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Dash illumination for white gauges - question by trivet
Started on: 07-18-2016 02:01 PM
Replies: 22 (377 views)
Last post by: ITALGT on 08-24-2016 06:49 PM
trivet
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Report this Post07-18-2016 02:01 PM Click Here to See the Profile for trivetClick Here to Email trivetSend a Private Message to trivetEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Hi all,

I’m switching to white gauge overlays, and was wondering about the best way to illuminate them. Since I’ll have the dash apart already, should I switch over to LED? And if so, should I use red or white LEDs?

I want to keep it as close to the original lighting as I can (orange/red), so any suggestions are appreciated.

Also, what about the auxiliary gauge pod and HVAC controls? I am switching those to white overlays as well, but still want to keep the red Pontiac lighting.

Thanks in advance,

Tim
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Report this Post07-19-2016 12:26 AM 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
Dash dimmer is not made to work w/ LED. Most Small LED need a different dimer electrics to dim well.
Dash is design to bounce white light so gauges are evenly lite from just two lamps. You likely have to play w/ different LED to stop hot/dim areas.

Back light gauges, all colors are in the "film" like photo slides etc.
Color for gauge's needles are paint/stain on the needle.
Otherwise same setup as side light gauges in //www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum2/HTML/138175.html

If you have Dim lights now... Should not be so.
See my Cave, Dash Dimmer

------------------
Dr. Ian Malcolm: Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should.
(Jurassic Park)


The Ogre's Fiero Cave

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trivet
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Report this Post07-19-2016 10:11 AM Click Here to See the Profile for trivetClick Here to Email trivetSend a Private Message to trivetEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by theogre:

Dash dimmer is not made to work w/ LED. Most Small LED need a different dimer electrics to dim well.



Damn....I wasn't even thinking about dimmer issues.....I assumed they would work the same way
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TXOPIE
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Report this Post07-19-2016 10:31 AM Click Here to See the Profile for TXOPIEClick Here to visit TXOPIE's HomePageClick Here to Email TXOPIESend a Private Message to TXOPIEEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
HMMM...I replaced all my dash bulbs with LEDs on all of my Fieros and they all dim without any mods...interesting.
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trivet
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Report this Post07-19-2016 11:32 AM Click Here to See the Profile for trivetClick Here to Email trivetSend a Private Message to trivetEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by TXOPIE:

HMMM...I replaced all my dash bulbs with LEDs on all of my Fieros and they all dim without any mods...interesting.


Well, I'll order and install them- they are fairly cheap, so it will be a low cost gamble. I'll post results once I get them installed. Thank you for the input TXOPIE!
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TXOPIE
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Report this Post07-19-2016 11:40 AM Click Here to See the Profile for TXOPIEClick Here to visit TXOPIE's HomePageClick Here to Email TXOPIESend a Private Message to TXOPIEEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Here is where I have ordered all of mine:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Kit...?hash=item5655918225

This images is larger than 153600 bytes. Click to view.

[This message has been edited by TXOPIE (edited 07-19-2016).]

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theogre
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Report this Post07-19-2016 01:04 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 TXOPIE:
HMMM...I replaced all my dash bulbs with LEDs on all of my Fieros and they all dim without any mods...interesting.
Sometimes they dim, Many others won't.

"upgrade" to LED because OE 194 bulbs are "dim" mostly means dimmer have problems and has more problems dimming LEDs.

If you think LED for dash lighting saves power...
Not really. (Not enough the alternator and engine will notice.)
194 uses ~0.29a at full power.
But...
When dimmer etc works... Most are at 1/2 power or less and 6 194 in the dash draws less amps. Light bulbs are pure resistance loads and low volts to them, the less amp used.

Sad thing is that Many believe the Myth you need a bright dash. The Fact is the exact opposite is best most times. Bright Dash and others lights means you will have problem seeing things on the road at night because Light pollution inside the car will kill anyone's night vision no matter how good your eyes are. Worse driving outside of town when only your HL light whatever. More light from the dash the less likely you see dim/dark objects animals and people outside. This simple fact is why many claim they didn't see whatever they hurt/killed people at night. Very few know why the dimmer is there and to dim the dash to minimum to see outside.

Example: Having dash lights dim low saves me many times for deer etc in a field running toward the road. Most times all you see are their eyes in gray blobs moving. W/o that... You never get that warning and your HL might never fully light them until you hit them.

[This message has been edited by theogre (edited 07-19-2016).]

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2.5
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Report this Post07-19-2016 02:06 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
According to this
https://mattgadient.com/200...ings-can-you-expect/

An incandescent 194 bulb = 0.25A
An LED 194 = 0.05A
An incandescent 1157 bulb = 0.57A
An LED 1157 bulb = 0.04A

Granted there are many types of LED and brightnesses and manufacturers.

I do agree that too bright of a dash is a bad thing. Many aftermarket radios are too bright for me too, even in their dim setting.

[This message has been edited by 2.5 (edited 07-19-2016).]

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trivet
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Report this Post07-19-2016 03:34 PM Click Here to See the Profile for trivetClick Here to Email trivetSend a Private Message to trivetEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 2.5:
I do agree that too bright of a dash is a bad thing. Many aftermarket radios are too bright for me too, even in their dim setting.


I know what you mean about too bright - I had an aftermarket radio with a 3.5 inch LCD screen that I couldn't even turn on at night - no brightness adjustment. Ended up returning it and getting a better quality one. The new one dimmed when the lights were on - much better.

As far as the Fiero - I'm not too worried about it being too bright, as I don't usually drive it at night anyways - it's my "drive on nice days only" car. That and car shows and events - not a daily driver.
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johnt671
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Report this Post07-19-2016 03:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for johnt671Click Here to Email johnt671Send a Private Message to johnt671Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
When I changed to white faced gauges I used the stock lighting. Works fine for me.
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Report this Post07-19-2016 08:34 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jscott1Send a Private Message to jscott1Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Changing to LEDs is always a crap shoot because there are no universal drop in LED replacements for incandescent bulbs. They work on totally different principles and have totally different lighting characteristics.

The biggest problem is that white incandescent have full spectrum while light. White LEDs have a pure blue light that goes through a filter that makes the light appear white. If you try to take this LED "white" light and bounce it off an red/orange reflector you might be disappointed with the results.

However, I do agree that the dim dash is annoying. I know a too bright is bad, but too dim is bad as well. As I've gotten older I need brighter light to see and my dash in my Indy is all but invisible at night.

The main reason to switch to LEDs in my opinion is the lower heat. The heat in the Fiero cluster causes all sorts of problems. If you don't think small incandescent bulbs can create a lot of heat, my RV (which uses 12V bulbs) will heat up inside due only to the incandescent light bulbs. Since switching to LED it's a lot cooler inside and when running off battery power the difference in power consumption is measurable.
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Report this Post07-20-2016 03:19 AM 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 2.5:
According to this
https://mattgadient.com/200...ings-can-you-expect/

An incandescent 194 bulb = 0.25A
An LED 194 = 0.05A
An incandescent 1157 bulb = 0.57A
An LED 1157 bulb = 0.04A

Granted there are many types of LED and brightnesses and manufacturers.

I do agree that too bright of a dash is a bad thing. Many aftermarket radios are too bright for me too, even in their dim setting.

Sorry but Saving bulb power is hype for selling to old car owners. GM et al might save a fraction of MPG to help total CAFE numbers (US EPA) but are changing to LED for other reason too... For one when you fry a LED taillight you change the whole expensive unit and often will go thru dealer parts.

Again, Alt and engine won't notice a few small bulbs changes to LED.
Saving maybe 10a won't help total MPG by switching parking and other bulbs to LED. If you so tight on power that 10a matters something is wrong with your setup.

Brake/turn bulbs may matter but Only when on so won't help MPG. brake filament uses 2.1a each for 1157. (hitting brake pedal or turning on heat/ac are famous to show power/ground problems.)

LEDs generate heat. Many close to normal bulbs. Worse LEDs can/will have a very short life when they run hot for any reason.
New LED HL will save the most power and if driving at night a lot, might give 1 or 2 more MPG but make a lot of heat and if anything prevents dumping that heat, they won't last long.
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Report this Post07-20-2016 08:52 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I don't put LEDs in to try and get metter mpgs.
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trivet
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Report this Post07-20-2016 09:16 AM Click Here to See the Profile for trivetClick Here to Email trivetSend a Private Message to trivetEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Is this on the QT from the VIPs? Because if LEDs will give my GT more MPG, the ETA to change them is ASAP so I'm not SOL. No BS

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Report this Post07-20-2016 10:02 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jscott1Send a Private Message to jscott1Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by theogre:
...

LEDs generate heat. Many close to normal bulbs. .


Depends on your definition of heat. If you mean temperature as in T, then I might agree. But if an LED is dissipating as much heat energy as in Q, as an incandescent bulb of the same size, then the designer should be fired. Even with load resistors built in an LED should pull only 20% of the power which unless you violate the laws of physics cannot generate the same amount of heat.
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Report this Post07-21-2016 12:42 AM 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 trivet:
Is this on the QT from the VIPs? Because if LEDs will give my GT more MPG, the ETA to change them is ASAP so I'm not SOL. No BS
Many think switch to LED saves power... In turn Saving power should lower load on the alt and engine. Lower engine load should increase MPG.

Problem is Most "running" lights doesn't draw enough power to matter.
Again... Saving maybe 10a won't help total MPG by switching parking and other bulbs to LED. If you so tight on power that 10a matters something is wrong with your setup. Math base on data above...
2 front 4 rear parking = 3.42 a (GT, Coupe uses 8 = 4.56a)
4 marker = 1 a
Dash bulbs at full bright = 1.5 a
Other bulbs maybe 3-4a total.

Now add 55W low beam HL draws ~8a on (total) vs whatever LED.
If you convert all to LED you might see very close to same MPG w/ light off but many don't drive at night enough to see this.
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Report this Post07-21-2016 12:50 AM 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 jscott1:
Depends on your definition of heat. If you mean temperature as in T, then I might agree. But if an LED is dissipating as much heat energy as in Q, as an incandescent bulb of the same size, then the designer should be fired. Even with load resistors built in an LED should pull only 20% of the power which unless you violate the laws of physics cannot generate the same amount of heat.
My point is Many LED generates heat enough to make them uncomforting to touch or burn you, worse when you have heatsink problems. Including some small 194 and other replacements.

To get all on same page... Many LED design have heatsink that gets warm to hot in free air. Solder and copper on the board can be a heatsink. Many are mounted to Aluminum or Ceramic boards w/ or w/o added heatsinks. (Watch LED teardown videos at YT for many examples.)
Big problem is in many car and residential fixtures, LED (and CFL) do not get enough air to cool them and Junction Temp of LED chip or "ballast"/"drivers" to regulate power etc are close or above operation temp. Running Any electronics at or above limits is a very good way to fry the chip and other parts near by.

Example Cree 120v bulbs can work in enclosed fixtures but many other LED and CFL will die fast in same fixtures.
LED for car use is not much different. Same bright LED can get enough air in the dash but won't last if used for marking lights. 194 bulbs for marking light often cooks the fixture and die sooner then other 194s. (rear markers get full power on Fiero and have more problems because of same.)
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Report this Post07-21-2016 02:41 AM Click Here to See the Profile for viperineClick Here to Email viperineSend a Private Message to viperineEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Check thirdgen.org for illumination issues. Same red clusters. From my memory, paint and aluminum foil mods are preferred. LED's can be nice, but the other options are cheaper and reliable as far as the dimmer switch goes. Perhaps our clusters can be treated the same. As far as LED bulbs, I do know that switching to LED tail bulbs caused issues with both flashers in my third gen trans am. Perhaps avoiding LED in clusters is better for similar reasons.
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Report this Post07-21-2016 08:36 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
LEDs I have used stay cool enough you can touch them as long as you want while thay are on.
10 amps saved in lighting is 10 amps you can use for a Stereo, etc.
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Report this Post07-21-2016 10:12 PM Click Here to See the Profile for JohnWPBClick Here to visit JohnWPB's HomePageSend a Private Message to JohnWPBEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I think Ogre has been using the wrong LED's

I switched all the lights in my dash panel, warning, info lights and dash illumination. Around 20 bulbs or so. The LED's I am using have no heatsink, and after being on for 5 minutes are still just room temperature.

As for the power usage switching to LED's being a myth.... I disagree. 10 bulbs for illumination at .29 amps is still 3 amps. With the LED's it is less than a single "standard" bulb. I also can dim my dash lights with no problem at all with the LED's installed.

Add in the fact that I switched to LED's for the side markers, rear brake light (No more melting the plastic housing that the standard bulb did!) turn signals and tail lights. I would consider that a significant bit of amperage being saved. Is it going to change my gas mileage probably not. But it is still less power draw, white light that reacts instantly, longer life, and run MUCH cooler.

Note: As for the reacting instantly that I mentioned.... turn on your flashers sometime and look at the light fade in and out as the filament heats and cools. LED"s have a virtual instant on and off time.

[This message has been edited by JohnWPB (edited 07-21-2016).]

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Report this Post07-22-2016 04:29 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jscott1Send a Private Message to jscott1Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by JohnWPB:


Note: As for the reacting instantly that I mentioned.... turn on your flashers sometime and look at the light fade in and out as the filament heats and cools. LED"s have a virtual instant on and off time.



This takes some getting used to. Back in the day when only a few cars had LEDs it was jarring. Now that it's common no so much.
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Report this Post08-24-2016 02:15 PM Click Here to See the Profile for trivetClick Here to Email trivetSend a Private Message to trivetEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Long overdue update: I installed red LED lights I ordered from Amazon - here's the link:
Amazon LED bulbs

HUGE difference!!! Much brighter, easier to read, and they dim just like the factory bulbs. The dash is much more red than orange now, which I really like also.

Simple, easy upgrade (well, for me it wasn't, but I was also repairing the temp gauge and installing a lot of new interior parts - just did the dash LEDs while I had everything apart)

Highly recommended lighting upgrade. Once I finish my interior, I'll post some pics (no PIP at work anyway )
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Report this Post08-24-2016 06:49 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ITALGTSend a Private Message to ITALGTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I am a big fan of upgrading to LED lights... usually one of the first things on my list to invest in whenever I buy a car. Cost is low, much less heat, low amp draw, very long life span and very brilliant light. Makes a huge difference on the interior, but don't forget about the lights on the outside of your car. I consider LED marker/tail/third brake/etc bulbs not only effective cosmetic upgrades, but also safety upgrades by making yourself as visible as possible to all the other people on the road, especially during the night. That's a win-win situation in my book... there are waaaaaay too many bad drivers out there, so I like to take as many precautions as I can.

[This message has been edited by ITALGT (edited 08-24-2016).]

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