Has anyone replaced tail lamp bulbs with LED?

Discussion in 'Pimpin' It!' started by tirefriar, Jul 12, 2019.

  1. tirefriar

    tirefriar Junior Member

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    I have an '06 with heavily tinted tail lamps. Would like to get a much brighter set of bulbs in there with a more instantaneous "on" effect. Also want an effective reverse lamp. Anyone replaced the bulbs in their tail lamps and if so, what bulbs did you use for each application?
     
  2. 08MustangDude

    08MustangDude forum member

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    ALL my '08 exterior bulbs are LEDs except the headlamps and fog lamps.

    The ones you can buy at Walmart, the Sylvania or Phillips, are VERY
    bright. They may be EVO too, they're made by Sylvania.

    194s in the side markers, front and rear.
    3157A (amber) front signals.
    3157R (RED) all six rear tails.

    I made my own LED center tail:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    When the car is off, for like 8-minutes, whenever the car goes to sleep, they're on REAL
    dim, only the rear LEDs, tails too:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Does not drain the battery. I drive the car on weekends only.

    I do not have any pictures that clearly show the LEDs in the tails.
     
    tirefriar likes this.
  3. tirefriar

    tirefriar Junior Member

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    Thanks for the part numbers. Do you know part# for reverse bulb? Do you get any codes or erratic blinking with your LED set up? Sorry if I’m asking the obvious...

    I looked into sequential LED set up but it’s just way over the top price wise:
    https://www.americanmuscle.com/led-chaser-taillights-0509.html

    Decided against the sequential, swapping out bulbs to LED will suffice.
     
  4. tirefriar

    tirefriar Junior Member

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  5. 08MustangDude

    08MustangDude forum member

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  6. Iceman62

    Iceman62 Bullitt 6005

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    The dim glow w/your LEDs is simply "bleed-off" from electrical lines due to lower resistance (LEDs). FWIW, I tried those cheaper Wally World bulbs in my '06 Chevy Colorado & they were total crap. IMO...put a little $$$ into LED swaps b/c it's very frustrating chasing electrical gremlins & clipping tons of resistors to your wiring trying to get them to function properly. I buy fm vLED & Diode Dynamics...great stuff & really helpful w/questions + assistance.
     
  7. tirefriar

    tirefriar Junior Member

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    Iceman, thanks for the leads. vLeds is perhaps the best quality LED product I’ve encountered but it will cost me over $300 just to upgrade the tail lights alone. If I am to lay out that kind of scratch for the tail lamp upgrade I’d go with sequential tail lamp upgrade from American muscle. Diode Dynamics are less $$ but at that price level I’d like to get bulbs with built-in resistors.
     
  8. 07gts197

    07gts197 forum member

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    I have phillips leds in the reverse lights on my 07. Theyre an upgrade over stock but not great due to chip placement.

    I dont really drive my 07 anymore but I wanted to upgrade to leds. The issue that I saw was that with the lights on without the brakes pressed and with them pressed there wasnt much of a difference in brightness. Maybe I wasnt looking at the right company though.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  9. 08MustangDude

    08MustangDude forum member

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    I know what the DIM lit reason is...

    Also, I have been using the Sylvania LED for 5 years now. In fact, from 2014 to now,
    I have used the same set of LEDs across FOUR VW Jetta MK6 cars. They are NOT
    Walmart brand, so I don't know what "crap" you bought, but so far, I have had a set
    of LED bulbs that have lasted five years now. That is, side markers, brake, turn, and
    reverse, and the city lights. Phillips in the DRLs, same life span.

    Haven't replaced them in FIVE years, and they are in my fourth Jetta...

    Top that off with 7+ hours of night driving, 4-days a week, for 1800 miles
    a week. So, they're on for 7+ hours a day, and they're FOUR years old.
     
  10. Iceman62

    Iceman62 Bullitt 6005

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    Apologies if my response came off a tad judgmental to your setup...wasn't meaning to. Simply relaying to OP how LEDs function w/certain vehicles & wiring set-ups (not all know). Also, sorry f/offending w/your LED brand...can't recall the Wal Mart cheapies b/c I sold them on CL (no longer have). Glad to hear yours are lasting & working well f/your ride.
     
  11. 08MustangDude

    08MustangDude forum member

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    I go through H7 bulbs every 2 months, so I had to switch to HIDs.

    I remember now, Walmart used to sell those Pilot brand LEDs, those were
    garbage. Since then, they are using Sylvania or Philips products:

    [​IMG]
    I use these as RED in the tails, Amber in front signal.
    Reverse lights in my Jetta, but the bayonet base, 1156 and 1157s.

    [​IMG]
    Using these or the Sylvania ones in all side-markers, plate lights, and interior.


    [​IMG]
    Used these in reverse lights, not bright enough as far as visible light,
    but looking right at them is bright. I still have that set lying around, I went to
    those projector front LEDs.

    They're all still working. There was another style I got from Philips,
    can't find those on-line, white, that I use in the Jetta for the DRLs.
    I have another set of them, as I had two MK6 jettas at one time...

    I do not get hyperflash in the mustang either.

    In the Jetta, the dash signals hyperflash, but the external ones blink at the
    normal rate; BCM controlled.
     
  12. tirefriar

    tirefriar Junior Member

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    @ MustangDude, researched the bulbs a little more and you are correct in that the Sylvania bulbs do not require resistors when used in our application. That is a huge plus.... My question, are you happy with the brightness of the tail lamps?
     
  13. Iceman62

    Iceman62 Bullitt 6005

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    THAT'S IT = PILOT LED'S...they were garbage (thanks) I was losing my mind trying to recall the brand. Thanks for the listed recommendations.
     
  14. 08MustangDude

    08MustangDude forum member

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    They are NICE and bright. You can see them in your side mirrors when you brake. They would
    be nice in sequentials. Looking for a harness for mine. As far as resisters, depends on the car.
    I use them in my VW Jetta, and the dash light for bulb out is on, and VCDS basically says they're
    all out from headlamps to tail lamps... I will NOT EVER use resisters, it defeats the purpose of using
    LEDs - low current. Putting load resisters in, raises the wattage back up to satisfy the diagnostics.
    I can leave the parking lights on all night, and the battery won't drain, with LEDs. See, my '13 TDI
    had a bad switch, when it got cold, the parking lights turned on. When this happened, If I nudged the
    switch clockwise a tad, they'd go off. If I nudged it counter clockwise, when OFF, they came on. So,
    for some reason, COLD would be like I nudged it counter clockwise that little bit... So, I put LEDs in,
    these same ones I jam still using, battery never died... I won't use load resisters. If it's a flasher
    issue, then I will buy an LED flasher, which is an electronic flasher relay, not a thermal one. Some
    REAL old cars, turn signals won't work at all with LEDs unless you use resisters, so we change
    the thermal flasher to an electronic one.

    Yeah, Pilot... There was one before them too, just as bad. If you ask me, I think it was
    the same company, and just changed the name to Pilot.
     
  15. tirefriar

    tirefriar Junior Member

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    Thanks again. Be sure to post about your sequential set up when you’ll get it all done. For now, I’m sticking with stock configuration. BTW, American Muscle has an incandescent sequential harness kit for around $110 (https://www.americanmuscle.com/cdc-dynamite-sticks.html) but the description specifically states that it will not work with aftermarket LED bulbs. Since the Sylvania bulbs are plug & play in the stock system, I wonder if they will work in that sequential harness...
     
  16. tirefriar

    tirefriar Junior Member

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    I received the LED bulbs and installed them Saturday. I tested each Sylvania bulb individually before butting up tail lamp assemblies and they worked as expected. Reverse lamps are superbright and well worth the $$. Hope they last.

    I took the car out in the evening and at the first use of the turn signal noticed hyper flashing. I got to my destination and checked the tail lamps. Brake and tail lights worked properly. Turn signals would not turn on. They did work when the hazard flasher button was engaged though. I proceeded to turn off the engine and engage turn signals, lo and behold they were working properly. As soon as I turned on the engine, hyper flashing returned and turn signals would not light up.

    I have a Saleen so I only replaced 2 led bulbs per side as my most inner sense is covered by plastic baffle. Would having a mix of bulbs (2 LED and 1 incandescent) in the harness affect the overall performance of LED bulbs? If so, I would need to replace remaining incandescent bulbs with LED ones...

    LED Sylvania bulbs installed
    IMG_4944.jpg

    Incandescent bulbs
    IMG_4945.jpg

    LED Reverse lamp
    IMG_4946.jpg

    Incandescent reverse lamp
    IMG_4949.jpg
     
  17. 08MustangDude

    08MustangDude forum member

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    They should last, as I said mine have, for over three years now, spanning
    four Jettas. AND, 8+ hours of night driving, 4-days a week... Glad you like
    it. I plan on 9005 HIDs for the front fog lamps. Current running 65watt
    9005SX bulbs now, hi-beam.
     
  18. 08MustangDude

    08MustangDude forum member

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  19. tirefriar

    tirefriar Junior Member

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    @08MustangDude, as mentioned in my earlier post the sylvania bulbs continue giving me issues when turn signals are turned on. It doesn't sound like you experienced anything like that... I will replace the remaining incandescent bulbs in the tail lamps to see if that cures the problem.
     
  20. 08MustangDude

    08MustangDude forum member

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    Just to alleviate any doubt...

    4-WAY:


    LEFT TURN:



    RIGHT TURN: