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LED Tail Light Bulbs
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WestyDreamer
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:27 pm    Post subject: LED Tail Light Bulbs Reply with quote

Anyone using the newer LED Tail light bulbs.. Saw that GW and others sell a bulb kit but I'm mainly concerned with the Driving Lights, as they are dim.

I was thinking of using one of those flat LED boards that have 36 or 40 LED's on it and the 1156 style base that would fit into the tail light socket.

Question. Should we use the clear white bulbs or Red LED bulbs, or wouldn't it matter?
.
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kamzcab86
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:44 pm    Post subject: Re: LED Tail Light Bulbs Reply with quote

GW kit reviews: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=512849

VC kit reviews: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=457411

WestyDreamer wrote:
I'm mainly concerned with the Driving Lights, as they are dim.


Have you added headlight relays yet?

WestyDreamer wrote:
Question. Should we use the clear white bulbs or Red LED bulbs, or wouldn't it matter?


Rule of LED thumb: Bulb color should match lens color.
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Ahwahnee
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FWIW -- I went with the 50W brake lights sold by Terry K. Real bright, much brighter than some LEDs I tried -- but too much heat for anything other than brake lights I think.

I used the LEDs for the rear turn signals -- not just brighter but (IMO) a more abrupt flash to them which helps visibility.
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geodude
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My dear wife got me the VC setup for Fathers Day (Love that woman) and what I found was the running lights were much brighter, the reverse are about the same brightness as my old ones that I had added reflectors to (so would likely be brighter than stock), the turn signal and brakes are about the same brightness but much quicker coming on. I had my wife hit the brakes and the LED was on instantly and there was a very noticeable wait until the conventional bulb on the opposite side that I hadn't changed yet came on. I'd guess 0.1 to 0.2 seconds for the conventional light to get bright. That's pretty significant. All in all I think worthwhile change.

I also homebrewed my own headlight relay system with separate power taps for the headlight and highbeams running to two relays in a small weatherproof box. The headlights are much brighter than stock. Went from dim yellowy spots to more of a white beam on the pavement. Much more comparable to a newer car light output. Definitely worth $50 to do.
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r39o
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Adding in a better power source system and cleaning / replacing the headlamps makes a HUGE difference, generally.
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joseph928
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:39 pm    Post subject: Re: LED Tail Light Bulbs Reply with quote

WestyDreamer wrote:
Anyone using the newer LED Tail light bulbs.. Saw that GW and others sell a bulb kit but I'm mainly concerned with the Driving Lights, as they are dim.

I was thinking of using one of those flat LED boards that have 36 or 40 LED's on it and the 1156 style base that would fit into the tail light socket.

Question. Should we use the clear white bulbs or Red LED bulbs, or wouldn't it matter?
.
Blue Bay Bus Go Westy love them, also put in the extra bulb. Now have two tail lights! Kam is right on the color of bulb to lens. Very Happy
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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Syncroincity
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm running these in red in both my van and the Passat;

http://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/tail-brake...tower/526/

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


They are very bright, and make good use of the reflectors built into the tail lights.

I used some flat panel boards like you described for the brake lights on the van. The leds are white, and I don't like the output compared the the ones above; I'm going to change them out to another set of these. The red LEDs give you a very rich, true red color that really pops out, the white ones behind a red plastic lens look washed-out and pinkish.

I did the panel LEDs in the rear turn signals, too... these I actually like.
It's a fiddly mod for no improvement in output over the tower bulbs above, which pop right in, and it's a pain in the butt to take the tail lights out once they're in. I glued the panels inside the reflectors.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.



ps. There's 10% off until July 4th. Promo code 070413
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wcdennis
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was poking around on the web today and discovered these LED tail light assemblies:
http://www.amazon.com/ZNU-Light-Truck-Caravan-Bulb...ail+lights
They are almost exactly the same size as the Vanagon tail light. To get an idea of how they would look, I tried them on with PhotoShop.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I'm not sure about the look, but it would be nice to never have to worry about replacing bulbs ever again. Anybody have an opinion?

PS Not my van, but the same colors.
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Syncro Jael
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too bought the GoWesty exterior LED kits for our vans. They are very bright and have been flawless for a couple years. Even the backup lights are bright now. It's hard to spend that much on bulbs but I would do it again in a heartbeat.
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thatvwbusguy
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought a set of fairly similar LED tail lights a while back, but the fit was not quite right. For the relatively small investment, it would be great to know if this model would work on the Vanagon without a lot of custom fabrication.

Another nice option with LED tail lights is faster activation, which can (theroetically at least) help with reaction time for drivers behind you when you hit the brakes.
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syncrodoka
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wcdennis wrote:
I was poking around on the web today and discovered these LED tail light assemblies:
http://www.amazon.com/ZNU-Light-Truck-Caravan-Bulb...ail+lights
They are almost exactly the same size as the Vanagon tail light. To get an idea of how they would look, I tried them on with PhotoShop.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I'm not sure about the look, but it would be nice to never have to worry about replacing bulbs ever again. Anybody have an opinion?

PS Not my van, but the same colors.

The ones you are looking at are even larger.
thatvwbusguy wrote:
Sorry for not following up sooner. The lights are actually fairly bright from a distance, unfortunately they are about 1/2"-5/8" too long to fit correctly. This makes them protrude into the recessed space toward the center of the van, which pretty much means there is no way to seal them from the weather. Oh well, you win some, you lose some…

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5...p;start=20
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ThankYouJerry
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the GW exterior bulbs and like them a lot. However, these LED reverse bulbs are FAR brighter than the ones that came with the GW kit: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B21RJUU/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

So far, so good.
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Tom Powell
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wcdennis wrote:
I was poking around on the web today and discovered these LED tail light assemblies:
http://www.amazon.com/ZNU-Light-Truck-Caravan-Bulb...ail+lights
They are almost exactly the same size as the Vanagon tail light. To get an idea of how they would look, I tried them on with PhotoShop.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I'm not sure about the look, but it would be nice to never have to worry about replacing bulbs ever again. Anybody have an opinion?

PS Not my van, but the same colors.


It makes the Vanagon look like a vehicle of this century.
But at $86 for a pair I'd rather use the money for fuel lines or headlight upgrades.
Photoshop is easier than installation.

Aloha
tp
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IdahoDoug
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Jerry. I ordered those Amazons right away directly from your recommendation.
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luVWagn
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 1:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

IdahoDoug wrote:
Thanks, Jerry. I ordered those Amazons right away directly from your recommendation.

Damned impulse shopping, me too! Confused
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Tom Powell
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 5:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The review on Amazon:
"Light were terrible.... You could not even tell they were on because they were so dim. Would not recommend these lights at all."

Hopefully he wrote that in the daytime.

Do they have both taillights and brake lights in the red lens?
I assume the yellow is for turn signals.
Please post your installation and illumination comments when the job is done.

Aloha
tp
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wcdennis
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks like it has already been tried:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5...p;start=20

Thanks for finding the thread I missed, syncrodoka.

thatvwbusguy, who tried the very similar lights, passed on the installation because they were about 1/2" too long.

I have already started down the LED bulb route but, so far, only replaced the back-up lights. I was thinking this unit would be great way to do away with the tenuous sockets in the stock tail light. I think I will hold off for now but if someone wants to try, here is the same unit at a better price (for a pair):
http://www.amazon.com/GENSSI-Trailer-Commercial-Li...JBCPG1ASC2
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IdahoDoug
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing I've noted from playing a bit with LEDs is that a large number of dim/cheap LEDs in a tail light doesn't create the same perceived brightness on the road as fewer quality bright LEDs. A lot of sellers are offering the former and crowing about "114 LEDs" but not revealing the LED's draw. For instance, the back up lights I just ordered above are single CREE 7W LED. Those are going to to be very bright for back up lights and CREE is a worldwide leader.

So, don't be blinded by sheer quantities of likely cheap LED which won't look impressively bright in the real world, compared to fewer quality LEDs. And if they don't list the draw (3W, 7W, etc) be suspicious.

DougM
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JED THE SPREAD
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a comprehensive range of quality LED bulbs for a Vanagon right here, http://campervanculture.com/product-category/lighting/ All of them are top quality and have been tested extensively by me personally.

I hope this helps.

Jed
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Syncro Jael
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ThankYouJerry wrote:
I have the GW exterior bulbs and like them a lot. However, these LED reverse bulbs are FAR brighter than the ones that came with the GW kit: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B21RJUU/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

So far, so good.


I agree the GW backup LEDs are brighter than stock but still not enough for backing up at night off-roading.

This 36w Cree Flood LED does the trick nicely mounted up high.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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