Lotus Elan

Brighter (LED?) instrument panel light and tail lamps?

PostPost by: Prisoner 7 » Fri Apr 02, 2021 11:24 am

Has anyone tackled the issue of dim instrument illumination with modern (LED) bulbs. Same with tail lamps- I have been told on very bright days my brake/turn indicators are not “easily” discernible.
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PostPost by: h20hamelan » Fri Apr 02, 2021 2:45 pm

Has been discussed, try google etc lotuselan.net led
Think the seller is in the UK, people were/are happy
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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Fri Apr 02, 2021 2:58 pm

Prisoner 7 wrote:Has anyone tackled the issue of dim instrument illumination with modern (LED) bulbs. Same with tail lamps- I have been told on very bright days my brake/turn indicators are not “easily” discernible.


I had the same issue with tail lamps. I quickly discovered the insides of the tail lamp lenses were dirty and the reflectors were dirty as well. I also found the brake/turn signal lamps were an old part number. I think somewhere in the old Lotus West "tech manual" there was advice switch to the #1157 stop/turn lamp. Much better results.

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PostPost by: ericbushby » Fri Apr 02, 2021 3:13 pm

I have replaced all lamps in the car except headlamps and ignition lamp with LED type.
Simple direct plug in replacement mainly. The indicators need a new flasher relay.
Duncan at `Classic Car Leds` in the UK will make sure you buy the correct parts.
I can highly recommend him.
I know you are in the States, but this applies to other readers as well.
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PostPost by: TBG » Fri Apr 02, 2021 4:00 pm

I have replaced all bulbs with LEDs and the transformation is amazing.

LED lights.jpg and
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PostPost by: HCA » Fri Apr 02, 2021 4:12 pm

Go with Eric's suggestion.

One thing though, and Duncan will suggest the same - for stop and tail lights go for the red LED and amber LEDs for the indicators as these will give you ( and other road users...) the best intensity of light behind their respective lens. He will also talk you through the panel light situation as well (do NOT replace the alternator light with LED, this must remain incandescent).
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PostPost by: h20hamelan » Fri Apr 02, 2021 7:05 pm

led lights don't heat up the brittle rubber/foam


7E82B8C2-9090-4DD0-8A80-27EDB1DAE72A_1_105_c.jpeg and
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PostPost by: Elanman68 » Fri Apr 02, 2021 8:45 pm

Another vote for Classic Car LEDs here. I've replaced all bulbs other than the ignition light with LEDs in my car. Whilst recent changes in UK law may force me to revert to filament headlamp bulbs I'm very pleased with what I have and would recommend it.
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PostPost by: TBG » Fri Apr 02, 2021 10:03 pm

Duncan is excellent and so is Gill at https://www.bettercarlighting.co.uk/

No affiliation just bloody good service.
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PostPost by: ericbushby » Fri Apr 02, 2021 10:25 pm

To un-named Prisoner 7 who asked this question, I found one snag.
My instruments are of different ages, so some had bayonet fitting lamps, some screw lamps and one capless.
It didn`t matter much as they supply all fittings, but it would help if you check what you have got already.
It didn`t matter much to me if I made a mistake as a new lamp was a lot cheaper than changing the lampholder.
and they cost so little that a wrong lamp was an easy gift to a fellow Elan owner.
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PostPost by: Steve Brooks » Sat Apr 03, 2021 8:17 am

Hello, I have changed my exterior bulbs to led on my +2 and they are a marked improvement being a lot brighter than the old originals,also have changed speedo and Rev counter, Now I can see them in the night (in the garage anyway) haven’t changed the smaller instruments yet but have new led ones ready.I can recommend the change and got mine from classic car leds ( no affiliation).Steve
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PostPost by: JonB » Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:07 pm

I tried doing my +2's instrument lights with white LEDs but it didn't look right to me. Swapped to warm white and bingo, spot on. Still have a box of LEDs kicking about.
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Thu Apr 08, 2021 5:37 pm

TBG wrote:Duncan is excellent and so is Gill at https://www.bettercarlighting.co.uk/

No affiliation just bloody good service.


I used these people as well, very knowledgeable and helpful.

I replaced the side lights/thimble lights on my +2 & S4 with LED as well as the tail/stop lights, my indicators on both cars appear bright enough so no issues with making enough electrical load to operate the flasher unit, although I’m aware there is a workaround for this.

Edit, I thought that the following extract from better car lightings website was worth posting

Stop Press 2
On Monday 15th March, I received a letter from Baroness Vere, forwarded to me by my hard-working local MP, Nadhim Zahawi, thanking the many of us who raised the subject of the illogical and potentially unsafe changes to the MOT regulations with regard to brighter LED headlights and other lights on classic and vintage cars. She has confirmed that she is instructing all UK MOT test centres to note that any car made on or before 1st April 1989 is exempt from these changes and should be issued with a "Pass" if their headlights conform to the beamsetter check. There is no explanation of why cars are assumed to have changed so much on that day that cars made a week or a decade later should not be submitted to the same logic, but at least we have a partial concession to common sense. I, and others will continue the fight to allow owners of later cars to enjoy safe lighting as well. I would like to thank both Nadhim Zahawi and also Nigel Griffith of the White Knight blog and website for their help and advice, as this progress would not have been made without them.
Kindest regards

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PostPost by: Elanman68 » Thu Apr 08, 2021 6:26 pm

Definitely worth posting, thank you. Looks as though I won't have to change back to filament headlamps after all :D .
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