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59 beetle, hard to see at night
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Danny604
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:44 pm    Post subject: 59 beetle, hard to see at night Reply with quote

My 59 beetle is really hard to see at night, what is the best rear light bulb to use? Ive bought some siemens LED but they were actually dimmer than the off the shelf 1154 incandescent I had before, I guess the LED relies on the reflection in a modern tail light, which the beetle does not have. What are you guys using?

The front has an H4, so we are all good there.
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Eric&Barb
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:53 pm    Post subject: Re: 59 beetle, hard to see at night Reply with quote

How much of the voltage at the battery is getting to the taillights??

Have you removed the defuser/dimming lens in each TL??

Were you using red LEDs? White ones will not produce a whole lot of red that will get thru the glass lens.

You should seek LED lights to install on the rear license plate frame. Yellow L/R sides of the frame for TS/brakes helps a ton for drivers behind you to understand where you are going. Can add red running lights on top and/or bottom.
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wayne1230cars
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 11:14 pm    Post subject: Re: 59 beetle, hard to see at night Reply with quote

I had the same concern with my 6 volt 1960 bug regarding visibility both at night and during daylight hours. I purchased the LED rear light kit from the Samba classifieds sold by Chip B. The rear tail, brake and signals are substantially brighter with this kit. I was very pleased with the quality of the kit. Even in daylight the brake and turn signals are much more visible.

You are looking at $100 for the kit plus an LED compatible flasher @$30. I know this is obviously a lot more money than just buying a couple bulbs. I debated about buying the kit but Iím glad I did. I knew I would be keeping the car for a long time and I just felt that the increased visibility justified the cost.
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my59
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2020 6:28 am    Post subject: Re: 59 beetle, hard to see at night Reply with quote

Check for voltage drop; cleaning every connection in the wiring path usually helps. My issue is that the difference between the rear tail lights vs brake lights being on is not that great; you might watch to think 3rd brake light or rear window or in grille under the window.

Driving a black car with 6v lights that are compromised requires additional situational awareness.
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sunroof
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 9:02 am    Post subject: Re: 59 beetle, hard to see at night Reply with quote

I bought a set of these:

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=892796

And they are amazing. I highly recommend them for anyone with snowflake tail lights.

Don
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vwuberalles
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:11 am    Post subject: Re: 59 beetle, hard to see at night Reply with quote

My dad has a set like what sunroof posted on his 59, they're a huge improvement!
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1973 Superbeetle: 1st car, owned since age 12.
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1966 Beetle: My new project. Build thread--> https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=678040
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wayne1230cars
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 4:23 pm    Post subject: Re: 59 beetle, hard to see at night Reply with quote

sunroof wrote:
I bought a set of these:

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=892796

And they are amazing. I highly recommend them for anyone with snowflake tail lights.

Don


I have that set as well. Much brighter than stock.
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Zwitterkafer
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 4:51 pm    Post subject: Re: 59 beetle, hard to see at night Reply with quote

Here's a much cheaper approach, assuming that full voltage is reaching the tail-lights. It addresses one of the main problems....the lack of contrast between tail-light on and brake light on:

1) Remove the dark plastic diffuser.
2) Solder on a dedicated ground wire to the bulb holder. Connect wire to a good ground in engine compartment.
3) Add a series resistance to the feed to the tail-light circuit. Choose a resistance that dims the tail-lights back down to normal when viewed though the diffuser-removed lens. (IIRC a couple of 6V bulbs solder-wired in parallel and suitably mounted in a small housing can do the trick)

Voila: Brake / Turn signal brightness & contrast improved w.r.t. tail-lights.
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Chickensoup
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 5:32 pm    Post subject: Re: 59 beetle, hard to see at night Reply with quote

ALWAYS go with LED's unless your an absolute purist. Very Happy they are better in every way and last forever. stop using old tech Shocked
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Dangermouse
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:29 pm    Post subject: Re: 59 beetle, hard to see at night Reply with quote

Chickensoup wrote:
stop using old tech Shocked


So just buy a Honda? Laughing If I'm stubborn enough to stick with all six of my available volts, I'm stubborn enough to stick with bulbs that operate by making a little piece of tungsten wire heat up and glow. To retain a 6V system and switch to LED lights doesn't make sense to me, just go to 12V and be happy. I appreciate many or most disagree.
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Danny604
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 9:40 pm    Post subject: Re: 59 beetle, hard to see at night Reply with quote

i should have mentioned the car is 12V. I will get a set of those LED's.

Thanks for the information
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HBRag
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 11:25 pm    Post subject: Re: 59 beetle, hard to see at night Reply with quote

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


Here is mine with Chips Snowflake LED lights, and a row of red LEDs inside the top vent. I ran an extra wire down the left side roof channel, off the brake switch, before the turn signal switch.

Alan
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vwuberalles
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 8:23 am    Post subject: Re: 59 beetle, hard to see at night Reply with quote

The LED strip in the vents looks awesome!!!
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1973 Superbeetle: 1st car, owned since age 12.
1967 Kombi: Owned since age 17, Dad's retirement project.
1966 Beetle: My new project. Build thread--> https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=678040
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