Lotus Elan

LED headlights?

PostPost by: pereirac » Wed Mar 26, 2014 5:33 pm

Just a thought... My little Sprint is still fitted with a dynamo so electric 'power is always dodgy when you have your headlights, heater fan and wipers on at the same time. Generally this means that my indicators are dim and stop flashing when the engine is idling (i.e when I need them most while stationary at a junction).
I fixed the 'flashing' problem by replacing the old thermal flasher unit with an electronic unit which is not current dependent. Simple, cheap and reversible ... and it works

This got me thinking, has anybody fitted LED bulbs into their car, either side lights or even headlights? Given that we don't have to worry about computers complaining about blown bulbs and flashing up errors I though LED lights might help with my 'limited' current, should use less electricity and might even be a bit brighter...

Just wondered what people thought (and even if it was legal)?? :D

Carl
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PostPost by: pharriso » Wed Mar 26, 2014 5:51 pm

You could eliminate the problem at the source & install an Alternator?
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PostPost by: pereirac » Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:14 pm

I could ... LOL
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PostPost by: alan » Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:29 pm

Carl you said
"I fixed the 'flashing' problem by replacing the old thermal flasher unit with an electronic unit "
Could you give me some d?tails, sounds interresting
Alan
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PostPost by: pereirac » Wed Mar 26, 2014 7:04 pm

Hi Alan,

It was just a 12V electronic flasher unit I bought off ebay for around ?8 made by a company in Malta called Merit (http://www.meritmalta.com). It was a simple straight swap and works without any problems.

Carl
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PostPost by: gherlt » Thu Mar 27, 2014 7:02 am

Well, I fitted an alternator also (Dynalite for looks), but keep looking at bringing overall consumption down.
Interior light and panel bulbs are mainly LEDs. Also, there are some powerful LED BA15d, which work very well for the combined backlight/brake bulb. 9W I think, with normal lights on, the cars at your back will think you have the rear fog lights on. Not good, too conspicuous.
Therefore if you eliminate the backwards looking LED (2) they are just as bright as needed, just like a new car.

I bought some powerful LED for the front, 25W each, and they are quite bright.

But the light distribution and the colour is different, so the front is a bit critical, you give too much hints that something is different. On the back, with the red plastic, its all as normal, just brigther. Anybody who does not know better, will not spot the difference.
Also, the powerful LEDs (available from H1 to H11) have another drawback, they come (measurements from memory (dont trust :-) )) with a small fan on the rearside (about 4cm deep), a short cable (10cm) and with a small box (10x5x2cm), on Ebay usually they don't show them on the picture.
I bought them here:
http://hongy.en.alibaba.com/product/170 ... ality.html

This makes it a bit bulky, so I ended up using it for my plug-and-play rallye lights.

Apart from interior lightning, nothing of this is legal in Germany :(
1964 S1 (engine ready, awainting body paint)
1967 S3 DHC (needs new starter)
1969 S4 FHC (running great ... done 60km ... engine damage :-( )

Brian Bucklands 2nd edition available ! Look here: https://theelanman.com
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PostPost by: andyelan » Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:21 am

Hi Everyone

Perhaps someone will correct me if I'm wrong but, while LEDs sound a brilliant idea for supplimentey lighting (i.e. dashboard illumination, interior lights, tail lights etc.) where there doesn't seem to be any downside, I think we're still some way away from having anything suitable for use as far as headlights are concerned.

Take a look here:- http://www.bettercarlighting.co.uk/inde ... t&catId=48

Regards
Andy
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PostPost by: pharriso » Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:32 am

Andy, not sure what you mean...

LED headlights have been used by OEMs since at least 2008 - see http://www.audileds.com/

Not sure that I would fit them to my Elan though, too visually obvious... I don't drive my car much at night anyway.
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PostPost by: andyelan » Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:03 pm

Hi Phil

I'll admit I don't know much about LEDs for modern cars headlights, but their use doesn't susprise me.

What I was talking about however was their use in classic cars. Here, what I'd be looking for would be somthing which was a direct replacement for the standard twin filament bayonet cap headlight bulb.

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PostPost by: pharriso » Thu Mar 27, 2014 1:20 pm

andyelan wrote:Hi Phil

What I was talking about however was their use in classic cars. Here, what I'd be looking for would be somthing which was a direct replacement for the standard twin filament bayonet cap headlight bulb.

Andy


That I can understand...
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PostPost by: billwill » Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:50 pm

andyelan wrote:Hi Phil

I'll admit I don't know much about LEDs for modern cars headlights, but their use doesn't susprise me.

What I was talking about however was their use in classic cars. Here, what I'd be looking for would be somthing which was a direct replacement for the standard twin filament bayonet cap headlight bulb.

Andy



Or it could replace the whole front glass and reflector too as in a sealed beam headlight bulb.
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PostPost by: rcraven » Thu Mar 27, 2014 4:30 pm

This company has started producing LED headlight bulbs but not yet in sizes for an Elan. Maybe the range will expand: http://www.dynamoregulatorconversions.com/whats-new.php
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PostPost by: fatboyoz » Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:30 pm

Carl,
I have fitted LEDs throughout excepting headlights.

Rear and Front Indicator, amber 1156-A45-T:
http://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo ... /526/1697/
Note: I did not use this bulb in the front indicators, I used a different LED setup. Presume it will fit though, as the original incandescent bulbs were the same front and back.

Stoplight/taillight, red 1157-R45-T:
http://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo ... -/814/728/

Numberplate/dash mounted interior light (S4): Warm White 3710-WWHP3:
http://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo ... stoon/239/

Reverse: Warm White 4210-WWHP6:
http://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo ... stoon/662/

Front Park Lights: Warm White LE0005001 (different website, these just fit) 2 pack:
http://www.diytradeshop.com/pair-of-ba9 ... dc12v.html

When using LEDs for indicators, you will have to purchase flasher units specifically for LED bulbs not just any old electronic flasher. When I converted my S4, I fitted one of these to the indicators and another to the hazards. The only problem I had, was that the flasher units were silent when operating. I had to hook up another, small relay in the system just so that they would "click" when operating. Perhaps there is a LED flasher unit with a built-in noise maker.

Cheers,
Colin.




pereirac wrote:Just a thought... My little Sprint is still fitted with a dynamo so electric 'power is always dodgy when you have your headlights, heater fan and wipers on at the same time. Generally this means that my indicators are dim and stop flashing when the engine is idling (i.e when I need them most while stationary at a junction).
I fixed the 'flashing' problem by replacing the old thermal flasher unit with an electronic unit which is not current dependent. Simple, cheap and reversible ... and it works

This got me thinking, has anybody fitted LED bulbs into their car, either side lights or even headlights? Given that we don't have to worry about computers complaining about blown bulbs and flashing up errors I though LED lights might help with my 'limited' current, should use less electricity and might even be a bit brighter...

Just wondered what people thought (and even if it was legal)?? :D

Carl
'68 S4 DHC
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PostPost by: AHM » Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:45 pm

Carl,
Is your Dynamo equipped car + or - earth? Diodes only work one way - My S3 is +ve so that was that.

I have tried LED's in other areas - interior lights - the colour doesn't look right to me.

I don't have enough enthusiasm, or see the need for changing the other lights to LED's But I have changed the side lights on the S4 to LED's.

Standard bulbs melt the plastic lens, and the side lights don't seem to do much - Cheap replacement LED's don't melt the lenses and provide a good bright side marker - good enough for daylight - good enough to be seen!

They don't look badly out of place - Give them a try, only a couple of quid. and will save you about an amp.

Colin,

What are those colour temperatures like for interior lighting? That is another area where the bulbs melt the lenses, and having the door open flattens the battery.
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PostPost by: fatboyoz » Sat Mar 29, 2014 1:35 am

AHM,
I always go for warm white when selecting white LEDs.
The dashboard LED, I mentioned, is a little bright, but I have just angled it down so that it does not dazzle. You could go for this one instead, as the warm white lumens is less: http://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo ... stoon/233/
The original incandescent bulb had started to melt the lens, same as was happening with the numberplate lenses.
I originally had the 9 tower, Cool White LED bulbs in the front side/parking lamps, but did not like the colour. Had to go with the different supplier to get the Warm White product.

The reason I swapped to LEDs has had more to do with being more visible on the road than anything else. Whether it be a crisper blinker, more visible stop/tailight or generally more light front and back the need for something more was brought home on a daylight club run one Sunday.
One of our members was in his, built from scratch, twincam clubman when he was run off the road and into a gutter when a driver decided to change lanes mid roundabout. She did not see him. Don't know why he didn't have his lights on? At least, he would have reduced his risk of not being seen if he had.

Since his accident (lots of broken GRP, bent aluminium and broken chassis tubes) I have converted to LEDs and I have also converted my front indicators into daytime running lights/blinkers. The indicators are on 100% of the time, but blink when indicating. Not very original with the ignition ON, but bog standard when OFF. Our Nth American brethren will recognise this feature, as it is common on the Nth American Harley Davidsons.

Cheers,
Colin.






















AHM wrote:Carl,
Is your Dynamo equipped car + or - earth? Diodes only work one way - My S3 is +ve so that was that.

I have tried LED's in other areas - interior lights - the colour doesn't look right to me.

I don't have enough enthusiasm, or see the need for changing the other lights to LED's But I have changed the side lights on the S4 to LED's.

Standard bulbs melt the plastic lens, and the side lights don't seem to do much - Cheap replacement LED's don't melt the lenses and provide a good bright side marker - good enough for daylight - good enough to be seen!

They don't look badly out of place - Give them a try, only a couple of quid. and will save you about an amp.

Colin,

What are those colour temperatures like for interior lighting? That is another area where the bulbs melt the lenses, and having the door open flattens the battery.
'68 S4 DHC
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