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Thread: LEDs. What gives?

  1. #1

    Lightbulb LEDs. What gives?

    I got behind a new car with a "burnt out" LED tail lamp, and was thinking about how oddly prevalent this seems.

    Ten minutes later, I see a car behind me at a stop light, with a "burnt out" LED head lamp. The light turns green, and one of the green lamps is out.

    As I'm chuckling about this, I turn a corner to see something that I should have pulled over and taken a video of. A whole row of LED street lamps rapidly blinking (not in sequence) the way a stubborn fluorescent lamp with a neon starter starts.
    Be polite and I may let you live.

  2. #2

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    I've noticed this too with the tails or center.

    Also, with incandescent lights, 9 times out of 10 when I see a car with a head light out, so is the amber running light...on the same side!

  3. #3

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    I've noticed loads of headlights burned out around here. I just though maybe the police just don't care anymore. I didn't think about how it's caused by the new LED stuff. One thing I still can't get to grips with, is the new cars that turn off the engine when they stop. I can't see it saves that much money. Local mechanic says the cars keeps going wrong.

    People keep "upgrading" the shops around here with LED bulbs. Everything looks like it's shut from the outside. The equivalent wattage figures seems to be way off to me. Also everything looks a depressing blue when you go into the shops.
    Looking for: OMTI SMS Scientific Micro Systems 8610 or 8627 ESDI ISA drive controller, May also be branded Core HC, Please PM me if you want to part with one.

  4. #4
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    I many cases its the awful chinese ballasts used. the LED's themselves are fine but the ballasts are so cheaply made they are often driving loads 1.5x to twice the load they should be so they simply burn out.
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  5. #5
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    I replaced the 65W BR30 floods in recessed "cans" around the house with 2700K LED equivalents. That was a couple of years ago. So far, no complaints and the color seems spot on for an incandescent.

    The Chinese ballast units that I've gotten for 50W and 100W LED COB lamps run very, very hot. I suspect that's the root of the problem with street lights.

  6. #6
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    Sealed LED headlamps, which apparently aren't intended to ever fail, sure are a pain to replace when they do go. At least with Toyota Corollas, it's a several hundred dollar part from even the junk yard, and you have to pull apart half the front clip to get it out! Even if reliability and serviceability were not issues, IMO current LED headlights are just too bright. I don't know if it's an actual increase in light output, or that they're a point source with a fish eye lens over them, or what.

    We've been extremely happy with LED replacements in the house. We try to buy only Cree lamps, and I think out of the numerous lamps we've replaced we only had one failure. In the shop build here at the new house, I went with LED strip lights, I forget the commercial brand we purchased but they're around $60/luminary. Here's one suspended on Unistrut, under a duct:



    They're excellent -- bright, but not point-source burn your eyes out, have a good diffusor, and are dimmable on a 10V DC control voltage, if I cared to do so.

  7. #7

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    I just replaced an (incandescent) front turn signal bulb in my Tundra and remember thinking "I wish I had LED lights".

    Reading the above, perhaps I'm better off sticking with incandescents.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by roberttx View Post
    I just replaced an (incandescent) front turn signal bulb in my Tundra and remember thinking "I wish I had LED lights".

    Reading the above, perhaps I'm better off sticking with incandescents.
    You can get LED replacements for bayonet and wedge base signal lamps at most auto stores. We've got them in Amy's 1979 Rabbit diesel, they're about the same brightness, but much less power consumption -- a good thing for the tired old VW wiring harness!

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by glitch View Post
    You can get LED replacements for bayonet and wedge base signal lamps at most auto stores. We've got them in Amy's 1979 Rabbit diesel, they're about the same brightness, but much less power consumption -- a good thing for the tired old VW wiring harness!
    I was thinking of getting them because the front turn signals also act as the running lights on my Tundra and that's very hard on incandescents. It's not unknown for the sockets to "burn up" due to all the heat.

    How long lasting are they and are they very expensive?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by roberttx View Post
    I was thinking of getting them because the front turn signals also act as the running lights on my Tundra and that's very hard on incandescents. It's not unknown for the sockets to "burn up" due to all the heat.

    How long lasting are they and are they very expensive?
    Yeah, even if you just end up with a stuck directional, you can melt a plastic socket. VW uses a plastic frame with riveted-on metal contacts for the tail light assemblies, these are especially prone to melting/cracking. I think the first thing we replaced was the map light -- it uses a little fuse-shaped festoon bulb, we replaced the lens in it anyway since it had an intermittent switch (they're integral), but the lens had a definite warped/melted spot in the middle from the old incandescent bulb.

    They weren't stupid expensive. I think we bought them at NAPA. We've had them in there for several years (don't remember when we replaced the first one) and there are no failures yet.

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