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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
L.E.D. Tail Lights

Just heard from J.J. Wheatly of DESTEC fame. He is back in business, living in FL and is having some circuit boards made up for LED taillights for the GT and early Manta.

The 20 LED circuit board will go between the stock housing and taillight. It can be wired for tail, turn signal, or stop. Should be real bright and low temp so the lenses won't get damaged. Cost will be dependent on the number of orders he gets. He anticipates having the first available in August.

I mentioned to him that he should make it so a blitz lights up when the light goes on.

Anyone interested?

edit: Group buy info Here
 

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I have already been working on some led tail lights for my '73 GT. I am using 36 leds in each bucket. When running lights are on, only eight leds 10 leds are lit and when you step on the brake or use the blinker, all 36 light up. I just used a circuit board and soldered everything in series with the correct resistor(s) in place depending on the current capacity of the leds. I also did this with my marker lights. It makes a huge visibility difference and doesn't draw as much from the electrical system. I'm working on a third brake light right now. The only problem is that you can't use your standard blinker switch. You have to use one that is considered "heavy duty" or for trailer use because there isn't enough electrical draw on the standard blinker to make it blink. :cool:
 

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I have been thinking of LED tail lights for a while. I have seen a few aftermarket suppliers:

https://www.netdisty.net/ds/aut1157/default.asp

http://www.superbrightleds.com/1157.htm

http://www.ppsonline.net/lightbulbtail.htm#1156

I have read a few comments, including:


For best results the LED color should be the same as the lens color

LED brake/tail lamps may not work with some thermal flasher units due to their extremely low current draw. These installations will require an electronic flasher unit available at your auto parts store.

LED bulbs may cause some newer vehicles to indicate a bulb is burnt out (because of their low power consumption). Some cars indicate this by increasing the flash rate of the turn signals, some do not flash at all. This can be remedied with "load equalizer" resistors on the turn signal circuits, we will carry these soon.

LED bulbs are generally not as bright as standard incandescent bulbs, they have many advantages over filament bulbs but brightness is not one of them.

Some bulbs are available with 12 or 19 LEDS, obviously the 19 LED units are brighter.

Some bulbs are available with Narrow or Wide viewing angle. The Wide angle (approx. 100 degree beam) will light up more area but dimmer than the Narrow angle. The Narrow angle (approx. 15 degree) will illuminate a smaller area but brighter than the Wide angle.


The "turn-signal" issue will be a problem for the stock Opel flasher.

I also have seen a site (but I can't find the address) where the LED's are custom fabricated to the housing, to maximize the light intensity. Is this what J.J. is planning on building? Based on what I have seen on-line, a standard 1157 LED bulb is between $12 and $38 USD. Any idea how much J.J. is planning on charging?
 

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Usually the 1157 LED lights are junk because they don't create light all around the bulb so the reflectors within the light bucket don't reflect any of the ambient light. This is why filament bulbs appear to be brighter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The drawing he sent to me is for a circuit board that is the same diameter as the lense and it covers the reflector. It has 12 LED's around the outside diameter and 8 in a pattern in the center area. The LED's are not concentrated together like they would be in a 1157 style bulb. The Blitz idea was one I just passed on to him.
 

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I have looked into it as well. And would be interested. I have been wanting to try out the LED tail lights you see in 18 Wheelers. They look to be about a 4" diameter. Also I have seen at Tractor Supply trailer lights in LED for fairly inexpensive. Only problem there is that they don't have amber.
Count me in, JJ hasn't let me down in the past.
 

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Destec LED Conversions

I saw that JJ has posted his LED tail light kits on eBay. They are at:

http://cgi.aol.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2429443446

I asked him a couple of questions, and here is the dialogue, and a picture of his LED kit:


Hi JJ. Can you tell me more about what you are selling here?

How easy is it to install the LED boards? Do they just "plug in" to the bulb sockets, or do they have to be wired in? Does the reflector have to be modified (i.e. remove the bulb sockets)? How well does the stock turn signal flasher work once you cut down the amperage? Or do you have to replace it with an electronic flasher, and do the "Gordane" two prong flasher with the jumper? Or leave bulbs wired in inside the tail to maintain the amperage?

Neat lights JJ. I saw a set of LEDs on a GT (Doug Gilchrist) at the OMC Picnic a few weeks ago. They were commercial truck units with 15 LEDs and no separate lens, but didn't provide very good daylight illumination nor field of viewability. There is a recent thread on the www.opelgt.com site Gary Farius mentioned that you were planning on making and selling LED tail lights. There seemed to be quite a bit of interest. When you get back to me, I'll post the information for the benefit of the members.

Thanks!

Keith Wilford
'71 GT
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
--------------------


Wow. let me see if I can answer all this, I

re Amperage: You are right about the low current draw of the LED Turn Signals.

I have a turn signal flasher e-tip I can include that should make every thing work properly.

I was selling a flasher and 1-wire mod and drawing to get rid of the "double green blinking" lights on the instrument cluster syndrome.

It is a simple mod and will include the drawing ONLY with the LED arrays.

JJ

A rev B may include load resistors to draw more current but the flasher mod is the way to go.

They will slide into place held by 4 brass clips, 2 of which will go under the lens to hold it down. There are 2 & 3 male terminal lugs soldered to the PWA (printed wire assembly or circuit board). Best thing to do is snap off the Nylon contact holder on the rear of the 'chrome' plastic reflector; pull the stock wires thru that aperture and push on. Recommend getting a 1/2" grommet to pass the wires thru.

I bought some truck leds too, but thought I'd try this. The parabola of the reflector is no longer used as it is coverd up.

jj
 

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Oh, and here are the LED lights that Doug Gilchrist installed on his GT (he was at the OMC Picnic). They are commercial truck lights, in red or yellow, DOT approved. Personally, they didn't seem bright enough in the day time, but it WAS a VERY sunny day :)
 

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Keith,

This is Doug, the guy who installed the truck lights in my GT. I was a little apprehensive of the clear lense LED's at first. The same brand lights are available in red and amber lens (www.buytruckstuff.com). I bought both to check them out and in the end I was so impressed with the light output of the clear that I went with them because of the unique look. You are right about how bright the day of the picnic was, I question whether I would have been able to see my stock tail lights in that sun. I attached a picture on a slightly overcast day and the lights overpowered my camera and you can't tell the difference between the red brake lights and the orange turn signals. I still drive the car like I drive my motorcycle, as if I'm invisible, but then I do that in my truck too.

The units on e-bay look MUCH easier of a conversion! Virtually plug and play,and If they come with a solution to the flasher issue that is half the battle.

I'm still running an 1157 bulb, tucked into each fender well! :)
I'll try the B/Y wire trick this weekend.
 

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I was thinking o trying LED lighting on my GT as I have switched to LED bulbs on my Toyota and am happy with them. I have been watching the bidding on ebay and it is up $230 now so I am going to wait until it gets to be a reasonable cost or an upgrade or just make something on my own. They look awesome, but that is a little steep and I need to do other things to it beore I spend that kind o money to replace something that already works.
Anyone who has tried any other lighting kits please let us know about your experience and give us some advice. Thanks.:eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
This is a Winner!!

JJ sent me a demo of his new LED taillight. I am really impressed with the brightness and quality of the kit and will be ordering a set.

Here is a photo with me holding a '73 lense over the circuit board.
 

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Pathologic Opeler
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dumb & JEEP

Dumb question:I guess i missed something.. but how can you use "the higher out put" white lights in the back and front. you need red for brake and yellow for marker and turn..dont you?

PS:what do you think of these JEEP lights..they are yellow
 

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