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  #1  
Old 05-25-2014, 12:58 AM
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Default Mr. Dare? (LED 1157 bulbs)

would these work as direct replacement tail light bulbs. with out any modifactions?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/WHITE-LED-11...ce729b&vxp=mtr
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Old 05-25-2014, 01:40 AM
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I have to answer your question by asking one...
Do these bulbs draw 2.1 amps? <--this is just the stop light side.
If the answer is, 'yes', then they will work as a direct replacement IF they fit. An 1157 bulb is 2" high. These are 2-1/4" high.

If the answer is, 'no', then buy them for your trailer.

I quickly looked at the listing and didn't see a rating for these LEDs. I suggest you call California and ask.

Your Squarebird flasher unit works by current draw. Mechanical flasher units usually come in 'two-bulb' (front turn signal, rear signal, and dash bulb) units OR 'three-bulb' (front turn signal, two rear signals on each side, and a dash bulb) units.

When 'extra' bulbs were added to the circuit (like when you plug in a trailer), the turn signals would speed up and more current would sometimes damage the turn signal switch in the column.

LEDs came to the rescue for trailer guys because they draw very little current, don't heat up, last forever and come in different colors. The turn signals in your car would hardly know the trailer is there.

Without a trailer, if you simply change your car bulbs to low current LEDs, your flasher unit would slow to a snail's pace or simply not flash at all. To remedy this, electronic flasher units use a time-base instead of current.

I have heard of LED bulbs with a large resistor to simulate a 1157 bulb. The resistor dumps current to ground but keeps the flasher at the correct rate.

120SMD are the type of LEDs. 120 is the candle power of each LED. SMD = surface mounted device. 120s are very bright.

I hope this helps. - Dave
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  #3  
Old 05-25-2014, 10:18 AM
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Ok Thanks for that advice. I was just surfing ebay ads for 1960 T Birds and saw these and was curious.
Thanks again, Eric
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  #4  
Old 05-25-2014, 10:40 AM
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Been some discussion on this for the MGA's I restore. Tiny little brake lights compared to the Tbird and they are down low.

Can't find the article I'm looking for at the moment that compared bulbs (with pics) but here is a tech article from our "guru". Note that he recommends RED LED's.

http://mgaguru.com/mgtech/electric/et247a.htm

Also in this article (although a bit old) I guess the only thing available were bulbs that pointed downward so they wouldn't work. The ones you linked to only had a few LED's pointing out to the rear - the rest outward - you would have to rely on reflectivity for the rest of the illumination to the rear.

Maybe something like this in red if they drew enough current?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/2pcs-BAY15D-...b19bbc&vxp=mtr

Keep us posted on how they work if you decide to try the LED's.

Eric (the other Eric )
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Old 05-25-2014, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKheld View Post
...here is a tech article from our "guru". Note that he recommends RED LED's.
http://mgaguru.com/mgtech/electric/et247a.htm...
Quote:
Originally Posted by simplyconnected View Post
...LEDs came to the rescue for trailer guys because they draw very little current, don't heat up, last forever and come in different colors. The turn signals in your car would hardly know the trailer is there.
...I have heard of LED bulbs with a large resistor to simulate a 1157 bulb. The resistor dumps current to ground but keeps the flasher at the correct rate...
I realize our electronic technology has changed in the passed ten years. I got 'color' covered but your guru suggested using a resistor that is wayyyy undersized. If used with a Squarebird, that resistor would burn it out by simply sitting at a light with your foot on the brake.

He talks about a 1157 but shows a 1156 (with one end contact), then he links to a site that is unavailable.

If you are considering LEDs, this is a much better deal at $8/ea:
CLICK HERE
I don't often suggest sales on eBay but this one includes two bulbs with free shipping (from Murrieta, California).

The base is a 15D (like an 1157) and the diodes are 5050's. I buy these diodes individually on eBay. They are super bright and work beautifully under your hood or in the trunk. They are 3-volt LEDs, so I put five in a series and stretch them out over a wide area so they don't cast shadows. There are brighter LEDs (like the 5730) but they need a proper heat sink.

One important note for cars with positive ground: LEDs are polarity sensitive and do not work with positive ground (if you use ground). The bulbs you see on the market are internally wired for negative ground, for 99% of the cars. There are a few, like the German Amphicar and pre-1956 Ford cars that were originally wired w/positive ground. To get around this, some bulbs turn around in their base to reverse polarity. You have to search for this type.

There's nothing wrong with being creative. I love the crisp response time of LED tail lights. Put LED lights in all your tail sockets and wire them in parallel. If two resistors are necessary, the values are easy to figure out and they are inexpensive. - Dave
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Old 05-25-2014, 11:19 PM
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So Dave, just to be clear - - the bulbs you provided the link to - - we can just replace the 1157s with them with no other modifications, and the blinker system will function like it did with the 1157s?

John
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Old 05-26-2014, 03:44 AM
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John, it's always best to ask, 'exactly what is the current draw?'

Even if you get an answer, measure the current with one of those cheap $3 multi-meters from Harbor Freight. These ammeters will measure up to ten amps. We are looking for two amps.

Here's the deal:
A regular 1157 bulb draws 2.1 amps on the large filament (stop/turn). Let's assume you only have one rear signal/stop lamp on each side.

I'm going to pull numbers out of the air and say a LED lamp draws 1/10th the amps of an incandescent 1157 bulb. So, I hypothetically measure 0.21 amps with my ammeter.

The difference in current is (2.1a - .21a = 1.89 amps) To dump 1.89 amps let's use Ohm's Law to find the proper resistor: (Volts=Amps*Resistance or Volts/Amps=Res)
Volts = 12
Amps = 1.89
So, 12v/1.89a=6.3Ω (ohms).
(Understand, we are dumping this current so that this light acts the same as a standard 1157 bulb, which your flasher unit is made for. We are keeping the car OEM but using LED tail and stop light bulbs. This can easily be reversed at any time and is not a permanent change.)

Here's the trick... If you use more LED lights by filling all your lenses, the resistance goes up and the wattage goes down. But let's stick with one bulb for now. We need to figure one last part for our resistor; wattage. In order to keep our resistor cool, we commonly double the wattage rating (not the resistance).

So, Watts=Amps*Volts or 1.89a * 12v = 22.6 Watts. Let's double the watts to 45w. So we need a 6.3 ohm resistor at 45 Watts. We can safely round to a 6 ohm resistor at 50 watts.
A eBay search for, '6 ohm 50 watt resistors' produces them for $2.60-$3/each including shipping.

Now, let's play. Assume you have a '60 Squarebird and you fill all three sockets with LED lamps (to take the place of one 1157). Add the currents (.21*3=.63 Amps total, subtracted from the initial 2.1= 1.47 Amps we need to dump.

The new resistor (for 3 LEDs on each side) would be: 12v/1.47a = 8Ω (per side)
(You see, adding more lights uses more current so we can dump fewer amps with a larger resistor value.)
Watts for the new setup would be: Watts=1.47a*12v or 17.6w (doubled) = 35 Watts
A eBay search for,'8 ohm 50 watt resistors' produces them for $3/each including shipping.

Remember, I'm pulling these currents out of the air just to show how we figure resistance. The real advantage is, these LEDs don't burn out and neither do the resistors. The resistors may be mounted under the dash or in the trunk. One is required per side (LH/RH). The other advantage is the tail lights. Tail lights don't need a resistor, they simply use less current. (Personally, I would rewire the headlight switch so the front parking lights stay on with the headlights. The savings in rear LED tail lights offsets this added power demand on the system. For on-coming traffic, this marks the corners of the front in case a headlight burns out.) - Dave
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Old 05-26-2014, 07:40 AM
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Dave

Thank you for your very detailed and illuminating comments . . . . LEDs certainly seem the future.

John
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Old 05-26-2014, 04:39 PM
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Sometimes I get ahead of myself. You guys who aren't exactly 'thrilled' at the idea of messing with electricity, let me explain a few basics:

An incandescent light bulb (like the kind we've always used from the beginning) IS a resistor. In fact it is a big resistor. We use it for the bright light it makes. It also makes enough heat to burn you or melt plastic. We waste more power to make unwanted heat than we do for the benefit of making light. Up until recently we lived with heat by using large housings to dissipate heat and to protect the hot bulb from water splash.

Light Emitting Diode bulbs offer equal light without producing heat, at about 1/10th the power. Back in Squarebird days, there were no LEDs, so our signal systems are designed us use 1157 light bulbs.

If we replace a regular 1157 bulb with an LED bulb, exactly where does this resistor go? The resistor is connected to ground on one end (like the light bulb), and to the turn signal wire on the other end. We say, the resistor is connected across the light bulb. It's that easy.

Since we get to use flexible wires, this resistor (or resistors) may be mounted anywhere, like behind sheet metal in your trunk. Then the wires connect, one to ground and the other to the bulb wire (possibly at the bullet connector).

How big should the wire be? We are only passing two amps so very small wire can be used. #18AWG copper stranded wire will work just fine.

The RH turn signals need one resistor, and the LH signal needs one resistor. The size of that resistor is determined by how many LED bulbs you use.

No other changes to your car are needed, just LED lights and two resistors. - Dave
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Last edited by simplyconnected : 05-26-2014 at 05:01 PM.
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Old 05-26-2014, 06:50 PM
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Dave thanks for clearing that up, as you had lost (scared) me at wire it under the dash... found this online
Resistor wiring details

If you have fitted LED bulbs in place of normal filament type indicator bulbs or stop/tail lights, you may experience fast flashing of the indicators or blown bulb warnings on the
dash. To cure these problems you will need to fit load resistors across each LED bulb as shown below.
The load resistor has to be connected to the two wires that go to the indicator or tail light bulb holder, one end to the postive (live) wire, the other to the negative (earth) wire.
This makes the indicator relay or bulb check circuit see a normal load in the circuit and operate correctly
Same ebay seller has resistors http://www.ebay.com/itm/Load-Resisto...item5403930adc
Please note that resistors can get hot during use, do not mount them on plastic. ( I am assuming I can splice into the black & the green wire shown in picture #2)
Attached Images
File Type: png Resistor_wiring_diagram.png (49.4 KB, 62 views)
File Type: jpg Light.jpg (13.2 KB, 62 views)
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