing. But LEDs don't have much range before they turn off or burn out.

The turn signal LED bulbs, and those that are sold in any pre-fit standard bulb-size package, already have that resistance built in.
2phless is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2005, 01:16 PM   #11
Rubr_Duky
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 2159
Join Date: Aug 2000
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: Fullerton, CA
Vehicle:
2004 WRX
WRB

Default

That still leaves me with no power savings. The resistors are still consuming (and turning into excess, undesired heat) the same power that incandescant bulbs would consume.

The point here is to be more efficient by using LEDs.

RD
Rubr_Duky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2005, 02:02 PM   #12
R_W
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 76896
Join Date: Dec 2004
Chapter/Region: South East
Default

Okay, here's a quick sanity check on power consumption. I'm guessing the turn/tails are around 21W. That is ~ 0.028 hp. Run all 4 all the time, and you consume just slightly more than 0.1 hp.
R_W is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2005, 05:28 PM   #13
Rubr_Duky
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 2159
Join Date: Aug 2000
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: Fullerton, CA
Vehicle:
2004 WRX
WRB

Default

And if you drive for 8 hours straight, through the night, you have occasional turn signal, occasional brake, constant clearance, constant gauge, occasional radio, constant headlight, frequent high beam, frequent driving light, constant license plate illumination. I'm talking not a filament left on the whole car, save maybe the trunk light.

How much does that save?

What about maintenance costs in replacing bulbs?

Taking this to the nth degree is nuts, I agree. I simply posed the question as to how to do it most efficiently. Any time you are developing heat to burn off extra voltage (resistor) that is neither efficient, nor purposeful. Convert that to seat heaters maybe, and you've got something, but otherwise, why not limit the voltage through those wires at their source? I understand that the car is a 12v system, and yeah, 6 LEDs in series could work, in theory, but there are likely other methods, not just a big ass resistor at the power consumption end.

RD
Rubr_Duky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2005, 09:13 PM   #14
R_W
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 76896
Join Date: Dec 2004
Chapter/Region: South East
Default

I'm with you on not putting a big power resistor just to get flasher outage in line. I'd put in an LED flasher. The main thing I like about LED's are the quick on and off.

Check out the 3rd brake light on the new H3. It is LED, and shines through 15% privacy glass...
R_W is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2005, 01:26 AM   #15
1illusion
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 48286
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: San Jo.
Vehicle:
2005 2.5L WagonRX
not black, blue or grey.

Default

I've been toying with the idea of this in my wagon, but it was a royal pain in the arse in my last car, and looks to be an even worse job in the wagon. There's all kinds of things you can do for an LED project. Like...To make the fast blinking stop when you install LED turns, open up the flasher and tinker around with the sense resistor on the current mirror until it's happy with the LEDs you have(you can also look at what they use for the stock resistor, figure out how much current they are expecting then modify it by a ratio).

As far as implementing LEDs by hand I found it easiest to use a 1/8w SMT resistor on every single LED. I tinkered around with some LED drivers but the end circuit ended up being a pain in the arse(I had to use a buck switching reg to drop the voltage down enough for the LED driver to survive in the car).

I've been awfully tempted to do the interior in the wagon, but I see embedded filters everywhere, and those can really limit the color choices. I'm not up for another blue dash(been there, done that, bought a t-shirt). I was hoping for white, but my initial tests in the center console didn't make me very happy. I might try red next. I'll be doing the tails in the near future though. I just picked up the tails on ebay(I always save parts to give me the ability to take my car back to stock). It's pretty easy, a level dremel with the right sized bit, a crapload of resistors, and patience is all you need.

Here's a guy I know of that does custom lighting(HID, LED, you name it) no affiliation with me though. http://www.illusion-lighting.com/

Here's some pics of my LED retrofit in my last car.(and here's a little how to I wrote http://www.igd4u.com/modules.php?op=...=article&sid=2 page two is most interesting as it's more universal, oh and a side note, the blue floor lighting was only only connected to the door pin, on when door open or alarm disarm only)



and no it wasn't a rice mobile. this is lit


I'll dig around and see if I can find pics of some of my previous LED lighting fun. I had the tails done as well as LEDs in my front markers and E46 Bi-xenon HID retrofit I like lighting
1illusion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2005, 01:40 AM   #16
1illusion
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 48286
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: San Jo.
Vehicle:
2005 2.5L WagonRX
not black, blue or grey.

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2phless
The trick is a 6 ohm resistor in parallel with the LED turn signal bulb. One takes care of each side (2 total.) just jump it across the leads going into each turn signal in the trunk. Some places make a nice little package that's encased in aluminum (as they get pretty warm) but getting the large, white ceramic 10 watt resistors should do as well, and mounting them away from things that might melt (they don't get that hot, but with hazards left on for 30 minutes, they might warp plastic. )
6ohm? Holy crap. that's over 30w. P = E^2 / R. If they do leave the hazards on, or the flasher gets stuck that's a fire hazard with a 10w in there. over 2A is WAY too much just for bulb simulation, as I said in my last post you'd be better off cracking open the flasher and tweaking the current mirror a tad. Aren't the stock turn bulbs 5w(350ma)? For 5w simulation you could use a 35ohm 10w and have plenty of room to spare without worrying about burning the car to the ground..
1illusion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2005, 08:42 AM   #17
Rubr_Duky
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 2159
Join Date: Aug 2000
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: Fullerton, CA
Vehicle:
2004 WRX
WRB

Default

I'll have to get to the schematic on Subaru Service, but if I'm converting everything to LEDs, I don't even see the need to feed 12v to the tail lights, or like 2phless said use 6 leds in series to work it out, which does seem doable. It won't have the amperage load that the bulbs would, but would still require 12v? Seems doable, especially if I'm doing a scratch 'retrofit' job.

HIDs is another step I am seriously thinking about doing, not necessarily for the power savings, though that doesn't seem like a bad bonus, but for the increased lighting, and control over it. Again, some ral good ideas in this respect from clearcorners.com

I route PC boards for a living, so something like this, given the right schematic seems like it should be pretty easy. The fab work should also prove pretty interesting, with all the available options, like reflectors, projectors, and light-pipes, I think I can get a pretty clean, cool look. I'll definately post, and if it's easy enough, it could be duplicated.

2 projects ahead of this though, just thinking out loud.

Good work on the LED conversion, Illusion.. never thought of SMT resistors, though I might try that in my gauge cluster when I get around to it instead of 'bulb condoms'

RD

Last edited by Rubr_Duky; 09-13-2005 at 08:58 AM.
Rubr_Duky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2005, 11:08 AM   #18
1illusion
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 48286
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: San Jo.
Vehicle:
2005 2.5L WagonRX
not black, blue or grey.

Default

Two things I found through my adventures in LEDs. SMT well SMD(surface mount device, instead of surface mount transistor since they aren't transistors lol) resistors since it makes putting them in small places much easier. For the most part I used original bulb sockets throughout the dash in the accord. Just slipped an LED in base, then put the resistor on the back. The other finding was cutting off the dome on the LEDs to give them a soft even lighting instead of a focused beam. Most real wide angle LEDs have a very little output so they would be dim.

For those too lazy to visit my site.
regular LED unaltered


after making the dome flat with my dremel


the back of one of my altered bulb sockets



Rubr_Duky. HID is a wonderful thing, especially when you go to OEM projectors. I have modified JDM STi HID right now, and I'm sad I spent the money for the housings because the output is crap. I spent 1/2 the price on putting the HID projectors in my accord and the output was fantastic. I'm getting on in age and my night vision isn't getting any better. The projectors in my accord ROCKED.


don't mind the drivers side, I hadn't tweaked it yet and it was a bit off kilter


plus they looked pretty mean during the day(I got some cheap ass ebay projectors, yanked out the junk low beam optics then added my HID projectors)
1illusion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2005, 03:46 PM   #19
Rubr_Duky
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 2159
Join Date: Aug 2000
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: Fullerton, CA
Vehicle:
2004 WRX
WRB

Default

Sweet.

I am currently looking at the Bosch projectors from hidplanet, though I am going to wait and see how feasible this LED thing is before I start buying. I HATE doing things twice, and what I have in mind will likely take me to a custom housing if I can get all the bits together, and can find a way of molding the parts just right, and some other loose ends that need squaring. That stated, it should be an interesting project, and if I can execute what I've got in my head, it should look pretty decent as well, and will be just a little bit different than stock, though much cleaner a unit than some that I have seen. Not to take away from the hard work that some people have put into HID retrofits, but I have been less than pleased with the appearance of the unit, but I agree, the lighting difference is well worth the energy and expsnse.

I think if done correctly, the LEDs give a much cleaner, tighter appearance to the car, which is why I have thus far shied away from the available lighting options, because IMHO they just look kinda sloppy. Call me a neat freak, and a hypocrite because I don't often wash my car, I like little projects like this, because it's unique.

Plus, I'm a freak.

RD
Rubr_Duky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2005, 03:55 PM   #20
vwown3d
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 69991
Join Date: Sep 2004
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: USA
Vehicle:
Leh Keen
Approved

Default

interesting on grinding the top off of the LED. I use wideband that are upposed to give off a less focused light. hmmmmm
vwown3d is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2005, 05:16 PM   #21
1illusion
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 48286
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: San Jo.
Vehicle:
2005 2.5L WagonRX
not black, blue or grey.

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by vwown3d
interesting on grinding the top off of the LED. I use wideband that are upposed to give off a less focused light. hmmmmm
I'm an IT manager for a semiconductor company, and used to b a test engineer, so I have quite a few connections for free samples. I got samples of pretty much every LED I could get my hands on, and the only ones that put out enough light and had a soft enough dispersion cost a freaking arm and a leg for white or blue InGaN and GaN devices(Indium Gallium Nitride and Gallium Nitride), For red, orange, or yellow the price aren't as bad because they use a cheaper process, GaAsP or GaAlP(Gallum Arsenic Phosphate, or Gallium Aluminum Phosphate). I don't really like wideband GaN because they are generally less efficient and give off less luminosity per watt, they are also really finicky of their tolerances, if you get a little too close their limits they insta-cook where regular GaN and InGaN are fairly tolerant.

My favorite LED is still the Luxeon Star V, I have a few of them, but haven't found anything to do with them because they are power hogs(700ma@7V), and just silly bright. They are spec'd at 30lumens(1,250,000mCd)...but the odd part of that spec is the 150 viewing angle, which means if they were a focused beam they would just be insane. I have a Collimator lens coming which supposedly turns a luxeon star into a 10 animal. I'm getting it for free so I'm being patient with my supplier
1illusion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2005, 05:25 PM   #22
Rubr_Duky
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 2159
Join Date: Aug 2000
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: Fullerton, CA
Vehicle:
2004 WRX
WRB

Default

What's that? LED Projector Fogs?

RD
Rubr_Duky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2005, 06:33 PM   #23
1illusion
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 48286
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: San Jo.
Vehicle:
2005 2.5L WagonRX
not black, blue or grey.

Default

probably could be if I could get the beam adjusted right.

Oh and a side note for fellow nerds. The best LED site around http://ledmuseum.home.att.net/ledleft.htm

and an interesting collection of things I just ran arcoss. http://www.emanator.demon.co.uk/bigclive/makendo.htm Hmmm his RGD LED driver board can support 1000 LEDs a channel....RGB dash lighting?
1illusion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2005, 03:15 PM   #24
420WRX
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 27752
Join Date: Oct 2002
Chapter/Region: VIC
Location: Victoria B.C., Can
Vehicle:
2004 WRX+Ver.8 EJ207
Silver

Default

Y'know the whole quick-flash LED issue isn't one. The Police, atleast in my area (Canada!), do not care. I actually asked an ex-police friend what his opinion was and he brought over an active officer to check it out. I got 4 thumbs up from them saying the color was perfect and the intention is clearly an indication of turning. They both liked the high intensity of the 19 LEDs per bulb and were impressed with the angles of radiance the LEDs were providing.

(That's a bad pic but I can't find the sweet closeup we got of the LED in action.. It's very intense!)
420WRX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2005, 03:44 PM   #25
Power_Getter
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 45089
Join Date: Oct 2003
Chapter/Region: International
Location: U.A.E
Vehicle:
2008 DGM STI -R Spec
2010 BMW X5 ///M

Default

Power_Getter is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
LED conversion question breadstick Electrical & Lighting 1 11-02-2006 10:54 PM
Surefire E2E LED Conversion Question Call_me_Tom Off-Topic 13 01-01-2006 03:59 PM
gas light on after led conversion rabbitnutz Electrical & Lighting 6 04-21-2004 08:48 PM
Just finished my blue LED conversion! Speedwagon Legacy Forum 15 05-09-2003 09:06 PM
Just finished my blue LED conversion! Speedwagon Mid Atlantic Impreza Club -- MAIC 12 05-09-2003 06:58 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:28 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Powered by Searchlight © 2014 Axivo Inc.
Copyright ©1999 - 2014, North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club, Inc.