SuperBrightLEDs LED lights

Discussion in 'My Ride' started by PaleMelanesian, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    I've been wanting to do this for a while, but didn't want to sink the money into an old car. Now's the right time - when the car is still "new". I did the front markers, tail/brake/markers, license plate, dome, and cargo lights. I did not touch the turn signals (LEDs tend to hyper-flash due to low resistance) or the headlights (none bright enough or focused enough or legal enough). I looked up oem-spec bulbs from Sylvania to get reference Watts, color temp, and Lumens for selecting the replacements. I won't sacrifice safety.

    I don't expect this to save much gas directly. What it will do is allow longer engine-off time and less overnight battery charging.

    PositionOEM WattsLED WattsSuperBright model
    Brake/Taillight x225/52.5/0.57443-R45-T Red
    Front Marker x240.7WLED-AHP6-AC Amber
    License Plate x250.4WLED-WWHP6-AC Warm White
    Dome100.83022-WWHP4 Warm White
    Cargo51.6WLED-WWHP15-TAC Warm White

    The cargo light is much brighter than stock, which was badly needed.
    I tried 2 different models of license plate light. One (WLED-WWHP6) has good color, but is a bit bright. The other (WLED-WW5) has a classic cheap LED green hue to the color. I'm not a fan.

    I measured current draw at the battery. (x12.0 for watts) All measurements are with the car on but engine off (FAS).
    StateOEM power drawNew power draw
    No lights38W38W
    Running/marker + tail lights66W41W
    Headlights on176W151W

    I was surprised at how little power the car draws.

    My first observation is that turning on the running lights hardly affects the battery at all. :) 2nd observation is that pressing the brakes hardly affects the battery. Before it would drop the voltage by -0.2V initially, dragging it down to -0.4V during one red light. Now it flickers between no change and -0.1V.

    Front marker lights. (brightened for visibility, but the key is comparing the two)

    Back end. The 220 lumen LED taillight is as bright as the 440 lumen incandescent, because all its output is red. Much of the incandescent's output is lost in the red lens.
    Also, see the difference between the clean color of the xHP6 and the x5 leds. The HP series is better.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2013
  2. ksstathead

    ksstathead Moderator

    Good stuff, Sir.

    I'll check into this if our Fit becomes my driver again...
  3. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    I confirmed last night that LEDs don't work as drop-ins for turn signals. I put a red taillight bulb in the rear turn signal and it hyper-flashed at an alarming rate.
  4. NeilBlanchard

    NeilBlanchard Well-Known Member

    SuperBrighLED's sells electronic flasher units that eliminate the quick flashing:

    I did a full LED swap except for the headlights and the interior lights on my Scion xA. I first tried to modify the stock unit (increasing the resistance on one part) but it was quite problematic, and never worked properly. The flasher unit I got from SuperBrightLED's worked fine.
  5. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    Headlights are the important things left..
  6. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    Umm, yeah. 110 W is more than the computer and all other lights combined. But there's no good replacement yet. I'm considering some 'eco' halogens that cut ~5w each. Even if you could find LED's bright enough (1500 Lumens high beam), the focus would be all wrong for a halogen housing. HID is no good unless you install projector housings as well, and that's $$$. Otherwise they're throwing that bright light everywhere and blinding other drivers.
  7. Die2self

    Die2self Saving more by using less!


    is there a reason you didn't use the WLED-AHP5-AC Amber lights for the front side markes? They are $1 more each and only have 5 LED's on it. Just wondering. I may put in some back up ones too.

    will really help as I don't trickle charge my battery. (yet!)
  8. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    $1 more and 5 mA more power draw. The two are nearly identical in power draw and light output (both rated 40 lumen), so I chose based on price.

    The x in xHP6 is a place-filler. Amber is AHP6, warm white is WWHP6, etc.

    This should help reduce my trickle charging needs. The Fit has a stronger alternator than the Civic (i think 95A vs 65), but a smaller battery. It's closer to being self-sufficient. I've been charging only the days where I've used a fair bit of night driving, but not at all on normal commuting days.
  9. priusCpilot

    priusCpilot George

    Nice link! Looks like they sell good stuff and lots of info. Will help once I changed mine out down the road.
  10. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    Is there a LED replacement at all?.. perhaps you could supplement the output with a couple of LED spotlights and still save a decent amount of electricity.

    How about decreasing the size of the alternator pulley to boost output during your pulses?..
  11. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    Herm , that's a brilliant and only slightly crazy idea. It could almost work.
  12. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    I just ordered a pair each of the Philips Ecovision halogens and the Sylvania Ecobrights. They'll fit both my Fit and Odyssey. Whichever consumes lower power goes in mine, the other goes in the Ody ("other driver" doesn't FAS). $16 and 13 from Amazon, respectively.
  13. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Andrew:

    With the significant load reduction you have documented, we have to wonder why OEMs are still using incandescent??? The LEDs fire up far quicker for safety while the xHP6 LED plate light and x45LED brake light look brighter too!

  14. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    I did see a difference in the light-up time when I was comparing. I used the lock/unlock blinking to check when I wasn't in the car - kind of hard to press the brake and watch the back. :p The LEDs were on instantly, and the oem incandescents took a moment to fade on. Not a huge difference, but enough to see even if you're not looking for it.

    As to why the OEM's don't, I'm pretty sure it's cost. Incandescent is available for $6 / pair, while these LED tails cost $25 each.
  15. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    I buy the high intensity Sylvania sealed units, but they seem to have a short life compared to OEM units.. I also need to rebuild my alternator due to low output.
  16. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    That concurs with their specs. They overdrive the bulb to get more light, at the cost of life. Same thing with the Eco's. They're lower power bulbs overdriven to meet stock output. I'll post lifetime results if/when I deal with it. I haven't had to replace a single headlight bulb in the 6 years since I started hypermiling, and it was a yearly event prior. (one or the other, so ~2 year lifespan).
  17. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    I'm looking at LED spot lights, driving lights etc.. to increase the range of low beams
  18. Die2self

    Die2self Saving more by using less!

    Installed mine last night after getting home from church.

    Man, some of these locations were hard to get your hand into unscrew them or screw them back in.

    Front marks
    2 main brake lights
    2 reverse lights (CW ones)
    1 cargo light (that was nice with the extra light. I am have to try and put some kind of reflector on the back) Tricky to see how to get lense our and then had to "adjust" the holding metal around it)
    2 back plate lights (took a few minutes to figure how how to replace these too :eyebrow:
    1 over head light (that was tricky as well. I was trying to pull the whole fixture off, but it is only the lense in it.)

    I like it. I may have to invest in the turn signals and resistors next year.

    I just try to not use my lights to much. But I use them when I need them and take the hit.
  19. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    Yeah, I had to compress the contacts on the cargo light as well. :confused: Front right marker was a bear to get my fingers around.

    Which ones did you get?

    I didn't do the reverse lights because they don't get much use - less to gain in replacing them.

    I find myself using the marker lights more now that it's nearly free. I'm driving safer because of these lights.
  20. seftonm

    seftonm Veteran Staff Member

    If you get resistors for the turn signals then that basically eats up the power savings. You'll need to get a flasher module or something. I do like the instant on-off flash though so there are still other good reasons to switch to LEDs :)

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