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LED brake lights


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19 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   C-MaxJaxon

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 04:27 PM

It was surprising to find out that a premium vehicle like the C-Max doesn't have LED brake lights, tail lights or turn signals. I've been thinking about swapping in at least LED brake lights so I don't have to worry about them burning out. It's actually a bit embarassing to see less expensive cars from other brands like Kia with LED lights everywhere. I've been looking at the LED bulbs from superbrightleds.com and trying to decide between the 220 lumen or the less expensive 140 lumen. If I'm the first to try them, I will report back whether everything is OK.
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#2 OFFLINE   Hybrid dude

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 06:36 PM

I was also surprised at the dearth of LEDs, used only for interior lighting I think. However, this vehicle, with both gas and diesel engines has been on the roads in Europe since 2010. There seems to be a disconnect in regards to which technologies/features would be appropriate for hybrid vs. non-hybrid vehicles and I'm sure the manufacturing cost influenced the decision.

I also can't advise you on the effect of lower wattage LED bulbs on the entire electrical system. You'd think it would be a good thing but maybe not. Perhaps others more knowledgeable will chime in.

#3 OFFLINE   C-MaxJaxon

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 06:47 PM

The LED brake light upgrade did not go well. They light OK up when the parking lights/headlamps or brakes are on, but they are still dimly lit and flickering rapidly when the lights are off. They may need a load resistor wired in to simulate the load of a normal bulb, but I won't want to hack it like that, so I'm giving up for now.

#4 OFFLINE   pixelwiz

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 04:03 PM

I'm very interested in this too, let me know if you figure it out. The Energi is supposed to have LED headlights, I wonder if they will fit into the regular C-Max hybrid, cause I would definitely prefer those, or HID at least. Hate the regular ones, so hoping for after-market soon!

#5 OFFLINE   Hybrid dude

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 10:50 PM

Where did you find out about the LED headlights? Gas and diesel versions in Europe can be equipped with HID Xenon.

#6 OFFLINE   C-MaxJaxon

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 01:40 PM

I am tempted to try these. I think the C-Max needs the "error free" CAN Bus type of bulb. Anyone want to take a chance and try them? I'm not too excited about having to return another set of bulbs after my failed attempt.

 

http://www.carid.com...ts-3046681.html

http://www.carid.com...ts-3047385.html



#7 OFFLINE   timwil56

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 06:18 PM

I have ordered LED replacement lamps for my tail and stop lights and amber for the turn signals. I received the amber turn signal lamps today. I installed one bulb and checked it for polarity and brightness and it was blinking erratically. Was the blink sequence off because I hadn't replaced both sides? I decided to put the incandescent bulb back for now until the other LED  lamps arrive.


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#8 OFFLINE   Marc Smith

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 07:09 PM

fwiw...  my wife's saturn vue  eats brake lights.  Either side pretty random about one per year.  the only commonality I could come up with is that  she and my daughter have this knack for letting the rear tailgate slam down...

 

I figure the 3157 (dual element brake light/taillight)  doesn't like the slamming tailgate.

 

So I ordered a pair of these

http://www.superbrig...ity-25-led/804/

 

they work fine as taillights...but as soon as I step on the brake pedal  the LEDs go bright and then the fuse pops...  no problem with the standard 3157 incandescent bulbs..

 

I sent an email to superbrights  so we'll see what they suggests...I guess when you go cheap,  you get what you pay for...



#9 OFFLINE   Madmax98

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 01:11 PM

Any success stories on LED bulb replacements ?

 

I replaced license plate bulbs thus far with a pair from O'Reilly ($13/pair), would like to try more.

Anyone tried the stuff from CarID or local auto parts store?



#10 OFFLINE   notquitesane

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 03:45 PM

Any success stories on LED bulb replacements ?

 

I replaced license plate bulbs thus far with a pair from O'Reilly ($13/pair), would like to try more.

Anyone tried the stuff from CarID or local auto parts store?

As you know, I'm sorting out the brake light bulb, having a 7443 on order.  3157 works but doesn't click in nicely.  Worried it will fall out eventually.

 

For the brake/tail/reverse lights, i've used Philips Vision LEDs purchased from Xenon Depot.  Plug 'n play.

 

For the rear turns, I used Philips Xtreme Ultinon Amber T20 (7443) bulbs ordered from Rakuten in Japan.  Can't find these anywhere else.  Needed 6 ohm 50W load resistors for them to flash properly.

 

I chose Philips Vision LEDs and Philips Xtreme LEDs because the reverse and turn signals have a plastic bit in front of the bulb that limits how long of a bulb you can use.  The Philips bulbs are close to the original bulb size so no clearance issues.

 

For the center brake light I used 194's from Diode Dynamics.  These would glow and flicker when they are supposed to be off, so I added a 1K ohm resistor in parallel to bleed off any extra current. They are bright when on and dark when off.

 

For the signals in the mirrors and puddle lights, I also used Diode Dynamic 194's.  Plug 'n play.

 

For the licence plate lights... you guessed it... Diode Dynamics 194's.  They glow faintly when they are supposed to be off.  Hardly noticable so I am not going to try to fix it.

 

I will attack the front side markers and turn signals next.  I already have amber 194's from Diode Dynamics for the side markers.  Deciding what to get for the front signals.  Not too sure yet.


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#11 OFFLINE   Madmax98

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Posted 13 May 2015 - 09:58 AM

Saw this post on an ebay vendor page when researching dual color bulb replacment - i.e. front and door mirror bulbs.

Does anyone know if 2013 CMax Energi sockets are 'CK' type?

 

 

11.NOT CK Type?
Yes,all our bulbs come with Standard Base, NOT CK Type.
Don't put standard bulbs into CK type sockets. It may pop the fuse or blow the bulb. Or the bulb will light up amber ONLY.

You can use a electroprobe to check the two Positive points before installation if you're not sure.



#12 OFFLINE   Madmax98

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Posted 13 May 2015 - 10:06 AM

@notquitesane - did you use white 194's in the center tail brake light or red? 

I assume the bulbs you took out just glowed white also, correct?

 

Also, where, how did you install a resistor exactly?

 

Thx!


Edited by Madmax98, 13 May 2015 - 10:09 AM.


#13 OFFLINE   notquitesane

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Posted 13 May 2015 - 11:28 AM



@notquitesane - did you use white 194's in the center tail brake light or red? 

I assume the bulbs you took out just glowed white also, correct?

 

Also, where, how did you install a resistor exactly?

 

Thx!

The rule of thumb for LED lights is if you are putting in behind a coloured lens, use the same colour.  I used red 194's for the center brake light.  If you put white LEDs behind a red lens, they would look pinkish and wouldn't be as bright.

 

The 1K ohm 1/2W resistor was placed in parallel to the LEDs.  I placed it on the back of the connector that plugs into the center brake light.  The amount of current flowing through it would be about 12-14mA so shouldn't get hot.

 

post-3002-0-62187400-1430689611_zpslsk1y

 

This was done as a temporary measure and I will attach it more securely the next time I have it out. 

 

To figure out if you need to add the resistor, install your LEDs in the center brake light, then turn on your head lights.  That is when I noticed the glowing and flickering occuring.  If yours don't flicker and glow, no resistor needed.



#14 OFFLINE   ebourlet

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 02:08 PM

Any more updates on LEDs. I would like to switch the front amber running lights as well as brake and turn . 



#15 OFFLINE   notquitesane

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Posted 07 August 2015 - 11:01 AM

Any more updates on LEDs. I would like to switch the front amber running lights as well as brake and turn . 

 

I'm not happy with my front amber LEDs.  I have new ones coming but can't recommend any at the moment.  The LEDs I purchased for the tail lights had one fail.  It measures a dead short across all pins, so I'm back using the Philips Vision LEDs.  I like them but they aren't brighter than incandescent. 

 

I did find out that if the lights briefly light up when you turn the ignition on, then immediately go out, it's because something is shorted.  The C-MAX is smart enough to cut power to the bulbs that it detects a short on.  When the dead, shorted bulb was installed, the left tail lights were out and the right ones were on.  After I removed the dead bulb and cycled the ignition, both tail lights lit up.  The usual cause of this is installing a standard bulb for the brake light.  Our cars need a 7443 CK bulb for the brake light.



#16 OFFLINE   Adrian_L

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Posted 07 August 2015 - 05:13 PM

Just be careful when ordering LED equivalents for incandescents.  Often the lumens will not be listed which is what you should be looking for--many, many times the LED equivalents will have half the light outpout of an incandescent.  Reputable vendors will state the lumens (light strength) or know it when asked. 



#17 OFFLINE   SPL Tech

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 02:12 AM

Keep in mind cheap LEDs are quite unreliable. Your standard OEM bulb that comes with the vehicle will far outlast a cheap LED light. Most lights sold online and in auto parts stores are cheap, made-in-china crap. The problem is the LED can last upwards of a million hours but the components, the power supply namely, can fail in less than 100 hours. I experienced this in replacing my lights in my house with all LEDs. I bought over 40 LED light bulbs and within a year 38 of them were completely dead. I replaced all 40 of those lights with compact CFLs instead, and a year later 40 of the original 40 are still working good.


Edited by SPL Tech, 01 September 2015 - 02:12 AM.


#18 OFFLINE   notquitesane

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 11:11 AM

I don't believe household LED bulbs out there are recommended to be installed in fully enclosed light fixtures, with the exception of a unique liquid cooled LED bulb.  Heat will kill any bulb rather quickly.  LEDs wouldn't fit in my bathroom light fixture as it was too small.  I couldn't keep CFL's in in there longer than a year before failing.  Switched to halogen 43W bulbs, again failed in a year.  Back to using 40W incandescent.

 

That said, all my other open table and floor lamps I have use Philips or CREE LED bulbs and have lasted years.

 

I did buy cheap ebay bulbs for my front signal lights as nothing else I've purchased has worked well.  What could work well would cost well over $100 and I refuse to pay that much.  The cheap ebay bulbs I had in my Fusion lasted 5 years without failing (as did the expensive ones) so I'm hopeful the ones I put in the C-MAX will last just as long.  Only time will tell!



#19 OFFLINE   Redshift

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Posted 03 October 2015 - 02:41 PM

I was also surprised at the dearth of LEDs, used only for interior lighting I think. However, this vehicle, with both gas and diesel engines has been on the roads in Europe since 2010. There seems to be a disconnect in regards to which technologies/features would be appropriate for hybrid vs. non-hybrid vehicles and I'm sure the manufacturing cost influenced the decision.

I also can't advise you on the effect of lower wattage LED bulbs on the entire electrical system. You'd think it would be a good thing but maybe not. Perhaps others more knowledgeable will chime in.

C-Max has been on the road in Europe since way before 2010. It was 2003 when they first came out.



#20 OFFLINE   raadsel

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Posted 03 October 2015 - 06:27 PM

C-Max has been on the road in Europe since way before 2010. It was 2003 when they first came out.

 

As I understood it, he was talking only about the current body style. The body style for our C-Max debuted in 2010, and it was replaced in Europe by the 3rd Generation C-Max for the 2015 model year.








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