Lotus Elan

Brilliant Mod

PostPost by: Ross Robbins » Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:45 pm

While this is technically a modification, perhaps it really should be in the Elan section as it a.) is fully reversible, b.) invisible at a car show when the ignition is off and c.) really useful. Are you ready...wait for it...

Change the dual filament tail/brake light bulbs out for red LED bulbs. You will not believe how much brighter and redder they are than the old 1157 bulbs, and they increase your safety when folks can actually see your brake lights come on. Cost: $15.00 for two bulbs. I also bought yellow ones for the turn signals but they require a special flasher unit and I decided that the turn signals were bright enough as is so left them alone.
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PostPost by: lotocone » Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:10 am

Thanks Ross. I was nearly hit from behind a few months ago, so brighter brake lights are welcome. Can you tell us where you go the new lights?

Bob
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PostPost by: nomad » Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:15 am

Ross, I purchased 2 kinds of LED bulbs for a 65 midget a while ago and ended up going back to the 1157 because it was brighter. Of course the Midget had good reflector's in the tail light assembly unlike what my S1 will have but think that everyone should be aware that all LED's are not equal. Please let us know which ones you fitted if you can.

Kurt

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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:48 am

I've been there as well,but gone back to filament as the LEDs are directional and couldn't get proper brightness for the size...

John :wink:
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PostPost by: Ross Robbins » Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:30 pm

Sorry to be slow in responding. I just forgot to check back on this post :oops:

The LED bulbs I got were from Jam Strait via our local Auto Zone parts supply house. their website is here: http://www.jamstrait.com/1157s.htm and there must be an equivalent in Britain and Europe.

I talked to a friend of mine who had a BMW 2002 and he gave me the insight to get the red LED not the clear one so I did and am delighted. They are much much brighter than the incandescent bulbs so I am not sure what your LED was John that it wasn't as bright as an incandescent. I do know that these come in several levels of brightness and I got the super bright ones.

I suggest you look at them again to see if there are better alternatives now available. I am quite happy :D with the change especially as it is so easy to do and fully reversible if for some reason it were warranted, though I cannot imagine why.
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PostPost by: 69S4 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:28 am

I fitted a red LED bulb to the rear light of one of my Honda motorcycles almost 10yrs ago (it was a quick fix for a vibration problem continually breaking the filament of the normal bulb) and the first thing I noticed was that it was almost too red. The light unit seemed to glow - I know it's supposed to do that :lol: but it just looked odd, as though the intensity of red had been turned right up - almost to the point where it was hard to focus your eyes on it. Red inside a red cover just seemed to be too much err... red and while I've kept it in that bike the effect has put me off using red bulbs in the Elan.

I agree about the directionality. Most bike rear lights illuminate the number plate using light spill through a small clear section of the cover and this bulb sends it all directly backwards so nothing spills out the bottom. There are better designs on the market now though.
Stuart Holding
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:05 pm

I've been looking into fitting a full set of LED's to my Elan for a few years. You do need to be very aware of the type of bulb you use as some will not light up the reflectors and will look worse. I believe ultraleds website provides quite a selection.

On the intensity - - a red Led is all Red light so it all passes through the red lens. An ordinary bulb is white light and the red lens only lets the red part of the spectrum through. Hence the Leds are brighter.

Do not discount the other positives with Leds - they will last the lifetime of your car so in effect a once only fit (they last thousands of hours and are resistant to damage from vibration and knocks). They operate significantly faster buying many metres of stopping distance in an emergancy situation at say 30/40 mph and may actually save you from a rear end impact. They use significantly less power and as such when you have electrical problems are much more likely to work than an ordinary bulb
Steve

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PostPost by: Alasdair » Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:54 pm

Elanfan1,

Good info on this LED direction, I plan to get a set for my 68 SS S3 and 69 S4 DHC, perhaps a silly question you can help me with, I am not to BRIGHT on LED's, my 68 SE is positive ground, does it matter to the LED?

Thanks,
Alasdair.

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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:21 pm

Suggest you make an enquiry through Ultraleds website Wth a normal 12v bulb it makes no difference which way power goes through it (not that you could fit it the wrong way anyway).

I believe some led lamps are fitted with some sort of resistor that might have an effect on the polarity - it is best to check. Post the answer up here for everyone else.
Steve

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PostPost by: Junks » Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:38 pm

All LED's are polarity conscious & need to be connected the correct way round to work. Re the directional bit, if you get them with LED's around the edge of the bulb as well they should work just fine. I've bought them for my build & they look great, really bright
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