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Instrument cluster LEDs by notwohorns
Started on: 01-05-2014 07:03 PM
Replies: 21 (1187 views)
Last post by: doublec4 on 01-12-2014 02:04 PM
notwohorns
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Report this Post01-05-2014 07:03 PM Click Here to See the Profile for notwohornsClick Here to Email notwohornsSend a Private Message to notwohornsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I'm wanting to make my instrument cluster dash lights to glow red. I was thinking of going with red LEDs. I did read about repainting the orange plate to white. I also read about members using LEDs. I was wondering which LEDs they used and what the part number was. Any help would be great. Looking on the Superbright LED sight, there was several 194 type replacements bulbs. I didn't know which ones to buy. Thanks
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NetCam
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Report this Post01-05-2014 07:14 PM Click Here to See the Profile for NetCamClick Here to visit NetCam's HomePageSend a Private Message to NetCamEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I got these off eBay (in white). They made a huge difference in my dash.

Edit: Here's a picture of my dash with the new bulbs. With the stock ones you could barely see the gauges at night.

[This message has been edited by NetCam (edited 01-05-2014).]

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cmechmann
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Report this Post01-05-2014 07:25 PM Click Here to See the Profile for cmechmannClick Here to Email cmechmannSend a Private Message to cmechmannEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Got these. So cheap, couldn't hurt.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/10x...m4613291e33&vxp=mtr.
They worked.
I just had to bend the terminals to the other side so they had better connection. Makes my gauge needles look light they are lit. I'll have to try some differenty colors. Didn't even take the cluster out. Just took off the top cover and reached down. Was able to follow the circuit traces for lighting.
I know Chinese, but if you by them here where do you think they are made.

[This message has been edited by cmechmann (edited 01-05-2014).]

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ltlfrari
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Report this Post01-05-2014 08:05 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ltlfrariClick Here to visit ltlfrari's HomePageClick Here to Email ltlfrariSend a Private Message to ltlfrariEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by cmechmann:

Got these. So cheap, couldn't hurt.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/10x...m4613291e33&vxp=mtr.
They worked.
I just had to bend the terminals to the other side so they had better connection. Makes my gauge needles look light they are lit. I'll have to try some differenty colors. Didn't even take the cluster out. Just took off the top cover and reached down. Was able to follow the circuit traces for lighting.
I know Chinese, but if you by them here where do you think they are made.



I tried those, no real improvement (85 dash). Went with Rodney's bulb kit. Lot happier now.

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Anything I might say is probably worth what you paid for it, so treat it accordingly!

Dave

www.ltlfrari.com

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st88fiero
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Report this Post01-05-2014 09:23 PM Click Here to See the Profile for st88fieroSend a Private Message to st88fieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
www.tlg-auto.com

Give this site a try, the owner told me if you just want to brighten the dash up, use the Amber light kit, if you want red then go with red.

they also have a cool upgrade for all you GT owners out there for the P-O-N-T-I-A-C in the rear tail lights.
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theogre
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Report this Post01-05-2014 10:03 PM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
LEDs does not dim well. I've tried LED and went back to normal 194. The problem is LEDs have much less range of dimming w/ OE dimmer circuit.

Bright dash + driving at night can cause problem to see the road. Call Light Pollution and is a real problem. Very easy and common issue outside of city. You want dash to dim as possible to see outside at night.

OE setup are always dim? Then see my Cave, Dash Dimmer

Color light can have problem too... Make sure you can easy remove whatever if/when color doesn't work.

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IFLYR22
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Report this Post01-06-2014 12:28 AM Click Here to See the Profile for IFLYR22Click Here to Email IFLYR22Send a Private Message to IFLYR22Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by theogre:

LEDs does not dim well. I've tried LED and went back to normal 194. The problem is LEDs have much less range of dimming w/ OE dimmer circuit.

Bright dash + driving at night can cause problem to see the road. Call Light Pollution and is a real problem. Very easy and common issue outside of city. You want dash to dim as possible to see outside at night.

OE setup are always dim? Then see my Cave, Dash Dimmer

Color light can have problem too... Make sure you can easy remove whatever if/when color doesn't work.



^ this... Plus

I have had LED's in my instrument clusters for a few years (since 2006/07). I do have all aftermarket instruments. My white face instruments looked great with the blue LED's, and my black faced instruments looked great with red LED's. The whole set looked great (IMHO), but would not dim consistently or linearly (as in per-portioned to the knobs movement).

Also, I noticed that the LED's, no matter where I got them from, would not last as long as the regular bulb. I had to replace them quite often (full set of red (7) over a year, and blue (2) every other year). That could be due to my suspension and car riding so stiff, or that I drive on very bad roads with stiff suspension. But, prior to the LED swap-out, I never had to replace my bulbs (since 1997 to 2006/07), and went LED due to the color issue and gauge swap.

I eventually replaced some of the red LED's with red bulbs and red gel covers on them, just the hard to swap out ones. The rest are still LED, and I will keep them LED. It is hard to get the color blue from a regular bulb.

Just my experience with them. I like them, and some are still LED. The red bulbs with the red gel covers look no different than the red LED's.

-Dave
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notwohorns
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Report this Post01-06-2014 09:26 AM Click Here to See the Profile for notwohornsClick Here to Email notwohornsSend a Private Message to notwohornsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Where are the red gel covers available? Maybe with the dimming problems I should go with the regular bulbs. My main interest is getting my dash a better red than it is now. Do you think just the red bulbs or the red gel covers would do it or do you think that orange plate needs to be painted white or red?
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Report this Post01-06-2014 10:29 AM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by notwohorns:

Where are the red gel covers available? Maybe with the dimming problems I should go with the regular bulbs. My main interest is getting my dash a better red than it is now. Do you think just the red bulbs or the red gel covers would do it or do you think that orange plate needs to be painted white or red?


AutoZone/Pep Boys/etc… should generally have tinted color incandescent bulbs, or LEDs, available. You can probably find them cheaper on eBay/Amazon/etc… of course.

I don't think you'd need to paint anything. You'll probably want to stick with white/yellowish (~3500K) bulbs for most signal/warning indicators though.
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carbon
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Report this Post01-06-2014 12:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for carbonSend a Private Message to carbonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
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Originally posted by IFLYR22:

Also, I noticed that the LED's, no matter where I got them from, would not last as long as the regular bulb. I had to replace them quite often (full set of red (7) over a year, and blue (2) every other year). That could be due to my suspension and car riding so stiff, or that I drive on very bad roads with stiff suspension. But, prior to the LED swap-out, I never had to replace my bulbs (since 1997 to 2006/07), and went LED due to the color issue and gauge swap.

-Dave


I am guessing you never used a regulated power supply to run the LEDs... almost no one does. LEDs do not respond well to power spikes or lack of current control... If you bought LEDs with resistors that were sized for 12V and your car runs 13.8-14V, it is going to shorten the life. There are also regular power 'events' in automotive electrical systems that will destroy unprotected LEDs.
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theogre
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Report this Post01-06-2014 01:14 PM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by carbon:
I am guessing you never used a regulated power supply to run the LEDs... almost no one does. LEDs do not respond well to power spikes or lack of current control... If you bought LEDs with resistors that were sized for 12V and your car runs 13.8-14V, it is going to shorten the life. There are also regular power 'events' in automotive electrical systems that will destroy unprotected LEDs.

That's true. This reason that some product use zener diodes etc. like AGT products. www.amazon.com/AGT-5-SMD-Wh...=sr_1_5?s=automotive

Some comes w/ built-in load resistors too. (Fiero doesn't need them.)
example JDM Astar 8-SMD Error Free T10 W5W, 168, 194 LED...
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masospaghetti
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Report this Post01-06-2014 04:46 PM Click Here to See the Profile for masospaghettiClick Here to Email masospaghettiSend a Private Message to masospaghettiEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Also I don't think the generic low-dollar LEDs from China are particularly durable, I have also had high failure rates from them.

Personally I would not use them in my instrument cluster, only places that are easily replaced.
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notwohorns
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Report this Post01-06-2014 07:21 PM Click Here to See the Profile for notwohornsClick Here to Email notwohornsSend a Private Message to notwohornsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I was just wanting my instruments to be red like the latter GM Pontiac radios, not orange. Does anybody have any ideas on how to do that? Sounds like LEDs is not the way to go. If I painted the orange plate in the instrument cluster red, would that work? Or going with just red bulbs? Maybe painting it red and bulbs. If I go with red bulbs, would that make the instrument less bright? What do you think?
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mitchjl22
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Report this Post01-06-2014 07:46 PM Click Here to See the Profile for mitchjl22Click Here to Email mitchjl22Send a Private Message to mitchjl22Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I got mine in RED



http://www.ebay.com/itm/20-...em232abcb426&vxp=mtr

TLG - They have great stuff, but it can get pricey
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notwohorns
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Report this Post01-06-2014 08:04 PM Click Here to See the Profile for notwohornsClick Here to Email notwohornsSend a Private Message to notwohornsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
That's red. Thanks for the link. Did you just replace the bulbs or did you paint the orange plate also?
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mitchjl22
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Report this Post01-06-2014 10:19 PM Click Here to See the Profile for mitchjl22Click Here to Email mitchjl22Send a Private Message to mitchjl22Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Just stuck the bulbs in the stock sockets. No other mods. Fit fine, work great. Also, they're dimmable.
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notwohorns
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Report this Post01-07-2014 06:42 PM Click Here to See the Profile for notwohornsClick Here to Email notwohornsSend a Private Message to notwohornsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
How long have you had them in?
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st88fiero
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Report this Post01-09-2014 08:52 PM Click Here to See the Profile for st88fieroSend a Private Message to st88fieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I had asked the gentlemen from TLG about dimming and he said there is no problem with that, so i think the issue is a mute point, unless they are not being truthful, but i think he was being honest. I am going to upgrade mine in the next few months, I will update how they are working.
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Report this Post01-09-2014 10:30 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jim94Click Here to Email jim94Send a Private Message to jim94Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
My led dash lights dim just fine. Thay are from tlg. My rear Pontiac, side (7 led) marker lights and rear license plate have led lights. I forgot about my brake light too.
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st88fiero
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Report this Post01-10-2014 11:22 PM Click Here to See the Profile for st88fieroSend a Private Message to st88fieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by jim94:

My led dash lights dim just fine. Thay are from tlg. My rear Pontiac, side (7 led) marker lights and rear license plate have led lights. I forgot about my brake light too.


jim,

Does the P-O-N-T-I-A-C led upgrade make a big difference in how the light appears? According to the TLG folks, they rave about it, just curious of your opinion.

And what color LEDS did you use in you dash when you upgraded? I am thinking Amber because I like the stock look of that sort of sunset orange the car has now.

[This message has been edited by st88fiero (edited 01-10-2014).]

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mitchjl22
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Report this Post01-12-2014 01:48 PM Click Here to See the Profile for mitchjl22Click Here to Email mitchjl22Send a Private Message to mitchjl22Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I've had them for about 6 months. No broken bulbs,
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doublec4
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Report this Post01-12-2014 02:04 PM Click Here to See the Profile for doublec4Click Here to Email doublec4Send a Private Message to doublec4Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I also bought the red wedge style LED bulbs for my instrument cluster:

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