Brake light bulbs

Big_John

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Thanks everyone for all your valuable info , but I’m not an electrician so bottom line is ? To just replace my old bulbs with the current LED bulbs? If there’s wire modifications I’ll have to take to a shop, I had rust in my bulb holders that were spring loaded and I used rust gel and cleaned them up , I’m keeping my old headlights because I like the look , prolly never drive at night , I just want something for brake lights that will work and not overheat
They aren't telling you the downsides of LED.

The biggest issue is that they are often directional, meaning you may not see the LED lighting up your brake lights at certain angles. Some of that is probably addressed in the better bulbs, but honestly, most of what I see are off shore cheap versions. Much of it has to do with how the reflectors will work with the LED bulbs. Do your homework on this and don't depend on "mine are great" opinions you may read here. They may work great in their application, given bulb selection and reflector design, but those factors may change with the bulbs you buy and the design of your reflector.

Some will disagree with me on that... But I did research it quite a bit a few years ago...

Daniel Stern Lighting had some really good guidance on using LED bulbs, but I can't find it on his site now.

There are advantages, less current draw and faster on than an Edison bulb. Some say they are brighter, but I always wonder if that's because they cleaned everything up.

Personally, I would not use the LED in my dash as I like to have the dash very dim, just enough light to see it. That gives me better vision to see down the road.

To your original question, just buy some brass versions on eBay if it bothers you. Look at what NAPA has too... The bulbs I have on my shelf are NAPA and are brass.

IMHO, most of the damage with an aluminum version (if any) will occur in a wet environment (think winter snow) and probably not in a car that is only used when the weather is nice.
 

Gerald Morris

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I recommend SuperbrightLEDs.com or the Phillips LEDs from Rock Auto as sources for LED bulbs. Be VERY WARY of most of the sino-SHIT from Amazon. Superbrightleds.com started off selling cheap garbage at first, BUT, these past couple years they have supplied me with nothing but GOOD, high performance LED bulbs, so pleasantly surprising me that I stocked up with some of their wares. They actually now sell DOT approved 1157 type bulbs, which for brakes and turn signals are what you want. Phillips bulbs also are DOT approved.

If you drive in any sort of wet climate, follow @LivefortheKing's advice on De-Oxit. I reckon I'll invest in a bit of that myself, even out here in the Sonoran Desert, as the monsoons CAN really fill a street up with rapids! I drove Mathilda through an intersection which lapped up to the top radiator tank, and GOT THROUGH, but THAT's a different wiring issue/story. It certainly pays to prepare!
 

Turboomni

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Big topic on this and concerns a 69 Plymouth Fury III [not mine] and is how I got exact part numbers.
I installed 4 LED tail lights. Part number is 1157-R27-T and ordered them [4 of these] at Superbrightleds.com
Unlike the older ones like Big John spoke of and I also experienced [unsatisfactory] these have no dark spots and copy the Edison bulbs ability to radiate in all directions. If there are far more important things to worry about on your car than this ,nothing really wrong with Edison bulbs and they are far superior to bad quality led lights.

If interested read the thread here. Exterior LED lighting upgrade Also if you are interested in only the back 4 tail lights no under dash work or Led flashers etc is required. Just put them in like a standard bulb and go. The pic below is from the thread I linked here and is not my car. In real life the light is much more even as I have the same car.
1655406432121.png



1655407001017.png
 
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Gerald Morris

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Big topic on this and concerns a 69 Plymouth Fury III [not mine] and is how I got exact part numbers.
I installed 4 LED tail lights. Part number is 1157-R27-T and ordered them [4 of these] at Superbrightleds.com
Unlike the older ones like Big John spoke of and I also experienced [unsatisfactory] these have no dark spots and copy the Edison bulbs ability to radiate in all directions.

If interested read the thread here.Exterior LED lighting upgrade Also if you are interested in only the back 4 tail lights no under dash work or Led flashers etc is required. Just put them in like a standard bulb and go.
View attachment 538118




View attachment 538116 View attachment 538116

Yes, all the FUD published contra LED bulbs is now OB-SOOOOO-LEEEEETE, and not worthy of much rebuttal. That's why Stern dropped such from his website. Once Superbright started vending DOT grade bulbs, they became my FIRST choice for LEDs. Superbrite even publishes the viewing angles for their wares. I like the tower bulbs as all around tail light or turn signal replacements, provided their other qualities are up to grade. There still abounds a plethora of CRAP tower bulbs on BezosZon and ePay, if one isn't careful.

My Bottom Shelf rests at Walmart. Their house brand stuff was the first OTC 1157 bublbs I tried. Those tower bulbs made plenty light, but only lasted a year or so. Sylvania can't do any better, but Philips and now several new brands do quite well.

I like how the wavelengths of the red or amber LEDs complement the old diffusion lenses on our C body rides, as well as the '83 D150 we scored with our Biden-bribe this past winter. Stuff like single wavelength lighting shows clearly why modern lighting technology has already exceeded the 19th century approach for both Quality and Quantity.

NOW, if ONLY these HEADLAMP MARKETERS can be arrested for reckless endangerment by pandering to the Appetite for Excess with their ridiculous 3000+ lumen blue-shifted, high wattage headlights, we MIGHT see some EFFICIENT LOW POWER headlamps that won't strain either older wiring or working class budgets, not to mention our retinas. When I have to wear goggles AT NIGHT to safely drive on urban streets, THERE IS A PROBLEM!
 

Big_John

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Unlike the older ones like Big John spoke of and I also experienced [unsatisfactory] these have no dark spots and copy the Edison bulbs ability to radiate in all directions.

Superbrite even publishes the viewing angles for their wares.
This is good that it is addressed with the newer bulbs. I'm still a little hesitant to install LED, but I may look into them... Especially for my Barracuda. An extra edge in lighting up those tiny (but tasteful) lights may be in order.
There still abounds a plethora of CRAP tower bulbs
This, however is my worry and why I say "do your homework".
 

Gerald Morris

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This is good that it is addressed with the newer bulbs. I'm still a little hesitant to install LED, but I may look into them... Especially for my Barracuda. An extra edge in lighting up those tiny (but tasteful) lights may be in order.

This, however is my worry and why I say "do your homework".

WELL stated Big John! Yes, I've done and still DO plenty "homework" with this, and several other emerging electrical technologies. Today I took some time to bewail petrol prices and WHY they soared aloft, but I find this far more pleasant.

FYBenefit, I'll classify State of the Art LED bulbs into 3 Grades: Trash, Excusable, and Damn Good.

We KNOW about the first, and still most common sort; mere cheap gimcracks for the unwary. The excusable grade emerges from this heap, marketed mostly by Bezos and Walmart. From this pile, I tout the 194s first, after about 5 years of struggling to make something viable. I copped a cheap bag of 20 plain white 194s from Bezos for $10 which do very nicely as dash, instrument lights. They emit in the blue-white, meaning a number of quanta get pumped up a notch, and illuminate NOS bulb lit Stewart Warner and other such classy brassy antiques I favor well.

For your driving, try the green ones. These should do right, without ruining your night eyes. You KNOW what a photophobe I am!

I copped some specialty amber 194s for my sidemarkers on the Dodge Ram. These are from Grade 3: DAMNED GOOD, pumping out as many photons as many old 1152 incandescents I've seen over the decades. SuperBright charges dear for their top line, but they've just arrived about a year ago maybe at viable products for us here.

I KEPT the Edison bulbs in Mathilda's fender turn signal indicators, after an early, abortive experiment with SuperBright wares when they still were NotSoBright, and was glad to do so. This stabilized the rest of the turn signal load with a minimum of simple resistance. I've ditched it all in the ragtop and the truck now though. The electro-mech flashers matured too. We really DON'T need resistors any longer, when we select the right stuff! Knowing what THAT is remains an empirical exercise yet.

IFF you care to drop a few dimes for experiments these daze, stick with SuperBright and Philips if you want stuff that works well. The downGrade remains steep from that plateau.
 

Gerald Morris

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OK, Seeing IS Believing, so I'm going to show folks my immediate state of vehicle lighting on Gertrude, the 1968 ragtop Newport. She sports incandescent, cheap, and high grade LED lamps. I suspect you can mostly discern right away What's What, but I'll tell you too, to remove Doubt....


First, the tails. These are Philips Ultinon 1157 reds. NICE eh? Rest assured, I'm too lazy to bother wiping the oil and dust from my lenses either. WYSIWYG here.
tails.jpg


Now, let's see how the reverse lights look. I admit some cheap arseery here, as I bought these Sylvania 1156 bulbs at Sprawlmart this past Spring:
reverse-lights.jpg


They light up the target area well enough. We'll look at the sidemarkers now, as I've a nice, instructive contrast here:
passenger-sidemarkers.jpg

That's the passenger side, from the rear. Note the photonic BLAST that front amber marker pumps, even through 54 yr old acrylic lens. THAT, Good Moparians, is what the Superbright BA9 bayonet base bulbs do. I wasn't kidding when I stated that these pump as much light as 1157s, which, up front, as an odd pair with one last incandescent on the right, and a Philips on the left. I've got a little wiring to still replace up there, and will as soon as more pressing issues get resolved.
driver-side-markers.jpg

OK, THIS is how the sidemarkers do when seen from the front. Those reds I'm running tonight came from Bezos, and are DIRT CHEAP. I scored a 20 bag for $10, and you all can see the contrast between what these do, as opposed to the SuperBright ware. I HAVE the Superbright RED BA9 bulbs now too, but haven't yet installed them. Again, little things like suspension, and God-willing, a newly rebuilt 400 will come first, though if it cools down nicely here, maybe I'll take the 2 minutes to replace the 50 cent bulbs from Amazon then.....

Now for the front, running lights:
front-running+sides.jpg

Now, WHICH bulbs produce the MOST and BEST light? From your left to right we have, Superbright sidemarker, GE incandescent amber bulb, Philips Ultinon amber bulb, then Superbright sidemarker again. I think the Philips produces the cleanest light, but not much of it here, unlike the tails. Again, I DO have an issue with both of the turn signals up front, some of it coming from the worn out switch. I need to replace it, as my horn remains dead until I do. I grounded the relay wire for a test toot, and it does fine when the steering wheel is off.

Let's look inside a bit now:
dash-lights-overview.jpg

Theres my dash, in all its blazing glory. A couple of the wedge bulbs behind the speedo are now 194 LEDs, as are the turn signals, but most of the stuff behind the old template remains incandescent, for the moment. Now for a closer look at some stuff...
V+oil+water-gauge-panel.jpg

HERE is an eclectic farrago of stuff! One incandescent, a TINY little bulb soldered to its leads inserted into a tiny little rubber grommet, illuminates the voltage gauge. It does this well, and has for a few years, as I took these out of Mathilda, as a few of you may recall. The oil pressure gauge is illuminated from a green LED strip obtained from a local electronics shop. Stewart Warner made MANY of their gauges to be placed in gauge arrays lit by bulbs BEHIND THE ARRAY, with light leaking through glass at the bottom of the gauge. My Elders will confirm this, but I type also for today's youth. The coolant temp gauge on the right uses one of the cheap 194 LED bulbs encased in acrylic that I got from Bezos.
ignition-key-light.jpg

I used a spare blue BA9 bayonet base bulb for the ignition key. I first bought a few of these from SuperBright to illuminate my ashtrays in Mathilda. Note that my ashtray, just to the right of the key, is yet lit by the factory original Edison bulb. I'll replace both ashtray lights along with the rest of the remaining incandescents as time permits.... I LIKE deep blue for SOME accessories. Different colors helps the brain quickly discriminate data. Use this fact.

Map-light.jpg

The map light is a cheap eBay white LED tower bulb, as are the courtesy lights in the back seat. The vendor advertises a "complete set" for mid 1960s Mopar C body cars. SINO-SHIT!!!! DON'T buy anything that isn't a recognized DOT approved BRAND NAME on eBay. These 3 courtesy lights are the ONLY THING OF USE I GOT OUT OF THAT PACK OF BOTTOM QUALITY CRAP! The rest of it was just generic 1157 white tower bublbs which were OK at Walmart 8 yrs ago. These tongsters deal out of San Francisco. AVOID THEM. At least I didn't waste much $ on them. Get what you pay for....
back-courtesy-lights.jpg


You can see clearly the shameful state my 2 Little Spawn leave the back seat in for Daddy to pick up by the blight of these admittedly powerful, but woefully cheap bulbs.

Well, I tried to video the turn signal blinking for you all, and Google might yet upload it, but its getting late now. I hope these pictures provide enough concrete samples of the current state of automotive LED illumination for retrofitting our cars. This car came with all brass base white 1157 GE or NAPA bublbs and old GE headlamps, which I'm yet running. As you can see from the one remaining GE in the front running lights, they did alright, but SUCKED CURRENT HARD. Voltage came up a solid volt as I've replaced what I've replaced. I'm sure when I finish the job, I'll get another half a volt if not more for the electrical system. Half a volt when running no more than 12-14 signifies.

This is Gerald Morris, throwing a little Light on a subject near and dear to him from his earliest childhood. Both of my little ones are FASCINATED by electric lights, just as I was, and am.
 

Gerald Morris

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I got dimmable instrument cluster bulbs from superbrightLEDs as well.
THANK YOU for showing a clean LED lit dash! As I typed, I have a couple behind mine with most of it still the old stuff. You inspire me to finish up sooner than I planned.
 

bnz84

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Yes, the exact ones your screen shotted are what I used in the taillights. Make sure you get the red ones. Amazon product

I did not need to replace the flashers after just the rears but as soon as i replaced more, like front turn signals with yellow version of these, then I needed new flashers - both turn signal and emergency flasher. I used these and once grounded worked great. Amazon product There are flashers that are not grounded that are said to work. They did NOT for me.
 

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I used these and once grounded worked great.
I used the same ones. Like you, once I got a good ground they worked. I had to reverse the wires in the connector though (IIRC).

I love that the still have the old school ‘click-clack’ sound when the blinkers are engaged.
 

Gerald Morris

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Yes, the exact ones your screen shotted are what I used in the taillights. Make sure you get the red ones. Amazon product

I did not need to replace the flashers after just the rears but as soon as i replaced more, like front turn signals with yellow version of these, then I needed new flashers - both turn signal and emergency flasher. I used these and once grounded worked great. Amazon product There are flashers that are not grounded that are said to work. They did NOT for me.


I got by using electro-mech flashers sans the extra grounding lead, but of course had to change out both of them. The proper clicking noise is a MUST, and mine do it well. At least one company makes an electro-mech with a specially loud click, probably for aged Boomers who went to many outdoor rock concerts, back when that meant something....
 

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I'll chime in here. I have 1994 Dodge Ram Van and the dash bulbs were doing a lousy job. I bought some LED bulbs that have a green hue and now I can actually see my gauges and they dim just fine. I was such a shock to see the difference that for a few days..until I got used to it I was just grinning from ear to ear over the difference!
 

bnz84

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Since the fury has blue lenses on almost all cluster lighting I used these blue bulbs that were not as bight as the white. They are not dimmable and if I need that I'll squint.
Amazon product
 

Gerald Morris

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I'll chime in here. I have 1994 Dodge Ram Van and the dash bulbs were doing a lousy job. I bought some LED bulbs that have a green hue and now I can actually see my gauges and they dim just fine. I was such a shock to see the difference that for a few days..until I got used to it I was just grinning from ear to ear over the difference!

Green ting eh? Think I'll do the same for both of my Old Mopars. Thx Big^2 4 sharing that!
 

Gerald Morris

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De-Oxit is the best contact cleaning product on the market. It's more like a contact restorer!
OK, THAT was a question I had regarding this product. Saw some generic No Ox in the electrical section of Lowe's this morn, but wasn't compelled to buy it. If De-Oxit will restore the metal then that puts it in a higher shelf than the mere preventative compounds. Thx.
 
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