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#572039 - 01/23/19 09:02 AM Changing Automotive Standard Bulbs to LED  
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Justification Offline
Admiral
Justification  Offline
Admiral

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Fruit Heights, Utah
Noticed one of the Running/Parking lights was burned out on our 2002 Tahoe the other day.
When I pulled it to verify what bulb to use in addition to the broken filament the Amber Paint was burned off, so I thought lets change these to LED bulbs instead.
Not only are the LED bulbs about 3 times as expensive as the old ones, but when using that optional feature called a turn signal, the signals did the dreaded Hyperflash.
Stopped by AutoZone, but they did not have an electronic flasher. Instead they had a "load leveler" that wires in parallel to some wire in the signal loom. Nope, I know there is a flasher that will work, so here comes the internet.
Should have just stopped by the Advance Auto Parts that was 11 miles from my house, but 1 block away from the Autozone I stopped at during my running around yesterday.
It was cheaper there than on line, and I could get it now instead of dealing with the hyperFlash until it could be shipped.
Easy enough to change a flasher, but the Engineers are at it again, and put it up under the dash, where you can do the acrobatics to reach it, but they ensured it would stay in place by putting an attachment tab on it.
Car off, column shifter in 1st gear, steering wheel full down, you have to remove the upper dash bezel that is snapped into place before removing two screws from the bottom of the lower dash panel and finally removing that,where the flasher is now in plain view.

Works like a charm now, but I'm probably going to waste a few bucks and upgrade the rest of the aforementioned optional turn signals to LEDs.

Unlike the Subaru, the bulb it'self was a quick job. Open the hood, pull two pins from the headlight assembly to move it out of the way. There is easy access to the backside of the DRL/ Turn Signal bulbs, or you can push on a tab to remove the whole assembly for even easier access. Changed out both front bulbs in less than 5 minutes from pulling into the garage to verifying they worked to closing the hood. Figuring out the Flasher replacement made that part of the job a 10 minute fix.


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#572041 - 01/23/19 09:57 AM Re: Changing Automotive Standard Bulbs to LED [Re: Justification]  
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captkevin Offline
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Chicago, IL
How do the led bulbs compare to the standard bulbs?


2004 Rinker 232
2010 Dodge Ram Crew Cab Laramie 4x4
#572044 - 01/23/19 11:02 AM Re: Changing Automotive Standard Bulbs to LED [Re: Justification]  
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Justification Offline
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Justification  Offline
Admiral

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Fruit Heights, Utah
Longer Lasting
Brighter
Quicker lighting of the bulb
Less voltage

Not that they're going to save any money in energy usage, unlike LEDs in your house, but I'm a sucker for them anyway. The diehard propaganda is that if the brake lights come on in 2 Milliseconds instead of 10 Milliseconds then you're less likely to get rear ended. Yeah, that 6 inches of travel the tailgater is going to go before reacting is going to make a difference.
I was going to just go with the Regular incandescent 3157A bulbs due to cost and expecting to have to replace the Flasher unit, but when I noticed that the amber paint had burned off the bulbs I thought what the heck.

I did go to LED on the interior lights of my Half ton a long time ago figuring that less draw from the battery if I leave the interior lights on might not drain the battery as bad while waiting for the admiral at the grocery store.


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#572045 - 01/23/19 11:12 AM Re: Changing Automotive Standard Bulbs to LED [Re: Justification]  
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Justification Offline
Admiral
Justification  Offline
Admiral

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Fruit Heights, Utah
Aging myself here.
Worked at KMart automotive department when I was going through College oh those many years ago.
We used to sell 1157 bulbs for 99 cents a pack of 2. our price went up about 2 cents a pack (don't remember the exact price, but it was something like 13 cents wholesale to 15 cents) , and I had to reprice all the packages we already had in stock to $1.09. I was amazed at how cheap they were to manufacture, package and ship, but even more amazed at our markup
The new bulbs at AutoZone are now 3157 due to the base difference, and their shelf price was $6.49 per two pack, while the LEDs were $19.99


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#572048 - 01/23/19 04:13 PM Re: Changing Automotive Standard Bulbs to LED [Re: Justification]  
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Jack T Offline
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Southern California
Justy
If you don't mind I'd like to make a technical correction.

Do you remember the old days, if we didn't have a heavy duty flasher in the tow vehicle? If we hooked up a trailer and the tow vehicle lights flashed fast, this was because too much current was flowing that over heated the bi-metal contacts spring making it make and break the points too fast?

LED lights are different. They burn less energy because they require fewer amperes. When you hooked up the LED turn signal bulbs, there was not enough current to enable the flasher to flash more slowly. Had you connected the resistor in parallel to the lamp, it sucked a high enough current to make the flasher delay.

The flasher replacement you bought is probably voltage controlled and should not be affected by too much or too little current. I am curious. How much did that new flasher cost?

As a side note on Tahoe lighting, most owners know that the DRL lights are problematic. About two years ago, mine were both out. I let them go for lack of time, and decided to look into it about a month ago, dived into trouble shooting the circuitry, i Verified there was no voltage downstream from the relay. Verified the relay worked. Verified voltage to the relay. Unplugged and plugged it in Checked the lights and both were working. YooHoo! I can only guess that reseating the relay was enough to make good cone tions.

Anybody want to guess what I did next?

I pulled each fuse and relay to ensure each was making a good connection.


Have a great day of boating
2012 Monterey 224 FS,
300 HP Volvo Penta with catalytic converters

#572049 - 01/23/19 05:47 PM Re: Changing Automotive Standard Bulbs to LED [Re: Justification]  
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Justification Offline
Admiral
Justification  Offline
Admiral

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Fruit Heights, Utah
I stand corrected on the physics (electronics?) of how the flasher works and the LED power draw. Is it electronic programming that when a bulb is burned out the flasher hyperflashes to give yo a heads up to replace the bulb, or is that just an unplanned (and useful) side effect of more modern flashers? All I do now is it was fast flashing while running the errands.
Here is the Flasher I bought, and works well.
[Linked Image]
$15.99
http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p/novita-led-compatible-electronic-flasher-ep29/5060003-P

Thanks for the hint about the DRLs
I've replaced ours twice, my son's friend has a mid 2000-2010 Yukon Denali that has a bad light, and by next door neighbor has had his GMC of the same vintage where he has replaced the bulb multiple times and it keeps failing.
I'll talk to them both about trying the relay trick. Is that a relay in the circuit breaker panel on the edge of the drivers side of the dash?

Last edited by Justification; 01/23/19 05:52 PM.

Beer makes you feel the way
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#572052 - 01/23/19 09:15 PM Re: Changing Automotive Standard Bulbs to LED [Re: Justification]  
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captkevin Offline
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Chicago, IL
Even made in the USA got to like that.


2004 Rinker 232
2010 Dodge Ram Crew Cab Laramie 4x4
#572063 - 01/24/19 02:18 PM Re: Changing Automotive Standard Bulbs to LED [Re: Justification]  
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GoFirstClass Offline
Retired Boating Bum
GoFirstClass  Offline
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Grand Poobah

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Posts: 15,250
Pasco, WA
I just keep buying the old filament bulbs when one burns out in my 1998 Exploder. They're cheap, last a long time and you can find them most anywhere. The last one that burned out was about 5 years ago. But, in light of full disclosure, I keep that truck down in AZ and only put about 2,000 to 3,000 miles a year on it.

Next time I license it I'm going to license it as an antique vehicle. In WA, the vehicle has to be 30 years old and when you do that you only pay about $5 a year or something like that.

My wife gripes about driving around in an old truck but I remind her we're just about driving it for free. It only costs us insurance (~$75/year) an annual oil change ($20), and licensing ($5). It still gets about 19mpg, is comfortable to drive, the A/C blows cold air, the stereo works and it looks like a new truck because it's always been garaged.

Doesn't get much better than that and the ol' cheapskate in me loves it.


"Beachcomber" 1995 Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge


Anchor's down......Bottoms Up!
#572065 - 01/24/19 05:46 PM Re: Changing Automotive Standard Bulbs to LED [Re: Justification]  
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Jack T Offline
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Southern California
Thanks for the part ID.

"Is that a relay in the circuit breaker panel on the edge of the drivers side of the dash?"

Yes. They are gray in color and are not easy to pull--at least mine wasn't. On the 2002 Tahoe, it is a couple rows from the driver's side, about middle from front to rear. The fuse box cover has a diagram of fuses and relays that identifies each circuit relay and fuse. This one is DRL.


Have a great day of boating
2012 Monterey 224 FS,
300 HP Volvo Penta with catalytic converters

#572088 - 01/26/19 02:15 PM Re: Changing Automotive Standard Bulbs to LED [Re: Justification]  
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Silverbullet Offline
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Boise, ID
I have been slowly converting the bulbs on the old suburban and the truck to LED as they burn out. Finding short ones can be a challenge.

Thanks for the tip on the flasher. I haven't changed turn signals to LED yet so I haven't endured the hyper flash.


James
2002 Cobalt 226 VP 8.1GIDP
2007 Chevy 2500HD Crew Cab Duramax
1988 Suburban 3/4 Ton
2000 Subaru Forester


#572102 - 01/28/19 09:57 PM Re: Changing Automotive Standard Bulbs to LED [Re: Justification]  
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Jack T Offline
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Jack T  Offline
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Southern California
I just bought an electronic flasher. Now to the bulbs. Where is there good prices on quality LED replacements? The headlights may be a different issue with their extremely high power--easy to get? Prices on these?


Have a great day of boating
2012 Monterey 224 FS,
300 HP Volvo Penta with catalytic converters

#572106 - 01/29/19 12:37 PM Re: Changing Automotive Standard Bulbs to LED [Re: Justification]  
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Justification Offline
Admiral
Justification  Offline
Admiral

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Fruit Heights, Utah
Haven't really shopped around much.
Seen em at wally world, bought em at the standard big box autostores, and even bought some brake light assemblies for the boat trailer off superbrightLEDs.com


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#572113 - 01/31/19 06:32 PM Re: Changing Automotive Standard Bulbs to LED [Re: Justification]  
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Al Offline
Nautical Alchemist
Al  Offline
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Grand Poobah

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Vagabond Wanderer from Mich.
Don't want to be a naysayer, but one issue is DoT approval. I have not found any LED replacement lights that have DoT approval.

You typically need to buy the entire assembly - the LED plus the fixture to obtain such approval.

There may be some LED replacement bulbs that are approved, but I have not ran across them... yet.

Typically the reason for this is LEDs output coherent light - which is more directional than the typical incandescent light bulb (and one reason you typically find multiple LEDs built into a typical "bulb"). For that reason, the "spread" of the LED is dependent on the bezel of the fixture, which is why DoT approval typically requires both LED and bezel to be tested in conjunction with each other.

I replaced my tail lights on my last two RVs with LEDs, but I replaced the whole fixture - LED, bezel, and all.

Just one thing to consider.

Last edited by Al; 01/31/19 06:34 PM.

President and CEO - Napmoor and Doolittle.


2004 Mercury 270 Dinghy.
2016 Grand Design Reflection 29RS 5th Wheel
2016 GMC Sierra 2500HD SLT 6.6L Diesel

previous boats:
1995 Carver 325
1999 Four Winns 268
1999 Four Winns 225
1996 Rinker 180
#572117 - 02/01/19 05:39 PM Re: Changing Automotive Standard Bulbs to LED [Re: Justification]  
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Justification Offline
Admiral
Justification  Offline
Admiral

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Fruit Heights, Utah
Thanks for the reality check Al
Good thing they eliminated our state safety inspection this year I guess.


Beer makes you feel the way
You should feel without beer.
#572118 - 02/01/19 10:15 PM Re: Changing Automotive Standard Bulbs to LED [Re: Justification]  
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Jack T Offline
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Jack T  Offline
Admiral

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Southern California
I made a fast trip to Pep Boys this afternoon. they are somewhat limited n their selection, but they did have two sections with LED lights. One was in the custom parts section. I don't remember the brand name there. The other was at the display where the halogen and incandescent bulbs were. I was only looking for DRL, parking, turn signal, and brake lights. At $20-25 a pair for most of the bulbs, I walked out with nothing. I did see, however, that many of the LED replacement bulbs had many individual LED emitters in one assembly. This is for larger light distribution rather than just one direction. By the way, they did have red, amber, blue as well as white emitters. I am not sure how well they work--need to install some to see. Tempted to try just one set of lights, but pockets were not heavy with change.


Have a great day of boating
2012 Monterey 224 FS,
300 HP Volvo Penta with catalytic converters

#572121 - 02/03/19 09:27 AM Re: Changing Automotive Standard Bulbs to LED [Re: Justification]  
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WaterWing Offline
Admiral
WaterWing  Offline
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Chicago
How many boaters does it take to change a lightbulb? 🤪
Love seeing some old names here. Spring must be on its way.


2001 Larson SEi-230 5.7 Merc/Alpha1
2013 Ford Explorer
#572125 - 02/04/19 06:21 PM Re: Changing Automotive Standard Bulbs to LED [Re: Justification]  
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WayWeGo Offline
Admiral
WayWeGo  Offline
Admiral

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Oakton, VA
I have been converting taillight, turn signal and backup bulbs to LED as they fail, but like Al, have not seen anything on the headlight scene that I like. As for the boat, all navigation lights are still incandescent, though the 12V interior lights now have LED bulbs to conserve battery energy.



1975 Trojan F36 Convertible, Twin Chrysler 440's
2014 West Marine AL360 Inflatable, 1966 Mercury 6HP, 1992 Mercury 20HP
#572130 - 02/06/19 03:53 PM Re: Changing Automotive Standard Bulbs to LED [Re: Justification]  
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Jack T Offline
Admiral
Jack T  Offline
Admiral

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Southern California
"How many boaters does it take to change a lightbulb? 🤪"

More than a simple bulb, now. They are electronic, must run on DC unless a power adapter is used (can be internal or external), and in most cases are polarity sensitive. Put them in the wrong way (3156, 3157, 3157 CK and more connection patterns) or in a socket that looks the same, and an assortment of things will happen--or won't.

Here's a connection issue with 3157 and 3157 CK. Yes, the sockets looks the same, but they each have their own wiring configuration. And to top it off, most of the LED "bulbs" are not differentiated with the CK in their part number. I haven't yet found a vendor who can give me a straight answer.

http://lumaleds.com/blog/3157CK/


Have a great day of boating
2012 Monterey 224 FS,
300 HP Volvo Penta with catalytic converters

#572131 - 02/06/19 04:29 PM Re: Changing Automotive Standard Bulbs to LED [Re: Justification]  
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Justification Offline
Admiral
Justification  Offline
Admiral

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Fruit Heights, Utah
I thought it was light bulb idn


Beer makes you feel the way
You should feel without beer.
#572134 - 02/09/19 08:21 PM Re: Changing Automotive Standard Bulbs to LED [Re: Justification]  
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Jack T Offline
Admiral
Jack T  Offline
Admiral

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Southern California
I'm still working my way through this rat's nest. Regarding the 3157 sockets, there are some brands that specifically state that polarity is not an issue--the bulbs can be inserted in either one. The technical sales guy at Alla Lighting said that the electronics in the bottom of each bulb takes care of that. Here's another thing. He told me that in a dual filament bulb like a parking/brake light, their LED bulbs also have electronics in them that senses the flashing of the brake lights and turns it on when hitting the brake. Again, these can be inserted in any 3157 (and more) socket. I believe these innovations are newer technology and knowing the polarity of 3157 and 3157 CK is not critical.

The bulb he recommended comes in white, amber, and red. Brightness of the recommended 3157 bulb is 1400 Lumens. Note, that it has lots and lots of emitters around the perimeter if the cylinder and more under the focusing lens on the top (36 emitters total) which emulates the radiation pattern of the standard incandescent bulbs.

https://allalighting.com/shop/product/360%C2%B0-5730-SMD-T25-3156-3157-LED-Brake-Turn-Reverse-Tail-Lights-Bulbs-%7C-1-Pair/2669

Here's what the guts of the bulb look like.

https://allalighting.com/images/17/20190102180804111-25.png

https://allalighting.com/images/17/20181019063036aa2a1-.png

Each lower (right or left) front light assembly, it turns out, has three bulbs--two 3157s and one smaller T10 bulb. The T10 and one of the 3157s is amber. The second 3157 is DRL, which is white.

Here's the amber version of the T10 bulb.

https://allalighting.com/shop/product/360%C2%B0-3014-18-SMD-Super-Bright-194-168-2825-T10-W5W-LED-Light-Bulbs-%7C1-Pair/4

I found Alla quite helpful. The best part is that they are near home and have a showroom where I can take the Tahoe and try everything out.


Have a great day of boating
2012 Monterey 224 FS,
300 HP Volvo Penta with catalytic converters

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