LED quvivlents of the standard bulb sets?

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timrosser
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LED quvivlents of the standard bulb sets?

Post by timrosser » Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:14 am

Hi All,

I've been running led front driving lights for years and I love them, esp the lack of maintenance! And the cooler temp does seem to help preserve the plastic. So I'm tempted to replace all my bulbs, even the dashboard (which is a little dim with my latest halogen) with LEDs. Any views on this I do know that for MOT you need to be all one or the other.

best

Tim

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Re: LED quvivlents of the standard bulb sets?

Post by triumphtoledo » Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:48 am

LED conversion bulbs are not legal in ANY exterior lamp housing - they are fine for the interior provided the light does not point directly out of any window.

While the test looks mainly for LED/HID conversion headlight bulbs, the MOT should fail all LED conversion bulbs under "incompatible light source" - as the lamp housings are designed for halogen bulbs, not LED. If you still get a pass, you could still be prosecuted under Type Approval legislation, as LED conversion bulbs cannot be type approved, which is mandatory for all automotive bulbs.

Another thread looked at this in more depth.

R

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Re: LED quvivlents of the standard bulb sets?

Post by jifflemon » Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:29 pm

Whilst this is, technically correct, the actual chance of being prosecuted for running LED's is remote - I'm talking about "being pulled by the very police officer who's wife you're having an affair with" kind of remote.

the vast majority of police will only be concerned with your vehicle if it's Abnormally wrong - LED headlamps should be avoided as they will not produce a correct beam pattern (which becomes apparent as you dazzle everyone on the road), but LED indicators, Brake lights etc? No difference.

There's a couple of things that have concerned me, and thus, stopped me from swapping everything to LED.

1) LED's don't like to be dimmed - So Dashboard and interior lights lose some functionality.
2) The CEM checks for blown brake bulbs - not sure how it'll cope with LED's.
3) Cost - Frankly, I can pick up 3 packs of 20 stop/tail bulbs for the price of 2 LED ones - is there really a price benefit?

I've changed the front DRL/sidelight bulb as, despite the cost, the cooler running bulb out-wayed the cons of cost and LED appearance.

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Re: LED quvivlents of the standard bulb sets?

Post by jamescarruthers » Thu Jun 28, 2018 10:20 am

Agreed. Avoid LED's for the headlight you will either be blind yourself from not being able to see because they will be crap OR you will be able to see but everyone else will be blind around you as your beams will be scattering all over the place.

The same is true of trying to put HID equivalents into our halogen headlights: they will completely screw up the beam and be very dangerous for other drivers. The main issue I believe is that the source is in the wrong place.‎

Jeff is right, DRL to LED‎ is acceptable and I haven't ever heard of anyone on here having a problem re the law.

Personally I think every 480 with LED DRL's looks wrong and the blueish ones look particularly cheap and nasty. Practically, keeping the heat down in the DRL cluster they are a good just not my personal cup of tea. ‎
1987 Volvo 480 ES, 507274, 217 - Red (Ness)
2001 Volvo C70 2.4T convertible (Olivolvo)
2008 Mini Cooper convertible (Mau)

Previous 480's:
J123 CFU -- ES
J449 MNL -- ES auto
D864 CPV -- ES
L691 JFC -- Turbo
F70 MNR -- ES
H858 FGV -- Turbo auto
E981 KHM -- ES (509849)

timrosser
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Re: LED quvivlents of the standard bulb sets?

Post by timrosser » Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:26 pm

MY DRL's are a lovely warm yellow that 'warm' up to full power a lot like a standard bulb, except my 480 still has lovely clear plastic lenses of course ;-)

Sorry for the confusion re-halogen, I was really thinking of that tricky little one that is the main dash back-light, which is both hot and in a confined space, given leds longevity and the hassle & risk of pulling the dash apart I'd think about it, as I would have done for the popup main beam- but I'm shelving that given the advice above!

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Re: LED quvivlents of the standard bulb sets?

Post by 89of480 » Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:59 am

I would like to add a couple of things to this too;

I am not so sure if LED’s are flat out illegal; obviously we know new cars have them factory standard front and rear these days. I think the key here is the E mark - I have seen E marked LED headlight bulbs for sale, which does indeed mean they are legal and approved for road use in Europe and the UK.
However, I believe the E mark on the Lamp has to match the E mark on the light unit itself for compliance. Aside from this, I would be more worried about the beam pattern being irregular, as long as the beam pattern is not abnormal or dangerous I don’t think Johnny Law will be too upset - those aftermarket HID kits are far nastier than any aftermarket LED headlight bulbs I’ve encountered.
I would like to say also I did run my work van with aftermarket LED headlight bulbs, the beam Pattern or colouring were not off or dangerous, and furthermore, the vehicle even did pass an MOT with them installed so they can’t of been that bad!
However, I will say, the reflector style headlamps, like the ones in our 480’s are much more likely to give an irregular beam pattern with LEDs, they work much better with projector lenses at giving a more true beam pattern. I have just acquired a BMW E36 convertible as a little project and a little bit of open top summer fun, this has the projector headlamps, I’ve got my eye on a set of E marked, road legal LED headlamp bulbs, I’m really curious and might have to bite the bullet on them in the name of science.
I’ve also been running LED sidelight bulbs and number plate bulbs for a number of years - but the ‘warm white’ ones, as I do like incandescent coloured LEDs, what I cannot stand though are cheap LEDS that are far too dim and blue or stupendously bright number plate bulbs...

As for LED headlights in our 480’s, I was contemplating this, however the only thing that put me off doing it was the difference in resistance between a halogen bulb and an LED bulb, I wasn’t sure if this would affect the pop-up circuit like a change in the resistance to the DRL bulbs does.
Jifflemon also mentioned the rear bulbs and the CEM - most likely the bulb warning light would come up due to the resistance - there are CAN BUS resistor kits you can get though to compensate for this so the CEM doesn’t pick up a fault.
And while I am on the hunt for a much warmer coloured DRL LED - the ones I have aren’t terrible, I like them, I also like knowing the lenses are cooler too!

Just my thoughts and experiences :D
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Re: LED quvivlents of the standard bulb sets?

Post by 89of480 » Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:00 am

timrosser wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:26 pm
MY DRL's are a lovely warm yellow that 'warm' up to full power a lot like a standard bulb, except my 480 still has lovely clear plastic lenses of course ;-)

Sorry for the confusion re-halogen, I was really thinking of that tricky little one that is the main dash back-light, which is both hot and in a confined space, given leds longevity and the hassle & risk of pulling the dash apart I'd think about it, as I would have done for the popup main beam- but I'm shelving that given the advice above!
Which DRLs do you have? Do you have a picture of them at all? :D
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Re: LED quvivlents of the standard bulb sets?

Post by timrosser » Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:53 pm

I will get you a photo- they were sold to me by someone who used to sell quite a lot on this forum back in the day, hopefully I'll remeber his name by the time I get some pics uploaded!

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Re: LED quvivlents of the standard bulb sets?

Post by 89of480 » Sat Jun 30, 2018 1:03 am

timrosser wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:53 pm
I will get you a photo- they were sold to me by someone who used to sell quite a lot on this forum back in the day, hopefully I'll remeber his name by the time I get some pics uploaded!
Are they SpreeLED lamps? They look amazing in the old pictures I’ve been able to find of them! Sadly traces these days seem to have all but vanished...

For the record, there are 7” square LED entire lamps that you could replace your entire headlamp with - some of them are e marked and road legal too - the only thing that concerns me is the difference to resistance levels that may throw out the whole pop up circuit :(
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Re: LED quvivlents of the standard bulb sets?

Post by timrosser » Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:45 am

Yes thats right, it was Spree, Ive never changed a bulb since and the warm white is so unobtrusive no mot station have ever mentioned it. If my lamps ever failed I would be really tempted to go for the led lamps, but what a gamble on the electrics!

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Re: LED quvivlents of the standard bulb sets?

Post by brinkie » Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:35 pm

jifflemon wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:29 pm
2) The CEM checks for blown brake bulbs - not sure how it'll cope with LED's.
The CEM doesn't do that, there's a small electronic unit located left of the luggage compartment which compares current to the brake lights. If there is a difference in current (a blown bulb draws zero current), the bulb detector tell-tale will light up. I think it might work for LEDs if they both draw the same amount of current.
What the CEM does is check the current to the flashers, no current will cause the flasher to double its frequency. LEDs usually confuse the CEM, because the current of a bulb is 1.75A (21W/12V) but a LED only draws 300 milliamps for the same amount of light. Many cheap dodgy Chinese LEDs need more power so a cheap one will probably work better...
I know someone who has modded his CEM for LED usage, by changing the resistors that measure the current.
Robert.

Present cars: 1994 Volvo 480 GT 2.0i Vase Green, 2010 Volvo V70 2.0F Momentum Mystic Silver
Past: 1981 Talbot-Matra Murena 2.2 Rouge Mephisto, 1995 Volvo 480 GT 2.0i Paris Blue

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Re: LED quvivlents of the standard bulb sets?

Post by timrosser » Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:13 am

Hi Robert, I think Im following this ;-) Would it follow that if I swapped both the brake lights and the headlights the electronic boot unit would still be in balance?

Thanks again

Tim

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Re: LED quvivlents of the standard bulb sets?

Post by brinkie » Wed Jul 04, 2018 11:35 am

timrosser wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:13 am
Hi Robert, I think Im following this ;-) Would it follow that if I swapped both the brake lights and the headlights the electronic boot unit would still be in balance?
Not quite :lol: There is no connection between the front and rear light bulbs, they share the light switch but go through separate paths after that.

The rear lights come in pairs, both sides have two bulbs. What the electronics do is compare current to both bulbs, if one blows there is no current to the blown bulb and the failure detector will be triggered. Before 1993 the rear lights were also measured. (I'm not sure what happens if both are blown at the same time!)
I'm not sure how the front light bulb detector (deleted in 1989 if I recall correctly) is routed, I think it just compares the left and right bulb.
Robert.

Present cars: 1994 Volvo 480 GT 2.0i Vase Green, 2010 Volvo V70 2.0F Momentum Mystic Silver
Past: 1981 Talbot-Matra Murena 2.2 Rouge Mephisto, 1995 Volvo 480 GT 2.0i Paris Blue

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Re: LED quvivlents of the standard bulb sets?

Post by eye of ra » Wed Jul 04, 2018 6:10 pm

This thread may provide some info.

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=15766

Sadly Spree does not appear to be contactable anymore.
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Re: LED quvivlents of the standard bulb sets?

Post by nicklee » Wed Jul 04, 2018 11:48 pm

sllllightly off topic here but on the subject of preserving front light clusters (one of the purposes of LED conversion) I just use the standard two filament DRL bulbs but insulate the 'bright' contact so that the car can only ever use the lower output filament. Dim DRLs at all times, no warning lights on the dash and clear front lenses! contacts and other electrics also seem to be unaffected...
1992 Paris Blue 480 ES

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Re: LED quvivlents of the standard bulb sets?

Post by timrosser » Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:46 am

What do people think about the bulb factor in the aging of the rear plastic lenses? Would leds reduce the fade and cracking?

T

PS Robert- I knew it wouldn't be so simple!

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Re: LED quvivlents of the standard bulb sets?

Post by jifflemon » Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:48 pm

nicklee wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 11:48 pm
sllllightly off topic here but on the subject of preserving front light clusters (one of the purposes of LED conversion) I just use the standard two filament DRL bulbs but insulate the 'bright' contact so that the car can only ever use the lower output filament. Dim DRLs at all times, no warning lights on the dash and clear front lenses! contacts and other electrics also seem to be unaffected...
I think (and am happy to be corrected) that it's switched. That is, that its either 21w or 4w, and that insulating the bright contact would result in Zero output with headlamps off.

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Re: LED quvivlents of the standard bulb sets?

Post by jamescarruthers » Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:32 pm

Nope,  both filaments illuminate on cars that have dim and bright DRL's (so every UK car).

You could replace the bulb sockets with ones from our continental neighbours so you are only running a small bulb. Our 21/4W bulb holders are unobtainium, theirs not so much. 

I have a set in the garage from a none DRL car. Will get some pics up next month. I wonder if they are shared with other Volvos?‎
1987 Volvo 480 ES, 507274, 217 - Red (Ness)
2001 Volvo C70 2.4T convertible (Olivolvo)
2008 Mini Cooper convertible (Mau)

Previous 480's:
J123 CFU -- ES
J449 MNL -- ES auto
D864 CPV -- ES
L691 JFC -- Turbo
F70 MNR -- ES
H858 FGV -- Turbo auto
E981 KHM -- ES (509849)

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Re: LED quvivlents of the standard bulb sets?

Post by eye of ra » Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:37 pm

I did post in another thread that looking at the diagrams there was a car with no DRL, nice to know they do actually exist.

And James is correct in the UK both the 21w AND 4w work at the same time when the pop-ups are down.
nicklee wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 11:48 pm
I just use the standard two filament DRL bulbs but insulate the 'bright' contact so that the car can only ever use the lower output filament. Dim DRLs at all times, no warning lights on the dash and clear front lenses! contacts and other electrics also seem to be unaffected...
Good idea and on a 92 it would have no effect on warning light as DRL were not monitored.
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Re: LED quvivlents of the standard bulb sets?

Post by nicklee » Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:51 pm

cheers! the clusters might outlive the car ;)
1992 Paris Blue 480 ES

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